First drive review: Cadillac XTS

First drive review: Cadillac XTS

What is it?

Long gone are the days when Detroit dominated the huge American luxury car market. In fact, Cadillac and rival Lincoln are barely also-rans these days. But Caddy is intent on regaining its once-lofty position and the new XTS is aimed at some serious competitors, notably including the BMW 5-series and Audi A6. 
The General Motors division is calling the XTS its new “flagship”, and it will be for a while, though an even more up-market entry is in the works. 

What is it like?

But, for now, the new XTS does a credible job of pointing the brand in the right direction. The new saloon features a more refined and elegant take on the so-called Art & Science design theme popularized by the Caddy CTS, here a bit less edgy, introducing a slight coupe-like curve to the roof that flows into vestigial fins reminiscent of Cadillac’s golden days.
The XTS cabin is handsome and comfortable and here Cadillac gives Audi, the generally perceived interior benchmark a run for its money. The reconfigurable, all-glass gauge cluster is especially appealing. 
And then there’s CUE, Cadillac’s new infotainment system. Think of it as an iPhone on wheels, complete with a Siri-like voice-control system that recognises conventional language rather than requiring a motorist to learn rigid commands. The downside is that on rough roads the iPhone-style touch controls can be a bit difficult to operate.

Some purists will gripe that the XTS is the only front-drive model in the Caddy saloon spectrum. Perhaps, but that hasn’t stopped Audi, and the big saloon proved reasonably nimble manoeuvring through the narrow, winding canyons outside L.A. 
The all-wheel-drive configuration offered a bit more sure-footedness. But this is not a true BMW fighter if you’re measuring success by g-force and 0-60mph times. Our biggest complaint centres around the six-speed automatic which, even in sport mode, is slow to respond when the driver’s foot calls for a rapid double downshift.

Should I buy one?

The XTS might best be thought of as the redefinition of the classic American luxury car. That’s not meant as faint praise. The saloon is solid, well equipped and more than pleasant to drive. It may not be the standard of the world but it is a credible offering for a brand that has long lacked credibility.
Paul A Eisenstein
Cadillac XTS Platinum 
Price: from $44,995 (£29,012);
Price as tested $59,080 (£38,100);
0-62mph; 6.7sec (est);  
Top speed: 130mph;  
Economy: n/a; CO2: n/a;  
Kerbweight: 1950kg;
Engine type: 3.6-litre V6;  
Power: 300bhp;  
Torque: 264lb/ft;
Gearbox: 6-speed automatic with manual mode

via: autocar
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