In case you didn't notice, Cadillac hasn't introduced an all-new model in three years. But now, there's a brand new "Caddy on the block" -- the 2013 Cadillac XTS.

The XTS is a full-size 4-door sedan that loads on the luxury and technology while taking direct aim at those high-end European sedans from Mercedes and BMW.

And the styling? Well, the XTS is definitely all Cadillac with sharp edges and smooth curves working together, and a big chrome grille that is easy to recognize.

Cadillacs have always been known for spacious interiors and upscale luxury and the XTS doesn't drop the ball on either count. Front and rear-seat passengers have all the room they could ever want.

The seating is really comfortable and the quality of the leather, wood, and metal furnishings is excellent, no matter which of the four XTS trim levels you're interested in.

If you're into the newest technology, the XTS is just the ticket. Every XTS comes with its own iPad that replicates the center touch screen. Very cool!

And so is the 8-inch touch screen in the car. To help keep your eyes on the road, it vibrates when you touch any function, and there's also voice recognition. And coolest of all, there's gesture recognition, which no other car has.

The XTS is powered by a 304-horsepower V6 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel-drive.

That gives the XTS good, but not over-the-top performance. But what really impresses us is its crisp handling for such a big car. It's not as nimble as a CTS-V, but the XTS does have some cornering skills, and the magnetic shocks keep it glued to the road.

But it's out on the highway at cruising speeds that the XTS really shines. The interior is as quiet as a cathedral, and the suspension gobbles up the bumps.

And how about highway fuel economy? Would you believe 28 mpg in a full-size Caddy? That's not bad, and even the all-wheel-drive XTS gets up to 27 mpg on the open road.

Every conceivable active and passive safety device you can imagine -- and a few you probably can't -- are found on the XTS. Like a driver's seat that vibrates to alerts the driver if he or she starts drifting from lane to lane, an onboard radar system for the adaptive cruise control, and even a cross traffic alert for backing out of tight spots.

With all of these cool features, the XTS is surprisingly not all that expensive. It starts in the mid-$40,000 range for a base model and goes up to more than $60,000 for an all-wheel-drive Platinum version -- that's of course before you checkoff a bunch of options.

There are several European challengers to the XTS, including the BMW 5-Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, both solid rides. And you might want to check out the Lincoln MKS, a feisty American that matches the XTS on almost every point.

Cadillac may have waited three years to bring out something new, but given the results, we're not complaining about the delay.

The 2013 Cadillac XTS easily earns our respect thanks to its style, performance, and mother lode of technological treats.

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Scott Markle is an experienced automotive enthusiast and industry observer who is passionate about creating compelling content for car shoppers. He has fifteen years of experience building top-tier websites for the automotive industry and beyond, and was part of the team that launched AutoTrader.com.

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