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2017 Cadillac XTS: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader February 2017

The 2017 Cadillac XTS is a big front-wheel-drive sedan that emphasizes comfort and interior space. It's exactly the type of luxury car Cadillac made for decades and that became popular with many buyers (and limo companies). For them, and perhaps you, it should remain a high-value, comparatively affordable luxury choice.

However, the XTS is also the type of car that Cadillac is moving away from as it seeks to cast itself in a new, more modern light. This can be seen in the similarly sized but fundamentally different CTS and CT6 sedans, which are rear-wheel-drive and emphasize performance and agility as much as do their European competitors (perhaps even more, actually). That makes the XTS a bit anachronistic and limits its appeal, so for most buyers we'd probably recommend one of Cadillac's other big sedans instead.

What's New for 2017?

Changes to the 2017 XTS are restricted to some new gauges and a new 20-inch wheel design for XTS V-Sport trim.

What We Like

Cushy luxury without the squishy ride; fresh technology gives cabin a contemporary feel; reasonable starting price

What We Don't

CTS and CT6 offer similar equipment in more exciting and modern packages for similar (or less) money; standard V6 provides mediocre performance and fuel economy.

How Much?

$45,600-$72,300

Fuel Economy

Two engines are available in the Cadillac XTS. Most models use a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 304 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque. It's mated to a 6-speed automatic, and it returns 18 miles per gallon in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in combined driving with front-wheel drive or 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined with all-wheel drive.

Drivers who want more performance should opt for the V-Sport and its turbocharged 3.6-liter V6, which puts out 410 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard on the V-Sport, as is the 6-speed automatic; fuel economy is 16 mpg city/24 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 Cadillac XTS is available in six trim levels: base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, V-Sport Premium Luxury, Platinum and Platinum V-Sport. All-wheel drive is optional on all non-V-Sport trims.

Even the base-level XTS ($45,600) is loaded with equipment. It includes 19-in wheels, a magnetically controlled adjustable suspension, auto-leveling rear springs, xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, keyless start, 8-way power front seats, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable steering wheel, OnStar with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, the 8-inch CUE touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Bose sound system.

Step up to the Luxury ($49,600) and you get heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, front and rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, a rearview camera, a navigation system and a self-parking system for front-drive models. The optional Driver Awareness package includes forward-collision warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-departure warning systems along with a surround-view parking camera.

Next up is the Premium Luxury ($56,000), which includes the content of the Driver Awareness package plus adaptive headlights, tri-zone automatic climate control, a head-up display, an upgraded all-digital gauge cluster and an upgraded Bose sound system.

The Platinum ($64,900) adds special styling and 20-in wheels, upgraded leather upholstery, full leather interior trim, a power rear sunshade and 22-way power front seats with massage.

The V-Sport Premium Luxury ($64,000) and Platinum ($72,700) are equipped similarly to their respective regular XTS models but do get a more powerful engine, standard all-wheel drive, 20-in wheels and an electronic limited-slip differential. Like all all-wheel-drive XTS models, they cannot be had with the self-parking or lane-departure prevention systems.

Safety

The 2017 Cadillac XTS comes standard with stability control, front- and rear-side airbags, front- and rear side-curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Rearview and surround-view parking cameras are optional, as is the Driver Awareness package, which includes forward-collision warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-departure warning systems along with a surround-view parking camera. Cadillac's vibrating Safety Alert Seat warns you of the above accident possibilities.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing, the XTS received five stars overall. It also received five stars in all three categories: frontal impact, side impact and rollover. The XTS also earned strong scores in testing carried out by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, though it hasn't yet been subjected to that group's challenging small-overlap front crash test.

Behind the Wheel

Although the standard XTS is by no means a performance sedan, it does make a few conscious choices intended to satisfy the driver. For instance, rather than succumb to the current trend of maximizing fuel economy by using a lifeless electric power-steering setup, Cadillac's engineers opted for hydraulic steering, which offers greater feel. Body control is excellent given the XTS's large proportions, and this Cadillac doesn't feel excessively floaty or disconnected when driven aggressively on challenging roads. Credit the standard Magnetic Ride Control. At the same time, the XTS lacks the agility and overall refinement of its newer, more modern CTS and CT6 brandmates.

In base form, it'll also be slower, as the base V6 provides pokier acceleration than the norm -- even for a full-size sedan. Of course, opting for the 410-hp V-Sport corrects this, but if you're really interested in power, we think the CTS would be a much better choice, as it's an altogether more complete performance package.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Cadillac CTS -- For some reason, Cadillac sells three big sedans. For most buyers, the CTS will be just the right spot in terms of size, equipment, price, performance and driving experience. We also think it looks considerably better than the XTS.

2017 Lexus ES-- The Lexus ES is another front-wheel-drive large luxury sedan that flaunts modern convention by putting comfort and space first on the priority list. Its available hybrid option makes it stand apart from the XTS.

2017 Lincoln Continental -- Maybe the big front-drive car isn't endangered after all. The Continental is all-new, and though it's arguably more stylish than the XTS, its collection of talents is similar.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class -- Although its heftier price tag means you'll probably end up in a used model (and a previous-generation version at that), the E-Class is nevertheless one of the finest luxury cars you can buy and should deliver the sort of elements desired in the XTS.

Autotrader's Advice

Although the base XTS provides a ton of standard equipment for the money, we think that for just a bit more the Premium Luxury raises the bar even further in terms of getting the most bang for your buck. Similarly equipped and sized luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class would cost many thousands more. We would avoid the top XTS trim levels, as their sky-high price tags seem highly questionable given the more modern, similarly priced CT6.

Find a Cadillac XTS for sale

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Certified 2017 Cadillac XTS Vsport Premium Luxury AWD
Certified 2017 Cadillac XTS
$44,000
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New 2017 Cadillac XTS Premium Luxury AWD
New 2017 Cadillac XTS
MSRP $59,680
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Used 2017 Cadillac XTS Luxury
Used 2017 Cadillac XTS
$26,230
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Used 2017 Cadillac XTS Luxury
Used 2017 Cadillac XTS
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2017 Cadillac XTS: New Car Review - Autotrader