XTS test drive: My thoughts
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Cadillac XTS Forum Discussion, XTS test drive: My thoughts in Current Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Well my local Cadillac dealership got it's first XTS in: a Graphite Metallic Luxury model with the navigation system, UltraView ...
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    ryannel2003's Avatar
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    XTS test drive: My thoughts

    Well my local Cadillac dealership got it's first XTS in: a Graphite Metallic Luxury model with the navigation system, UltraView surnoof, and Driver Awareness Package. Sticker price was right at $52k dollars. Here are my impressions:

    Exterior: Honestly in pictures I didn't think it was a great looking car. Not that it's horrible, but I felt that the rear end was just too elongated and the front was too tall and garish. In person though, that fades. The car has a decent presence, though nothing like a Mercedes or even a CTS. The front looks great with the LED headlights and LED door handles, and the rear shows off a nice looking tail-fin like treatment that hints at Cadillac's of past. The side profile in the A-pillar area unfortunately hints too much at the LaCrosse and i think makes the car look more downmarket. The razor sharp treatment from the Art and Science of the past 10 years is clearly lacking in this car. To car guys like myself, it's obvious that Cadillac shared from the LaCrosse and that isn't going to do it any favors when you're paying $20k more. Overall, it's a solid design though it could be better.

    Interior: This is where the car really shines. Not only is it fully loaded with the latest technology, everything is extremely well build and well designed. The center stack draws your attention with it's elegant lighting and piano black finish, and the large display is beautiful and easy to read though it's quite the fingerprint magnet. The instrument cluster is very well laid out with plenty of information, and even on the lesser model cars without the configurable display still looks great. The interior as a whole is beautiful; the materials look like they came from a car costing twice as much and the seats are to die for with plenty of adjustments and glove soft leather. There is plenty of stretch out room and the backseat was plenty large, though roof line cuts down a little bit more than it should resulting in some tightness (I'm 5'10") but the legroom is fine. The interior is great, and it's obvious this is where GM spent lots of money.

    Power: This model comes with the familiar 3.6L V6 that is used in some form in every brand of GM car. In this particular car it was no speed demon, but it had a great sound. My biggest issues with the 3.6 is the roughness that comes at higher RPM's on some of the STS's and CTS's I drove but I can safely say this isn't present on the XTS. The powerband is smooth and there seems to be power ready at the press of the pedal. Power comes on slowly and builds... I'd guess around a 0-60 time of 7.0 seconds which isn't great, but it could be worse.

    Handling/Ride: I didn't really get a chance to test the handling but from what I could tell on my 20 minute test drive I could instantly tell it handles better than the DTS ever could. There is understeer, but less than the DTS and honestly it felt more like a Seville STS from the drivers seat. The steering was ok, but felt kind of artificial and lacked any feel though that could be because I've owned a BMW for 2 months which would make anything feel artificial. The ride was extremely smooth, though it does ride harder than the DTS. It felt like a good mixture of DTS and Seville STS, which is a great combo. The one thing I did notice was how QUIET the interior was. I've driven hundreds of different cars in my life and this one is in the Top 5 of quietness, right up there with the LaCrosse and Enclave.

    Issues/Complaints: There are a few, starting with the torque steer. Now I didn't test this but I was in the passenger seat and when the driver floored it he was having to wrestle with the steering wheel a bit. From what I've read the Hi-Per Strut suspension is supposed to solve this, but it didn't seem like it was doing its job very well. My STS never suffered from torque steer and it had a large V8 under the hood, so I'm surprised and disappointed Cadillac still hasn't remedied this yet. Another thing I noticed was the cheapness of the UltraView sunroof shade. The cloth had ragged edges and didn't look like it would stand up to more than 3 years of sun and sunroof opening and closing before it. It's an obvious oversight and is the only thing on the interior that looked out of place.

    Overall, the XTS will be a good car for Cadillac to sell until a proper RWD sedan can come along. I think it will destroy the MKS's already weak sales and maybe steal some Lexus ES customers away, but I don't think anybody is going to be cross shopping a BMW or Mercedes with this car. At least I can sleep better at night knowing Cadillac can now build a true interior.

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    RicktheRealtor is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: XTS test drive: My thoughts

    Thanks for the write up. Much appreciate hearing your comments.

  4. #3
    DG2's Avatar
    DG2
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    The interior is indeed stunning and better then anything on the market in this price range and beyond I totally agree with you on the profile, screams Buick. But, still very sharp looking. I own the STS loaded and I was driving the XTS aggressively and was very impressed with how well it handled. I said in another post that anyone looking for an amazingly comfortable car for real works driving will not be disappointed with XTS.

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    Re: XTS test drive: My thoughts

    Very good write-up. I think you hit the nail on the head.

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    Re: XTS test drive: My thoughts

    Interesting stuff. I see they haven't really improved the sunshade from previous implementations.

  7. #6
    texmaster is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: XTS test drive: My thoughts

    thanks for the feedback!

  8. #7
    handymantoo is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: XTS test drive: My thoughts

    It has been discussed previously that the early XTS sun shade will be the same as the CTS, but mid production it will be changed to a solid shade.
    Jesda and Jesda like this.

  9. #8
    SDCaddyLacky's Avatar
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    Re: XTS test drive: My thoughts

    I was at local Caddy dealer last Friday to get my fleetwood aligned. While I was waiting, I decided to check out the one and only XTS they had on display. I wasn't able to drive it since the salesman said this one was strictly display only until more XTS's came in the next few days. One thing I notice right away when seeing the car in person was how sharply angled the trunk is, almost sculpted which I thought looked cool.

    My first impression was how small the car is, it's looks a lot smaller than the CTS. I sat inside both the front and back seats, what I didn't like right away was the small amount of headroom in the back seat. You sit too high up, and it feels like I have to sit like I am squatting in order for my head to not touch the headliner. I am a pretty short guy, so for me feeling tight inside the rear seat, was shocking, I can't imagine guys 5'11 and up in this thing!

    I was able to sit inside the premium model, so I can't imagine how much nicer the platinum version is. First off, the interior in this car is striking. The quality of materials were super nice, but where were the nice "V" crest emblems stitched on the seats like the CTS has? The seats look too plain, this is where all luxury auto makers can improve on, is making their seats more unique by adding small details to them. I also really don't like the "basketball" texturing of all GM interiors these days, it looks so cheap and generic. Why not just smooth surfaces???

    Overall the car was nice, but I believe in time, it will lose it's flare, and end up like another STS or something. It's an impressive car, but I agree, Mercedes and BMW fans are not going to be shopping for this car like hot cakes, it's one of those Cadillacs that maybe a CTS is too big to drive for someone, and they would rather own something slightly more manageable, so the XTS fits that bill.

    I believe the price is still way too high for a car of this size. Even with all the tech, I personally wouldn't drop $50,000 for the XTS after taxes and all, it's way too much.

    Pricing would be more realistic around the high 30 grand mark IMO.
    77CDV and 77CDV like this.

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    Re: XTS test drive: My thoughts

    The packaging issues, unfortunately, are due to the limitations of the Epsilon/Lacrosse platform, but they seem to have done a commendable job of maximizing the space with the hardware they had available.

    I also agree with you on surface textures.


    I think this is Cadillac's shot at Lexus and Acura while the ATS and CTS are after BMW. It seems a bit unfocused because since 2003, I always thought of Cadillac as a reasonably consistent contender against the likes of BMW. Even the first-gen SRX V8 beat the similarly priced Cayenne according to Car and Driver. Heck, even Infiniti phased out its front-drive "volume" sedan (the I35) in favor of more advanced offerings.



    Oh well. It seems to be selling and fills a void in the lineup.

  11. #10
    The Tony Show's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDCaddyLacky
    I was at local Caddy dealer last Friday to get my fleetwood aligned. While I was waiting, I decided to check out the one and only XTS they had on display. I wasn't able to drive it since the salesman said this one was strictly display only until more XTS's came in the next few days. One thing I notice right away when seeing the car in person was how sharply angled the trunk is, almost sculpted which I thought looked cool.

    My first impression was how small the car is, it's looks a lot smaller than the CTS. I sat inside both the front and back seats, what I didn't like right away was the small amount of headroom in the back seat. You sit too high up, and it feels like I have to sit like I am squatting in order for my head to not touch the headliner. I am a pretty short guy, so for me feeling tight inside the rear seat, was shocking, I can't imagine guys 5'11 and up in this thing!

    I was able to sit inside the premium model, so I can't imagine how much nicer the platinum version is. First off, the interior in this car is striking. The quality of materials were super nice, but where were the nice "V" crest emblems stitched on the seats like the CTS has? The seats look too plain, this is where all luxury auto makers can improve on, is making their seats more unique by adding small details to them. I also really don't like the "basketball" texturing of all GM interiors these days, it looks so cheap and generic. Why not just smooth surfaces???

    Overall the car was nice, but I believe in time, it will lose it's flare, and end up like another STS or something. It's an impressive car, but I agree, Mercedes and BMW fans are not going to be shopping for this car like hot cakes, it's one of those Cadillacs that maybe a CTS is too big to drive for someone, and they would rather own something slightly more manageable, so the XTS fits that bill.

    I believe the price is still way too high for a car of this size. Even with all the tech, I personally wouldn't drop $50,000 for the XTS after taxes and all, it's way too much.

    Pricing would be more realistic around the high 30 grand mark IMO.
    Did you sit in an XTS or ATS? The XTS is a foot longer than the CTS, with way more backseat legroom and headroom. They also use a mixture of smooth and perforated leather on the doors and seats, no "basketball" texture anywhere.

    it's one of those Cadillacs that maybe a CTS is too big to drive for someone, and they would rather own something slightly more manageable, so the XTS fits that bill.
    Your post makes no sense. Literally.
    Rest in Peace, J.D. (aka Dirt_Cheap_Fleetwood)

  12. #11
    wcbrown is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: XTS test drive: My thoughts

    I, too, recently test drove a new Cadillac XTS, but it was the Platinum model. I have to agree with much of what ryannel2003
    said. In some pictures, the XTS looks good, while in others, not as flattering.

    In person, ryannel2003 nailed it. As gorgeous as some of the body work details are (and I mean the designers worked the heck out of that body), it still has a LaCrosse-esqueness about it, especially at the A-pillar. I couldn't put my finger on it, but it was just something about the car in person that just didn't work for me completely. I kept walking around it and looking at it and,by design, it seemed as if the car wants to look more expensive and aesthetically more correct, but is limited by it's LaCrosse relationship (BTW, I love the Buick LaCrosse). In all honesty, I truly hoped I would like it more in person, and I didn't. I'm still pretty
    indifferent about the design. Maybe that will change when I start seeing them on the road.

    The interior is truly where this car excels and in a BIG way!! Let me start by saying there is NO CAR in the XTS's class or even above it somewhat, with an interior that matches this one...NO CAR. First, the leather was the softest I've ever felt in ANY luxury or ultra luxury car. It felt like something out of HERMES or from some other high-end designer. The combination of surfaces and the interior design was stellar. In fact, it may have been the most beautiful combination of elements I've ever seen in any car, and I've been in A LOT of luxury cars of all price points. The interior exudes high quality, was amazingly put together and felt very high end. The purple stitching is more stunning in person than in the photos and adds the perfect touch. (PURPLE is the official color of royalty, for all those color theorists out there). The interior and technology could easily persuade a buyer to pull the trigger and purchase, even if they aren't a huge fan of the exterior design.

    As for the drive, the car drove very nice and felt very refined. I've been driving an Audi A7 for the past several months, so I'm used to the way it feels. I have to say, the way engine felt and the way the car drove was, dare I say it, very LaCrosse-ish...it felt very 'familiar'. I was so hoping to be wowed and I was underwhelmed. The cabin is SUPER quiet and the car takes bumps compliantly and with ease. The steering feedback was good and the XTS handled great for such a large car. I did, however, feel like I was sitting forward in the car's cabin...like I had way more car behind me and not enough in front of me; another tradeoff of the car's design I think? Overall, it will appeal to a multitude of people looking for a quiet, opulent ride, but also likes just a little bit of performance. It's not sports sedan, nor does it pretend to be. It's a luxury car, through and through.

    My overall impression of the XTS is VERY positive. For all the things I felt disappointed me personally about the car, it more than makes up for it in its overall impression of luxury and advanced technology. This car is a winner for what it really is...a luxury car. It does what is supposed to very well and makes no apologies for it, nor should it. I would recommend anyone who is considering an XTS to go drive it for yourself and get your own impression. As a true Cadillac enthusiast ( I've own MANY), I was hoping to be blown away by the XTS and I just wasn't. However, that doesn't mean it's not a terrific car, because it is. Trust me when I say, the interior and technology IS the highlight of this car!!

    So in closing, maybe I was expecting and preparing for the XTS to be a hurricane, but instead, it's a tropical storm:-)).

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    Re: XTS test drive: My thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by ryannel2003 View Post
    Words
    In the driving experience how did it compare to your former K body STS? Mainly power delivery of the 6T75 transmission vs the 4T80E.

    Back in Feburary I before my CPO expired I got to drive a 3.6DI SRX loaner and I have to say that it felt a little more composed then my Magneride equipped DTS and the engine was more then adequate once you mashed on it. If I had to guess it was only a tid bit slower then my L37. But the one thing the 3.6 lacks in comparison to the N* is immediacy in throttle response. Even so I still think its a great V6.

    Saw the XTS at the dealer this week and it looks good. Much better in person then in photos.

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    Re: XTS test drive: My thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tony Show View Post
    Did you sit in an XTS or ATS? The XTS is a foot longer than the CTS, with way more backseat legroom and headroom. They also use a mixture of smooth and perforated leather on the doors and seats, no "basketball" texture anywhere.



    Your post makes no sense. Literally.

    In person, the XTS looked really small for some reason. It has a low stance, and the front end dips down to far the ground. I didn't realize the XTS was bigger than the CTS by a foot, I could hardly tell the difference. All that added length is in the doors.

    After checking out the car up close, I think Cadillac did a fine job covering up as much of the "LaCrosse" styling as possible. When I saw the Lacrosse and XTS at the dealer (GM,Cadillac, Chevy dealer) The Buick looked so bland and boring in comparison to the XTS.

    Well I thought I saw and felt the "basketball" texture surface material on the dash.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tony Show

    Did you sit in an XTS or ATS? The XTS is a foot longer than the CTS, with way more backseat legroom and headroom. They also use a mixture of smooth and perforated leather on the doors and seats, no "basketball" texture anywhere.

    Your post makes no sense. Literally.
    Yeah, my CTS is not big by any means.

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    Ormond is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: XTS test drive: My thoughts

    I drove the Platinum trim Thursday. I liked it, and was most impressed with the interior. The Platinum has soft, redolent leather. I would have liked a little more room in the interior. The XTS is roomier than the CTS. I think the interior room is equivalent to the LaCrosse. The extra length was added to the trunk.

    I couldn't figure out the instrument configurations. My display was way too busy. I had the HUD on, so I ignored the panel. I was able to use the CUE once I found the home button. I liked the lane departure warning, but never noticed the blind spot system. On my Audi, the BLIS is easy to see. The ultra view roof with its mesh screen isn't for the Florida sun.

    I'd like to have more power from the 3.6. Perhaps a 8-speed transmission would help.

    I think the XTS will be a hit.

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