: 17 year Cadillac Driver in an XTS review



texmaster
10-17-12, 05:27 PM
For background I've driven almost exclusively DTS and Deville my entire life minus one Escalade and the only other car I've ever owned was an 85 Lincoln Town Car (everyone is entitled to one mistake). My first Cadillac was a 77 Deville and I'm 34 years young 6'1 210 and currently own a 2009 Escalade and the last year of the DTS with a Platinum package (2011).

Getting in the car its immediately a different feel. The seat and the contours envelope you like a good sports sedan would. The touch screen takes some getting used to but its workable. The peripheral vision is second to none, absolutely fantastic you can see all around you with little to no obstruction. The vibrating seats when you drift into another lane are pretty cool as well. The V6 is well, a V6. A little disappointing on the highway but not terrible. A veteran V8 driver will notice however. Whomever designed the steering wheel should be shot. If you have large hands as I do you will hate the button bumps especially on the right side of the wheel. I understand where they are going because the menus look nice but the buttons especially the ones for the menu that you will hardly use should be on the back of the steering wheel and out of the way. The seats are nice but more reminiscent of an LS430 or European style seat. The ride is decent with more of a CTS feel however but excellent handling.

Overall this is a good car and a worthy successor of the STS but this isn't going to cut replacing the flagship DTS anytime soon if you've been a long time driver of that model.

carter's_sts
10-17-12, 06:58 PM
I think Cadillac called the STS the Flagship at the time.

truckinman
10-18-12, 12:19 PM
I think Cadillac called the STS the Flagship at the time.

Yep.

rueben44
10-19-12, 10:47 PM
Ah the lovely panel gaps of the DTS! The Northstar was killed with what 320 HP and this car has 305? I don't see what the issue is but I haven't driven it yet so...

thebigjimsho
10-20-12, 12:43 AM
DTS was a flagship? :coffee:

handymantoo
10-20-12, 02:16 PM
DTS was a SHIP!!

marktanner
10-21-12, 02:11 PM
The most recent Northstar had 275 bhp @6000 RPM and 295 lb/ft of torque @ 4400 RPM. The Platinum had 292 bhp @ 6300 RPM, and 288 lb/ft @ 4500 RPM, more power but less torque. Both have a four speed transmission only. The XTS has 304 bhp @ 6800 RPM, and 264 lb/ft @ 5200 RPM, and has a six speed transmission. The Northstar's advantage was in torque, especially at lower RPMs, all courtesy of it's extra liter of displacement. This makes the V-8 feel faster than the XTS off the line, but the XTS's superior top-end power and six speed transmission will yield quicker 0-60 and quarter mile times than either Northstar, as well as better overall gas mileage.

The more generous low end torque of the V-8 certainly lends an aura of power and ease to the DTS, but it's lack of top end power and lack of gears available to keep it in the power-band made it's ultimate performance less than stellar. Since few people would drive a DTS at full throttle very often, most owners would not notice it. The XTS, conversely, needs more revs to access it's performance, and it will have to downshift more often and more gears to do it. However, keep your foot in it and the XTS will definitely out-drag the DTS. And it will use less gas while doing it. It will not feel particularly powerful off the line, however.

blue_skies
10-27-12, 02:35 PM
The most recent Northstar had 275 bhp @6000 RPM and 295 lb/ft of torque @ 4400 RPM. The Platinum had 292 bhp @ 6300 RPM, and 288 lb/ft @ 4500 RPM, more power but less torque. Both have a four speed transmission only. The XTS has 304 bhp @ 6800 RPM, and 264 lb/ft @ 5200 RPM, and has a six speed transmission. The Northstar's advantage was in torque, especially at lower RPMs, all courtesy of it's extra liter of displacement. This makes the V-8 feel faster than the XTS off the line, but the XTS's superior top-end power and six speed transmission will yield quicker 0-60 and quarter mile times than either Northstar, as well as better overall gas mileage.

The more generous low end torque of the V-8 certainly lends an aura of power and ease to the DTS, but it's lack of top end power and lack of gears available to keep it in the power-band made it's ultimate performance less than stellar. Since few people would drive a DTS at full throttle very often, most owners would not notice it. The XTS, conversely, needs more revs to access it's performance, and it will have to downshift more often and more gears to do it. However, keep your foot in it and the XTS will definitely out-drag the DTS. And it will use less gas while doing it. It will not feel particularly powerful off the line, however.

The XTS has almost identical specs as the '00 STS. This applies to almost everything - size, weight, hp, cabin interior space, rear leg room. MRC has been in the STS since '02. The '13 gains (impressive) luggage space, but drops the V8 for a V6. Even with re-tuning the V6 for more peak torque at lower rpms does not mimic the feel of the old V8.

I test-drove the XTS like I drove my STS's in past, and the car is quite respectable, just keep the rpm high, and the car is brisk. Where it totally disappoints is in the lack of low end grunt, something that worked well for the bygone STS and DTS models.

Mind you - I replaced the motor mounts on my STS models five times, and enjoyed the torque of the old setup. The new setup needs a 'sports' mode. Test-drive the ATS 3.6L if you have not experienced it yet - same engine, totally different experience.

The new transmission makes up for the lack of low end 'grunt', but you never really use the engine at its peak torque in traffic. It just 'goes', whereas in the ATS setup, the engine really 'bites'.

I expect a '16 version of the XTS to go rear wheel drive with a full sports mode and an 8 speed transmission - with a variant of the 3.6L engine (still a V6) - if gas prices do not explode meanwhile. (I barely got 16mpg on average in the STS, except on freeways at 25mpg).

I doubt that we will see an XTS-V ever, but I wonder what a 2.0L turbo with an 8 speed transmission would feel like in the current XTS? Maybe as an interim model?

The XTS is a nice car, but I wonder if it really appeals to STS (more sedated feeling setup) or DTS (no grunt/small rearseat) drivers. I can see the car being very popular for limousines - the cavernous trunk space is far more useful than those in the S500/750i limousines, I have been in (Asia). Try to rent a limousine with three people - only the XTS can hold the luggage in the trunk, I am guessing.

Still, the XTS represents real value, especially in light of its competition, and it should sell well. It is already branded as the 'only' remaining American-built 'large' luxury sedan.

Since I don't need the rear seat as much as I used to in the past - switching to an ATS was an easy decision.

longslim
10-27-12, 03:17 PM
You are correct the low end torque is very tame you can floor it and the car sit there for a second or so then moves out. I was out this morning playing with it in Manual mode and still hard to really floor this car for a standstill start there is a hesitation. The car performs nicely once you build RPM lots of freeway power. I found that out climbing the Tehachapi Mts and the Cajon Pass here in So/Cal. I find it can fly up a very stiff grade with power to spare. One question has anyone tried using manual gearing on a daily commute? If so did the car perform any better to you. I found the shifting odd as it was not really geared for RPM timed shifting that I'm use to.

hazcaddy
10-28-12, 03:55 PM
As someone who adores the comfort, interior space, and torque of his DTS, I saw my first "in the flesh" XTS yesterday in a mall parking lot in Eerie, PA. My immediate reaction: I don't know whether I like that, and whether I'll ever like that.

The only words that come to mind is that it looks solid.

As we'll run out of options in another few years when STSs and DTSs will have gone to that great parking lot in the sky, maybe I'll have to learn to like it or alternatively move away from Cadillac. Right now I'm still "hmmmm".

Avery323
10-28-12, 06:19 PM
I've been seeing a lot of Platinums here in NYC. It looks very formal -- the bling factor works really well and makes a big impression. While its not a true flagship, it can carry the brand until the new Escalade arrives. I'm expecting big things from that truck.

carter's_sts
10-28-12, 09:17 PM
They are going to make a bigger CTS. That might be a possibility. And there is still supposed to be a more expensive "Flagship" coming out some day.

b4z
10-31-12, 08:39 PM
DTS was a flagship? :coffee:

Bring back the 4sp autos!

1997BlackETC
11-03-12, 07:40 PM
It would be nice if caddy ever comes out with the Ciel for people who want a really big car. That car to me is reminisant of the old 70's eldorados.

Ormond
11-03-12, 07:48 PM
The Ciel was awesome. It would be nice to have something with a V8 and a long wheelbase.

texmaster
11-11-12, 01:46 PM
DTS was a flagship? :coffee:

Yep. Frankly I'm surprised anyone would have thought the STS was ever the flagship for Cadillac. It was a shorter sportier Cadillac, certainly never the full sized luxury Sedan.

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They are going to make a bigger CTS. That might be a possibility. And there is still supposed to be a more expensive "Flagship" coming out some day.

Possibly. I think the codename is LTS. The problem is GM has already made some pretty poor decisions. This new Volt Cadillac being one of the worst I've seen in a while.

DG2
11-11-12, 03:18 PM
Yep. Frankly I'm surprised anyone would have thought the STS was ever the flagship for Cadillac. It was a shorter sportier Cadillac, certainly never the full sized luxury Sedan.

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Possibly. I think the codename is LTS. The problem is GM has already made some pretty poor decisions. This new Volt Cadillac being one of the worst I've seen in a while.

STS was a flagship sedan for Cadillac. 2005 up STS was on the new platform with AWD plus all the modern tech that DTS did not have. DTS was a carryover for the loyal customers who loved them and a great car. But, STS was top of lIne sedan

thebigjimsho
11-11-12, 10:00 PM
Yep. Frankly I'm surprised anyone would have thought the STS was ever the flagship for Cadillac. It was a shorter sportier Cadillac, certainly never the full sized luxury Sedan.

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Possibly. I think the codename is LTS. The problem is GM has already made some pretty poor decisions. This new Volt Cadillac being one of the worst I've seen in a while.

lulz

Lifer
11-13-12, 03:09 PM
The most recent Northstar had 275 bhp @6000 RPM and 295 lb/ft of torque @ 4400 RPM. The Platinum had 292 bhp @ 6300 RPM, and 288 lb/ft @ 4500 RPM, more power but less torque. Both have a four speed transmission only. The XTS has 304 bhp @ 6800 RPM, and 264 lb/ft @ 5200 RPM, and has a six speed transmission. The Northstar's advantage was in torque, especially at lower RPMs, all courtesy of it's extra liter of displacement. This makes the V-8 feel faster than the XTS off the line, but the XTS's superior top-end power and six speed transmission will yield quicker 0-60 and quarter mile times than either Northstar, as well as better overall gas mileage.

The more generous low end torque of the V-8 certainly lends an aura of power and ease to the DTS, but it's lack of top end power and lack of gears available to keep it in the power-band made it's ultimate performance less than stellar. Since few people would drive a DTS at full throttle very often, most owners would not notice it. The XTS, conversely, needs more revs to access it's performance, and it will have to downshift more often and more gears to do it. However, keep your foot in it and the XTS will definitely out-drag the DTS. And it will use less gas while doing it. It will not feel particularly powerful off the line, however.

The Northstar in the STS has 320 HP. In the last Eldorado it had 300 in the ETC - and it was fast.

CAPT Mike
11-13-12, 07:45 PM
The "real Cadillacs" were gone by 1977. My '77 Eldorado was unbelievable. FWD, 480 cubes, huge display across the dash under the windshield, back seat was more like a couch, hood was two miles long, you brought the trunk lid down to 12 inches and it would close itself, self leveling shocks, etc, and 22 mpg. Knock on my wooden head, I do like the XTS; more than enough power as I'm invariably going 20 mph over before I realize it; regular fuel; quite comfortable; and everything is working right.

Eninety2
11-13-12, 10:51 PM
I saw this car in person. It is jaw dropping to say the least.