By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.1
Once the self-proclaimed "Standard of the World", Cadillac struggled over recent years to reclaim its notorious tagline, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the 110-year-old luxury marque. The long-awaited 2013 Cadillac XTS sedan possesses the right amount of modern technology, interior refinement and contemporary styling to compete head-on with the luxury segment's imported stalwarts. Cadillac cleverly designed the 2013 XTS with the clear intention of bridging the gap between mid-size and full-size luxury sedans. The result is a rather broad competitive set, though based on price point we feel the mid-size Audi A6, Lexus GS, Infiniti M and BMW 5 Series fit the role as the XTS's principal challengers. While it might not be the new sedan standard of the world, the 2013 XTS decidedly fits the critical role as Cadillac's newest flagship.
If nothing short of a full-size luxury sedan will suffice, but your budget is limited to a mid-size price, the 2013 Cadillac XTS could be the answer to your predicament.
If you are looking for a luxury sedan that provides you with an engaging driving experience and high levels of athleticism, the Cadillac XTS will leave you wanting more. The BMW 5 Series or the Audi A6 should satisfy your performance requirements.
The Cadillac XTS is a brand-new nameplate for the 2013 model year, and brings the Cadillac brand one step closer to once again offering consumers a full range of vehicles.
Driving Impressions On the road, the 2013 Cadillac XTS strikes an admirable balance between ride comfort and handling ability. The XTS tackles dilapidated pavement and other road deformities with incredible poise, thanks...in part to its standard Magnetic Ride Control suspension system that makes 1,000 dampening adjustments every second. Up to this point, Magnetic Ride Control was utilized exclusively for GM's high-end sports cars, but the platform's inherent flexibility permitted Cadillac engineers to custom tailor the suspension system for high levels of comfort. Because the 2013 XTS employs a conventional hydraulic-assisted steering system rather than an electromechanical setup, steering is precise and responsive. The lone engine choice, a 304-horsepower V6, delivers adequate acceleration, though a few extra ponies under the hood wouldn't hurt. In true Cadillac form, the strategically placed sound insulation combined with the active noise cancelling system worked so well, we found ourselves frequently checking the tachometer to confirm the engine was still running.
Although head-up displays are nothing new in the automotive world, the new XTS takes this fighter-jet-inspired feature to the next level with a full-color display, speed-limit reminders and navigation instructions.
8-INCH TOUCH SCREEN
The cornerstone of the 2013 XTS sedan's infotainment system is undoubtedly the 8-inch high-resolution touch screen. The display includes a myriad of cutting edge technology, such as haptic feedback that confirms your desired input with a light vibration, and proximity sensing, which displays command icons when the system detects a hand approaching the screen.
The 2013 Cadillac XTS' cabin is impeccably assembled and surrounds its occupants with rich leather and first-rate materials – but regrettably, that's where the good news ends. While the dash layout looks intuitive at first glance, the audio system and climate controls are operated by touch capacitive switches, which require a steep learning curve and heaps of patience to master. Similarly, the optional digital instrument cluster is excessively complex and quite distracting while driving. The front seats, however, are supremely comfortable and plenty supportive, and rear seat passengers are treated to ergonomically-designed seats and a generous amount of headroom. On paper, the Cadillac XTS boasts an additional four inches of legroom over competitors like the BMW 5 Series, however, the XTS' front seats are designed in a way that makes it nearly impossible to slide your feet under them, essentially nullifying the advantage.Exterior
The sculpted sheet metal of the 2013 XTS embodies Cadillac's latest iteration of their celebrated "Art and Science" design language. Although the XTS is considerably longer than its mid-size competitors, exterior dimensions are shorter than the superseded Cadillac DTS sedan. Since sizable proportions necessitate sizable wheels, the XTS rides on standard 19-inch 10-spoke wheels with 20-inch polished alloys as an option. Cadillac completes the exterior with a host of chrome adornments, including door handles, window frames and upper and lower grilles.
The 2013 Cadillac XTS is offered in four trim levels: Standard, Luxury, Premium and Platinum. Every XTS model includes Magnetic Ride Control suspension, Brembo front brakes, a Bose premium audio system, Cadillac's Cue infotainment system with conversational voice recognition, push-button start, and an iPad with a preloaded Cue instructional application. Safety comes in the form of 10 airbags, a full complement of electronic stability systems and GM's renowned OnStar emergency services.
While standard and luxury trims offer a basic version of the Cue infotainment system, Premium and Platinum models include the full-fledged rendition, complete with a 12.3-inch configurable instrument cluster and a robust navigation system with one-shot destination entry for quick, voice-activated address searches – even when the vehicle is in motion. Additionally, Premium and Platinum models include a full-color head-up display and an available Driver Awareness Package, comprised of lane departure, collision, blind spot and cross traffic alerts. To help mitigate infotainment-related driver distraction, we highly recommend the aforementioned Driver Awareness Package.
The 2013 Cadillac XTS sedan gets its motivation from a 3.6-liter, direct-injected V6 that produces 304 horsepower. Power is delivered smoothly through a 6-speed automatic transmission with a sporty sequential mode and steering wheel-mounted shift controls. Snowbelt residents will appreciate the available all-wheel drive (AWD) system, which incorporates an electronically controlled limited-slip differential and torque vectoring for increased traction on wet and dry surfaces.
2013 Cadillac XTS
304 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
264 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/28 mpg (front-wheel drive), 17/27 mpg (AWD)
By Bill on Wednesday, August 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Cons: "engine and transmission not 10 out of 10"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"High reliability, quality, no problems whatsoever since we purchased the car in October 2012, one of the first off the line. Engine a bit under powered but more than enough to get out of trouble when needed. The handling of the car is superb, wife had to avoid an obstacle doing 60 miles an hour with a quick left and right to avoid traffic in the opposite direction. Magnetic ride control and traction control saved her life."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By Bjorn on Saturday, July 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,600overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of value for the money. Great riding."
Cons: "Sunroof has been replaced 3 times."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"The Cadillac XTS is a wonderful car in every way. But I have had more warranty work done on this car in the 18 months that I've owned it than on any other GM car since 1997. Just little things but irritating because it has had to go into the dealership so many times and for lengthy periods."
7 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By JB on Tuesday, June 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive"
Cons: "The 2013 model didn't offer a rear DVD"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great look, unlike that of Mercedes & BMW which look dated and staid. The V-6 has more than enough power and the fuel mileage is decent. The car drives smooth quiet and predictable. The CUE system has a short learning curve and works well despite what the writers say. Their's plenty of legroom in the back to seat six footers comfortably. The trunk is quite large and the rear seats are 60/40 split fold down. This car is full of standard equipment that would otherwise be options on the European makes. Cadillac is back and in a big way, I think the boys on the continent are getting pretty nervous, and with good reason!"
14 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By WILLIAM on Sunday, May 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,215overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort, AWD, ride, and excellent fuel mileage"
Cons: "None to date"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my sixteenth Cadillac over a period of 47 years during which time I have also owned other fine cars including six Lincolns and one Jaguar XJ8. This particular car with its many amenities and performance is as fine as any I have owned."
7 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Bear on Thursday, April 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,714overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Smooth ride,great to drive,handles great"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I had always wanted to own a Cadillac so I filled out my wish list and submitted it on line and this one was less than 50 miles from home and had all the extras I wanted even the color was what I asked for. I went and looked and drove it and then I bought it. Two recalls later the wife and I still love it !!"
5 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Harp's on Thursday, March 27, 2014
I don't own this caroverall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice looking car"
Cons: "Very unreliable GM engineering and customer servic"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"My Cousin bought an XTS on Feb.14 and it has been in the garage back and forth two times for a check engine light . After the dealer checking with GM engineering they put a new air box and several modules on the exhaust . We went to pick it up yesterday ,and when he got in to take it home again ,the light was on again . Dealer got a call from GM and they said their hands are in the air ,and it has to higher ,but mean time my cousin paid almost $50k for an unreliable car and no one knows how to fix it . Pretty Sad to say the least from Cadillac ."
3 people out of 10 found this review helpful