With larger dimensions than the CTS, the 2013 Cadillac XTS is an all-new sedan GM is touting as the most technologically advanced production car in the marque’s history.
The XTS marks the debut of the Cadillac User Experience (CUE), which offers cutting-edge connectivity with infotainment, nav and communication tools. It pairs up to 10 (10!) Bluetooth-enabled devices, USBs, SD cards and MP3 players, controlled through a central 8-inch touchscreen that resembles a certain other ubiquitous touchscreen, complete with tap, flick, swipe and spread controls.
Innovative features include a proximity sensor that brings the screen to life when your hand approaches, haptic feedback that gives a little pulse of acknowledgement when an icon is pressed, and natural speech recognition that lets consumers speak more logically, with fewer specific commands. Complementary to CUE’s ease of use, the spare centre stack features a mere seven buttons, and three of those are for the radio — all told, less than half the controls of most cars.
It also features the world’s fastest-reacting suspension, dubbed Magnetic Ride Control, standard 19” and available 20” wheels, capless fuel tank and folding rear-seat headrests. Two Enhanced Safety Strategy (ESS) packages are offered. Level I includes lane departure warning, forward collision alert, safety alert seat (which vibrates if the driver gets dozy), side blind zone alert and rear cross traffic alert; level II adds colour head-up display, front and rear automatic brakes, adaptive cruise control, and automatic collision preparation.
Luxury touches abound, like the fully wrapped leather interior, subtle brushed nickel and luxe real wood accents, and Alcantara headliner inside, and outside some nifty light-up door handles.
Cadillac’s most spacious sedan, the XTS offers more interior space than many of its competitors, including the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6, and more trunk space than all of those and their bigger sibs, like the 7 Series, S-Class and A8.
Front-wheel drive is standard; an available advanced Haldex all-wheel-drive system uses an electronic limited-slip differential to split torque between the rear wheels. The HiPer Strut front suspension, based on the MacPherson strut front suspension design, and Magnetic Ride Control improves ride and handling with more linear, communicative steering, impact isolation on rough surfaces, reduced torque steer and improved vehicle sensibility to tire irregularities and wheel imbalance. Magnetic Ride Control reads the road every millisecond and changes damping in just five milliseconds.
Standard on all models is StabiliTrak electronic stability control and Brembo four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS.
Power comes from an advanced 3.6L V6 rated at 300 hp and 264 lb-ft that saves weight compared to comparable engines with a composite intake manifold and integrated cylinder head/exhaust manifold. It’s mated to a Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission with tap-shift control.
The 2013 Cadillac XTS will be built in Oshawa, Ont., and hits showrooms this spring, we’re guessing at a price point of about $55,000.