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2013 Cadillac XTS

Modern XTS has classic Cadillac DNA

2013 Cadillac XTS

Car Review

Overall rating:


Strengths and weaknesses:

  • CUE
  • Luxury and comfort
  • Interior space
  • Look of the rear wheel arch
  • Power

Editor's Ratings:

  • Performance: 7/10

  • Price: 7/10

  • Comfort (front): 9/10

Modern XTS has classic Cadillac DNA

"Though easily associated to the mother brand, it is the beginning of an era of new proportions."

There is no doubt the XTS belongs to the luxurious Cadillac family. With its sharp angles and portly front grille, it is recognizable from miles away. This time, the code name is XTS and it truly honours its fellow Caddies.

Search available trim options for the 2013 Cadillac XTS

The Cadillac XTS is the most technically advanced car in the brand’s history. Comfort, luxury and technology are what characterize the XTS best, which is an excellent example of the “Arts and Science” conception philosophy.

It would be difficult to deny the XTS as being part of the Cadillac family. With its imposing, chrome-plated front grille decorated with the well known logo, the rear lights with angles so sharp they could have been modelled with a knife and the general bearing of this car on the road; we definitely have pure Cadillac DNA. Though easily associated to the mother brand, for Cadillac, it is the beginning of an era of new proportions. The XTS is not only more imposing than the CTS, but also more so than the general market competition.

I love the door handles that light up at night; it is very elegant. And what about these gorgeous 19-inch alloy wheels (which can be upgraded to 20 inches)? The only aesthetic dampers I notice are the strange proportions of the wheel arches (the rear one is smaller than the front one, which might seem a bit unbalanced to anyone who notices) and the reduced ground clearance that might have you grinding your teeth on road bumps and sidewalks.

Due to the volume of the XTS, the cabin offers plenty of room, even at the back. And the trunk is huge: 509-litre capacity!

True to the brand, the interior is luxurious, fancy and comfortable and superior quality materials have been used. Every single detail has been well thought out. I like the blend of wood appliques with the other types of trimmings that dress the dashboard, the steering wheel and the doors. The CUE interface is well integrated as are storage compartments.

Cozy heated seats are ventilated and covered in leather. The driver’s seat is also equipped with an additional feedback system that works with the side and rear sensors and cameras to warn the driver of any potential danger by vibrating. According to GM’s researches, a tactile form of warning is more efficient than a sound. This option includes front, lateral and rear collision, off-course and lateral obstacle warnings. The first few vibrations are startling but efficient. Cruise control as well as short and long distance radar and automatic breaking system are also available.

The introduction of the famous CUE interface (Cadillac User Experience) in the XTS cannot be ignored. The beating heart of this high-technology system is the eight-inch touch screen located on the dashboard. Its use is similar to that of an iPhone. Functions are represented by recognizable icons, such as telephone, temperature, audio or OnStar. The screen is also equipped with a proximity sensor that detects the approaching hand allowing for more functions to appear on the screen. This is a first in the industry. And the beauty of it all is that most, if not all, actions are accessed through the touchscreen, without the need of additional buttons. There is at times a delay in the system’s responsiveness, but the overall experience is pleasant.

Under the hood is located the 3.6-litre direct injection V6 that some will know by the name of LFX. It is teamed up with an automatic, Hydra-Matic, six-speed transmission. It totals 304 horsepower with a 254 lb.-ft. of torque. Though it possesses over 300 hp, the XTS is a heavy car and is not as powerful as imagined. The targeted clientele is obviously not of the racing type. The XTS will be the only sedan with standard Magnetic Ride Control suspension, a pneumatic suspension at the back as well as high-performance Brembo brakes. All versions can also come with all-wheel drive.

The 2013 Cadillac XTS will be built in Canada (in Oshawa, ON) where GM has invested over $100 million dollars, and hits dealers by the end of spring 2012.

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Fact file

  • Trim level: Luxury; Premium; Platinum
  • Price range: $48,995-$64,975
  • Year/Make/Model: 2013 Cadillac XTS
  • Options: 20-inch wheels; vibrating seat alerts
  • EnerGuide fuel economy ratings: 12.1 L/100 km city; 7.2 L/100 km hwy.
  • Warranty (powertrain): 5 years/ 160,000 km
  • Competitors: Audi A6; BMW 5 Series; BMW7 Series; Lincoln MKS; Mercedes-Benz E-Class; Mercedes-Benz S-Class; Volvo S80
  • Warranty (basic): 4 years/ 80,000 km