2016 XTS New Car Test Drive
Until performance-oriented models took precedence, full-size sedans served as the solid pillars of the Cadillac lineup. Introduced for 2013, the Cadillac XTS is the largest sedan in the group. Considered a step up from Cadillac's ATS and CTS sports sedans, the Cadillac XTS is about comfort, refinement and capabilities.
Drivers get ample passenger room with the Cadillac XTS. Backseat space qualifies as massive, topping that of most similar-size sedans. Occupants enjoy abundant headroom and bountiful leg space, within a quiet and refined four-door. Compared against such rivals as the Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac scores well in technology and available features.
Changes are modest for 2016. The 2016 Cadillac XTS is distinguished by revised grilles, integration with Apple CarPlay, and wireless smartphone charging. A Surround Vision camera is newly available.
Two 3.6-liter V6 engines are available. Smooth and predictable, the base engine sends 305 horsepower to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Buyers of upper-level models who prefer more get-up-and-go can select a Vsport twin-turbocharged version of the V6, whipping up 410 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.
Plenty of safety features are available, though you have to purchase an option group to get the most advanced items. One of them can apply brakes automatically, when sensors detect trouble, bringing the car to a halt from up to about 20 mph.
Also on the technical front, 4G LTE connectivity with GM's OnStar can create an in-car wi-fi network. All XTS sedans have CUE (Cadillac User Experience), with an eight-inch capacitive touchscreen (similar to an iPad) at the center of the instrument panel. Few actual buttons exist; nearly everything is done on-screen.
Fuel economy is about on par, considering the XTS's size. The Environmental Protection Agency estimated the base front-drive model at 18/22 mpg City/Highway, dropping to 17/26 mpg with all-wheel drive. Picking a Vsport engine lowers the estimates to 16/23 mpg.
Cadillac's XTS has earned good scores in crash testing, with a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) deems XTS Good, its highest rating.
The 2016 Cadillac XTS comes in standard, Luxury, Premium, and Platinum trim. Each can be fitted with the 305-horsepower base engine, but Premium and Platinum versions can get the 410-horsepower Vsport twin-turbo V6, with all-wheel drive. Vsport models get a unique grille.
The 2016 Cadillac XTS ($45,295) comes with front-wheel drive, 305-horsepower V6, and 6-speed automatic transmission. The Premium Collection ($55,705) upgrades with navigation, premium audio, adaptive forward lighting, reconfigurable gauges, larger wheels, automatic headlights, illuminating door handles, and rain-sensing wipers. Platinum Collection ($64,550) adds soft Opus leather seating with perforated inserts, along with a microfiber sueded headliner. Twin 22-way power front seats offer heating, cooling, and massaging. Wood trim decorates the steering wheel, console, instrument panel, and door panels.
Platinum models can get a Driver Awareness package that includes Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist, 360-degree surround-view cameras, and blind-spot monitoring. GM's Safety Alert Seat vibrates on one or both sides to signal potential dangers, such as veering over a lane divider. Also available is Automatic Parking Assist, which can steer the car into a parking space.