The 2017 Cadillac XTS hearkens back to when the brand was more associated with large, posh sedans rather than performance and pizazz. Technically slotted between the CTS midsize-sports sedan and the flagship CT6, the XTS nevertheless feels like the father figure in the Cadillac lineup, and in reality is probably the car your father would choose.
You'll Like The 2017 Cadillac XTS If...
If you pine for -- and clearly remember -- the days when Cadillac equated to big, plush-riding sedans with names like DeVille and DTS, consider the XTS their modern equivalent. Aimed at those who favor comfort over dynamics, the Cadillac XTS is a full-size luxury sedan with a midsize price.
You May Not Like The 2017 Cadillac XTS If...
Stylistic subjectivity being what it is, the rather awkwardly proportioned XTS looks more at home in a livery fleet than a valet line at the club. Next to a Volvo S90 it risks appearing downright grandfatherly. Inside, the touch-based CUE infotainment system can be vexing.
Only minimal changes are in store for the 2017 Cadillac XTS sedan. The gauge cluster is revised, there's a new 20-inch wheel design on XTS V-Sport models, and new exterior color choices. A Teen Driver feature enables elders to set parameters and monitor how the young 'uns drove.
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. Up front is a mixed bag. While we like the seating position, the power-adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel and easy-to-grab shift lever, but we're not so hot on the CUE system. This touch-based audio, information and climate command system can be finicky for your fingers to operate.
The 2017 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. Like other modern Cadillacs, the XTS has headlight housings that flow into the sides near the hood, though not to the extent of other models. At 202 inches in length, 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.
Boasting a good blend of comfort and handling, the 2017 Cadillac XTS is most at home on the highway. That's where drivers and passengers can enjoy this stately sedan's quiet, comfortable and confident manners. There's a reason why this car is also available for livery and limousine duty. We applaud the standard Magnetic Ride Control suspension for its ability to instantaneously quell road imperfections. The standard, 304-horsepower V6 is adequate but not enthralling. The spicier offerings are the V-Sport models, which are implanted with a 410-horsepower twin-turbo V6 that easily propels this car's mass. All models have Brembo performance brakes, but performance driving isn't this car's forte. We'll also again note that this is a big vehicle whose size becomes evident the smaller the surrounding confines.
With a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $46,590, the 2017 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 at $45,485 ) and the sophisticated Volvo S90 ($47,945). 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.
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 touch-based CUE audio/entertainment system is sleek but can be cumbersome. It includes an 8-inch screen that controls climate functions and an 8-speaker Bose audio system. Oddly, a rearview camera costs extra, but there are at least parking sensors. Cadillac's fully transferable Premium Care Maintenance includes three years/36,000 miles of service.
Excluding the base trim, AWD is optional on XTS models with the standard V6, and is standard on V-Sport variants. Other options abound. Highlights 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.
DRIVER AWARENESS PACKAGE
This package bundles potentially life-saving and accident-preventing features such as forward-collision alert, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and more. Especially impressive is the way it alerts the driver by literally vibrating the seat to get your attention.
In addition to recently becoming smartphone compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the 2017 XTS offers other nifty features such as OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi and wireless charging for compatible phones.
Under the Hood
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 (FWD), 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.
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
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The 2017 Cadillac XTS is a full-size luxury sedan that hearkens back to when the brand was more associated with large, posh cruisers rather than its more recent shift to performance and pizazz. Technically slotted between the CTS midsize sports sedan and the new flagship CT6, the XTS nevertheless feels like the father figure in the Cadillac lineup, and in reality is probably the car your father would choose. The XTS brings a lot of metal for the money and offers a roster of active safety features, a twin-turbo V6 and all-wheel drive (AWD) in lieu of its standard front-drive (FWD) setup. But this Caddy faces a cadre of fresh rivals, not the least of which are the superb Volvo S90 and the reborn Lincoln Continental.