Following a strategy that eludes us, the 2019 Cadillac XTS is one of three big cars in the Cadillac lineup. Despite the fact that the other two (CT6 and CTS) are both rear-wheel-drive sedans, the front-wheel-drive XTS is the one among the three that behaves most like the big Caddy luxo barges our grandfathers captained. They were all about ride comfort and space. That’s what today’s XTS brings to the party.
Having said that, this current interpretation of American big luxury provides far better handling dynamics than available 50 years ago. In fact, we think the handling is better than expected for a big FWD sedan. Moreover, it still delivers scads of elbow and legroom, as well as providing a trunk the size of a small swimming pool.
If pampering yourself with that cushy ride and being able to stretch out in the backseat is what you are hankering for, the XTS is for you. But, if you want something a bit sportier with RWD, we suggest taking a look at the CT6 and CTS. They offer lots of room and a more robust experience.
What’s New for 2019?
A larger, higher-powered second-generation wireless charging system for iPhone and Android devices with wireless charging. See the 2019 Cadillac XTS models for sale near you
What We Like
- Cushy luxury without the squishy ride
- Fresh technology gives cabin a contemporary feel
- Reasonable starting price
What We Don’t
- The CTS and the CT6 offer similar equipment in more exciting and modern packages for similar (or less) money
- Standard V6 provides mediocre performance and 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, with FWD standard and AWD optional on all but the base trim level. It returns 19 miles per gallon in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in combined driving with FWD or 17 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined with AWD.
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. AWD and a 6-speed automatic are standard. Fuel economy is 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined.
Standard Features & Options
The 2019 Cadillac XTS is available in five trim levels: base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, Platinum and Platinum V-Sport. All prices include the $995 factory destination charge.
Even the base XTS ($47,890) is loaded with equipment. It includes 19-in wheels, xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, a backup camera, remote ignition, proximity entry and push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, 8-way power front seats, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable steering wheel, OnStar emergency communications, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, wireless smartphone charging, an 8-in touchscreen, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Bose sound system with satellite and HD radios.
Step up to the Luxury ($51,890) and you get power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, driver memory settings, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and an integrated navigation system. AWD models get rear parking sensors, while FWD models get an automatic parking system. The optional Driver Awareness package includes forward-collision warning, low-speed automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems and surround-view parking camera. With AWD, this package includes lane-departure warning.
Next up is the Premium Luxury ($57,290), which includes the content of the Driver Awareness package plus 20-in wheels, a magnetically controlled adaptive and auto-leveling suspension, adaptive headlights, tri-zone automatic climate control, a head-up display, an upgraded all-digital gauge cluster and a 14-speaker Bose sound system. Lane-keeping assist is standard on FWD models. The Driver Assist package adds adaptive cruise and higher-speed automatic emergency braking.
The Platinum ($67,190) adds the Driver Assist items, special styling, a panoramic sunroof (optional Luxury and Premium Luxury), upgraded leather upholstery, full leather interior trim, rear seat audio controls, sunshades (power rear, manual rear-side) and 22-way power front seats with massage (optional on Premium Luxury).
The Platinum V-Sport ($73,990) adds a more powerful engine, standard AWD and an electronic limited-slip differential.
The 2019 Cadillac XTS comes standard with stability control, front- and rear-side airbags, front- and rear side-curtain airbags, front knee airbags, a backup camera and OnStar emergency communications. The Driver Awareness package includes forward-collision warning, low-speed automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, a rear cross-traffic alert system and Cadillac’s vibrating Safety Alert Seat that warns you of the above accident possibilities. Lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist systems are also available depending on trim level and drivetrain.
In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing, the XTS received five stars for overall, frontal and side crash protection. The XTS also earned top scores in testing carried out by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Behind the Wheel
Cadillac improved ride comfort with the 2018 freshening of the XTS. The magnetically controlled suspension of upper trim levels improve the ride even further, while also enhancing the handling. Although that’s otherwise good for a big sedan, it still is not as sharp or confident as Cadillac’s rear-drive sedans.
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
2019 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.
2019 Lincoln Continental — Maybe the big front-drive car isn’t endangered after all. The Continental was recently reintroduced, and though arguably more stylish than the XTS, its collection of talents is similar.
2019 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.
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.
Although the base XTS provides a ton of standard equipment for the money, for just a bit more, the Luxury raises the bar even further to get 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 are questionable given the more modern, similarly priced CT6. Find a Cadillac XTS for sale