The 2018 Cadillac XTS is a pleasant, modern interpretation of traditional big-car values.
It’s a fine machine, a full-size cruiser that reminds us of another era without the dated nostalgia, so we’ve rated it at a 7.2 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The 2018 XTS is available in base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, Platinum, and Platinum V-Sport trim levels. There’s even an XTS hearse variant, but we’re not planning to sample that one any time soon.
Review continues below
This year, the XTS has a new look outside, some minor tweaks to its technology package inside, and a few chassis modifications that Cadillac says will make it ride better. And that last point’s an important one since the XTS has essentially replaced the Lincoln Town Car as the pay-by-the-hour executive shuttle of choice for many livery operators.
The XTS’ new look defies Cadillac convention; instead of tacking on tail-fins, the 2018 is actually an inch shorter than last year’s model thanks to revised front and rear bumpers. Inside, there are bigger changes—but they’re not quite as visible. Big upgrades to the automaker’s CUE infotainment system should make it easier to sort through and a little faster to boot.
Two V-6 engines are on offer. Most are fitted with a 304-horsepower, 3.6-liter, while the XTS V-Sport uses a 410-hp, twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6. They’re both paired to 6-speed automatics that feel a cog or two down, at least on paper, compared to rivals with 8- and 9-speed units. All-wheel drive is available on all but the base model, a boon for those wintry dashes from the airport back home.
The XTS offers good room up front with flat, wide seats ready for a day behind the wheel but not really suited to corner carving. Ultimately, it’s from its spacious back seat that the XTS is best sampled. It offers tremendous stretch-out room and is beautifully finished.
All versions are well-equipped and crash-test scores so far have been good, although some data is incomplete. Most versions of the XTS are available with a full suite of extra-cost collision-avoidance tech, something we’d rather see as standard at these hefty prices.