In Wheel Time

by Don Armstrong

The latest rendition of art and science is arriving at Cadillac dealerships across the U.S. and none too soon. Although America’s luxury icon has done well with its much ballyhooed CTS midsize sedan, it was lacking the bookends to complete the lineup, namely a compact and a full-size. Enter the XTS, the all-new full-size replacement for both the STS and the DTS.

At first blush, there is no doubt that this fits into the Cadillac portfolio with its easily recognizable egg crate grille, sharp edges and vertical headlights. But its exterior size is smaller than of either of the outgoing models. As for interior space, the XTS gets high marks for minimizing the thickness of components to allow more room for occupants.

Nineties’ interiors are a thing of the past with this new Caddy starting with the all-new CUE driver interface. CUE stands for Cadillac User Experience and features several industry firsts, including capacitive-touch control with proximity sensing, haptic feedback, gesture recognition and natural voice recognition. Capacitive touch is the technology featured on many tablets and smartphones.

Available exclusively on the XTS, is a 12.3-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster. Also, as part of the customer experience, each 2013 Cadillac XTS buyer will receive an iPad with their new car.

 And when it comes to trunk space, the XTS is in a league of its own, with 18 cubic feet, exceeding both midsize and full-size competitors – more than Audi A6 and A8L, BMW 5 and 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz E- and S-Class. For XTS customers, the cargo advantage means room for five or more suitcases or four of those supersized golf bags replete with built-in ice makers.

The XTS comes in Luxury, Premium and Platinum (shown) trim levels.

Platinum Collection models feature a fully wrapped leather interior with microfiber sueded headliner, as well as premium wood trim on the steering wheel, console, center stack, instrument panel and door panels.

Seating trim is offered with Soleil Keisel surfaces or premium Opus full leather – both with perforated detailing. Heated and ventilated seats are also offered.

Under the hood is a direct injection 3.6-liter, 304 horsepower V-6 that powers a fulltime all-wheel drive system through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The combination gets a respectable 17 mpg-city and 28-highway.

XTS is just what the doctor ordered for Cadillac and couldn’t arrive at a better time. Pricing starts at $48,690 for the Luxury model.

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