2019 Cadillac XTS Expert Review

3.8 Overall Score
Performance 3.8 Comfort 4.5 Styling 3.7 Value 4.1

Editor's Overview

The 2019 Cadillac XTS sedan is like a modern version of an old-school Caddy. It’s large, comfortable, and at its best chauffeuring passengers. In lower trims it packs a lot of metal for the money, but in features and resale value fares poorly against the Genesis G80 and Volvo S90. After 2019, this model’s future is hazy at best.

You'll Like The 2019 Cadillac XTS If...

If you reminisce about Cadillacs of yore -- big, stately, powerful and above all comfortable -- the 2019 Cadillac XTS is the modern-day equivalent. With its vast interior room, massive trunk and luxury badge, the XTS could also serve well as an upscale car for professional ride-share drivers or livery services.

You May Not Like The 2019 Cadillac XTS If...

Aside from its uncertain future after this model year, know that the Cadillac XTS isn’t all that exciting to drive and isn’t as well equipped as rivals in base form. The Lincoln Continental is a bit fresher, while the Volvo S90 is a technological marvel that also has stunning interior and exterior design. Poor resale value is another mark against the XTS.

What's New

No major changes are in order for the 2019 Cadillac XTS luxury sedan. The Canadian factory where the XTS is made is facing a possible shutdown, and with it a discontinuation of the XTS.

Interior Features

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’s rear seats fold in a 60/40 split. The front seats were recently updated with bolstering to improve comfort over many miles, 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 to operate.

Exterior Features

The 2019 Cadillac XTS has the angular, wedge-like profile of its CTS 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. Last year’s update to the front end mimics the bigger and pricier CT6 luxury sedan, and also added LED headlights while subtracting an inch in length. Still at nearly 201 inches, the XTS is substantially larger than potential rivals like the Lexus ES and Audi A6, but is in line with the Lincoln Continental and Volvo S90.

Driving Impressions

Comfort is key in this big Cadillac sedan, and its best trait is its ability to quietly waft over wide swaths of pavement. The cabin is hushed, the seats are ample, and XTS’s suspension and long chassis adeptly quell road imperfections. The optional Magnetic Ride Control further enhances this Cadillac’s suspension for smoothness. The standard 304-horsepower V6 has enough grunt to get the job done, but the twin-turbo variant that puts out 410 ponies is far more satisfying, and its thrust is noticeable over the standard engine. As it’s based on front-wheel-drive (FWD) architecture, the XTS doesn’t have the sporty handling of its CTS sibling, nor that of a BMW 5 Series or even a Genesis G80 or Lexus GS. All-wheel drive (AWD) is optional, however, and instills an extra sense of confidence and traction, especially in wet weather. The twin-turbo XTS V-Sport comes with AWD standard. On the stopping front, hefty Brembo brakes are up to the task. The XTS performs well on the open road, but its large size becomes more obvious once you get into smaller, city-sized confines and parking lots.

Pricing Notes

The 2019 Cadillac XTS has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $46,895, before the $995 destination charge. The more recommendable Luxury trim begins at $50,895, and adding AWD is an extra $2,000. Platinum XTS models begin just over $66,000, while the twin-turbo XTS V-Sport starts around $73,000, which is substantially more than a base model. As with the near identically priced Lincoln Continental, lower-trim models of the XTS offer a lot of metal for the money, but that value proposition diminishes as you climb trims. This is especially compared to rivals. While slightly smaller, luxury sedans such as the Lexus ES and Genesis G80 cost less and are loaded with features that cost extra on the Cadillac. The Volvo S90 costs slightly more than the XTS, but has a wealth of advanced driver-assist and safety features that cost thousands and thousands more in the Cadillac. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The Cadillac XTS’s resale value is expected to be poor.

Notable Equipment

For 2019 the Cadillac XTS is available in five trims. At its most basic standard trim, the XTS includes leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, keyless access with push-button start, rear parking sensors, 19-inch alloy wheels and power-adjustable steering column. The base infotainment system bundles 8-speaker Bose audio, wireless phone charging, and an 8-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. We recommend stepping up to at least a Luxury trim, which adds navigation, heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats and steering wheel, automatic parking system (FWD only) and concierge lighting. You’ll also need to step up to this trim if you want the optional all-wheel drive.

Notable Options

The Cadillac XTS’s value proposition begins to fade if there are certain features on your wish list. For example, to get active safety and driver-assist features like forward-collision alert, lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking -- features that come standard in the Volvo S90 and Genesis G80, not to mention many Hondas and Toyotas -- you have to step up to a $57,000-plus Premium Luxury XTS trim or add it as an option to the Luxury version. In addition to all-wheel drive, other notable options include blind-spot monitoring, upgraded 14-speaker Bose audio system, magnetic ride control, tri-zone climate control (a big plus if you use this as a chauffeur car), head-up display, and 20-inch wheels. At the top of the lineup, the V-Sport Platinum XTS comes with the twin-turbo V6 and added creature comforts like 22-way-adjustable front seats with massaging feature.

Favorite Features

FRESH LOOKS, OLD-SCHOOL PLUSHNESS
Whereas many luxury sedans try to be performance cars, Cadillac’s XTS is among the few that proudly stands out for its comfort-oriented purpose. Most drivers, and almost every passenger -- especially the ones who will be chauffeured in this vehicle -- will appreciate this Cadillac’s plush and refined manners.

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

Under the Hood

You have two engine choices in the Cadillac XTS. Most are powered by a standard 3.6-liter V6 that makes 304 horsepower and comes in front-wheel drive (FWD) or optional all-wheel drive (AWD). At the top of the lineup, the Cadillac XTS V-Sport packs a twin-turbo V6 that puts out a prodigious 410 horsepower and is AWD exclusively. All models use a 6-speed automatic transmission. XTS models with AWD employ 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. 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 @ 5,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 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 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg

Editors' Notes

The 2019 Cadillac XTS sedan is like a modern version of an old-school Caddy. That is, it’s large, comfortable, and is far happier cruising comfortably than trying to play the part of a performer. With a price starting under $47,000, the XTS is also a lot of metal for the money. Like its primary rival the Lincoln Continental, the XTS comes standard with a V6 engine and front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive optional. The XTS is roomy on the inside, and though its exterior design and proportions can be polarizing, it isn’t as stodgy as past Cadillacs like the DTS. The XTS is most in its element comfortably chauffeuring passengers. With recent announcements of General Motors plant closures, the XTS’s future after 2019 is hazy at best.

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