By on January 25, 2016

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Stress and nervous tension are now serious social problems in all parts of the Galaxy, and it is in order that this situation should not be in any way exacerbated that the following facts will now be revealed in advance.

Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

The Cadillac XTS is a good car.

Those who wish to know why I feel this to be true, or to shout angrily at me in the comments, may feel free to click the “Read More” button now.

It’s no secret to any Friends of Bark (whom shall now be referred to as FOB) that, when it comes to picking rental cars, I dig the Chevy Impala. It’s powerful enough to break the front tires loose in just about any situation, and large enough to legally carry three to four adult colleagues (or illegally transport six adults across the border into Canada, but I don’t recommend doing that).

However, the Impala’s stablemate, the Buick LaCrosse, has always felt just a bit … meh. Perhaps there’s no rationale for me to prefer the Impala over the LaCrosse (other than sticker price), but I just feel like the Impala has more presence; more testosterone. The exhaust note of the Impala alone is reason enough for me to stroll past the Buick parked in the Emerald Aisle on my way to throw my bags into my (rental car agency) homie’s Impala.

But when I saw a National employee returning a brand-new 2016 Cadillac XTS to the lot, still dripping water and soap droplets from the car wash, I viewed is as my opportunity to complete my experience of driving the General’s Epsilon II triumvirate.

The XTS is refreshed for 2016, featuring a new grille, wireless charging, and Surround Vision, which Cadillac describes as “a four-camera system that displays a bird’s eye view of the XTS to assist when maneuvering in and out of tight spots.” I describe it as “a system that makes deafening noises that scare the shit out of you while you’re parking.” I hope there’s a way to turn it off; I didn’t discover one.

010

The biggest update to the XTS for the new model year is Apple’s marvelous CarPlay. I’ve always enjoyed using CarPlay in the Impala and LaCrosse because it simply works the way that it’s supposed to. Well, at least it does in the Impala and the LaCrosse. With the XTS, however, CarPlay has the misfortune of being paired with CUE, which meant that it caused my phone to freeze up with frustrating regularity, failed to display my Spotify playlists, and often went silent when giving instructions. Oh, CUE. You’re still awful.

My particular XTS rental was of the front-wheel-drive “Luxury” trim variety, which is above “Standard” but below “Premium” and “Platinum,” and stickers for $51,240 in Crystal White Tricoat paint. All XTS models come with front Brembo calipers and Magnetic Ride Control, and it was in the performance of these two components that the XTS began to show why it just might be worth the price premium over its fellow GM triplets.

The XTS is still remarkably quick for a car of its considerable girth, with enough power to spin the front wheels at launch in any weather condition. It was more than enough to gain the attention of Dunwoody’s finest when I combined the power from the GM 3.6-liter V-6 with the XTS’ responsive suspension and strong stopping power. I had a squad car following me for about five turns until he finally gave up and moved along, giving me a surprised glance as he passed by. I don’t think the officer was expecting to see a thirty-something behind the wheel of Caddy’s luxobarge.

035

But behind the wheel isn’t a bad place to be. In fact, it can be downright nice. The Luxury trim means a standard heating steering wheel, as well as heated and cooled seats. The wheel has electric telescoping and height adjustment, although I didn’t like the tilt of the wheel — felt too much like driving a school bus. The support from the seats is more than adequate, even for spirited driving. My 5-foot-9-inch, 170 pound frame fits well in every car, so I tossed the keys to two different colleagues this week to get their opinions.

First up was Michelle, a 5-foot-nothing, 95-pound former Pac-12 cheerleader in her early 30s, who borrowed the XTS to go shopping at the mall. “I didn’t think I’d really like it,” she told me after taking it for a spin. “But it’s actually a nice car. It’s faster than I need it to be, and the trunk was huge!”

030

Next was Mo, a 6-foot, 240-pound former Marine who daily drives an Impala. “It’s really nice to drive. I like how it handles, but I don’t think I’d want to drive something that big.” When I told him that it was essentially the same size as his Impala, he was surprised. “It feels and drives bigger than that.”

Both of them were correct. The XTS is a really nice car to drive, but it does feel surprisingly big on the roads. I couldn’t find a mirror position that I liked, and the blind spots were fairly massive on the driver’s side. The lack of a standard sunroof in a $50,000 car is bizarre and it makes the cabin feel dark and much smaller than it is. But the rear seat!

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Oh, the rear seat is glorious. It’s big enough to fit three adults comfortably, and will even warm their rumps as standard (one colleague remarked, “Warm asses aren’t just for adults anymore!”). There’s no road trip too long and no linebackers too big for this bench seat. One could happily throw a black hat to a friend and cruise in luxury in the back; only a bottle of Grey Poupon would be needed to make it perfect.

This Cadillac is a car stuck between generations. Intended to be a one-generation, large-car bridge to the CT6, it still seems to be the most Cadillac-ish car that GM offers for sale in 2016. Cadillac might want a younger demographic and a sportier image, but the XTS isn’t a bad car for what Cadillac’s image actually is. When the XTS dies by the 2019 model year, the over 20,000 annual XTS buyers (it outsold the CTS in 2015, as well as competitors from Audi and Lexus) might be stuck without a suitable replacement. Good luck convincing a lifelong Caddy man to buy a Buick. Where are they going to go? Acura? Audi? Hyundai? Lexus? Toyota? As long as there are bluehairs in Florida, there should be a big, front-wheel-drive Cadillac.

The XTS isn’t going to win many comparo tests with the new E-Class, nor is it going to give many journos cause to celebrate it. Doesn’t matter. The XTS fits a niche for GM, and it does it correctly. Sure, the price is steep, but the demographic that’s buying it wouldn’t want it to be any cheaper, lest it lose some of its panache at the club. Could it use a V-8? Sure. Does it need one? No, I don’t believe it does. The naturally-aspirated V6 provides 306 horsepower and 252 lbs-ft of torque, which is more oomph than any of this car’s target audience needs and more than most of its competitors.

As I said to kick this thing off, the XTS is a good car. It’s not great. It’s not terrible. And in this world of “Sucks or Rocks,” that doesn’t make for a much of a Hot Automotive Take that internet readers like so much. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist. So before I dropped it off, I took the XTS to the most XTS-ish place I could think of: the original “Dwarf House” Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Atlanta.

Atlanta is all about Low and Slow. Sure, there’s the exotic car scene up in Buckhead, but the city as a whole prefers the days of the Brougham. This XTS has much of that old, great Cadillac DNA. When I drove it up to the Dwarf House, I got more attention than I could have imagined. The patrons nodded their appreciation at the styling cues that differentiate the XTS from the LaCrosse — the fin-shaped taillights, the polished rims — and one or two asked if they could hop in the photo with the car. To them, this, and not the ATS-V or SRX, is a Cadillac.

I think they’re right.

Cadillac XTS

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163 Comments on “2016 Cadillac XTS Rental Review...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I would say the XTS is not what a Caddy should be now, but what it should have been about 20 years ago. If they’d been making cars as good as this one back then, then the brand would be in better shape today as a maker of sedans. Imagine if they’d been making something this good when the Lexus LS came out.

    But then again…given that it’s a glorified Impala, it’s everything a Cadillac should NOT be. Basing Cadillacs on far lesser cars is what destroyed the nameplate slowly.

    Still, I’d take a V-sport model.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      “given that it’s a glorified Impala”

      Technically, it’s a tarted-up Saab 9-5, and the Impala is a de-contented 9-5. The original 9-5 was the best-looking one of the bunch, but it left us way too soon. Would have made an awesome coupe.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        That’s the problem with Cadillac to me, is it a expensive Chevy or what? Now you tell me it’s a left over SAAB? I have no idea. For $50,000 plus I’ll go check out something that I can at least understand.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          The Saab was an expensive Chevy, or maybe an Opel. The first Epsilon was an Opel Vectra, and the first Epsilon II was an Opel Insignia/Buick Regal. Saab had maybe a little more to do with influencing this car than they did the Subaru Imprezza. The Saab 9-3 followed the Vectra it was based on by a year, and the 9-5 followed the Insignia it was based on by two years.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Spend extra and get the Platinum VSport. Then tune the Haldex AWD beast to 550+ lb-ft of torque! And yes, at 65 mph for the length of Pennsylvania it was seeing a two average of over 32 mpg.

      Too bad you didn’t a chance to enjoy the 12″ electronic screen that configures speedo, tacho…it is a delight and very informative.

      How is the electric steering? The VSport models have hydraulic, that combined with MRC shocks will tackle any road imperfection at mid-turn with no problems.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Bit of a shark jump for the elderly. And spending 70K+ on this.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          No one pays MSRP for a domestic, do they? At 42K miles used in 2+ years it was almost half priced. Best interior of any car maker for my money.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “Best interior of any car for my money.”

            I dunno, I could find you a VERY nice LS for what you spent. But you’d have to leave bias at the door, which I’m not sure is possible. :)

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          +1 to Corey.

          And look at what you get for $70,000 plus…you’re looking at the V8 powered Mercedes E Class and BMW 5-series, and either of those make the XTS look really silly by comparison.

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            Ok…

            I’ll take an XTS Platinum vSport all day long over an E400 or a 535i. I have no issue leaving my bias at the door and I’ll tell you, from experience, that the Cadillac has a better ride than both the E-Class and the BMW 5.

            There’s nothing exciting about any of those cars, be it the BMW 5, E-Class, Lexus ES or Caddy XTS. However, if I had to choose a daily driver, I’d buy the Cadillac.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The cheapest V8 Mercedes-Benz E-class is $102K+ now. Thanks Obama. The BMW 550i with nothing is $66,300. Want to option it up to Civic EX levels of luxury? That will probably cost as much as a Civic EX. OTOH, there is no need to spend that much money to get something I’d much prefer to an XTS.

            I’d like to say I have lots of first hand experience with an XTS, but I don’t. A friend bought or leased a new AWD XTS when they first came out, more than three years ago. I expected to drive it at least once, and to ride in it any number of times. The fact is, the only time I saw him driving it was when he first got it. It’s almost certainly been replaced by now, but for three years he was driving one of his Yukon Denalis every time I saw him. He never even mentioned it again.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            don’t pay attention to power ratings. Despite its turbo V8 levels of power, the Cadillac XTS Vsport really can’t be compared to the 550i or the old E550. It’s 0-60 times are consistent with the six cylinder and down 100ish hp 535i, A6 3.0T, XF 3.0, GS350, and E400 (all are 5.0-5.5 seconds). Those trims are more competitive since they start in the low to mid $50ks.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Hey Norm, maybe 3 people are going to buy a Cadillac XTS V-Sport & Trifecta/X-Files/Area 51 stage tune it along with bolting on a plasma-flow exhaust to it.

  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    “The lack of a standard sunroof in a $50,000 car is bizarre.” Bizarre when you’re 5’9″, a blessing when you’re over 6′. My first car had a moonroof. Used it once, hated the turbulence it caused when open, felt my hair brushing against it until I got rid of it.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I liked the DTS more.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I didn’t, but the DTS did have its charms – it rode VERY smoothly. The XTS has a far more modern feel to it, and the interior is far better.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I liked the overall look and spaciousness of the DTS, but the interior was unacceptable, and the Northstar a death sentence. I agree with FreedMike here.

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          Did you ever *own* a Northstar?

          I ask because it matters to valuing your opinion. Anytime you want an opinion based upon actual 60K mile ownership, feel free to ask me.

          Best damned motor I’ve ever owned. Smooth as glass, lovely flat torque curve and, in my experience, completely reliable to 90K-plus. For perspective, here’s a partial list thereof:

          (Dodge 440 Magnum, Ford 351W 4bbl, Mazda Rotary, Ford 302 4bbl, Nissan VQ, various other V6s, Triumph 2.0 inline 6, Kawasaki 750 2-stroke triple, Yamaha FJ1200, Triumph 900 triple, shall I go on?)

          • 0 avatar
            06V66speed

            The notorious Northstar… oh, the horrors!! Ahhh!!

            That made me lol.

            We had one of the early Northstars in my family’s stable. A ’94 SLS with the dreaded 4.6L 32V that we all seem too comfortable bashing its reliability.

            My folks had it from just under 60k to almost 130k. My old man ran the snot out of it, drag racing Mark Coupes and trying his dammest to keep up with Z28’s (bear in mind this was in the early 2000’s).

            They replaced a fuel pump and a transmission. And the motor held up just fine.

            So, maybe my story didn’t sway your opinion. That’s fine. Regardless, you’re welcome.

            #themoreyouknow

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            The irony of you, Archie, constantly up in my sh!t about Cadillac, when we agree on so much.

            The Northstar, especially of the redesigned 2006 and forward years, was a better motor in most ways than any current motor put in a Cadillac, and far more suited for a luxury car badge.

            The 2.0T is a joke, the 3.6 is anything but premium…

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      I’d add a black 06-11 DTS to my “Cars I Really Shouldn’t Own” collection alongside the Porsche 944 and XJS V12.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You need the Performance trim option, with black color-key grille. More evil.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          Hell yeah, I like the way you think.

          Though I might commit heresy and try to replace the Deathstar with the 3.6 V6. It’s not like it wouldn’t fit.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I would prefer if you keep your DTS as V8, and thus put in as many cylinders in an engine which will fit FWD and transversely, the last good Cadillac V8 – the 4.9.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            By that logic I should just buy a 90-93 Fleetwood.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            If that’s what suits you, go for it – and in that case I recommend the 93-only Sixty Special! It has intense dignity.

            http://www.gmphotostore.com/images/53216788_pr.jpg

            They ride much more softly than any DTS, so be fully awake when you slip behind the wheel.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    At least the speedo is given prominence over the effing tach. Now if it were only on the left-hand side of the gauge cluster…

    Otherwise this Caddy makes an compelling argument for the Impala. If you’re under 5-10″. And young. And aren’t used to seeing out of the sides or back of vehicles.

  • avatar
    319583076

    I got a ride from Reston to DCA (~30 mins) in one of these last Fall. It was a very pleasant trip and I was impressed with the car. I asked the driver for his opinion and he said he loved it. It’s a nice, comfortable car.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I don’t know if I’d blame CUE; CarPlay is still rather buggy in my experience. I have a CarPlay-supporting radio in my Ranger (Pioner 4100NEX) and I’ve had all sorts of freezes and hangs when using Carplay. It’s even crashed/rebooted the radio a few times.

    and yeah, I’m fed up with the constant “It’s either the best thing in the world EVAR or it’s the BIGGEST PIECE OF S**T which has ever existed!”

    this mentality has really infested the motorcycle world.

    • 0 avatar

      Which is why you’ll see a 7 second 0-60 time called “slow”, or in some comparison test of exotica, the loser almost sounds crappy, whem most of us would be happy to have the “loser” of the AMG-//M-Lexus F-Audi RS comparison.

      I have the predecessor V6 in my CTS. You don’t really miss a V8. The 300 or so HP are on a very straight horsepower curve so it spins without drama or duress…almost boring, there isn’t that aural “rip” you get, say from Ferrari or even a BMW six. Past that though (it is a caddy) its endless torque without drama. Exactly correct for the market and audience.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        This thing needs a light-pressure turbo to give it about 350lb-ft right off idle, rather than 250 at fairly high revs. And a styling makeover so it is less horribly proportioned. What a difference another foot of hood would make.

        I’ve had them as rentals too. Entirely adequate, perfectly nice, and not something I would EVER purchase. A loaded Impala still renders it pointless for FAR less money, despite the fancy shocks and better brakes. Nobody but a Baruth has ever driven one fast enough to need either of those things.

        • 0 avatar
          Wodehouse

          I love the “odd” proportions. Another foot of bonnet would turn it into another “me-too” design. Bleh! The belt-line angle and the short hood plus the long rear are just flat out interesting and different.

  • avatar
    pdieten

    What’s the story with the glovebox door?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      It’s electrically operated by a button on the dashboard.

      • 0 avatar
        pdieten

        That’s cool, if unnecessarily complex; the part I’m wondering about is why the right side of it is hanging a half inch open on two separate interior photos when the left side is closed tight.

        • 0 avatar

          I actually didn’t notice this at all, as I didn’t use the glovebox. Shame on me. I can’t tell if it’s actually open or if that’s some weird trim.

          The car only had 486 miles on it when I picked it up, so I didn’t really think to look for messed up things like that. My bad.

          • 0 avatar
            derekson

            It looks like something too big is in the glove box and the left side latched but not the ride side when someone crammed it shut.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Look at the panel fitment on the left side by that drawer (?) below/next to the steering wheel. Not good.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I just looked up a bunch of these on cars.com that are used and didn’t see any others with that issue. My guess is that someone prior to Bark messed it up. That does happen in the rental world.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    It is entirely possible to take pretty good Chevy, turn it into a Cadillac and sell a ton of them. They do this with every generation of the Escalade. But it takes more than some restyling and enhanced creature comforts to do this. (I’d argue that the differences between the Suburban/Tahoe and the Escalade are actually smaller than the differences between the Impala and the XTS.) It takes marketing and positioning and convincing the market that there’s something to like about the car. With the XTS, Caddy has done none of this. They almost seem ashamed to be selling it as it’s really just a stopgap car to them until a CT6 arrives. You can only get away with charging premium bucks for a dolled up Impala if you really believe in it. If you’re only halfway committed, you’re certainly not going to sell a ton of them.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Doesn’t the general abandonment by Caddy’s core demographic of sedans in general also impact this case?

      Who wants a damn low-roofed, vision-obstructed sedan for the same money as a really nice C/SUV?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Yep, the DTS was far too old to keep soldiering on, so they needed a replacement, and the XTS was it. They did a great job differentiating this from the LaCrosse (the current Impala wasn’t on the market when the XTS came out), but there’s only so much you can do with a family sedan platform when you’re charging this kind of money.

      Lincoln had the same problem with the MKS (glorified Taurus) and I believe that’ll continue with the Continental (glorified Fusion) – the Conni will sell quite a bit better on looks alone, and it’ll batter XTS sales into oblivion, but it’s not a game changer. Mechanicals and platforms don’t make a whole lot of difference in the large pickup / large SUV game, but they do with premium sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      They’re not ashamed enough with that pricing.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      In the case of the ‘Slade vs. the Tahoe, it mostly takes 100,000 fools with more money than brains.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I honestly feel like this is one of those cars where if you removed all the badges and drove people around in it and let them drive it they would say: “Nice car.” or “That was pleasant.” or “Faster than I expected.” But when you reveal it is a Cadillac those same people would say “Really?” (And not in a good way.)

    What I’m trying to say is there is much mental baggage being carried by trying to be GMs top of the line brand.

  • avatar
    whynot

    “Good luck convincing a lifelong Caddy man to buy a Buick. Where are they going to go? Acura? Audi? Hyundai? Lexus? Toyota? As long as there are bluehairs in Florida, there should be a big, front-wheel-drive Cadillac.”

    Enter Lincoln Continental…

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You’re right, the Conni will kill the XTS in the marketplace, but honestly…the market for huge American FWD luxobarges is limited. In 2015, it consisted of the XTS and the Lincoln MKS, and together that accounted for about 25,000 sales. The XTS never sold more than 35,000. And I’m sure that a large percentage of those sales for both cars were to fleets or commercial buyers like limo companies.

      If there was a large market for this type of car, then you’d see far more sales, particularly for the XTS, which is a much better car than the MKS. There was a far bigger market for this type of car 20 years ago.

      Worth noting the luxury market has also shifted from sedans to CUVs.

      The Conni is too good looking to fail, but it won’t conquer many buyers from similarly priced Mercedes / BMW / Audi / Lexus models. I’m no expert but I think Lincoln can expect maybe 30,000 or 35,000 annual sales with the Conni, which would make it a success, but not a runaway hit.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “Good luck convincing a lifelong Caddy man..”

      ..that’s it’s really time he gave up his keys.

    • 0 avatar
      Lichtronamo

      Just what I was thinking also. At least until the new platform arrives to underpin the Continental, Aviator and Explorer, which coincidentally should be right around 2019 when the XTS also goes out of production.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “right around 2019 when the XTS also goes out of production.”

        Gives me a hearty laugh. The model/platform won’t go out of production unless sales take a nose dive.

        • 0 avatar
          Lichtronamo

          I will amend that to be “…right around 2019 when the XTS is REPORTED to go out of production.” I would think the question is is part sales as to whether GM would invest in updating the car to the latest platform, but also the crazies in NYC ideas for what is a “proper” car for their luxury brand. There have already been rumors about whether the Impala getting another generation due to the decline in the full-size sedan market. The LaCrosse can be kept alive by China (and a Holden related product) even imported from there.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I get static and pushback from harcore GM loyalists always when mentioning it, but GM is incompetent still, with an absolutely incompetent executive structure, and Cadillac is the most bizarrely & poorly run division at GM, with a borderline con man now siphoning away a huge % of GM’s overall platform development budget to do market irrational things with at Cadillac.

            Cadillac has a failing product lineup, a massively failing marketing plan, a horrific strategy to court younger buyers, and is just schizophrenic in terms of what it wants to be and where it wants to go; it only survives now based on Escalade and SRX sales, yet is chasing the dragon illusion of being able to run with Mercedes, BMW and Audi (globally), when it can’t even carry Lexus water in the U.S. market.

            Lincoln is not setting the world on fire, yet they have a better chance at profitability than Cadillac as at least Ford earmarked approximately 1/12th the funds towards Lincoln as GM has towards Cadillac over the next 5 years.

            Cadillac should be split off from GM some say, but who’d want it? It’s a literal black hole.

            Others say Cadillac should be folded, but they have three successful to mildly successful products, being the Escalade, SRX/CT5 (presumably) and XTS, yet can’t seem to realize what sells vehicles (not ATS, CTS or ELR attributes).

            GM has not changed. They are the same incompetent automaker they were prior to bankruptcy.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Lichtronamo

            ” There have already been rumors about whether the Impala getting another generation due to the decline in the full-size sedan market.”

            Ford’s post MY09 so called full sizes basically sucked for a number of reasons not of all price, while GM’s are hobbled but better while also having price issues. Chryler’s in another area with LH, IMO so my thoughts apply more to GM and Ford. Nobody in their right mind wants one of these tweener sedans if they can have an 80s midsize which is what “full size” is these days. People “go up” from Cruze/Focus when the lease or buy payment is +/- $20/mo, I doubt many come in and say yes I MUST have that Fusion/Malibu/Regal at any price. Slightly bigger, I4, usually same features, still not spacious, still not much different than the smaller offerings. I see cars like the Fusion and Malibu, as they are, as being the answer to a question no one asked. If you want a normal sized car with a V6 they are pushing you into high price territory and people are looking at other options (CUV or Crew Cab) which incidentally play in the same price field. Price and poor product planning has helped bring about the demise of this segment.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            DW, BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus, have come so far down market in small cars and CUVs might throwing Buick in on Cadillac sales which has them in the lead in combined sales amongst this group. Figure that MB and BMW have twice the models for sale compared to Cadillac/Buick is impressive and right where the bean counters want them in product utilization.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Incompetency or not, GM Cadillac is raking in the dough.
            http://www.autoline.tv/journal/?p=41604

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            From video:

            -Cadillac sold 278K worldwide, and “nearly” 80K in China.

            -In USDM, average ATP is $52K, which suggests Cadillac generated $15B in revenue.

            -Cadillac posted a profit $1.1 billion if we assume $4K margin per sale.

            This is already wrong as it states ATP in USDM is 52K and yet claims an estimated revenue of 15B. 200,000 USDM units x $52,000 USDM = 10,400,000,000. They are using math of 278,000 units @ 52K, which is wrong because we don’t know the ATP for China sales, and it still only comes out to $14.45B, not 15. I’m all for rounding but this is rounding $500 million after presenting facts incorrectly.

            I’m not sure based on what logic we can “assume” a 4K per unit profit, but even at $1.1B profit per annum, GM is spending $12B on new Cadillac models by 2020 as of 2015. So… spending $2.4B annually over five years in R&D while only profiting 1.1B? What could go wrong!

            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-12/gm-to-splurge-12-billion-to-fund-new-cadillac-models-by-2020

            I’m also leery of a $52K ATP figure since so many of the Alpha models were being sold for peanuts or generated losses on leases, and in 2014 they made about about 60K units in USDM sales, or over 25%. I realize they said US, but maybe if China is highly profitable on its models and its ATP pricing is factored in? They’ve already co-mingled China statistics in revenue figures, why not ATP?

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Did post your question to the source? John McElroy and gang would love to hear from you and it only requires an email address to post.

            They do tend pump things up a bit as they are larger than life!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I listened to the “source” and demonstrate how it contracts itself in revenue figures and is therefore suspect.

            [insert comment on Norm’s mileage claims being suspect here]

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    I’d have real trouble passing up a loaded 300 C with open-pore wood trim for an XTS. The 20″ rims on the Epsilon Impala in the family really wreck the ride on winter roads, however. These cars need some sidewall to shine.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I think the 300 is a better car than the XTS (I also think the Charger is better than the Impala).

      However, the FCA-quality Russian Roulette wheel has more bullets in the chamber than the one you’ll deal with from GM.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I think about the 300’s quality every time I’m outdoors by a road and hear one go over a speed bump or sewer grate.

        CLONK CLONK

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          I don’t think that I’ve ever noticed a 300 clonking as it went by.

          Must have been drowned out by the squealing brake indicators, the creaking bushings or the rap music.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        “However, the FCA-quality Russian Roulette wheel has more bullets in the chamber than the one you’ll deal with from GM.”

        Precisely. I’ve rented (and liked) the 300 and I think the current 300S is the best-looking 300 they’ve built, but I’m not willing to gamble five figures on an FCA product.

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      You know what I’d have a hard time passing up? A hard-loaded Hyundai Genesis. RWD (or AWD if you want it), available V8, impressive tech, long warranty, etc. And you know what? From a branding perspective, I can’t really say that I think a Cadillac is better than a Hyundai, which says something about how one or both of those brands have changed over the years…

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Cadillac should keep this in it’s lineup, even if they have to rename it (CT5). People in the snowbelt need a FWD car. Not everyone there wants to pay extra for AWD. Especially on the upcoming CT6, which will have an even higher price tag.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Surprise!

    I have no real outsized hatred for this vehicle.

    At least it rides comfortably & quietly, has ample – even surplus -room for both front and rear passengers, and a large trunk, and isn’t a Cadillac that’s crippled with a base 4 banger motor.

    Also, these will probably be blown out for around 10k to 16k off sticker (depending on trim) when the CT6 (with its laughable base 4 cylinder motor & massive early adopter GM quality control/reliability issues) shows up on Clack-I-lack dealer lots.

    It still must be said that Cadillac needs to kill that gauge cluster with molten lava & that this car really isn’t much different than an Impala, but even with that said, and QUITE SADLY, IS WAY MORE OF A CADILLAC THAN THE GENETICALLY CHALLENGED ATS OR THE OVER-PRICED, ME-GERMAN-LIKE-JUST-LIKE-BMW-GRRRRRR-CTS.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The leather work on the steering wheel looks like crap. So do the gauges.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Atrocious leather fit/finish is a Cadillac/GM hallmark that even many fanboys on GM Inside News acknowledge –

      Check out post #141, post #151 and the following ones with pictures of horrendous leather seats stitching/assembly in a new CTS *AND* compare to the MB E Class someone posted in post #163:

      http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f15/de-nysschen-cadillac-will-develop-entry-level-sedan-192753/index10.html

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again! The XTS is too expensive. For this money or a little less (and consider this is a base XTS), you can have one of the following:

    GS350
    GS350 AWD

    Or if you want something really long.

    Q70L 3.7
    Q70L 3.7 AWD

    And I guarantee you both of those are better made than this. And have more power. And are RWD/AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      My wife is interested in the Q50. Went to the Infiniti dealer and really liked the Q70L.

      I know these thing are subjective and the heart wants what the heart wants but I don’t know how anyone could choose the XTS over the Q70.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You’re thinking about it wrong! The people who choose the XTS are in a specific vacuum, and are not subject to the rationale and outside forces of an open market.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          Don’t Bark at that nice man!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Haha, oh very clever.

          • 0 avatar

            Ol’ Pete has never much cared for anything written by a Baruth. I tend not to lose sleep over it.

            And, btw, sales numbers don’t lie. The XTS tripled the Q70’s sales volume last year. However, the GS did outsell the XTS in 2015—by a whopping 5 units. So maybe you’ve got me there.

            Sometimes reality reflects what you want it to reflect, and sometimes it doesn’t.

            EDIT: link to sales figures

            http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2016/01/usa-vehicle-sales-by-model-2015-calendar-year-december.html?m=1

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            True, Bark, but the Lexus GS and Infinity Q-whatever are poor sellers in this segment and have been for a long time.

            Look at the numbers for the Mercedes E class and BMW 5-series. At $55,000 – $70,000 that’s what this XTS competes with. And as nice as the XTS is – and it is nice – there’s no comparison when you drive them.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Did you drive both the XTS and Q70? I can see how they would drive radically differently, but aesthetically, the Infiniti is an odd bird – some nice touches and design, but some very odd choices mixed in as well.

        The XTS has the weird warning lights on the LCD dash and the awful CUE as well.

        Not sure either of these would be a top choice design wise, but as you say, we all have different ideas of what’s best for us.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      And Corey has just given us an excellent analysis on why this car doesn’t sell!

      It’s not bad, but the competition at this price point ($50-60,000) is far better. For that kind of money, you’re looking at those Infinitis, plus the lower priced Mercedes E-class and BMW 5-series models. Drive the Benz or the BMW, and the Caddy will feel stupid by comparison.

      That leaves the “big American car” loyalists, and they’re being Grim Reaped out of the market.

  • avatar
    david42

    Bark, the real question is: for the money, would you buy it? As Nick pointed out, the Chrysler 300 seems like a tough competitor.

    • 0 avatar

      I think the actual question is “Would you recommend it to its target audience?” The answer is, unequivocally, yes.

      People who think that the GS or the Q-whatever are competing with this car are completely missing the boat.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        That’d be me!

        Fine, it’s a FWD answer to a question very few are asking. And those people are loyal to Cadillac, and don’t want anything to do with an Avalon or an MKS/Z or a loaded Accord. And they want something harder to get into than an MKX or CRV!

        It just pains me to fathom people so loyal to an “idea” that they don’t dispassionately evaluate alternatives.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Is an Elantra or a Morgan a “good” car given its “intended audience?”

        You should be able to give an opinion as to whether this is or isn’t a better car than a Lexus GS or Infiniti Q50 without having to reference the “intended audience,” no?

        • 0 avatar

          It’s not better or worse, IMHO. It’s different. Not everything has to be ranked/rated, especially against vehicles with which it doesn’t compete. Like, at all.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Side note; I meant Q70 (not Q50) & GS.

            But to reiterate, and to re-emphasize, in case I’m a poor wordsmith today, regardless as to whom a vehicle is targeted towards, I don’t understand why one can’t form an opinion about whether a particular vehicle is better or worse than another one.

            It’s pretty clear that this XTS is a worse large luxury sedan by almost any measure than a Lexus LS460, Mercedes S Class or Audi A8, among other vehicles, yet even I don’t think this is a fair comparison given that one could probably easily snag a fairly equipped XTS for well under $50,000 in terms of real world pricing, while the others mentioned will start near $70,000 and progress to upwards of $100,000.

            Also, if one defines the “target audience” of a vehicle as 70+ year olds who were loyal domestic vehicle buyers their entire lives, this is far more likely to placate them and their relatively lower expectations than other vehicles, particularly from the likes of Lexus, Mercedes and BMW.

            I really don’t think that I’m being pedantic or arbitrary in reiterating my initial point here.

          • 0 avatar

            I knew what you meant, and I think your confusion between the two only highlights your buddy Johan’s marketing, er, genius.

            In this case, I think the XTS is unique in that there’s literally nothing else like it on the market. I think the Avalon/ES350 and Azera are as close as you’ll get, and neither of those are true competitors in the real world.

            I find it difficult to evaluate cars objectively as being “better” or “worse.” Is the XTS a better car than a Fiesta ST? I’d likely say no, despite its obvious number of features that would seem to make it so.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I’m comparing it to its alleged intended competitors (if only by size and place in Cadillac’s lineup, Nd if then, by default).

            Broadening your comparison & contrast example of this and a Fiesta ST takes this into a strange place.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        You can count me as pretty sure I’m missing the boat. I see that while the XTS is a direct competitor to the A6 and GS when looking at MSRP / invoice the XTS is about 15k cheaper in average price paid. Is that the boat, or is it more “my brand or walk” stuff?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      New, for $55,000? No way. I’d be in a Chrysler 300 hemi in no time for 10 grand less.

      But…used, these become VERY attractively priced. In my market, looks like mid-$30,000 range for one with 25,000 miles, CPO. If I could swing that, I’d be a potential buyer. Same for the MKS.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I think I’d choose the XTS over the MKS, I will say. The waste of space within the MKS is just so bad, and I have never been much on the interior materials in there.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Ecoboost MKS is a bargain, tho, plus it’s a darn nice performer with the twin turbos and AWD. These are MUCH cheaper than the V-sport XTS that you’ll find used.

          Check this one out:

          http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/651684393/overview/

          Let’s see…$35,000 for a Camry V6 or this?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            See but I’ve still spent $35k and ended up with an MKS. That’s not winning.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Yeah, but wait until you see Matthew McConaughey drives one on the way to a poker game. Instant cool…right?

            I think of the MKS as a sleeper. Styling is not great, but it’s got lots of power, and the suspension is surprisingly well sorted out. Plus it’s got lots of luxe-toys.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          If the comparison tool I used wasn’t completely out to lunch, you can get the XTS new for that and only be scoring an average deal.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          New XTS over the MKS is about $10,000 new.
          http://www.truedelta.com/Cadillac-XTS/car-reviews-M115

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’m getting more like $13,000 cheaper when you option the two similarly. The V-sport platinum stickers out a little less than 75 grand, which is ridiculous for that car.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            I said about $10K, but you are correct. If $3,000 maters that much, this is not your segment.

            If you find a similar priced German, buy it. Just tack on the above figure for a warranty.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            If you buy a new Benz or BMW on a 3 yr lease you don’t need a warranty, though.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            This segment is all about the lease. If you aren’t leasing, then buy used. The MKS and XTS are both good values used and terrible values new.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I don’t wanna lock horns with FoMoCo executive brass and all, but I will go Zephyr over MKS and Lacrosse over XTS.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’d choose Zephyr over MKS as well. There may be a point that MKS has such a drop in price that I pick it over the MKZephyr. I assume that once Conti production is up and running, MKSs will be cheeeeeeaaaaaaaaap.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I wanna say there was a $5K price premium on the block in favor of MKS between it and Zephyr as of a few months ago. My think is MKS is not Panther when buying it off of grandma, its the D186 Conti with even more stupid built in than its predecessor. I feel like with Zephyr you’re on a more common platform and replacement parts (be it dealer parts or out of a junkyard) are going to be more plentiful.

      • 0 avatar
        jefmad

        In that same used market you can buy a 2 year old 25,000 mile E class for the same money. Makes even the used sale a hard to win battle for this car.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Didn’t know those were so cheap.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            just did a search of Mercedes CPO offerings. Within 500 miles of me, found a 2015 E400 for $49k and 6 2013 E550s for between $37k and $49k. You’ll have 4 years (plus option of up to 2 more) of unlimited mileage warranty on the E400 and 2 years of (with option of up to 2 more) unlimited mileage warranty on the E550s.

            For comparison sake, I also did a look at Carmax’s offerings. I looked for A8s, 7 series, XJs, S classes, and LS’s under $50k and 50k miles and features you’d expect (leather seats, nav system, etc). Keep in mind you should be able to get 6 years and up to 120k miles of warranty from Carmax, meaning any of these cars could, at 12k miles/year, be covered for pretty much the entire time length of the warranty. I’ve got 116 cars in the national inventory starting at $27k for a 2008 LS460 with 49k miles. I’ve got 23 7 series, 18 A8s, 16 S classes (including on S63!!!!), 23 LS’s, and 36 XJ’s.

            I don’t know if I can share the search here but try this link if you want to browse:

            http://www.carmax.com/search?aAS=D*11*MAAFAQ*24*.*10*E*10*BAAAAE*23*gAAg*38*gACBAAAAIAAAAI*26*I*9*B*13*IAAB*144*CAE*45*&D=90&AZ=32822&sM=NA-50000&sP=NA-50000&pD=0&pI=0&pT=400&pC=200&pB=0&No=0&Ep=mykmx:save%20search:page&Rp=P&PP=50&sV=List&Us=14&ssid=2301226

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            $37k for an MY13 E-klasse with maybe a 3 year warranty?

            Nah, trouble waiting to happen.

            While it varies the issue with Carmax is you’re paying a huge price premium on some product and the warranty is then extra. Your total cost all in might be $10K between the non-negotiable price premium and the warranty. I’d rather hold back the $10K and buy non Carmax or CPO elsewhere than be forced to spend it and maybe never need the warranty.

            “$27k for a 2008 LS460 with 49k miles”

            The sensible buy in the segment, although even this example illustrates my point as shown below. So it will vary slightly but here is an 3-8K price premium (I’m leaning somewhere in between at say 5K) for something clean and then the warranty if you so choose (so 7 or more). I think with a clean LS you can skip the warranty and pocket the 2K difference, but if this was say something German? Now you’re in it too much right off the bat. If you could get it from Carmax with a minimal price premium, warranty, and then ding them for thousands in deferred maint its a maybe. Warranty companies though have a funny way of not paying for things so read your fine print.

            MY08 Lexus LS460 SWB

            1/08/16 ATLANTA Regular $19,000 49,255 Avg BLACK 8G A Yes
            01/13/16 STATESVL Regular $22,045 50,642 Above Silver NON N Yes
            01/14/16 CALIFORN Regular $24,000 54,118 Above WHITE 8G A Yes
            01/20/16 DALLAS Regular $23,000 54,968 Above WHITE 8G A Yes
            01/20/16 STATESVL Regular $22,500 56,256 Above WHITE 8G A Yes
            01/12/16 ARENA IL Regular $19,800 60,749 Avg BLUE 8G A Yes
            01/19/16 HOUSTON Regular $20,000 60,940 Avg WHITE Yes
            01/19/16 STATESVL Regular $22,200 70,343 Above WHITE 8G A Yes

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @28 cars later – I don’t necessarily disagree. I’d be less likely to buy the Lexus from Carmax as I have great confidence in its reliability. That being said, I don’t like the idea of having a payment on a car without a warranty, so I might still consider that peace of mind worth it. I partially included carmax because they are an easy way to get a market survey of near CPO quality used vehicles. I think the Europeans are still worth the premium though because of the size of the damage they can do. I had a friend with a CPO Volvo S80 and the car ended up costing Volvo $20k in repairs over the life of the CPO warranty. Before that he bought a used S70 from a local Volvo shop for $7k who put foolishly put a one year warranty on that car. Within that first year he did racked up more than the value of the car in warranty repairs. The shop says they’re never selling him a car again. I’ve known of S classes and 7 series that easily rack up 5 figure repair over a couple years of ownership. When you think of those kinds of numbers, even a total of a $10k premium for a Carmax car with warranty seems like a worthwhile bet. We kept waiting for Volvo to say “fuck it” and just try to buy the S80 back but they never did. My parents bought a BMW from carmax and easily exceeded the warranty costs when the convertible top failed. That’s not including all the other repairs carmax did. I’m sure you’re familiar with Doug Demuro’s Range Rover adventures.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I was working line service at an FBO when these started replacing the DTS’s in the rental fleets. I remember the first time I got in one to move it. I started it and wanted to either cry or get sick. The Northstar in the DTS made a wonderful authoritative noise when you started it up. It didn’t get any better once we started moving. I’m a fan of sixes in other applications, but the GM 3.6 just doesn’t seem to have the NVH characteristics for a car like this. I’m also not sure about the performance. I know it’s fast once you wind it out. However, other reviewers have commented that the 3.6 is a bit peaky, and this pairs poorly with the XTS’s heavy weight and allegedly tall gearing. Not the sort of lazy effortless low end grunt one expects in a luxo barge. I did enjoy that in my Mom’s Lincoln Town Car. If not a V8, then assuming they know how to keep the lag under control, maybe a detuned version of the upcoming 3.0 TT V6 would be a better fit power wise? Can still be 300 hp but get the torque up over 300 lb-ft. I’m guessing the old LS4 5.3 from the Lacrosse Super isn’t an option lol. Solves the noise and torque problems (but not sure its smooth enough for a 50k luxo car). If the Vette can get an LT1 to nearly 30 mpg highway, I would like to think they could get a 5.3 with cylinder deactivation to at least equal the 3.6’s 28 mpg rating.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The Northstar had a beautifully aggressive growl when revved down low that somehow elevated the DTS beyond its raw HP/torque numbers (though, those weren’t necessarily bad at the time).

      The DTS (especially Platinum & Performance with the magnetic shocks) also had great ride quality (better for luxury buyers than many more expensive, European sedans), and tons of interior/cargo space.

      Even the DTSs gauges from 2006 forward were better looking than these new ones like in this XTS (awful & inexcusable).

      But GM had to put the GM-ubiquitous 3.6 liter in the XTS given the timing of its development and GM’s financial condition at that time, and the 3.6 is not a bad motor even if its lackluster at best by “luxury, large sedan” standards.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        My only complaint on the DTS was the horrible interior build quality. I noticed that on a lot of DTS’s (and Lucernes), the gated gear selector felt cheap and flimsy. I do think the XTS’s interior is an improvement. exterior isn’t bad but definitely doesn’t have the stateliness of the DTS. That lusty Northstar rumble was the DTS’s trump card, though. I always loved moving and cleaning them for customers just so I could hear that engine. Even just starting the car felt like an event. You knew you had a serious motor upfront. Too bad they couldn’t keep it around and come up with a 5.0+L variant to counter Mercedes, Jag, Infiniti, Lexus, and Hyundai’s big V8s.

        What I do find an amusing historic anecdate is the 4.4L Supercharged Northstar. That engine’s displacement, power and torque, and use of forced induction are right on point with what is now the standard in luxury car V8s. If you were to copy and paste them in with the modern engines you’d never realize we’re talking about a 10 year old design. Almost like Cadillac was ahead of its time there (although the Audi RS6 4.2 ttv8 also fits this). Will be curious to see the numbers on the XT6’s upcoming 4.0 TT V8.

        I do agree that the 3.6 isn’t a bad motor, just not up to the refinement standards of a luxury $50k car (although I guess it’s better than the I-4s now being pushed into those cars). It’s slight gruffness doesn’t bother me as much in a sportier car like the ATS. Oddly though, it almost seems quieter and more refined in other Chevies and Buicks than it does in Cadillacs.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      tjh,
      If you’re complaint is that the XTS has insufficient power, you may prefer the V-sport with a twin turbo 3.6 with 410 hp/369 lb-ft. It’s just not something you are likely to find at National car rental.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I don’t know, I once found a Hemi powered Challenger there.

        That kind of thing is the rental car jackpot.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @Vogo – It’s not so much insufficient power, but insufficient low end torque. I’d gladly swap the hp and torque numbers (250 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque), especially if that was at a lower rpms. As rough and unrefined as it was, the old supercharged 3800 series had the sort of power delivery you expect in a car like this as did the Ford 4.6 and Northstar. all were 280-300 lb-ft max torques peaking at 4400 rpm (DTS Northstar) or less. Hence my thoughts on either a 5.3 V8 or a 3.0TT V6. The XTS-V is more than necessary.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Yeah, but at $65,000?

          I’m in a Mercedes or BMW for that kind of money. The CT6 may make a more credible case at that kind of price point but the XTS simply doesn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @Freeedmike – I agree that at a 250 hp 300 lbft engine is not sufficient for $65k and the XTS-V’s numbers make more sense there. I was referring to how to improve the standard XTS powertrain to match expectations at its $50k price point. I’d also agree that the XTS-V makes little sense even at it’s price point. A Chrysler 300 offers a better driving experience, similar acceleration, a delightful interior, and a V8 for $25k less. At $65-75k, I can get a well optioned 535i or E350 that is as quick as the Caddie and probably far nicer to drive. Still, were it my $, I’d buy the Chrysler. a $40k V8 300 and checking the box for the optional $25K Porsche with Carmax warranty is more my style.

  • avatar
    dwford

    It’s time to update our perception of old timers. We tend to think of them as the WWII generation driving Town Cars and Fleetwoods. Those old timers are very nearly gone. Old timers are now the baby boomers. Think about it, if you were in your 20’s at Woodstock, you’re in your late 60’s pushing 70. These people grew up driving Beetles etc. Are they now trying to find land yachts to drive?

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      This. We grew up accustomed to “classic” Cadillacs being mocked as examples of everything stupid, excessive and garish in post WWII America.

      “Chickens driving Cadillacs to Washington, D.C.”

    • 0 avatar
      nels0300

      They also drove Chevelles and Cutlasses and later Tauruses and Camrys. At least my baby boomer Dad did.

      He gave up on GM a long time ago, so he wouldn’t be on his radar, but why WOULDN’T he like this car?

      He loved his Camrys and likes Avalons too. This is basically a really nice, bigger, Camry/Avalon. FWD, cushy ride, big.

      Living in Minnesota, and not driving in a manner in which he’d appreciate RWD, this car makes WAY more sense for my Dad, and most of the other baby boomers out there driving RWD or AWD Bimmers, Lexus’s and Infinitis.

      The parents neighbors just bought an Lexus IS250. They’re grandparents and baby boomers. They are not enthusiasts, they bought it because it’s a cheap Lexus, nevermind that it’s small, slow, and rides like crap.

      This XTS should be more popular than it will be.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        You don’t get how aversive we find glitz, which is a synonym for Cadillac.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          I don’t know enough boomers to have a meaningful opinion on what kind of cars they like but I know what I see on the roads in the expensive suburbs here and the sales figures back it up. Land Rover just had their best sales year in the US, ever. Ditto Audi. Ditto Benz. Ditto BMW. Glitz sells when anyone except Cadillac does it and the more the better.

          The only suitable synonym for that brand is failure.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “Think about it, if you were in your 20’s at Woodstock, you’re in your late 60’s pushing 70. These people grew up driving Beetles etc. Are they now trying to find land yachts to drive?”

      Nope, and that’s why this and the Lincoln MKS don’t sell. That’s why the new Continental won’t be a huge hit either – it’ll outsell the MKS for sure, but I don’t see it moving in huge volumes.

      I would think the Lexus RX has replaced luxobarges for the boomer chariot of choice. I see TONS of boomer-age folks around here driving them.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Interesting to read a review of this car that doesn’t dismiss it out of hand for being V6 FWD. I’m not qualified to wade into the lively discussion of the superiority of RWD V8 in a luxury car targeted at people who tend to hit 55mph by the end of the entrance ramp, but I’m wondering if buyers know or care about the difference. Same question applies to whether they know or care that it is a “tarted up Impala”.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The V8 still has a halo around it in American-branded vehicles even if its output never really gets used.

      RWD doesn’t seem to matter.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        The running gag for many years in the print rags was that GM took one of its sweetest sounding most eager to rev V8s (Northstar) and gave it to the customer base least likely to rev the engine and enjoy that melodious exhaust note.

  • avatar
    ccc555

    in the NYC area too many of these wind up as livery cars. When they came out I was mildly interested (a then 40 yr old in 2013 who commutes daily, needs a backseat for kids and much prefers comfort over sport in a car) but when they started to become the new Town Car before I was ready to buy, it gave me pause. I had a 2012 Lacrosse off the 2 year lease program (tried it out, figured only 24 months and it was okay) so I did go to the local dealer to look at the XTS. However, the caddy dealer near me is basically the stereotype you would expect of a caddy dealer and didn’t really seem interested in my business (even though I rolled up in a pearl white Lacrosse AWD they probably thought I was just a kid and not a 75 year old at heart). So I got an E350 and called it a day. I know they aren’t in vogue on this site, but the MB E350 has been my all-time favorite ride even with its biggest fault being the inexplicable lack of power folding side-view mirrors.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    Test drove one new and one used XTS couple of months back.
    Having owned a 95 fleetwood and 01 deville, test drive of the XTS was a let down. It rode like a camry, thumping over road imperfections. Not a fan of piano black plastics either.

    Cadillacs intrigue me as used lux cars that won’t break the bank on price of entry, like a lexus. Sure the maintenance is expensive (this one doesn’t have a northstar but mrc replacement won’t be cheap) but nothing compared to Germans. Having two kids in private school means that new car payment is not an option. Maybe a used acura RLX or whatever the heck they call i now is in my future.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Lex LS if you want to spend (some) money, CD3 Lincoln Zephyr if not. Unless you want to start gambling on a later G-body Deville (say 05+).

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Your subversive redesign has not gone unnoticed by the Council of Avatar.

        I’ve always heard 06+ was when they “fixed” the N*, yeah?

        • 0 avatar
          GS 455

          04+ Northstars got longer head bolts with coarser threads that took care of the issue.

          • 0 avatar
            01 Deville

            True that they fixed headgaskets, but N* is a huge transverse mounted v8 that makes it really hard to do anything.
            For example, my Deville burned oil like they all do, and I once forgot to put the oil cap back on with the oil sprayed all over the hood. Neatly absorbed in the foam hoodliner that kept dripping until it took out the alternator. You have to take the radiator out to replace the alternator and it is a 4 hour job.
            The starter is buried in the V, and the wire going to starter will go bad overtime giving intermittent no start.

            These and many other of these problems are a distant memory as I miss hitting 80 in second gear.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “You have to take the radiator out to replace the alternator and it is a 4 hour job.”

            Such fail.

            “The starter is buried in the V, and the wire going to starter will go bad overtime giving intermittent no start.”

            I wonder if the water pump is also buried in there? ;)

            Northstar was, AFAIK, the first GM motor designed from the ground up to be disposable. Just a few key components were designed for replacement and it looks like even those are a PITA to service.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I defy the will of the council.

          Supposedly.

  • avatar
    kenwood

    I kind of like these things and agree that these are great used car buys. I enjoy having different vehicles for different purposes and one of my chief purposes is just slogging my carcass to and from work and tooling down the highway on long trips. In that respect, I agree with the other poster who said that he prefers luxury over sport. I have a DTS for this purpose right now and I’ve started noticing two year old CPO XTSs on the used market at about 40-45% off the original sticker. I like the idea of the V Sport with AWD, but not crazy about a twin turbo GM engine – does anyone feel these will be good, reliable engines?

    I’ve sat and played with the CUE for several minutes and it seemed fine to me. Not sure what everyone is so disappointed with on it. I like the XTS interior better than on my DTS (I’d get a Platinum or the Premium with Kona leather) and I’d like having the HUD, the configurable gauge screen, folding rear seats, and the huge pano-roof but I’d miss the N* growl, the softer ride, and the larger trunk opening.

  • avatar
    Edsel Maserati

    A lot of Boomers grew up driving their folks’ big sedan, and still like ’em. The luxe-barge of choice these days remains the SUV, even though some of us (me) can’t stand them.

    I’d want to know more about projected reliability. By now I’m officially wary of putting my money into an expensive German car anymore. When I watch sheets of tears fall off my neighbor’s face as he explains his Audi’s service need, yes, I am impressed. The wrong way.

    So the XTS is a “tarted-up Impala”? What is the Lexus ES 350 but a tarted-up Avalon? I do believe the ES is lss expensive, although it might be a draw after the Cadillac guy discounts his car and the Lexus dealer finishes adding the ol’ Trucoat and “custom floor mats” for an aggravating upcharge.

    Another quality rival is the Hyundai Genesis. Low 40s for the 3.8 (AWD optional) and low 50s for the hefty V8. Having driven that, and knowing how reliable they are, that might be leader in the clubhouse when I get my personal luxe-barge. The last CTS I drove was the Vsport and while it handled beautifully it also had a pretty rough ride over the shabbier back roads.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The difference between the ES (fancy Avalon) and the XTS (fancy Impala) or Acura RL (fancy Accord) is that the ES is priced where it should be. Both the XTS and RL are very worthy ES competitors… but priced five figures higher.

  • avatar

    The generation that still equates CADILLAC” and “LINCOLN” with “LUXURY” rather than buying a BMW or Mercedes wants something completely different out of their Cadillac than the enthusiasts and “professional car reviewer”
    They want BIG SHINY CADDY THAT GOES REAL FAST.

    The pillow-like seats, cushy/floaty ride and interior space sell this car.
    I lead one for my Uber and made a vid review of it.

    I’m currently considering trade in my mother’s loaded 2009STS AWD for a RED PASSION XTS AWD with the same equipment.

    The CTS 2.0-L uses premium fuel. The XTS 3.6-L doesn’t.

    The CTS 2.0-L with the same equipment as the XTS costs MORE.

    The XTS offers more rear legroom and headroom.

    Either the CTS or XTS is a massive improvement over her STS, but the reason she still loves the Crystal Red STS is because it’s very unique on the road. Virtually no one else here in NYC has one. (there are a few older ones spotted every now and then).

    I wanted to hold out for the CT6.

    The Hyundai Genesis V6 AWD is an easy competitor for both the XTS and MKS…offering more for the money than the ATS and CTS. But the problem is that badge name. The only people buying a Genesis either love Hyundai already or know nothing about cars. Or – at least not enough to be a badgewhore.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    The rear drive STS hit my spots just right – and I am their demographic. The ATS and CTS are just this much off to my eye and butt. I haven’t had a Cadillac on my radar since 2008, but I am open to an early 90’s Fleetwood. My recent ride with the district manager in his XTS was nice, but at the numbers he quoted, neither his golf game or his car are going to see my money in the near term. They both need to lower their handicap.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    All things considered, the XTS is still better-looking than the new Lincoln Continental and the Lexus ES350. I hope they’ll leave it in production for a while longer, until it is completely eclipsed by the CT6.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    So the first reviews of the CT6 are out and the cup runneth over with great praise for the car. Everyone that is driving one seems to love it. With a 3.6 CT6 starting at $56k, it would seem this car doesn’t have much of a market to play in. Based on the reviews, it almost sounds as though a CT6 2.0t might even be a better buy than this with a 3.6, 4 cylinder be damned.

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      Give it a year or two.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Mark,
        Are there any strings you could pull to get Deadweight into a CT6 so he could review it for us? With all due respect to Alex, Jack et al, DW is the right man for the job.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I’d like to see such a thing but as a caveat the finished product must be comprehensive and contain not a drip of fresh instant hate (just like mom used to make!).

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      If I were to review the CT6, I’d be completely objective AND exhaustive, but Johann had better pray to whichever deity he chose/was assigned that GM/Cadillac engineers exercised traditional GM demons, because “The Truth About The Cadillac CT6, Raw & Uncensored” will rain down on both true believers and skeptics, alike.

      And I’d have great fun putting the car on a hydraulic lift and having actual engineers that I know help me evaluate the “exotic materials-composites sandwich” that Johann has boasted will form a significant portion of the CT6s unit body construction and/or chassis.

      I only need complete unfettered access to the vehicle for 1 week to 2 weeks, and a pre-paid VISA card in the amount of $150 to $300 ($150 for 1 week, $300 for 2 weeks) for gasoline purchases.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Wow.

        I just read 3 reviews of the new CT6 in the glossy, Tony Swan’esque car rags, all brimming with effusive praise for even the 4 cylinder, 265 horsepower “full size” CT6 “Flagship.”

        They didn’t talk about ride quality, fit & finish, or other such things though, sticking to GM bulletin points about “exotic adhesive/composite bonding” and “Bose Panaray” 3,241 speakers sound system.

        I’m looking forward to both the 4 page pull out and pop up ads for the CT6 in those same magazines the next time I need an alignment, and seeing the first production crop of these CT6s break in half in the middle of their drivetrains around the 45,000 mile mark.

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          Ah, the irony.

          You’re right, all initial reviews in these rags sound the same. But, then again, so do your hyperbolic negative comments. I, frankly, don’t see a lot of difference from an information-value perspective.

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          @Deadweight-

          Jalopnik’s review basically covered the things you mentioned.

          http://jalopnik.com/the-2016-cadillac-ct6-makes-american-luxury-relevant-ag-1754754770

          “Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen warned us the CT6s we were testing were pre-production prototypes with fit-and-finish that may not be up to snuff. That guy’s nuts, because all the CT6s I drove in LA had impeccable interior quality—the best I’ve seen from Cadillac so far. Stitching, materials, comfort, tech, all of it was top notch. It is the height of opulessence.”

          “Like I said earlier, this is more luxury sedan than sport sedan. Its ride is smooth and impeccable. It’s quiet enough to completely drown out the noise of tires and traffic and the general sense that the world around you is rapidly going to shit, which is what a luxury car should do.

          Yet it lacks what I thought would be light, floaty, Lexus ES-style steering; instead the electric rack is tight, precise and has a good weight to it. Body roll is far less than expected. Since this car had to have been built with Chinese tech oligarchs who will never see the front seats in mind, it’s a surprisingly good driver’s car too. Jason’s grandpa’s Caddies were never this good at cornering.

          Now, the CT6 is a long sedan, and not a true canyon-carver, but it’s surprisingly nimble; it drives like a smaller car. Two reasons for this: one, the low weight, and two, the all-wheel drive equipped with the four-wheel steering system called Active Rear Steering. That meant the back wheels got involved with turning and direction changes too. Turn it to sport mode, and up to 80 percent of torque goes to the rear wheels. It’s a clever setup that vastly trumps the base rear-drive, non-four-wheel steering models.”

          “I didn’t get to try the NA V6, but I found the turbo four a bit wanting. And thrashy. And unpleasant to listen to. This is a damn luxury sedan and you’re an American, don’t go with the base engine.

          Evidently, those pre-production gremlins Johan mentioned crept into the gearbox, or the transmission is in need of tuning. It’s a GM unit, still not as quick or smooth as the ZF8 you find on everything else, and at times it felt harsh and had trouble finding the right gear. On the four-cylinder car, I got some weird rev-hanging in sport mode. I’ll give the car the benefit of the doubt and assume this will be smoothed out by the time it goes on sale, but it was no Standard of the World.”

          “Did I like the CT6? Yes, very much. It’s stylish, high-tech, comfortable, pleasing to drive, and forward-thinking on Cadillac’s part. Will it sell?

          That’s a tougher call to make. Divorcing luxury buyers from their BMW and Mercedes leases is a tall order; ask Jaguar how that’s going for them. Cadillac’s people will say the game’s not about market share and sales figures, it’s about brand-building and profit margins. I feel like that’s a good bit of spin, something they wouldn’t be saying if the ATS and CTS were flying out of showrooms.

          But Cadillac’s product is solid, this one especially. It’s marketing challenges Cadillac has to conquer. The CT6 is a fantastic machine, easily supplanting the CTS as GM’s best sedan yet. More than that, it’s something that takes old ideals of American luxury and updates them for a new century, not another German pretender.”

  • avatar
    Carzzi

    “Every existing XTS should be burned to the ground then dropped into the Marianas Trench. The people who designed and approved it should also be dropped into the Marianas Trench, as a warning to the others.”
    —Jack Baruth, May 7, 2012

  • avatar

    I’ve learned an open mind can be good. After losing the TDi to a few seconds of inattention, (yes, a blessing in disguise) I realized for work I wanted a six or bigger driving rear wheels on a longer wheelbase.
    I compared the Infiniti G cars, the 3 series, and a few others. On a whim, I drove a second gen RWD CTS. It was more BMW than my mom’s 535i, and depreciation made the Caddy buy 10k less than the G or 3 cars with equal mileage.

    Caddy cars depreciate like rocks tossed into a pond. This benefited me, and GM parts are a lot cheaper than BMW. Caddy buyers tend to buy new, trade in 3 years old school, and the used market is not enthusiast like the BMW or Infiniti cars, so out of warranty is considered fatal and I’d never be the third owner.

    Yah, I had to get over the GM part, but the car is very good, and for 16k plus 1.5k in catchup work with Rock Auto parts, you can’t do better. My BMW sport tuned butt is OK with the FE3 suspension. Meanwhile, the outside world thinks I spent 40k or so. Not bad…I like 300 hp NA on regular fuel to rear wheels and vault like quiet, but it still stops and turns….

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Jaeger

      Nice. I’ve been considering what I should get when I eventually replace my fifteen year old Benz and I keep coming back to a second gen CTS as well. My last GM car was a ’69 Cutlass but I’m slowly coming around to the idea that the CTS may be the best value out there.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        It is the best value out there for all the reasons Speedlaw states. Ignore DWs never-ending rants about Cadillac quality, these are solid cars. I have over 70K miles of experience with mine (a CPO wagon bought with 12K on it) and it has held up very, very well.

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    That wimpy V-Sport style grille and terrible instrument panel (in both standard and reconfigurable versions) are unforgivable. It’s an oddball of a car that I, otherwise, love. Tons more style and presence than the Acura RLX and Kia K9. It’s the only Cadillac sedan that has its own look now that the ATS, CTS, and CT6 have the generic, 13.7 shades of grey, middle management sedan look.

    Volvo’s new S80 is now the one I’d choose in this segment, though.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil200

    Been driving one for work. I agree, its a really nice car.

    Pros: Really comfortable long distance cruiser. Power seats are awesome, its very easy to find many comfortable driving positions. I especially like the power headrest. It actually fits me. While its not a sports sedan, it is quick, responsive and pleasant to drive. Feels alot like the BMW 5 series, only bigger. Soaks up bumps like crazy, very quiet and peaceful cabin. Excellent Bose sound system. The CUE system is a little weird, but took way less time to figure then Excel, so I’m good. Back seat is really comfortable. I’ve been it as well, You can fall asleep. Trunk is huge.

    Cons: Not a really attractive design. KInda bulbous and looks like its dancing on its toes.
    -The tilt and telescoping steering wheel does not move down far enough.
    -the dash lights could dim further, its a little glarey at night, especially the backlit controls on the steering wheel.
    -The transmission hunts occasionally. Not a big deal, but it can be unnerving.

    So I am pleased. Been very reliable. It will be replaced soon with a new one, I’m looking forward to it. Would I buy one for myself? If I needed a cruiser, considering the competition, I would definitely consider it. One year old used, these cars depreciate like crazy, probably a good deal.


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