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2018 Cadillac XTS

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2018 Cadillac XTS Expert Review

By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor

KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

Slotting between the larger CT6 and the sporty CTS, the 2018 Cadillac XTS luxury sedan fills a gap left by the aging DTS, a car that was popular with many longtime Cadillac customers. The XTS is a big sedan celebrating luxury and comfort over razor-sharp handling, cramped rear quarters and overly snug seats. As such, the XTS is a wonderful rival to such cars as the Volvo S90 and Lexus GS. Of course, the 2018 XTS is loaded with all of Cadillac’s best creature comforts, as well as the latest active-safety assists. Its twin-turbocharged V6 is a potent reminder not every car needs a V8, yet its front-wheel-drive (FWD) layout precludes it from keeping pace with many rear-drive competitors. Opt for all-wheel drive (AWD).

You'll Like This Car If...

If you prefer your Cadillac the way you remember your father’s Cadillac, the 2018 XTS may very well be the modern embodiment of the early DeVille and Fleetwood. The XTS delivers full-size room and comfort with good road manners and plenty of power at a price thousands below most foreign challengers.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you’re seeking a car with dynamic styling both inside and out, you might find the 2018 Cadillac XTS a bit stodgy. It lacks the visual presence of cars like the Volvo V90, Lincoln Continental and Lexus GS, and there is no plug-in hybrid or diesel option.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.6
  • 7.6
  • 9.1
  • 7.5
  • 8.2
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#10

out of 13

Fuel Economy

#5

out of 13

Horsepower
View all rankings
2018 Cadillac XTS Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

For 2018, the XTS receives a new front-end design with Cadillac’s signature LED headlights, new front-seat architecture and a new CUE cloud-based infotainment setup that is vastly superior to the old system. The new XTS design actually shortens the car’s overall length by 1.1 inches.

Driving the XTS
2018 Cadillac XTS Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

Demonstrating a nice blend of ride comfort and road prowess, Cadillac’s XTS sedan for 2018 feels most settled when cruising over long stretches of open highway. Both passengers and driver...

... will experience a quiet cabin, wide comfortable seating and sense of serenity that comes from numerous electronic driver assists. Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control is standard equipment and does a marvelous job instantaneously quelling road blemishes and uneven pavement. While the XTS’s standard 304-horspower V6 can get the job done, you’ll find the XTS feels more alive when equipped with the optional twin-turbocharged V6 developing 410 horsepower. This engine is standard on the V-Sport models. Stopping power is provided by a set of hefty Brembo brakes. The XTS performs well on the open road, but its size becomes more obvious once you get into smaller, city-sized confines.

DRIVER AWARENESS PACKAGE
With all the distractions facing drivers these days, it’s nice to have a little help in the form of forward-collision alert, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and more. The XTS’s safety features include a pulsating driver’s seat that warns of a possible collision from the left, right or both directions.

DIGITAL CONNECTIVITY
The new, next-generation Cadillac User Experience (CUE) provides faster response times, cloud-based features allowing for better customization as well as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi and wireless charging for compatible phones.

2018 Cadillac XTS Details
2018 Cadillac XTS Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

One of the XTS's best attributes is its spacious, 5-passenger cabin. There is generous legroom in the front and back, and it's easy to get comfortable in the standard leather seats. At 18 cubic feet, the trunk is huge. If more space is needed, the Cadillac XTS's rear seats fold in a 60/40 split. New foam in the front seats improves comfort while resisting fatigue, and the power-adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel and easy-to-grab shift lever feel terrific. However, we're not so hot on the touch-based audio, information and climate-command system that can be finicky for your fingers to operate.

Exterior
2018 Cadillac XTS photo

The 2018 Cadillac XTS has the angular, wedge-like profile of its CTS and ATS sedan siblings, but is longer and taller. That last trait, with the elongated window frame at the rear pillar, makes the XTS awkward to our eyes. A new front end mimics the CT6, bringing LED headlights and a one-inch reduction in length. At 201 inches, the XTS is substantially larger than would-be rivals like the Audi A6, and is only slightly shorter than Cadillac's new flagship CT6. Platinum models bring even more bling with a chrome-accented grille.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Cadillac XTS is offered in a half-dozen trims, ranging from the base model to the V-Sport Platinum. No matter the model, you'll get quite a bit for your money. Highlights include a V6 engine, magnetic-ride control, 19-inch wheels, leather interior, dual-zone climate control, universal garage remote and high-intensity headlights. The standard CUE infotainment system includes an 8-inch screen that controls climate functions and an 8-speaker Bose audio system. A rearview camera is also standard, as are parking sensors. Cadillac's fully transferable Premium Care Maintenance includes three years/36,000 miles of service.

Optional Equipment

Excluding the base trim, AWD is optional on XTS models with the standard V6, and is standard on V-Sport variants. Other options include heated/ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, navigation, 22-way power-adjustable front seats with massage function, rear-window and side-window sun shades, panoramic sunroof, a head-up display, and tri-zone climate control. Audio buffs will enjoy the 14-speaker Bose sound system, but if you want a CD player it's considered optional. In addition to the safety systems mentioned in "Favorite Things," there's adaptive cruise control with automatic emergency braking. If we could recommend only one trim, it'd be the one-rung-up Luxury model.

Under the Hood
2018 Cadillac XTS Engine photo

Two engine choices remain available in the Cadillac XTS luxury sedan. Base models use a 3.6-liter, direct-injected V6 that produces 304 horsepower. Those seeking more oomph should look to the AWD XTS V-Sport that boasts a twin-turbocharged V6 boosting pony count appreciably to 410 horsepower. The base engine can be had with all-wheel drive instead of the standard front-wheel drive, while turbo models come exclusively with all-wheel drive. The AWD in the XTS uses Haldex technology and a limited-slip differential to transfer power front-to-back and side-to-side. It's helpful in Snowbelt states where traction can be compromised. Both engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The standard V6 runs on regular unleaded, while the turbo requires premium fuel.

3.6-liter V6
304 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
264 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 mpg (FWD), 17/26 mpg (AWD)

3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (V-Sport)
410 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
369 lb-ft of torque @ 1,900-5,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg

With a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) right around $46,600, the 2018 Cadillac XTS is a full-size luxury sedan that undercuts the base prices of midsize 4-doors such as the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6. In size, price and front-wheel drivetrain configuration, it's more in line with the new Lincoln Continental (starting around $45,500) and the sophisticated Volvo S90 ($48,000). At just over $42,000, a Genesis G80 is several thousand less. Keep climbing trims and you'll eventually reach the Cadillac XTS V-Sport Platinum, which can reach over $74,000. Note that for fleet operators, the Cadillac XTS is also available as a limousine or livery sedan. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying. The Cadillac XTS resale value is not expected to hold up very well in the years ahead.

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