By on April 21, 2017

2017 Cadillac XTS, Image: © 2017 Charley Baruth

(Everybody say HAYYYYYYY to our guest reviewer du jour, Danger Girl! —jb)

The creaky old 737-300, lacking wi-fi and assigned seating but chock-full of oversized roller luggage, touched down in Queen City at about 9:40 p.m. on a Monday night. My hopes for what I would find in the Charlotte Douglas International Airport Executive Emerald Aisle were about as high as the hopes I’d had when I ran from gate A8 to B15 at BWI, knowing my connecting flight had been boarding for a solid 15 minutes. Which is to say: lower than low. To my surprise, this was not the case at the Executive Emerald Aisle. I’d expected the automotive equivalent of my back-cabin center seat, but this was more like the delightfully unoccupied space on the aisle side of the exit row.

I walked past the Tahoes, the Escalades, and a Cadillac XTS thinking I was in some alternate universe known as the Elite section, or that “Hertz Dream Car” area Jack sometimes rents from. I was looking for the standard 300C, Challenger, or base Mustang to which I’ve become accustomed. An agent happened to walk by me. In an effort to pinch myself and make sure this was really happening, I asked him if the XTS was, in fact, part of the Executive Emerald Aisle. “Sure! Take it!” he said.

Well, alrighty then.

2017 Cadillac XTS, Image: © 2017 Charley Baruth

The moment I relaxed into the Medium Titanium driver’s seat of the Phantom Gray Metallic XTS with 3,895 miles on the odometer, I was beyond pleased with my choice. My intra-gate version of the Baltimore Marathon had angered my sacroiliac joint and this seat provided much needed and welcomed relief. All pressure points faded and I felt as though I could skip the hotel and just sleep in the car.

After adjusting my seat and mirrors, I began the sometimes arduous task of pairing my phone. This is my least favorite part of renting a car. Each make/model has a different path to success even though the basic concept should always be the same. Navigating the menus (do I pair from “Settings”? “Media”? Or just plain “Phone”?) then figuring out if you need to use buttons or knobs to move from selection to selection is infuriating, especially when you don’t get the desired response and have to start over. If it takes me more then two attempts to pair my phone in a car, I blame the OEM.

2017 Cadillac XTS, Image: © 2017 Charley Baruth

Most people don’t have to drive as many different vehicles as I do, however, and I’d imagine most people tend to pair their phone in their daily driver (sometimes with the help of the salesman selling them the car) and go on with life, rarely needing to duplicate the process until the arrival of a new car or a new phone. That being said, I still consider the amount of time and energy I expend pairing my phone a large determinant in whether I end up happy with my rental car choice. I should not need to Google how to do it, nor should I need to get the manual out. In short, it should be intuitive. And that’s just what the Cadillac CUE system is. I paired my phone in three touches of the screen. In addition, the feedback that the screen gave me when I provided an input was refreshing and akin to Jack’s Unicomp mechanical keyboard. This car won my heart before I ever put it in Drive.

After stopping at the appropriate booth on my way out — I endeavor not to steal rental cars anymore — I decided to test out the sound system. The bass was turned all the way up and treble was at an all-time low. The fade was set towards the back and this just wouldn’t do. Again, the Cadillac CUE system didn’t fail me. I was able to find the equalizer with ease and reset the sound system while navigating away from the airport. The Bose Premium eight-speaker sound system played Miike Snow no better than the Bose system in my 2009 Tahoe, but no worse, either.

2017 Cadillac XTS Interior Dash, Image: © 2017 Charley Baruth

My short drive to the hotel in Uptown Charlotte afforded me a brief chance to do some acceleration testing. The automatic shifts to second and third were throaty, aggressive and fun. However, the next shift produced such a lull that I had time to look down at the tachometer and ask myself if there was something wrong with the car before it finally grabbed fourth and propelled me to end of the on ramp. The moral of the story: as long as you don’t go above 60 mph, this is a quick car. How many XTS owners go faster than that anyway, between their gated homes and the country-club parking lot?

There’s ambient lighting in the cabin of the XTS, but I prefer the lighting of the Mercedes C63S or even my little Fiesta ST by a wide margin. One gets the sense GM was just trying to tick that particular box for comparison-shopping purposes. The lighting is there. Cadillac can say it’s done it. But it’s not done particularly well. It just is.

2017 Cadillac XTS, Image: © 2017 Charley Baruth

Although I’d gotten off the plane perfectly willing to pay four figures for a helicopter ride if it would’ve gotten me to bed 10 minutes sooner, I was no longer in much of a hurry by the time I got the hotel. The XTS was easy to drive. Given that it had Florida plates, I thought about the person who had driven to NC from Florida. I longed to take it on a road trip to see how enjoyable it was. But it was well beyond 10 p.m. at this point and my meeting was early the next morning, so there would be no cruising the streets of Uptown Charlotte for me. I bid the car adieu as the valet drove it away. Until tomorrow.

On my way back to the airport the following afternoon, I put the car in manual mode and used the paddles to shift. I must say the paddles were disappointing. Instead of the aggressive “here I am” paddles that I’ve loved on the Lotus Evora, C7 Corvette, and Lexus RC-F, the shift selectors of the XTS were kidney-bean-shaped buttons. Really big buttons at that. They were missing any discernible seat for my fingers. At first, I wasn’t even certain they were, in fact, meant to control the transmission. I thought they must be additional buttons on the back of the steering wheel to control volume and change songs. I realize that most Cadillac owners won’t use them, but what’s the point of offering the feature if you aren’t going to deliver something worthwhile? Like the ambient lighting, it’s just a bit half-assed.

2017 Cadillac XTS Steering-Wheel Mounted Shift Button, Image: © 2017 Charley Baruth

The drive during daylight also allowed me to take in more of the aesthetics of the car. I did not care for the wood trim in the interior. It was so dark, you almost couldn’t make out that it was wood of any kind and it wasn’t metal or straight black plastic. Apparently the trim color is meant to match the seats, but if I were to build my own XTS, I would have to go with Kona Brown to make a statement — or, perhaps, Shale, so that I didn’t. This mystery-wood trim with Medium Titanium seating just wasn’t right. I would have preferred metal or just black plastic here.

2017 Cadillac XTS Interior Wood Trim, Image: © 2017 Charley Baruth

As I returned the XTS to the airport, I was genuinely disappointed that I didn’t get to spend more time with it. Given the opportunity to rent one again, I’d definitely take it. Would I buy it? That’s a different question. I’ve now driven the XTS, CTS-V, and the ATS-V, but I’m still not convinced enough by Cadillac to purchase one. To me, they are still cars for retirees. Will there even still be people like that by the time I’m ready to join their ranks halfway through the 21st century? Probably not. But if there is, and somebody wants to make me one of those sweetheart early-retirement deals, then maybe they’ll also be able to sign me up for a Cadillac. It would be nice to stop traveling for a living. It would be nice to, finally, pick my own seat.

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112 Comments on “2017 Cadillac XTS Rental Review – Personal Emerald Aisle Sedan...”


  • avatar
    Eggshen2013

    So being a girlfriend qualifies you as an automotive writer?
    Strength through diversity!

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      And my comment is awaiting moderation?

      :-?

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      First of all, that’s his wife. Second, that was uncalled-for, and you know it.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Kyree, is my comment in moderation purgatory because I used the word “rant”? I’m reading over it again and can’t figure it out.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I don’t actually see the comment you’re talking about at all, which might be part of the problem. I know I’ve had comments disappear into the ether before. Sorry about that.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Good answer. Completely uncalled for.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        What was also uncalled for was the thinking that Cadillac models like the ATS-V and the CTS-V were for “retirees.”

        The XTS? Sure.

        But not the ATS-V or CTS-V.

        One could just as well say that Mercedes are for older folk, but that wouldn’t hold true for the AMG versions or specific AMG models.

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      On the flip side, I’d love to write some reviews or other content for the site when the B&B are invited to do so, however my employment at an OEM precludes me from doing so.

      Sadface.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Actually, I’d go for “strength through refusing to be a dickweed,” but you do you, pal.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Not at all.

      Having your SCCA comp license and a shelf of autocross trophies helps though.

      • 0 avatar
        legacygt

        Love the defense and the credentials. Of course, this review is about the XTS so I’m not sure any credentials (certainly those) are necessary. My only issue with the review is the comment about the entire brand. I don’t think the XTS aims to be a big departure for Cadillac. This car is a more expensive Buick. That’s about it. There are Cadillacs like the ATS and CTS that have been trying to re-orient the brand but the XTS is not that car.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Looks over shoulder…

        Yup, there is the shelf of autocross trophies – SCCA license expired decades ago however.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      The word you are looking for is nepotism, not diversity. If you are going to whine about someone else’s witting you should not be using word incorrectly. And when it comes to nepotism this danger girl person has nothing on the Jared Kushner twink that our senile Russian puppet has put in charge of the world. Anyway, this car? All it does is bore me and make Lincoln killing the better in every way MKT (my Uber Black top choice) look stupid.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      There are definitely automotive writes less “qualified”. Like they needed to be.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Egg, what’s wrong with her writing a rental review? I’m not related to anybody here, and I presumed to submit one. Got it printed, even. If you can write something that somebody wants to read, bully for you. And for her. I thought she did a pretty nice job, incidentally.

      • 0 avatar
        SPPPP

        I liked the review pretty well. It was coherent, and had some actual relevant thoughts that people might want to read.

        Anyone offended by the perceived success of an “amateur” should try lighting a candle instead, so to speak … submit a review of your own!

        The only thing about the review I didn’t quite care for was that it seemed slightly lacking in personality. The ingredients are there – some anecdotes, but not off topic, as they related to things like seat comfort, and so on. I just didn’t get a distinctive “voice” from the article. But that’s probably to be expected from an occasional writer.

        I thought it was good, and would read more by the same author.

      • 0 avatar
        Salzigtal

        Someone rented a car and was happy. What’s not to like?

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      I am sure she made a fortune off this article. Thanks to this well written but lukewarm review I am going to run out and buy a Caddy. The conflict of interest is so thick you could cut it with a knife. It’s like Gamergate all over again.

    • 0 avatar
      DirtRoads

      Good article, well-written and interesting. Thanks DG :)

      Middle finger to the haters who have never in their life written an article to be published, let alone a well-written one.

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      She is not a girlfriend. Crawl back under your rock, please.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Am I weird when I say I prefer this ***bigly*** to the CT-6? The interior here – minus CUE – is just about perfect. Can’t say the same about the CT-6.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I like the CT6 interior a bit better, but I feel like the CT6 itself is nothing but an extended-length CTS (even know I know they’re on different architectures). Its only real competitor is the Q70L, which is quite literally a long-wheelbase mid-sized car. The CT6 certainly doesn’t feel special enough to be a proper flagship sedan. If you really want that sense of occasion for less money, the new Continental is a much better car…and as soon as it depreciates, I’ll be taking a hard look at one.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        CT6 sheetmetal + Continental interior + G90 5.0 powertrain = good car

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I actually like the Continental’s exterior better, too. It just has more presence.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I like the look of the Conti, the same way I liked the look of the old Volvo S80. But the sharper lines and added wheelbase on the Cadillac do it for me.

          • 0 avatar
            duffman13

            I saw one on the road last week. It was actually very impressive. Sat in it at the car show this spring as well, and it was as good as everyone says inside too.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Actually, I’d go with CT6 sheetmetal + Continental interior with actual premium materials.

          I love the Continental’s styling, but the interior is just underwhelming. It looks great, but the materials/finish aren’t special enough. And I’m sorry, I can’t get over them selling a $60,000 car on a stretched Fusion platform.

          (And for the record, I do like the CT6’s exterior styling – a lot. It looks mean in dark colors.)

      • 0 avatar
        Chocolatedeath

        I am with you Kyree. The Continental is on my short list along with the Q70L in about two years. I can see picking up the Lincoln for about 35k fully loaded.

    • 0 avatar
      phila_DLJ

      /*big* *league*

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      CUE the chorus! It is easy to use and you could have done it all with your voice and one button on the steering wheel.

      If you thought the acceleration was good, can’t imagine another 100 horsepower and torque in the vsport? Seems like Bark M had similar great review of the XTS.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Good review. Sounds like what a long distance road car should be.

    I do get a laugh out of cars like the XTS having shift paddles – “Everyone has flappy paddles for the transmission, so we ought to.”

    How about NO. You’re the Cadillac for people still pissed that they don’t build a DeVille.

    And what’s up with GMs option packages? I understand why I have to load up an Impala LT or step up to Premium to get the good stuff but why does Buick have 4 trim levels for the Lacrosse and you have to step up to the Premium trim level to get heated seats. Seriously?

    XTS can be priced from $45K to $72K. But with the XTS one step above base (Luxury) gets you heated seats and a heated wheel.

    Forgive my rant. I think that GMs large car platforms are worlds better than they were just a few years ago, I just can’t make sense of the options/standard equipment vs base prices.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      My MKS also has shift paddles. I think it’s fine. They’re really just a more-convenient way of going through the gears—when necessary–than the manual shifter gate. And like Cadillac, Lincoln mostly hides the paddles behind the steering wheel spokes. So they aren’t calling attention to them or anything.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        If the designers/engineers/marketing gurus/whoever are going to insist on having them then make them good.

        Danger Girls biggest problem with them seems to be that they are so lacking in texture and definition that they seem as if they were included as an afterthought.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The 2014 410 horsepower Vsport version can be had for well under $30K. Quite a deal for the amount of luxury including standard magnetic shocks and torque vectoring AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      brawnychicken333

      I doubt Gm cares, but paddle shifters are really handy in the snow.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Good choice of keyboard.

    • 0 avatar
      rentonben

      Authenticity Police Report: He really needs a IBM 3270l keyboard -> AT+Scancode adaptor -> PS2 (because voltages) -> USB


      All kidding aside, good review and I look forward to more. I bugs me is when people beat up people who are dipping their toes into a new situation – so I give the author my appreciation for stepping into the fray.

  • avatar
    mittencuh

    The XTS is one of my favorite rentals. Truly a great car to get into after a long day of airports and pressurized metal tubes. I’ve also been in an accident in one and it did a brilliant job of protecting me, so there’s that.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Agreed! We always love when we get an XTS or Impala V6 for a rental because they are great road cars and have plenty of power in day to day driving. Cue gets a bad rap but we have yet to experience an issue using it with any of the rentals we had over the past several years.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    Not a Cadillac guy, or a big-American-car guy in general, but the XTS is absolutely my favored choice in rental car. We were caught in Delta’s Hartsfield-Jacksontastrophe back in January, and after we finally made it out of the airport after midnight (after a six-hour flight delay, a missed connection, another hour waiting for our bag in the weird claim-your-bag-and-then-recheck-it purgatory, and then schlepping all the way out of the airport for an unplanned one-night layover), settling into a waiting XTS cockpit for the ride to the hotel felt like the only good thing that had happened all day. It’s utterly serene, comfy as the day is long, has more room for luggage than I have luggage, can bomb down the highway, and it doesn’t call attention to itself for anything other than the asinine CUE system, and who really cares about the radio in a rental, anyway?

  • avatar
    deanst

    Does this thing have any visual appeal to anyone? At least Buick seems to be trying with their design choices – this is just a giant lump of meh.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      No I don’t care for it. I think the XTS is one of the dumpiest looking nonsubcompact sedans on the road. It seems like the greenhouse doesn’t match with what’s below the beltline and the proportions scream FWD like something from the mid 1980s.

      OTOH, I think the Lacrosse and Impala look decent and think the CT6 has killer proportions with a nice presence.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      (Raises hand)

      I’d take this car in a nanosecond in that cool metallic red, with the V-sport package.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        Really late to this thread, but I agree, FreedMike. I realize Art & Science isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I like it. I also think the non-sporting hood and deck proportions make it vaguely (and I emphasize “vaguely”) reminiscent of ’61-’64 and ’65-’70 de Villes.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      yes. there are people who like things you don’t.

    • 0 avatar
      hifi

      It is much more impressive in person than in pictures. It has a much better curb presence than any “trying too hard” Lexus sedan. I prefer the crisp lines over those of the Continental. While I like the visual design, Cadillac continues to miss when it comes to the details. And the details are everything when it comes to this category. In an Audi, BMW or Merc, every inch is engineered with surgical precision. Not so with Cadillac.

  • avatar
    SMIA1948

    Well written article.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    You can tell that the author of this piece does not write about cars for a living because she said nice things about CUE. That is a violation of one of the prime directives for all those who make their living as automotive journalists.

  • avatar
    SMIA1948

    Cadillac is doomed to irrelevance unless they start building Cadillacs again. A Cadillac is either big, flashy, and distinctively American, or it is nothing. The only true Cadillac right now is the Escalade, and it is about to be challenged by a technically-much-superior 2018 Lincoln Navigator (IRS, 450 bhp engine, 10-speed automatic).

    The biggest Cadillac sedan should be much bigger than a Mercedes S-Class, and have the best ride in the industry, while costing perhaps $70,000.

    • 0 avatar
      SARCASTIMODE

      AGREED!

      I drive a last gen LaCrosse, and favor GM often. Feel like the new Navigator is going to “force” GM to rachet up the refreshening of the Escalade sooner.

      Seems as if the truck and BOF SUV manufacturers just dont quite *get* how to do luxury. For example, where are the adjustable thigh bolsters? Where is the electronic tinting glass? How about the mood lighting feature? Do SUV interiors have to be so plasticky?

      GM (Escalade, Yukon) can do so much better for their asking prices, and would probably help keep values up in the secondary market as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Salzigtal

      A second more successful attempt at the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_Northstar_LMP would be fitting for a past winner of the Royal Automobile Club Dewar Trophy. Might ruffle a few lederhosen in Bavaria.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice piece by Danger Girl. I do echo the calls though for reader reviews.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      As you may recall, I put up a lot of reader-contributed pieces when I was EIC here.

      I think the reason you don’t see it done more often is that there’s a lot of effort involved. The typical reader review requires somewhere between five and ten emails, plus more editing than you’d have with a “pro” review, plus the mechanism of getting them paid or comped somehow on a one-off basis.

      There’s also the fact that two of out three readers who contact you about writing something simply “ghost” after you tell them you’ll take the piece.

      I didn’t mind putting in the extra effort — we do guest posts all the time at Riverside Green — but I can see why other people would rather pay for a review from one of the dependable third-tier people out there.

      • 0 avatar
        CaddyDaddy

        If I were to show up to my 20th High School reunion and wanted to impress, I could request and rent this Cadillac? If I pulled up to the reunion would everyone just think, a black something or other rental car? Of course they would.

        I agree, the only attribute this car possesses is its higher price over an Impala. ….. and the interior is so boring and well… dark and depressing.

        Also, I love the fact that DangerGirl is doing reviews. Question is, when do we get to see Danger Girl, or maybe that’s the allure?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thanks for the feedback Jack. I do wish your peers wouldn’t hit the easy button so often, but I see you took the time to vet another decent contributor so kudos.

        Btw, IMO anything written in semi-coherent English from the B&B is superior to DeMuro and the management ran DeMuro for quite awhile. I had prepared photo essays last year of the cars I snapped on my trip around Europe but I’m not sure such a thing is wanted.

  • avatar
    GoHuskers

    A very poor article and a waste of time to read it.

    • 0 avatar
      Snavehtrebor

      To-the-point analysis of the subject vehicle’s level of comfort, ease of operation, transmission/power, and space. In other words, exactly what I’m looking for in a rental review. Sorry, Don Cornholio. Your comment was very poor, and a waste of time.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      But not so much as to take the time to comment?

      I’d much prefer people’s takes on cars that come from people OTHER than paid “autojournalists” that spout the same trite stuff over and over again. Does she quote 0-60 times and how fast it does the ‘Ring? Nope. But did I get a sense for the comfort and design of the vehicle? Why yes…yes I did. Reminded me of when I lucked up and was given the keys to a new Cadillac DTS one time years ago. Is it my kind of car? Not really. Did I enjoy the heck out of showing up in it while my counterparts pulled up alongside me in the parking lot in their Cavaliers and Neons? Why yes…yes I did!

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      A waste of time, I think not. Driving thru Nebraska, now there is a waste of time!

  • avatar
    rlplaut

    It seems new car reviews are now largely focused on mastering the vehicle’s technology, hopefully before getting on the highway. Back in the day (1970s) I traveled a lot and often had to make do with a tiny Avis map with yellow highlighter to show me the way (at night and in the rain) while I learned where the wipers, lights, and HVAC controls were and with all the the radio buttons tuned at full volume to one AM sport station).

    And I thought I had it hard back then.

    I find reviews like this informative and somewhat comforting because it’s not just us old timers who have time limits on mastering automotive technologies.

    Tom Voelk does neat and terse car review videos for the NY Times and just published (on 4/20/17) one about the growing complexity of automotive technology. It’s at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/20/automobiles/wheels/new-cars-technology.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=Moth-Visible&moduleDetail=inside-nyt-region-2&module=inside-nyt-region&region=inside-nyt-region&WT.nav=inside-nyt-region.

    Looking forward to the next C “DG” B review.

    • 0 avatar
      silentsod

      I’m 29 and it took me well over an hour (while driving, so intermittent attempts) to figure out the damn windshield washer on a GMC rent-a-van. I’ve had zero issues determining how to operate that function in every other brand of car but this one stumped me. The glyph they chose and the fact it was on a little tab sticking out of the arm made for a very unusual experience.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Most all of the GM cars way back had that washer tab. Because they tended to have column shifters on the right of the steering column, they needed the left stalk to do everything, including cruise control in some models up to 2008. The full-sized vehicles BOF SUVs and trucks continue to employ the single stalk and the wiper tab.

        My MKS, probably for parts-commonality with other Fords—since it was never offered with a column shifter—has the one-stalk-does-everything setup, but the washer button is on the tip of the stalk. Mercedes-Benz also does this, since they use those monostatic column shifters on everything but sport and AMG models.

        The only example I can think of in which an automaker had a column shifter and still put the wiper controls at the right was the first use of the monostatic shifter, in the E65 BMW 7-Series (2002-2008), as well as all Rolls-Royce models since the 2003 Phantom. In those cars, the wiper controls are on the right side, but well below the column-mounted gear selector.

        The reason the wiper tab confused you is probably because, like me, you’ve mainly driven cars made in the 2000s and later. But if you’d had to drive any eighties or early-nineties domestic car available with a bench seat, you’d have intrinsically known how to use it.

        • 0 avatar
          cdotson

          Kyree,

          Good point. The fact he is 29 is the problem. I’m 38 and remember being a bit freaked out when I first drove a car that *didn’t* have wiper/washer controls on the turn signal stalk, and then I think it was an old GMC pickup that had it on a dash cutout by the driver’s right knee.

          BTW GM vans still use column shifters.

          The other changeover I remember is when you started having to push the wiper stalk forward to activate high-beams. I once knew a guy who failed his first driver’s test because he couldn’t figure out how to make the high-beams stay on in a first-year Ford Contour (first car I encountered with Euro-wizardry highbeam controls). Before that you pulled toward you to turn on AND cancel high beams. Unless you had a floor switch, as did the car of my very first auto ride did (Mustang II).

          I don’t even bother to pair my phone to a rental car unless I’m likely to have it over a week. Even then, step one of pairing (before turning on Bluetooth on my phone) is pull out the car’s owner’s manual.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I did not know that! In every car I’ve driven, you just push the stalk forward to turn on the high-beams.

        • 0 avatar
          silentsod

          The only domestic models I’ve driven that are pre-2000 are all Fords (1996 Mustang GT, 1996 Mustang Cobra, 1994 Ford Explorer, 1997 F-250, 1999 F-350) and all had push button wiper stalks, IIRC. The rest of the pre-2000 vehicles are Japanese or German (’88 RX-7, ’91 Toyota Pickup, and a 2 door ’78 German vehicle). The first GM product I’ve had wheel time with was a first year C6 Corvette which was post-2000s and also had a “normal” washer operation.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    Welcome!

    “Navigating the menus (do I pair from “Settings”? “Media”? Or just plain “Phone”?) then figuring out if you need to use buttons or knobs to move from selection to selection is infuriating, especially when you don’t get the desired response and have to start over. If it takes me more then two attempts to pair my phone in a car, I blame the OEM.”

    This was well written.

    Rest of the piece would have benefited from JB’s editing on writing style, but could have been marriage threatening.

  • avatar

    Well done, Danger Girl. I enjoyed the review and the personality you put into it. Look forward to more.

  • avatar
    rtr

    Well done Danger Girl. The review was refreshing since it focused more on real world issues than ‘ring times.
    Extra points for not being baffled by the CUE interface.

    Best,

    Bob

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Hurray for CUE! With the warmer weather I’ve been driving the the Saturn Sky with buttons for the radio. It is quite discerning to have to hit a button that corresponds to a lcd read out about an inch away where with CUE the led is the button.

  • avatar

    I was driving on a rural road in Eastern CT last week in a rental Jetta with the TSI. I passed a couple trucks on an uphill section then noticed a white blob behind me. A few seconds later a white XTS V sport screams by (I was running about 65 in a 50 zone) I assume he was closer to 90. I caught a glance of an older white haired gentleman looking a lot like George c Scott with one hand on the wheel in the driver seat.
    Which reminds me some times even grandpa feels the need for speed after a bad round of golf.

  • avatar
    tubacity

    Don’t think Danger Girl is cut out to be a long term writer for TTAC. Not enough snark. Not 100% anti GM. No fawning over Honda. And, as mentioned, praising CUE. Horrors! Not allowed. Redeemed her anti GM car credentials partially by writing she probably would not buy this Cadillac.

    • 0 avatar
      RedRocket

      I can hear the phone call from the editor already. “Don’t bother submitting any more stuff to us about GM cars. You’re not hateful enough! Talk to your husband, he can set you straight on how it’s supposed to be done. Keep up what you’re doing and you’ll never write for us again! You’re through here if you do. Now go find a Honda to drive and write us a nice puff piece.”

    • 0 avatar
      9Exponent

      You sound like a miserable human being, though. Perhaps you should submit a review.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    Well, let me just say that I’d read more of Danger Girl’s stuff….

  • avatar
    mikey

    Nice to see a review from a different perspective. Here in Oshawa I see a lot off these vehicles. I’m guessing most are GM staff cars. Makes me think they may be available via employee sales.

    I would consider a lease, on a heavily discounted ,miled out model…Hmmmm?

    Anyway I enjoyed the review …Good work DG

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    “Unicomp mechanical keyboard”

    Nice! I’m typing on a 1988 Model M, Made in the USA

    The Thinkstation its plugged into was made in Mexico however.

    Got it for free from a box of computer scrap, just had to clean it up.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    From what experience I have with the XTS, the available turbo motor is one of the few selling points over its Impala platform-mate. At least with the 20’s I’ve experienced, the ride is worse than the plebeian Chevy, and it doesn’t feel as airy. Mind you, the XTS does have nicer materials in a few places, and the seats may well be better (I don’t think I’ve spent more than 10 min in an XTS at one time), but it seems best suited to buy off-lease.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    I didn’t like the drawn-back headlights at first, but they’re growing on me. Probably because someone at work has a CTS and it looks pretty slick.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    I personally think this kind of review makes sense for most vehicles. I don’t care about most of the performance specs in most reviews, but she does touch on that crucial mid-range shifting when trying to get up to highway speeds. That is where the majority of drivers need useful acceleration.

    I turn my phone off when I drive, so the CUE review is not useful for me personally, but I know that it is an important thing for a lot of drivers.

    She didn’t really review comfort and space in depth (that would be a nice addition), but I did get the sense that the interior is not up to par for its price point compared to rivals.

    Plus, its not a company issued review car, so there is no conflict of interest on whether she feels obligated to find the positives and ignore the negatives

    This is pretty much exactly how all reviews should be written for non-sports cars.

    More from her, please.

  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    The major problem with this car is that it’s available as a rental.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Well if any Cadillac is going to be available as a rental, this should be the one.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      Anything’s better than not being available?

    • 0 avatar
      newenthusiast

      So, any car that’s available as a rental is what….not worthy of a purchase?

      I don’t remember which company it was at my last trip through an airport (I landed in EWR over Christmas), but the higher tiered rentals I walked by had a Corvette, an Audi Q7, and a BMW X1 or X3. I’d rent one to see what it was like to drive if one was available to me on a trip and was a day trip. I can’t spring for that for a 7-10 day trip. Not in my budget.

      It’s not like every rental company has a only sea of Impalas, Altimas, Wranglers, Dodge Journeys, and minivans.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Most luxury cars are available as rentals these days…even Benzes.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      …The major problem with this car is that it’s available as a rental…

      I should take a picture of the Dollar Rent-A-Car I walk by every day on my way to work. Cars apparently not worthy of being purchased because they are available as a rental:

      * Subaru Outback – so many I find it a curiosity
      * Subaru Forester
      * Toyota Sienna AWD
      * Toyota Camry SE
      * Jeep Cherokee

      There are some strange rentals available on the lot – I had no idea Subaru did rental sales at all.

  • avatar
    r129

    This is a timely article for me, as the XTS has recently come onto my radar as something I might want to own. I initially dismissed it for its somewhat dumpy styling, but the price of used examples has made it increasingly more attractive to me.

    • 0 avatar
      BrentinWA

      I have a 2013 Platinum model of this car… I find the Opus leather and the full leather lining of the car to be very gracious and sumptuous. I also find the ambient lighting to be subtle and pleasant. My lighting is on all four doors, across the dash and very subtle LEDs based in the overhead console and door trim that quietly lights the seating areas and center console. When I have service work being done I find the lower trim levels lacking.

  • avatar
    BrentinWA

    I can attest to the worthiness of this car as a road trip car. It absolutely chews up and spits out the miles without any driver fatigue. I drove straight through from Seattle to Salt Lake City in my XTS Platinum AWD and had 0 fatigue upon arrival at my destination.

  • avatar
    Big Wheel

    Didn’t even see the Caddy in the first photo. All I could see was Dairy Queen. Mmmmmmmm. Just had a large Mint Oreo blizzard last night because it was too early for them to have the S’mores version.

    Review was nice.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    My 05 Deville was in the body shop after some moron put a dent in the rear fender in a parking lot and they didn’t leave a note forcing me to have to pay my deductible. I was given a 2016 XTS base model rental for 3 days and I can tell you a new XTS is inferior to an 05 Deville in every way. Compared to a Deville the ride in the XTS is crusty, jittery, busy, with every bump, pothole and expansion joint jolting noisily into the cabin. The seats are harder, the audio quality is worse and it took two or three stabs at the F*QUE system to get it to do anything. Laugh all you want at the large buttons on the Deville’s center stack but they’re far better than the crap found in most current cars. The Deville is quieter, on roads with a coarse texture the XTS had levels of road noise that drowned out the mediocre stereo. Needless to say but outward visibility in the Deville is superior to the XTS as is rear seat room and trunk space. Steering feel in the Deville is better too.

  • avatar

    My FIL has this car. The XTS with a 3.6. Nice car, like DG says…CUE actually isn’t that bad, and pairing is easy. There is a “nav” icon on the screen, which for this car with NO NAV, makes little sense. Turns out it gets you OnStar. I will admit the person @ Onstar was nice, but they probably get that a lot.

    The car itself is a great interstate eater. My FIL, who had a first gen CTS, and has driven my Second Gen FE3, wanted it a bit tighter, but no real complaints.

    All the 3.6 cars I’ve driven, have the “send out to a committee for a gear” issue. You can stomp it, and it will go down….one two….and pull. You have to learn not to ask for too much, as you really want one gear and pull, not two, dither about, and then pull, making lots of noise but no actual GO !. At that point the guy in the lane you are trying to enter is unhappy you got in the way and DIDNT go….

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      The last couple of 2017 Epsilon’s we rented seemed better for transmission behavior compared to past versions. My 2013 Impala 3.6 sometimes hesitates when a rapid burst of power is needed and the car is now pushing well over 80K miles. We cleaned the mass air flow sensor, serviced the transmission with a simple drain and refill and cleaned the valves with carbon remover and now the transmission responds much better.
      It seems that everything must be in harmony for these to shift well and break in miles and adaptive learning must be taken into consideration, especially when jumping into a newer rental. By the third day of our latest 2017 LT Impala rental, the transmission was shifting nearly perfect and was a big improvement on past 2014 Impala’s we had.

  • avatar
    SWA737

    The -300’s will be gone in September. We won’t miss them either.


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