2013 Cadillac XTS at the 2011 L.A. Auto Show

2013 Cadillac XTS

  • Competes with: Lincoln MKS, Chrysler 300, Lexus GS, Infiniti M
  • Looks like: A cushy Caddy from the days of yore
  • Drivetrain: 300-hp, 3.6-liter V-6; six-speed automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Spring 2012

Cadillac has been busy reinventing itself for the better part of a decade, trying to reposition itself as a competitor to German luxury sports cars. Those efforts have worked to some degree, but even so, there's a large contingent of Cadillac buyers who just want a cushy and comfortable cruiser. The 2013 Cadillac XTS was built with these car shoppers in mind.

More 2011 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

The XTS is more of a modern replacement for the DTS sedan rather than a replacement for the also-defunct, performance-minded STS large sedan. 

The XTS will be the largest passenger car available at Cadillac, and it will come with a bevy of available luxury, safety and tech features. Despite what some critics will say, this is Cadillac's flagship sedan for the time being.

The XTS' exterior features are more rounded and less aggressive than the Cadillac CTS and SRX, and it's one of the first Cadillacs to feature the company's new MyFord Touch competitor, called Cadillac CUE

Unlike the CTS and the upcoming compact ATS, the XTS is a front-wheel-drive car — the model shares its underpinnings with the Buick LaCrosse.  As such, the XTS' wheelbase is identical to the LaCrosse's; suspension components such as a sophisticated H-arm rear suspension and a HiPer Strut front suspension, steering components and brake types are shared with top-line Buicks, too.  What isn't shared with Buick are Cadillac's standard magnetically controlled dampers (GM calls it Magnetic Ride Control), a rear air suspension and Brembo-brand brakes, all of which are standard on the XTS. A Haldex all-wheel-drive system is optional; a similar system was offered on the 2011 Saab 9-5, which also shares the XTS' platform. Nineteen-inch wheels come standard, with 20-inch wheels available. 

A 300-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 is standard, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission to achieve 17/28 mpg city/highway with the front-wheel-drive model and 17/27 mpg with all-wheel drive. For those of you accustomed to seeing a huge V-8 under the hood of a large Caddy, there isn't one available. The XTS uses a capless refueling system, too, as standard. 

Despite sharing the LaCrosse's underpinnings, the XTS has been stretched, mostly out back. The extra length opens up interior space: There's more than 104 cubic feet of interior passenger volume, which is 5 cubic feet more than the LaCrosse and about par with what's offered on the Lincoln MKS, Chrysler 300 and Infiniti M37, but it's significantly less space than what the DTS had. A lot of the interior space goes to the backseat, which has 40 inches of rear legroom. The lengthened rear allows for a massive trunk that measures 18 cubic feet, exceeding what's offered in everything but the MKS. 

Safety tech features include available warning systems for lane departure, forward collision, rear cross traffic and blind spots. Also available are adaptive cruise control, automatic collision preparedness, front and rear automatic braking, and Safety Alert Seat, a feature that vibrates either the left or right side of the driver's seat depending on the location of the impending concern.  

A color head-up display and a 12.3-inch reconfigurable LCD driver's cluster are also available.  

An XTS Platinum trim level will feature a satin-chrome grille, 20-inch wheels with chrome inserts and fully wrapped leather interior with Alcantara headliner and more.

The XTS goes on sale this spring. 

Clicking on any image below will launch a larger photo gallery; you can browse through them by hitting the right and left arrow keys.

2013 Cadillac XTS

2013 Cadillac XTS

2013 Cadillac XTS

2013 Cadillac XTS

2013 Cadillac XTS

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2013 Cadillac XTS

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Comments 

sheth

it doesnt have 122 of interior passenger volumem its 104. The 122 is for TOTAL volume including trunk.

Also, I dont think this is a cushy cruiser with standard 19" rims and MR shocks. 20s are available. Cushy?hardly.

Jay

Pretty solid design but unfortunately 6 inches and some tech upgrades won't set it apart from a top trim Buick Lacrosse. Customers will cross-shop them. They should have at least offered a V-8 like the competition (less MKS). Finally, I thought they were getting away from FWD to compete better with the Euros and Asians (less Lexus ES). If Hyundai can bring to market the RWD Genesis and Equus at their current price points, I know GM-Cadillac has the capital and resources to do one to.

Jay

Switchgear looks like it came from the corporate parts bin. Why not the CTS's?

Steve O.

I am AARP-eligible and proud of it. Lose the 19's and give me my split bench seats back. I loved cruising in my '96 and '03 DeVilles because they weren't posers, just meaty, classy, and comfortable sedans designed to burn the highway miles in honest style.

sheth

Jay:

Not only has lincoln abandoned RWD- Lexus continues to offer FWD vehicles as does Audi. Infiniti is launching a FWD crossover next year and has more FWD on the way. Lucury cars do NOT have to be RWD.

Cadillac isnt going to FWD across the board so I dont see the issue. I'll remind you that internet experts cried foul when the SRX went FWD- its now the 2nd best selling lux crossover.

George

If Ford can 'beef up' their version of the joint transmission [Ford speak 6F55], so can GM.

This car needs more power than the 3.6 V6 can provide.
A twin-turbo 3.0 V6 fits the bill. 350hp

sheth

George:

There have been rumors of a TT V6 for years. No one knows when or if its coming out. I would think by the time the next gen CTS comes there will have to be a turbo V6 available.

Steve O.

George, you said this car needs more power. I'm not a gearhead, but doesn't this new V6 have more horsepower than any V8 that preceded it?

sheth

steve:

It doesnt need more power. Most luxury cars sold today have 300hp or less. V8s make up the minority of sales. German cars that offer 6 cylinder engines rely on those engines for the overwhelming majority of their sales. Cars like the 528i and A6 that start in the $40k-$45k range have WAY less than 300hp standard.

Jay

Sheth:
You're right all luxury cars don't have to be RWD but for a "flagship" model? No way. Everybody offers RWD in a luxury flagship even new on the scene Equus(less cheap bean counters at Lincoln). RWD gives luxury cars a performance advantage. Ride/handling can be improved and it allows for more even weight distribution than trying to cram 60-65% on the front end like the old FWD DTS (very sloppy). Lexus offers the ES and CT in FWD only for those who strictly want comfort and luxury. Audi offers FWD to keep the price of admission down but 90% are sold with rear bias AWD. Infiniti is more a direct competitor to BMW. I highly doubt they are trying to bring a bunch of FWD cars to market. As for the SRX, the previous version had no style to it and was essentially a big wagon of the previous CTS. The current SRX has bold styling and is packaged a lot better.

sheth

Jay:

This isnt a performance sedan. This isnt a sports sedan. This is a luxury car. It will perform as well on real roads as any A6 (FWD based) or E350. There is no truth to your statement that RWD enhances handling and ride quality. Cadillac and others have made PLENTY of FWD cars that ride well. FWD cars do NOT necessarily handle poorly. They cannot handle as much power as RWD cars but most luxury cars are sold with 6 cylinder engines and now BMW is moving on to FOUR cylinder engines in all products except 7, X5, X6 and 6 series.

I mentioned the old SRX because the pundits in the media loved it based on its RWD chassis and handling and blasted Cadillac for changing over to FWD. The new model has outsold the RWD SRX by a huge margin. Customers cared about price, fuel efficiency and styling more than RWD dynamics- afterall the SRX is a crossover, not a sports car.

Finally, this is NOT a flagship. Until a larger lux sedan comes out the Escalade is essentially the flagship. Its the largest, has the most standard power of any cadillac and is the MOST EXPENSIVE. The Escalade tops out in the $85k range.

George

Unfortunately the Escalade does not have an 8 speed automatic. [yet]
Even Land Rover is finally getting an upgrade from the ZF 6 to 8 speed.

The 3.6 makes great power, if you operate 5000-7000 rpm.
But do you think the target audience want to do that?
A 3.0 twin-turbo V6 making 350hp @5500-6500, and 350ft-lbs @2500-5000, would provide much more of the expected thrust, much more rewarding in the 2000-4000 region.

sheth

George:

Hp has gotten out of control. The idea that you "need" 350hp in a car like this is absurd. 0-60 will be in the 6.5sec range and that is fine. This car can easily pass anything on the highway and climb grades with a full passenger load. If BMW can sell a 528 for $47,000 with 240hp pardon me if Im not too concerned about this car being underpowered with 300hp.

Escalade is old, thats why it lacks an 8 speed. New one will be out in 2013 most likely. Its still the most powerful (in terms of standard power) Cadillac and the most expensive.

Steven

I like it. I hope it is a little like the old school Caddies - comfortable seats, quiet, rides like a pillow. This car is begging for a Corvette motor option.

Carguy

German horsepower ratings are different. For example at VW GTI says 200 hp 211 lb/ft, yet is dyno tests at marginally higher (like 210 hp and 215 lb/ft) so when its advertised they make 240 hp its more like 260, which is probs what the caddy makes at the wheels too which is why 0-60 is about the same

Carguy

agree on the 8 speed tho and dual clutch!!! also i think caddy should branch out on powertrains....sharing them with the new chevy impala wont make it stand out as luxurious or refined

rashad

cadilac next hit. most of the cadilac's look the same but people keep buying them

taco

Geezer car.

NJ Mike

I guess I'm a "Geezer", since I'm a current DTS ('06 pre-owned) owner. I have high hopes for the XTS, but also some misgivings.

I think the styling is a hit. It's a more radical change from the DTS than what they did with the curent gen CTS vs. the first gen.

I'm not sold on the V-6 engine. I've driven the CTS with it (both RWD & AWD) as loner cars, and even though the car is smaller than the DTS (though not necessarily lighter) it gets crappy mileage and it feels slower. Even though the DTS V-8 is "only" rated at 275 HP, it feels quicker off the line; and it's also quieter. In addition, the 18.5 - 19 MPG I typically get on my back-roads commute ain't too shabby for a big luxury car. The RWD CTS with it's 300 HP V-6 barely matched it, and the AWD model was somewhere between 16 - 17 MPG, which I think is horrendous for a relatively small car with a V-6. I also have an '04 Chrysler Sebring with the V-6 (granted it's only rated at about 180 HP), but I average between 24 - 25 MPG with that car.

I'm also concerned about visability. I test-drove a LaCrosse and one of the main reasons I didn't get it (other than the dealers' unwillingness to bend on price) was the lousy side and rear visibility. Since the XTS is based on that platform, I'm afraid it might have the same issue.

All that said, unlike a lot of other posters on this site, I'll reserve judgment until I see and drive the new XTS in person.

Al. G

This car looks good. I think the FWD layout and the 300 hp don't hurt it too much. This car obviously will appeal to the older crowd as did the DTS did. Any DTS owner shouldn't feel too let down. If more performance is required then CTS has all the performance one could need esp in super spec"V" trim.

Ruddy Man

WHY FWD?????????
300HP enough, but WHY FWD, not AWD, or at least RWD!!

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