2018 XTS New Car Test Drive
The 2018 Cadillac XTS has a fresh look, with reworked front/rear fascia and a refined bumper design.
Fenders and the grille have been redesigned for 2018, joining new LED headlights. Chassis modifications promise improved ride quality, with increased sound insulation. Inside, upgrades to Cadillac's CUE infotainment system yield quicker response, with updated graphics, personalized profiles, and smartphone-like navigation.
When the current-generation XTS emerged as a 2015 model, Cadillac took the traditional large-sedan concept and gave it an appealing, modern interpretation. This feat was accomplished without relying on nostalgia for the distant past. Still, the XTS has also become a latter-day substitute for Lincoln's old Town Car, attracting limousine-service operators. Cadillac even offers a funeral coach.
Most XTS sedans come with a 3.6-liter V6 that develops 304 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque.
In the XTS V-Sport, a 410-horsepower, twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 produces 369 pound-feet. Both engines mate with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Front-wheel drive is standard. All-wheel drive is optional.
Four trim levels are available: XTS, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum, plus V-Sport Premium Luxury and Platinum models with twin-turbo power. Though equipped well in each trim level, an XTS can be packed full of posh features for additional cost. Platinum trim could almost be dubbed decadent, while the base XTS is set up well for limo duties.
Most trim levels can be fitted with a comprehensive set of collision-avoidance technology, but not much is standard. Crash-test results for the 2018 XTS are impressive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the XTS five stars overall. Testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety yielded Good ratings in each category, though the tricky small-overlap test has not yet been given. Automatic full-speed emergency braking, if installed, gets a Superior score from IIHS. Bundled with adaptive cruise control in a Driver Assist Package, it's available only for the top two trim levels. A Driver Awareness Package, including blind-spot monitoring and low-speed automatic emergency braking, is standard on upper models and available for the Luxury edition.
The 2018 Cadillac XTS ($45,595) has the 304-horsepower V6, front-wheel drive, Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo front brakes, CUE infotainment, eight-speaker Bose audio, power front seats, leather seating surfaces, pushbutton, OnStar connectivity with a 4G LTE, and 19-inch alloy wheels. (All prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge, taxes, cash allowances or discounts.)
XTS Luxury ($49,595) includes navigation, auto-dimming outside mirrors, automatic parking assist, heated front/rear seats, ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. All-wheel drive ($2,000) is available.
XTS Premium Luxury ($56,095) comes with a head-up display, 12.3-inch configurable screen, tri-zone automatic climate control, 14-speaker Bose surround-sound, and adaptive forward lighting. The standard Driver Awareness Package includes forward collision and lane-departure warnings, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-zone monitoring, and surround-view camera. All-wheel drive ($2,000) is optional.
XTS AWD V-Sport Premium Luxury ($64,095) has the 410-horsepower twin-turbo V6, 20-inch wheels, and all-wheel drive. XTS Platinum ($67,095) gets semi-aniline leather upholstery, 20-inch alloy wheels, more lavish interior trim, and front-wheel drive. XTS AWD V-Sport Platinum ($72,695) gets all-wheel drive.