Most of us believed that GM was set to discontinue the old generation of the Cadillac sedans. I must say I was surprised when I read news about the automaker’s planned release of an upgraded version of the XTS sedan using the same architecture as the old model. Cadillac is currently using a new all-wheel-drive architecture for its sedans hence the belief that the current front-wheel-drive XTS sedan would be the last. However, the market responded quite contrary to expectations as the automaker actually received increased demand for the sedan hence the decision to extend its life. These upgrades are the most significant for the 2018 Cadillac XTS since its debut 6 years ago and are meant to attract even more sales. The upgrades include refinement of the chassis, addition of new technologies as well as an upgraded exterior profile.
2018 Cadillac XTS Exterior
The design has not significantly changed from the Cadillac sedans of old. However, the XTS has acquired the looks of the recently upgraded CT6. The new exterior features give the XTS a somewhat refreshing look. At the front, bulky-looking headlights, a small air-dam and the unappealing grille have gone. The new grille is taller and has three vertical louvers. The louvers have a chrome finish just like the grille. Although the headlights are a little bulky, they look modern; they also flaunt LED lighting as a standard feature. The corner vents have also been refreshed. The new units have a silver surround and they also integrate square-shaped fog lights. The air-dam is mounted higher but is still smaller (I think it should have been enlarged a little bit).
The side profile is almost unchanged. The major changes are new wheel designs for the model’s 19- and 20-inch wheels.
The rear has however received significant upgrade including shifting the license plate recess to the middle; the reflectors have also been moved. The deck lid spots a new center crease and a bodyline that visually connects the rear quarters. The taillights are new; they feature a matrix layout. The brake light mounted on the deck is thinner and longer which makes the rear fascia look sleeker.
The XTS will be availed in a choice of 20 exterior colors.
The XTS dimensions remain unchanged. The model has a wheelbase of 111.7 inches, a length of 202, inches, a width of 72.9 inches and a height of 59.4 inches.
The interior feature a host of changes but they are difficult to detect. As usual, the cabin is upholstered in premium leather with the Platinum trim featuring semi-aniline leather with mini-perforated inserts. The seats have also been revamped for extra comfort. Platinum trim features 22-way power adjustable seats as standard. These seats are optional for the Platinum Luxury models. Buyers will have an option three new color trim combinations.
The 2018 Cadillac XTS also features a new 8.0-inch LCD touch-screen display that enables a user to access in-vehicle apps. The system has a Smartphone-like navigation. The LCD display doubles up as a display for the vehicle’s advanced parking assist system. The system also displays a “summary view” that enables the driver to view important applications controls such as navigation controls, phone controls, audio and climate controls ensuring the driver does not take his/her eyes off the road fiddling around to switch controls.
Lower trims feature a dual-zone automatic climate control while the top Premium Luxury and Platinum trims feature tri-zone automatic climate control system as standard. These two trims also feature a 12.3-inch gauge cluster which is color reconfigurable and comes with an information center.
The models also feature a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel with a tap up/down transmission controls as standard.
For audiophiles, there is an 8-speaker Bose sound system that features 4 USB ports as standard on lower trims while the top Premium Luxury and Platinum trims feature a 14-speaker Bose Studio Surround system. Smartphone integration is provided by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is also a Wi-Fi hotspot that enables multiple devices to access the car’s 4G LTE hotspot.
The Premium Luxury trim also features manual/power rear side windows shade as an option but standard on the Platinum trim.
The models have a cargo capacity of 18 cubic feet with the rear seats in place. It can be expanded by folding the rear seats,
Engine and performance
The 2018 Cadillac XTS is powered by a single engine that is however offered in two flavors. The unit is a 3.6 L, V-6. For regular models (non V-Sport), the engine is naturally aspirated. In this guise, the mill produces 304 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque. On V-Sport models, the engine is paired with an air cooler and twin turbochargers which help boost power output to 410 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The engines are direct injected and also feature dual overhead camshafts and variable valve timing.
Both engines use a 6-speed automatic gearbox that features tap-shift technology. The XTS is offered in the front-wheel-drive mode as standard but there is an option for all-wheel-drive. Models with front-wheel-drive also feature a variable-assist power steering for enhanced control while all models feature StabiliTrak system that works in sync with the front Brembo brakes and the 4-channel rear anti-lock brakes. On the other hand, AWD system features electronic limited-slip differential that manages torque distribution for the rear wheels. Although Cadillac is yet to release official performance details, testing data shows that the regular model needs 6.2 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph. The V-Sports does the same dash in 5.2 seconds.
Price and release date
Cadillac is yet to announce prices for the XTS. However, considering these are just visual changes, the prices won’t vary much from those of the current model. Currently, the base XTS has a starting price of $45,595, $49,595 for the Luxury trim, $56,095 for the Premium Luxury and $64,895 for the Platinum trim. Moving over to the V-Sport models, the V-Sport Premium Luxury currently fetches $64,095 while the “top dog” of the lineup, the V-Sport Platinum has a starting price of $72,695. Sales will commence in the fourth quarter of 2017.