The Truth About Cars » cadillac xts http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 14 Dec 2014 16:43:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » cadillac xts http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Capsule Review: 2015 Cadillac XTS Vsport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/capsule-review-2015-cadillac-xts-vsport/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/capsule-review-2015-cadillac-xts-vsport/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 13:30:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=957466 GM delivered the Epsilon II platform to the company’s most upmarket division to produce a car with, among other things, more flamboyant styling. Later on, Cadillac added all-wheel-drive, threw in enough equipment to call it a Platinum edition, and by replacing the 3.6L V6 with a twin-turbocharged 3.6L V6, yielded enough straight-line performance to justify […]

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2015 Cadillac XTS VsportGM delivered the Epsilon II platform to the company’s most upmarket division to produce a car with, among other things, more flamboyant styling. Later on, Cadillac added all-wheel-drive, threw in enough equipment to call it a Platinum edition, and by replacing the 3.6L V6 with a twin-turbocharged 3.6L V6, yielded enough straight-line performance to justify the Vsport label.

This all-wheel-drive Cadillac XTS is not an outright Cadillac V car, not like the XLR-V, the STS-V, and what will soon be the third-generation CTS-V. Instead, the Vsport tag, first seen on the third-gen CTS, is a midway point. Except in the XTS’s case, there will be no V, presumably because upping the ante would just be silly, given that the 410-horsepower XTS Vsport already manifests torque steer despite its AWD configuration.

This, therefore, is Maximum XTS, the latest, flashiest, fastest car in a long line of big Cadillacs stretching back to your grandfather’s Fleetwood Brougham and his boss’s post-war Sixty Special.

In the United States, a base front-wheel-drive XTS starts at $45,655, destination fees included. $51,995 is the starting point for the all-wheel-drive XTS. The Vsport model begins at $63,730, but the Vsport Platinum ($70,780) can be optioned up beyond $72,000 with rear seat DVD. The XTS Vsport is rated by the EPA at 16 mpg in the city; 24 on the highway. Our XTS Vsport Platinum, supplied for the week by GM Canada, averaged 16 mpg over the course of the week and was priced at (CAD) $77,565 with fees and options, including $1295 for the lustrous crystal red tintcoat.

2015 Cadillac XTS Vsport rearThe sense of high quality is deeper than the paint. Moving inside, the XTS’s headliner and pillars are slathered in alcantara. There’s real wood sourced from real trees. Four of the 14 Bose speakers are perched just above the front occupants’ shoulders for impressive surround sound audio. CUE, though sluggish and frustrating when in use, makes for a stylishly minimalistic flip-up centre panel. The XTS Vsport’s gauge cluster is light years beyond the setup so often decried in the ATS.

Moreover, if “premium” and “luxury” and “upscale” still go hand in hand with acreage, the XTS is a winner regardless of equipment levels and material quality. It’s 19.2 inches longer than the ATS, 6.5 inches longer than the CTS, with a cabin that’s 7.4% larger than the CTS’s. If you want bigger luxury, long-wheelbase Germans are the way to go. The Audi A8L is 5.4 inches longer with 2.9 inches of extra rear legroom and a cabin that’s 17% larger. But the A8L, like most cars, can’t beat the XTS’s 18 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

(Compared with the final version of its DTS successor, the XTS is 5.6 inches shorter and nearly two inches narrower with marginally less rear legroom and 2.4 fewer inches of rear hiproom. The trunk and the overall cabin size are both slightly smaller than they were a generation ago, as well.)

2015 Cadillac XTS Vsport frontFortunately, once on the move the XTS doesn’t feel as immense as its dimensions suggest. Visibility is far better than in the smaller CTS and the XTS’s steering is more than light enough to ease slow-speed maneuvering. Naturally, there’s a lot of weight (4215 pounds) to toss around a corner. That avoirdupois, combined with slow and feathery steering and braking response that’s not up to the standards of modern performance cars, discourages the truly aggressive driving which the CTS Vsport constantly invites. Yet at the same time, the XTS performs the trick of driving like a somewhat (and only somewhat) smaller car, which becomes its most encouraging dynamic trait.

Still, the general lack of any feeling or connection causes you to question the legitimacy of the V badge on the XTS’s trunklid, if you haven’t already. But the road will open up, and when it does, you’ll be taken aback by the instant-on torque (369 lb-ft at just 1900 rpm) and the seemingly endless wave of power. As the speedometer’s readout climbs higher and you anticipate an ocean’s worth of disconcerting float, Magnetic Ride Control keeps body motions in check. The XTS Vsport’s ride quality isolates road imperfections to the extent that passengers were never aware of the imperfections. And though wind noise, more noticeable because of the otherwise hushed interior, barely creeps in around the A-pillars, passengers are not aware of the actual rate of speed.

2015 Cadillac XTS Vsport interiorRemembering the potency of this engine, you didn’t reach such speeds quite as quickly as you expected. The 3.6L twin-turbo makes 10 more horsepower and 61 more lb-ft of torque when placed under the hood of the CTS Vsport, which weighs less than 4000 pounds and sends power to the rear wheels with an 8-speed automatic. By the standards of that car’s transmission, the XTS Vsport’s 6-speed automatic is sluggish, but its all-around smoothness will be appreciated by the XTS’s dwindling clientele.

U.S. XTS sales are down 26% to just 22,059 units through the first eleven months of 2014. Thus, it may not have mattered if the XTS Vsport was equipped with a Hellcat-like V8 and ZF’s famed 8-speed automatic, as this still wouldn’t be a vehicle in which the typical car buyer of today has any interest. (And does the typical buyer of yesterday have any interest in battling the Cadillac User Interface on a daily basis?) Though relatively fleet-friendly, the XTS sells less often than the far pricier and recently redesigned Mercedes-Benz S-Class; more often than the Audi A6, Buick Regal, and Lexus GS. Cadillac sold more than 80,000 Devilles as recently as 2003, a year in which Lincoln sold more than 56,000 Town Cars.

2015 Cadillac XTS Vsport frontThe market has moved away from traditional full-size sedans and is moving away from Cadillac’s car division, too. The brand’s passenger cars are down 15% to 79,139 units with one month remaining in 2014 as Cadillac reportedly pursues a premium image not in keeping with price cuts.

Indeed, ever since the as-tested price was mentioned, you’ve been wanting to pipe in with the names of countless other cars available at a similar price point: BMW 550i xDrive, Lexus LS460, Audi A7 TDI, and Jaguar XJ, cars with reputations for athleticism, refinement, technological prowess, and panache which Cadillac can’t match. That might be missing the point. The XTS Vsport won’t be the car you buy because of how well it stacks up against the competition. It’s the XTS you buy because you were going to buy an XTS anyway, and this is the maximized XTS.

Of course, I wasn’t going to buy a regular 304-horsepower XTS. Sales figures suggest you weren’t going to either. But I won’t deny that for the prospective XTS buyer, this Vsport provides the kind of accelerative experience that makes the conventional XTS feel dreadfully pedestrian.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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Generation Why: Macklemore Is Wack, And So Is Bloomberg’s Piece On Cadillac http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/generation-why-macklemore-is-wack-and-so-is-bloomergs-piece-on-cadillac/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/generation-why-macklemore-is-wack-and-so-is-bloomergs-piece-on-cadillac/#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2014 13:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=700689 Rivaling Jack’s tales of his harem in the “Most Unpopular Subject Matter on TTAC” Sweepstakes is my constant references to rap music. What I perceived to be a wink-and-a-nod to younger readers who enjoy hip-hop was succinctly summed up by one commenter who wrote “It wouldn’t be a Kreindler piece without a [deleted perjorative for […]

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Click here to view the embedded video.

Rivaling Jack’s tales of his harem in the “Most Unpopular Subject Matter on TTAC” Sweepstakes is my constant references to rap music. What I perceived to be a wink-and-a-nod to younger readers who enjoy hip-hop was succinctly summed up by one commenter who wrote “It wouldn’t be a Kreindler piece without a [deleted perjorative for white wannabe rappers] reference”. Although I resolved to tone down the “shout-outs”, an recent piece by Bloomberg demonstrates that there is a time and a place for a knowledge of hip-hop music.

Bloomberg, – a notorious peddlar of pro-Cadillac stories, even in the face of contradictory date – is committing yet another act of fellatio-in-print upon GM’s luxury brand, suggesting that a song by rapper Macklemore is indicative of Cadillac’s rising fortunes, along with a 22 percent bump in sales in 2013. There are, of course, a few issues at play here

1) Nobody who is a real fan of the genre regards Macklemore as anything but an interloping yuppie, adopting hip-hop modes of dress and language while preaching overly PC themes. This is neither the time nor the place for a discussion of hip-hop’s attitude towards gender relations, other sexual orientations or state and federal penal codes, but it’s safe to say that people from all walks of life, whether black, white, gay, straight male or female enjoy hip-hop music, including its darker sub-genres – and part of it is because the edgy, if not downright criminal themes, resonate within them the same way that any form of rebellious, anti-social music does. Macklemore is like the helicopter parent that wants Little League to abandon scorekeeping and make every game a tie, when everyone else is alright with the spirit of competition.

2) Cadillac has not been relevant in hip-hop, or with young people, for some time. Over time, rappers’ taste in cars has evolved, with imported luxury cars becoming the preferred vehicle of choice. Maybe the 2015 Escalade will make a resurgence, but it’s hard to see rappers backing away from the G-Wagen and Range Rover as the SUV of choice.

3) Even though a late model SRX is driven for 2 seconds in the video, the song is not singing the praises of the XTS, CTS or any modern Cadillac. The brand made its way into hip-hop culture via old body-on-frame sedans like the Fleetwood, which were both prestigious in hip-hops early days, and popular with the low rider crowd on the West Coast. Dr Dre may have been “King of the beats you ride to in your Fleetwood” but nobody is ever going to rap about the ATS. Speaking of which…

4) In a growing luxury market, Cadillac sold 182,543 units, including 38,319 ATS models. Subtract sales of the ATS from that total, and Cadillac’s 2013 performance is worse than any other year since 2009. So while adding a nameplate has been a help for Cadillac’s overall volume, the rest of the brand is down, and the ATS itself has been struggling, with residuals taking a beating due to incentive spending. Those $299/month lease deals are going to be very expensive for Cadillac once the term is up.

5) Bloomberg’s piece also sneaks in the inevitable mention of Cadillac as a global luxury brand. Can we please stop this? Mary Barra may be targeting 1 million units in a decade, but with diesel engines not arriving for another three years, Cadillac is, and will remain, an utter non-entity in Europe

The “White Walls” video isn’t so much an ad for new Cadillacs as it is an homage to the Broughams and B-Bodies of yesterday, the ones that cemented Cadillac’s reputation as a “pimp mobile”. They might still be writing songs about Fleetwoods, but in 20 years, nobody will ever be rapping about the XTS. Now, the Elmiraj on the other hand…

 

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Don’t Call It A V-Sport — Or Do, Maybe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/dont-call-it-a-v-sport-or-do-maybe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/dont-call-it-a-v-sport-or-do-maybe/#comments Sun, 22 Sep 2013 19:33:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=525593 We called it on April Fools’ Day. Sort of, anyway. The new high-power XTS uses a twin-turbo 3.6L V-6 to twist out 410 torque-steering horsepower on its way to a C/D – tested 0-60 in 5.2 seconds and a quarter-mile in 13.5@105. (Naturally-aspirated Porsche owners should feel free to turn right at stoplights unless they […]

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We called it on April Fools’ Day. Sort of, anyway. The new high-power XTS uses a twin-turbo 3.6L V-6 to twist out 410 torque-steering horsepower on its way to a C/D – tested 0-60 in 5.2 seconds and a quarter-mile in 13.5@105. (Naturally-aspirated Porsche owners should feel free to turn right at stoplights unless they have 3.8 liters or direct injection.)

Big, fast car. Well, kind of big. And kind of fast. But what are we supposed to call the thing?

Nominally speaking, the new turbochaged XTS is the “XTS V-Sport”. The television ad that’s being shown now briefly flashes a “V” on the trunk, and early magazine tests referred to the car as the “V-Sport”. Cadillac’s own website, however, simply calls it the “XTS with 410-horsepower turbocharged engine” and the TV ad never actually says V-Sport or refers to V-Sport in the final tag screen.

Is this a case of General Motors experiencing a last-minute crisis of confidence in the “V-Sport” idea? Is the “V” sub-brand really well-established enough to spawn a junior division the way AMG and M have for their parent manufacturers with “AMG Design” and “M-Sport” models? It seems frankly doubtful that the message behind the the V-flag logo is that strong.

Given control of the Standard of the World, we’d have explicitly called it XTS-V or settled for “XTS Turbo”. If AMG can get away with the CLA 45, GM can get away with XTS-V. Alternately, XTS Turbo would have been an accurate description of the car that didn’t write too many rubber checks on the sporting front. This “V-sport” business is the proverbially spittable lukewarm choice and it won’t earn any respect from anyone, even if the straight-line performance of the twin-turbo XTS manages to do so.

The biggest obstacle facing the XTS-Whatever in the marketplace, however, won’t be the name on the sticker. It’ll be the number. At between $63,020 and $75K depending on equipment, the LaCrosse Plus actually costs more than the biturbo V-8 Mercedes-Benz E550 4Matic. A Cadillac for the price of a Mercedes? Call this one the XTS-Vanish.

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Review: 2014 Chevrolet Impala (With Video) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/review-2014-chevrolet-impala-with-video/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/review-2014-chevrolet-impala-with-video/#comments Mon, 26 Aug 2013 12:30:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=500484 I have this feeling that our most impressionable automotive years are our high school years. Maybe it’s because I was so eager to drive that I noticed anything with wheels. Maybe it’s that auto shop class where I got to wrench on a Wankel (that sounds wrong doesn’t it?). Whatever the reason, it seems many […]

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2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior-001
I have this feeling that our most impressionable automotive years are our high school years. Maybe it’s because I was so eager to drive that I noticed anything with wheels. Maybe it’s that auto shop class where I got to wrench on a Wankel (that sounds wrong doesn’t it?). Whatever the reason, it seems many of my brand and model name identities were formed in the mid 1990s. For me, “Impala” doesn’t conjure up the W-Body abomination GM has been selling for the past 13 years. Instead “my” Impala has always been the 1994-1996 Caprice Impala SS with the 5.7L Corvette LT1 engine. This is my benchmark on which every Impala must be judged.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Before we dive in, it’s important to know that for 2014 there are two Impalas. Say what? In a stroke of genius (honestly) GM decided to keep selling the old Impala as a fleet only model. This isn’t the first time GM has done this, the Chevrolet Captiva Sport is a fleet only version of the defunct Saturn VUE. By offering a one car to the public and the other to rental and government fleets, one can logically conclude the used market will contain fewer white Impalas with tan cloth interiors over time. This can only be good for resale value.

The fleet-Impala continues on the ancient W-Body first used in 1988 while the new Impala rides on the same Epsilon platform bones as the Cadillac XTS and Buick LaCrosse. If you had hoped the Impala name would be tied to the RWD Caprice like it was in 1994, you aren’t alone.
2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior, Grille, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

 

Exterior

If you recall my review of the Cadillac XTS a year ago:

Engineers took the Epsilon II platform (shared with everything from the Opel Insignia to the Roewe 950), stretched it to 202-inches long and hey-presto, the XTS was born. Unfortunately Cadillac wasn’t allowed to change the platform hard points, so the same 111.7-inch wheelbase and 62-inch track as the rest of the Epsilon rabble remains. With the wheelbase staying the same, the cabin had to be pushed as far to the wheels as possible to maximize interior space. The result is a sedan with awkward proportions.

When I first saw photos of the Impala I was worried the same awkwardness would translate to Chevy’s flagship, but it turns out the XTS’s proportion problem is mostly caused by the Art & Science design theme. When you dress the platform in super-sized Camaro clothes, things turn out better than expected. The slot-like grille, wide headlamps and plenty of horizontal chrome make the Impala look wide while the XTS’s grille makes it look narrow.

Chevy penned a side profile with a bit more visual interest than most of the competition (I admit that isn’t saying much) thanks to the “haunches” designed into the rear doors and quarter panel. Sadly the designers opted for roof-line that starts lowering at the front doors making the car look better but reducing rear accommodations. Speaking of the rear, the 2014 backside is more exciting than before, but that’s not saying much. Things change a little if you step up to the LTZ model which gets integrated trapezoidal chrome exhaust tips. Still, nobody seems to be spending much time on their back bumpers and trunk lids these days.

Overall the Impala is attractive but I think it slots behind the Chrysler 300 in terms of style and I don’t think it will age as well as the more “generic luxury” lines of the Kia Cadenza. Parking the new Impala next to a 1996 Impala I ran into at the grocery store, I have to admit my high school memories are rose-colored as the 1996 Impala SS looks frumpy in comparison. I can’t end this section without commenting on the 2014 Chevy SS, AKA the Holden VF Commodore, AKA the Chevy Lumina (Middle East), AKA the refresh of the Pontiac G8. Yes, it’s back. While I have no doubts a rear wheel drive sedan with a 6.2L V8 will be a blast to drive, the SS looks like the fleet Impala with some makeup and loses the Impala v SS aesthetics battle.

2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Interior

The Impala’s interior elicited more polarized reactions than I had bargained for during my week. While I’m a fan of the overall style, I can see how the flowing shapes may not be everyone’s cup of tea. The Impala’s build quality has certainly improved over the last generation and comparing the Impala to the Toyota Avalon can now be done with a straight face. Sadly in that head-to-head the Impala comes up short. The problem isn’t panel gaps or seams, it’s certain design choices coupled with plastics choices. The air vents you see in the center if the dash and the climate control bank are cast out of hard plastic and look cheap nestled between the attractive stitched upper dash and soft molded lower dash. My cynical side thinks this was deliberate so that Buick could have something to improve on. Test driving the Impala at night reveals the cabin’s party trick, chrome that glows blue/green when darkness falls. It looks a great deal less gimmicky than I assumed it would and the light strip is totally invisible by day. The light-up chrome is part of the $1,140 premium audio and sport wheel package.

Base LS models get cloth seats, LT models start with a leatherette and fabric combo, but most Impalas on the lot will have either the LT’s leather/alcantara combo (*bumping the base price to $32,695) or the LTZ’s “premium” leather seats which swap the faux-suede inserts for real cow. Regardless of the seat covering the Impala’s thrones are big and soft and 12-way power adjustibility. Unlike the seats in the Chrysler 300, you sit in the seats, not on the seats, a considerably more comfortable proposition. GM includes a 4-way adjustable lumbar support in all models and many of the Impalas I sampled had the optional 12-way seats on the passenger side as well, something you won’t find in the Azera or Cadenza.

2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior, Night View, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

The fleet-only Impala has a wheelbase just one inch shorter than this new consumer model, but due to its 1980s era platform design the space isn’t used efficiently. This is most evident in the back seat where this Impala delivers nearly 6 inches more rear leg room bringing this big boy up to a hair under 40 inches. This make the Impala the largest overall in the segment with front legroom higher than the former winner the Hyundai Azera and legroom nearly tying with the Chrysler 300’s 40.1 inches. At 18.8 cubic feet the Impala’s trunk is four cubes bigger than the Avalon, two cubes bigger than the 300 or the Korean twins and just 1.2 cubes smaller than the Taurus’ cavernous booty. Like the Taurus the Impala’s rear seats fold but it is worth noting that GM’s pass-through is larger and “squarer” than the Ford and the seat backs fold nearly flat with the load floor.

If size is what you demand, the Impala wins the battle with the most overall space. If however quality is more your bag, you’ll find higher quality parts in the Avalon, Azera, Cadenza, LaCrosse and in many ways even the Chrysler 300. The Impala fights back with supremely comfortable seats, but thanks to GM’s parts sharing the same can be said of that Buick.

2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Infotainment

If you’re a regular reader, you will know that I have recently praised GM’s low and mid-range touchscreen systems as some of the best in the business. The IntelliLink/ChevyLink system in the Chevy Volt and Buick Verano ranks second for me below the latest version of BMW’s iDrive. This is not that system. I an odd twist of infotainment badge engineering, the Impala (and the 2014 LaCrosse) uses a modified version of Cadillac’s CUE software. For Chevy duty GM swapped out the expensive capacitive screen (looks like a modern smartphone) for a resistive unit and added a few physical buttons to improve navigation in the system. Sadly all of CUE’s flaws are present including: random crashes, general sluggishness, unintuitive menu layouts and old-school mapping software. Like CUE some multi-touch gestures are supported but the cheaper touchscreen has troubles deciphering your intent. The system is hard to avoid as every Impala I could find had the system and the only way to escape it is to buy an absolutely base Impala LS as it is the only one without the 8-inch system.

On the bright side, some of CUE’s selling points remain. The system’s voice command system recognized more natural speech commands than the Kia/Hyundai or Toyota systems do and the media library functionality is excellent. Instead of treating the three USB ports as separate inputs, the system aggregates them into one large music library allowing you to voice command songs without specifying the device. The base 6-speaker system has an oddly hollow sound, but the up-level 11-speaker Bose branded system would be competitive in any near-luxury sedan. To get that sound system the Impala will set you back $33,835 as you can’t select the $1,140 sound and wheel package without a number of other options packages.

2014 Chevrolet Impala Engine, 3.6L V6, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Drivetrain

Under the hood you’ll find the same three engines as the Buick LaCrosse. Things start out with a 2.5L direct-injection four-cylinder engine good for 195 HP and 187 lb-ft of twist. This isn’t the engine you want. Not listed on the Chevy website yet due to its late introduction there is a 2.4L “eAssist” drivetrain that GM has stopped calling a hybrid. Delivering identical performance numbers to the 2.5L four-banger, the mild hybrid system delivered 29.8 MPG average during our week with the nearly identical LaCrosse. If fuel economy is your thing, stop here.

Although my soul is sad there is no Impala SS model for 2014, the 3.6L direct-injection V6 delivered better performance than in every situation except for the 2006 Impala SS which barely beat the 2014 in the 0-30 run but was still slower to 60. The reason isn’t just the V6’s 305 horsepower (2 more than the 2006’s 5.3L V8) or the respectable (for a V6) 264 lb-ft of torque(59 less), it’s the 6-speed automatic. The Ford/GM unit is closely related to the transaxle found in the Taurus but GM’s programming results in shifts that seem slightly faster and a hair firmer. The high revving six, weigh reduction vs the Cadillac XTS AWD and Chevy’s tire selection enabled our Impala tester to wheel-hop its way to 60 in a scant 5.52 seconds. This number was met with some head scratching on our Facebook page but I tested the number three times with the same result. It is worth mentioning that the Acura RLX posted similar numbers and a 5.52 second run isn’t out of the ordinary for a 305HP sedan that weighs around 3800lbs.

Need more performance? There have been persistent rumors about an Impala SS coming at some point and Cadillac has decided to drop their 410HP twin-turbo V6 into the XTS, will they offer a similar powerplant for the 2015 Chevy? It’s hard to say with the 2014 Chevy SS positioned as the performance sedan with a bow-tie.

2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior, 19-inch wheels, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. DykesDrive

The Impala benefits from Buick and Cadillac’s noise reduction efforts and it shows on the road with easily the quietest ride in the bunch. My snazzy new noise meter proved more complicated than I wish to admit and as a result I erased the readings, however the Impala was quieter than the active noise canceled Acura RLX, Kia Cadenza and Lexus ES350 I tested.

The Impala has a unique suspension setup that uses neither the Hi-Per Strut (HPS) suspension from the LaCrosse and XTS, nor the magnetic ride control from the Cadillac. Instead we get a traditional MacPherson strut arrangement with a redesigned strut tower for improved rigidity and rebound springs tuned to keep body-roll from turning into body-wobble. This is important because the Impala is a softly spring sedan in the classic American tradition. The combination works better than it looks on paper despite the loss of the HPS design which was created to vanquish the torque steer demons. Speaking of torque steer, there wasn’t any in the Impala during our tests. So much for that Hi-PerStrut. There’s still plenty of tip, roll and dive on winding mountain roads but the new Impala never felt sloppy or uncontrolled. Broken pavement was a problem for the Cadillac XTS with the suspension paradoxically feeling both too hard and too soft at the same time, the Impala’s traditional setup never exhibited this problem. If you jump up to the 20 inch wheels, be warned they have a negative impact on the serene nature of the Impala’s ride transmitting more road imperfections into the cabin than I thought possible.

2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

When it comes to the competition, the Cadenza feels slightly unsettled at times but is nearly as competent. The Azera’s chassis and suspension tuning aren’t quite up to snuff. Toyota’s Avalon gives the Impala a run for its money with similar road feel and a slightly sportier tune to the dampers. The Chrysler 300 is a tricky comparison since it’s the only RWD sedan in the bunch, but the 300’s driving dynamics are superior to the Impala despite being slower to 60. The lack of AWD is disappointing in the Impala leaving the Buick LaCrosse to be the better handling twin thanks to its slightly more precise suspension knuckles and available AWD.

Without a doubt the 2014 Impala is the finest Impala ever made and perhaps the finest large sedan to wear the bow tie. The base 2.5L four-cylinder Impala snags a 0-60 time only a few tenths off the 1996 Impala SS with its 5.7L V8 while delivering 31 MPG on the highway. The eAssist delivers a similar experience with a surprising 35MPG highway score and 29MPG combined, a 60% increase in fuel economy vs “my” Impala. The 2014 V6 model may not sound as good as that 1996 LT1 but the numbers can’t be denied, the new Impala is the new Impala benchmark. But is it the best full-size American sedan? Not quite. A fully loaded Impala manages to be $2,000 more than a comparable Taurus Limited and about the same price as a similarly optioned Taurus SHO. I’d take the Taurus SHO. The Chrysler 300 is about the same price, but brings superior dynamics, a ZF 8-speed automatic and you can get the 5.7L V8 for not much more. Even the Avalon, which ends up being slightly more expensive than delivers comparable handling a nicer interior and a nav system that doesn’t crash randomly. The Impala’s biggest problem however is the 2014 Buick LaCrosse. In typical GM fashion, there is little daylight in pricing between the sister-ships and the Buick delivers a nicer interior, a few improved features, slightly better dynamics, optional AWD and a slightly more premium brand. Just like the Impala SS vs Roadmaster debate in 1996, you just have to get past the Buick’s looks.

 

Hit it or Quit It?

Hit it

  • Aggressive styling.
  • Ginormous back seat.
  • Cadillac for Chevy prices.

Quit it

  • Some interior plastics are underwhelming.
  • CUE based infotainment is slow and buggy.
  • The Buick LaCrosse has a better interior for almost the same price.

Chevrolet provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review.

Specifications as tested:

0-30: 2.33 Seconds

0-60: 5.52 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 14.33 Seconds @ 97.5 MPH

Average Observed Fuel Economy: 22.5 MPG over 549 miles

2014 Chevrolet Impala Engine 2014 Chevrolet Impala Engine, 3.6L V6, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior 2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior-001 2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior-002 2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior-003 2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior, 19-inch wheels, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior-005 2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior-006 2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior, Grille, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior-008 2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior, Leaping Impala, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior-010 2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior-012 2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior-001 2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior-002 2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior-004 2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior-006 2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior-007 2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior-008 2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior-009 2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior-010 2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior-011 2014 Chevrolet Impala Interior-012 2014 Chevrolet Impala Trunk 2014 Chevrolet Impala Trunk-001

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Review: 2014 Acura RLX (With Video) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/review-2014-acura-rlx-with-video/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/review-2014-acura-rlx-with-video/#comments Sat, 17 Aug 2013 02:02:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=498841 Breaking into the Luxury market isn’t easy. Toyota has arguably had the most success with Lexus, the only full-line luxury marque sold in America that isn’t German. Infiniti gave up on trying to go head-to-head with the S-Class and 7-Series when they ditched the Q, and Cadillac has yet to have a complete and coherent […]

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2014 Acura RLX Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Breaking into the Luxury market isn’t easy. Toyota has arguably had the most success with Lexus, the only full-line luxury marque sold in America that isn’t German. Infiniti gave up on trying to go head-to-head with the S-Class and 7-Series when they ditched the Q, and Cadillac has yet to have a complete and coherent strategy. Meanwhile Acura started off strong with the Legend, created a competent E/5 competitor with the all-wheel-drive RL, and then things started to fall apart. Can the RLX bring the brand back?

Click here to view the embedded video.

Why do I bring up Germans in a review of a front-wheel-drive luxury sedan? Because some folks [not everyone mind you] at Acura and plenty of fan boys would like to think the brand runs with the big dogs. In truth Acura has always been a “near-luxury” brand because they lack a full-size competitor to play in the S-Class/7-Series/A8 pool.

Competition

In order to look at the RLX through the right lens, we need to nail down the competition. Acura would like you to believe the front-wheel-drive RLX should be pitted against the rear-wheel-drive BMW 528/535, Mercedes E350 and Lexus GS350. I think this comparison has a few problems. First, the RLX isn’t as dynamic as a RWD sedan. Second, Acura’s brand position is a problem. What say our readers? Should the brand matter in comparisons? Should this all be priced based? In my mind the RLX’s drivetrain and the brand’s near-luxury image put the Acura in direct competition with the Cadillac XTS, Lincoln MKS and Volvo S80. What about the FWD/AWD A6? Perhaps, but Audi’s brand is a solid BMW/Mercedes competitor these days.

2014 Acura RLX Exterior-009

Exterior

Acura’s flagship has always worn elegant and restrained sheetmetal and that continues with the RLX. Up front we get a more muted and better integrated version of Acura’s signature “beak” flanked by multi-beam LED headlamps. The LED high and low beams are standard on every RLX and strike a unique pose as identifiable as BMW’s “angel eyes.”

The RLX’s rump is probably the best looking in Acura’s current product portfolio. I’ve never cared for the jumble of shapes on the TL’s back side, thankfully none of them are along for the ride. In an interesting twist, Acura put the RLX’s quad exhaust tips behind the bumper where you can’t see them instead of integrating them into the bumper cover as in the smaller TL. Looking at the RLX from the side it’s obvious this car has grown. The rear doors give the Acura a more luxurious look than the old RL which had a decidedly Accord-like silhouette. A long front overhang advertises the transverse engine layout in the RLX, but that’s not really a problem with our pre-defined competition since the two Americans and the Swede are all FWD platforms as well.

In my opinion, the RLX’s exterior ranks second behind the 2014 Volvo S80’s clean lines. Yes the Volvo is getting old, but frequent refreshed have helped it age well. I like Caddy’s art-and-science design theme on every Caddy except the XTS where I find the proportions to be awkward. However Awkward trumps the ginormous and bizarre schnoz on the Lincoln MKS.

2014 Acura RLX Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Interior

The RLX’s interior is one place where I can not only compare the Acura to the Germans, it’s an area where Acura excels. You won’t find a full-on stitched leather dash like the Volvo S80 or the Mercedes E350 with the “designo” package, but you can “option up” a band of stitched leather running across the cabin. Anyway you order your RLX, perfect seams and a tasteful amount of metallic trim are standard. You’ll also find perfect seams and fit and finish quality that would make Lexus blush. What you won’t find is real tree. The choice of fake wood on upper trim levels perplexes me when all the RLX competitors slather the cabin in acres of burl. (Base RLX models get faux-metal trim.) When it comes to interior styling and quality, I rank the RLX above the E350, 528i, S80, MKS, XTS, GS350, and yes, even the A6.

Front seat comfort ranks second in this quartet behind Volvo’s large and supportive thrones. Enlarging the pool only drops the Acura to third place above the BMW 5-series’ standard seats but behind the optional million-way sport buckets. Oddly however, those seats aren’t covered in leather in base RLX models. Want real moo? That’ll be $6,000 more than the RLX’s base $48,450. This may be in line with Lexus’ recent move in the GS, but the RLX’s closest competition comes with real leather standard.

Rear passengers have notably more room than the outgoing RL with legroom and headroom in line with everyone else. While Lincoln and Cadillac cut corners in the back, Acura delivers rich plastics and an attention to detail that places it first in thus class and certainly on par with BMW’s 5.

2014 Acura RLX Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Infotainment
If one screen is good, two must be better, right? My short answer is: sometimes. The standard two-screen system first debuted in the new Accord and is tweaked for luxury duty donning the AcuraLink name. The concept as explained to me is: the lower touchscreen handles the audio, freeing the upper screen for navigation and other tasks. My beef with the system is: you still need to use the upper screen to navigate your media device as the lower screen simply selects sources and changes tracks somewhat defeating the purpose of splitting the screens. Because of this split personality, and the fact that you have to use the touchscreen, and the knob/dial controller, and the button-bank to navigate the system, AcuraLink comes across as “not fully baked.”

Since my first experience with AcuraLink, the system has grown on me, and in the RLX the dual screens are very well integrated into the dashboard rather than looking like an afterthought as in the Honda. AcuraLink is without question snappier than MyLincoln Touch or Cadillac’s buggy CUE system. I find Volvo’s Sensus interface more intuitive, but you need binoculars to use the microscopic LCD.

Two screens might be standard on the $48,450 base model, but navigation is not. Want maps? That bumps the price to $50,950. For $54,450 Acura will bump the speaker count from 10 to 14, watts from 404 to 588, add sound deadening side glass, rain sense wipers, and folding side mirrors. If you want the Krell audio and all the electronic goodies like radar cruise, lane keep assist, parking sensors, dimming side mirrors, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats that bumps the price of the RLX to an eye watering $60,450. Ouch.

2014 Acura RLX Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Drivetrain

Acura’s only engine for 2014 is a direct-injected 310HP 3.5L V6 that cranks out 272lb-ft of torque. In typical Acura fashion peak power comes at 6,500 RPM, torque comes to a boil at a lofty 4,500 RPM and the six-pot is smooth as butter at every RPM. 310 ponies used to be something to brag about, unfortunately this is 2014 and the RLX’s mill only leads when you compare it to base engines in the competition. The problem is everyone but Acura offers a more powerful engine option. If you think nobody options up, let’s look at the numbers. Lincoln says over 30% of MKS shoppers opt for their twin-turbo V6 which puts down 19% more power and 30% more torque. My local Volvo dealer says the take rate on the twin-scroll turbo S80 with AWD (300 horsepower and 325lb-ft, 20% more twist) is nearly 80% and I’m not in the snow belt. It remains to be seen how many of the fire-breathing twin-turbo 410 horse V6s Cadillac ships in the XTS, but judging by the competition I expect them to shift a few. The Germans? Their twin-turbo V8s are in a different performance ballpark but the 443 horsepower 550i starts just $3,500 more than the top-end RLX.

Power isn’t the only area where the RLX is at a competitive disadvantage, Acura also dropped their Super Handling AWD system from their flagship. Acura’s torque vectoring AWD, capable of continually varying the FWD/RWD bias, set the old RL apart (and ahead) from the pack. Yes, there will be a hybrid AWD RLX soon we are told, but with a maximum of around 60 horsepower at the rear wheels the 370HP RLX hybrid is likely to retain a strong FWD bias. (The system will not have a mechanical connection between the engine and rear wheels. Instead there will be a ~40HP motor/generator between the engine and transaxle and an approximately 28HP motor at each rear wheel.) The less sophisticated AWD systems found in the MKS, XTS and S80 are suddenly the choice for driving enthusiasts.

2014 Acura RLX Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Drive

The lack of AWD has a huge impact in the way the RLX drives compared to its predecessor. The old RL was a hoot and a half on winding mountain roads. In comparison, the RLX is three-quarters of a hoot. The old RL was capable of sending the majority of the engine’s power to the outside rear wheel making it corner with precision and confidence. When pushed to its limits, the front-heavy RL understeered predictably. The RLX on the other hand is probably one of the most capable front drivers on the market, easily more capable than the FWD Lincoln, Cadillac or Volvo but slots behind AWD versions of the same.

Acura’s “Precision All Wheel Steer” system (dubbed P-AWS) is the reason for the RLX’s crisp handling. P-AWS differs from other systems on the market in that it can rotate the rear wheels independently of one another allowing the car to toe both wheels in when braking. That might sound odd, but doing so keeps the RLX’s rear end from feeling “squirely” under hard braking, something usually associated with nose-heavy sedans. P-AWS is tuned to “mimic” oversteer as much as possible in corners leading to a peculiar combination of slight torque steer, [very] mild oversteer and a hint of wheel hop all at the same time. This is a confluence of personalities you will find only in the RLX. Helping out is an always-active stability control system. Unlike the stability control on most cars which only intervene when things go pear-shaped, this system is always playing with the brakes trying to “improve” the handling characteristics of the RLX. Paired with electric power steering these systems make the RLX the best handling, but the most artificial large FWD sedan I have ever driven.

2014 Acura RLX Exterior-010

Our RLX was equipped with Acura’s “Lane Keep Assist” system which uses the electric power steering system to help keep you in your lane. Unlike all the other systems on the market, on a freeway the LKA system is almost always providing some level of steering assistance. Acura likens the aid to a ball riding in a “U” shaped trough, the closer you get to the lane lines, the more the system assists. I don’t know if I have formed an opinion on the system yet, but it did work as advertised and can be turned off completely.

If you’ve been keeping score, I found the RLX to be the second most attractive on the outside, have the best interior, second most comfortable seats, best infotainment system, best handling numbers, a middling engine and questionable behind-the-wheel-feel. One might assume this puts the RLX towards the top of the quartet, and perhaps a viable alternative to the Germans. One would be wrong. The RLX is unquestionably a good car, but it’s $3,200 more than a similarly configured FWD XTS, $8,275 more than the  FWD Volvo S80 and $9,990 more than the FWD MKS. Things get worse when you load up the Lincoln and Volvo with the more powerful S80 T6 AWD still $5,000 cheaper and the 365HP MKS Ecoboost AWD $3,000 less expensive. Only Cadillac’s 410HP XTS VSport is more expensive ranging from $62,000-$72,000. The news is just as grim when pitted against the luxury competition with the RLX being $1,300 more than the Lexus GS350, $1,200 less than the Infiniti M37, and only a $3,000 discount compared to the E350 and BMW 535i. The result is the RLX has no “value” proposition to counter the middling engine numbers, FWD bias, road feel and most importantly: the brand image. Sadly I fear the RLX is about $10,000 away from being a great car and $15,000 away from being a game changer. Until Acura realigns their flagship’s capabilities (or shrinks the price tag) the RLX is destined to be the car everyone likes but nobody buys.

 

Acura provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review.

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.38 Seconds

0-60: 5.72 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 14.28 Seconds @ 99 MPH

Average Observed Fuel Economy: 23 MPG over 781 miles

 

2014 Acura RLX Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2014 Acura RLX Exterior-001 2014 Acura RLX Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2014 Acura RLX Exterior-003 2014 Acura RLX Exterior-004 2014 Acura RLX Exterior-005 2014 Acura RLX Exterior-006 2014 Acura RLX Exterior-007 2014 Acura RLX Exterior-008 2014 Acura RLX Exterior-009 2014 Acura RLX Exterior-010 2014 Acura RLX Exterior-011 2014 Acura RLX Exterior-012 2014 Acura RLX Exterior-013 2014 Acura RLX Interior 2014 Acura RLX Interior-001 2014 Acura RLX Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2014 Acura RLX Interior-003 2014 Acura RLX Interior-004 2014 Acura RLX Interior-005 2014 Acura RLX Interior-006 2014 Acura RLX Interior-007 2014 Acura RLX Interior-008 2014 Acura RLX Interior-009 2014 Acura RLX Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2014 Acura RLX Interior-011 2014 Acura RLX Interior-012 2014 Acura RLX Interior-013 2014 Acura RLX Interior-014 2014 Acura RLX Interior-015 2014 Acura RLX Interior-016 2014 Acura RLX Interior-017 2014 Acura RLX Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2014 Acura RLX Interior-019 2014 Acura RLX 2014 Acura RLX-001

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Yet Another Cadillac Flagship that Won’t Be Produced http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/yet-another-cadillac-flagship-that-wont-be-produced/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/yet-another-cadillac-flagship-that-wont-be-produced/#comments Wed, 10 Jul 2013 13:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=494661 Car enthusiasts seem to love to play the what-if game when it comes to their favorite concept cars that never made it to production. If only the suits would listen to our better judgment they’d be rolling in the do-re-me and we’d be rolling down the road in our dream cars. With certain brands, the same […]

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img_0021

Cadillac Ciel

Car enthusiasts seem to love to play the what-if game when it comes to their favorite concept cars that never made it to production. If only the suits would listen to our better judgment they’d be rolling in the do-re-me and we’d be rolling down the road in our dream cars. With certain brands, the same names keep popping up. Talk about reviving Lincoln, and 2002’s Continental concept is cited as being brand-true, along with the Mark IX coupe from the previous year and the later Mark X convertible based on the Thunderbird/LS platform. Now comes word in a story leaked to the Automotive News, that Cadillac will not be putting the Ciel show car, another high profile show car from a luxury maker that enthusiasts hoped would see production. Neither the Ciel nor any sedan derived from that open four door car will be made. People working on the Ciel based flagship have been reassigned to other projects.

Cadillac Sixteen

Cadillac Sixteen

The reason given was that Cadillac is currently developing a RWD flagship sedan intended to go toe to toe with the 7 Series BMW, S Class Mercedes Benz and LS Lexus starting in late 2016 and that the Ciel didn’t, in the words of AN “offer enough brand-building pizzazz to justify the investment”. One of AN’s sources said that managers at GM decided that the Ciel, which would have been easily over $100,000, wasn’t a big enough “departure” from the planned 7/S/LS competitor, already under development. Reportedly, styling elements from the Ciel will make it to the planned sedan, but then the new CTS already shows some of that influence.

Cadillac Cien

Cadillac Cien

Either that 7 Series competitor is going to genuinely astound people or the idea that the Ciel didn’t have enough pizzazz or wouldn’t be positioned far enough above that competitor is one of the bigger prevarications associated with the brand since they said the Cimarron was a genuine Cadillac.

Lincoln Continental Concept

Lincoln Continental Concept

They want us to believe that the as yet unnamed flagship sedan is going to bring so much awesome that a car that left nearly all observers waxing gobsmacked and/or poetic with it’s shear awesomeness was just not awesome enough to see the green light to production.

Continental Mark IX concept

Continental Mark IX concept

People didn’t just like the Ciel, even the article in the Automotive News describes its reception as drawing “raves”. The Ciel was a huge hit when it was introduced during the Pebble Beach concours festivities in 2011 and then again on the auto show circuit last year.

Click here to view the embedded video.

At Pebble Beach it sucked the air out of just about everything else on display that week. When people are talking about your car instead of nearby Duesenbergs and gullwing SLs (or more important, that people were not talking about the cars and concepts Cadillac’s competitors were showing), I think you’ve got some brand-building pizzazz.

Continental Mark X concept

Continental Mark X concept

No, it wasn’t about the pizzazz of the Ciel, or lack thereof, as with many such things it came down to cost. The suits couldn’t justify the Ciel in terms of dollars and cents ROI. Of course you can’t measure brand image in dollars and cents.

img_0010

As with Lincoln, this wouldn’t be the first time in recent years that enthusiasts screamed “take my money!” while Cadillac (or the suits at GM, more likely) demurred. There was the centennial Cien in 2002 with a purpose built midship 60 degree V12 based on Northstar architecture. As stunning as the Cien was, a sports car, let alone a supercar, isn’t really brand consistent. What was brand consistent was the Cadillac Sixteen. Big, bold, and undeniably a Cadillac. Of course the V16 wouldn’t have made it in an eco-conscious age, but in terms of making a brand statement, the Sixteen still resonates.

img_0007

Not just because it was one of the earlier expressions of Cadillac’s brand identifying Art & Science styling theme but because it was everything that a Cadillac should be, beautiful, bold and brash, but with a modicum of taste. As a matter of fact, even the Automotive News article putting out GM’s spin on the stillborn Ciel mentioned the Sixteen as a perennial suggestion for a Cadillac flagship.

packardpredictor-10_r

Packard Predictor, Studebaker National Museum, South Bend

This is nothing new. There are brand enthusiasts who insist that if the company had put the Predictor into production, Packard would still be with us here today.

Please visit Cars In Depth for full photo galleries of the Cadillac Ciel, Cadillac Cien, Cadillac Sixteen, and the Packard Predictor.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

Continental Mark X concept Continental Mark IX concept Lincoln Continental Concept Cadillac Cien cadillacsixteen2 cadillacsixteen5 img_0007 img_0010 img_0012 img_0013 img_0021 img_0022 img_0027 img_0030 img_0094 Cadillac Sixteen img_0291 img_0293 img_0295 img_0300a

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2014 Cadillac CTS: The Standard Of The World? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/2014-cadillac-cts-the-standard-of-the-world/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/2014-cadillac-cts-the-standard-of-the-world/#comments Mon, 25 Mar 2013 22:55:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=482301 Having just picked up a Chrysler 300C, I would have told you that it’s the last American luxury car on sale today. Now I’m not so sure. Despite foisting on us the dreadfully mediocre XTS,Cadillac has had an ace up its sleeve the whole time. The 2014 CTS, shown here, doesn’t look like a 5-Series […]

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Having just picked up a Chrysler 300C, I would have told you that it’s the last American luxury car on sale today. Now I’m not so sure. Despite foisting on us the dreadfully mediocre XTS,Cadillac has had an ace up its sleeve the whole time.

The 2014 CTS, shown here, doesn’t look like a 5-Series competitor. It looks much more grand, with an elegant profile and unmistakably RWD proportions. The photos (or renderings) suggest a much larger car than an E-Segment should be.  How about a Fleetwood based on this design too? We’ll have live shots Wednesday, and a proper drive sometime after that – don’t count on a press invite from GM for your old pals at TTAC.

xxx_2014-cadillac-cts_aps_00287-4_3_rx513_c680x510 xxx_2014-cadillac-cts_aps_00286-4_3_rx513_c680x510 xxx_2014-cadillac-cts_aps_00284-4_3_rx513_c680x510 xxx_2014-cadillac-cts_aps_00281-4_3_rx513_c680x510 xxx_2014-cadillac-cts_aps_00279-4_3_rx513_c680x510 xxx_2014-cadillac-cts_aps_00277-4_3_rx513_c680x510 xxx_2014-cadillac-cts_aps_00285-4_3_rx513_c680x510 2014 Cadillac CTS. Photo courtesy USA Today.

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CAW: Oshawa Needs New Product To Survive http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/caw-oshawa-needs-new-product-to-survive/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/caw-oshawa-needs-new-product-to-survive/#comments Thu, 20 Dec 2012 16:26:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=471236 GM’s announcement that it would move Camaro production out of Oshawa has left one of GM’s best plants in a lurch, and the CAW says that the plant’s very survival is at stake. Moving the Camaro to GM’s Lansing, Michigan plant makes sense; the Camaro is the sole rear-drive product built at Oshawa, while the […]

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GM’s announcement that it would move Camaro production out of Oshawa has left one of GM’s best plants in a lurch, and the CAW says that the plant’s very survival is at stake.

Moving the Camaro to GM’s Lansing, Michigan plant makes sense; the Camaro is the sole rear-drive product built at Oshawa, while the Cadillac CTS and ATS are not only built in Lansing, but expected to share a platform with the Camaro in the coming years. But that’s raised questions about what GM will do to keep Oshawa going. Speaking to The Globe and Mail, CAW President Ken Lewenza expressed concerns regarding a possible slow decline for the plant

“A fully utilized plant today is on three shifts,” he said. “If this 100,000 units drops it to two shifts – which I anticipate it does – without any replacement vehicles, then the next move is one shift and [then] gone.”

The Camaro move will not only affect Oshawa, but also GM’s engine plant in St. Catharines, Ontario and a Johnson Controls plant in nearby Whitby. Both plants are nearly entirely dependent on the Camaro and will likely have to close following its departure. Lewenza claimed that during this summer’s negotiations, GM gave no notice that they planned to move the Camaro out of Oshawa. Without it, Oshawa will be left with the Cadillac XTS Buick Regal and the Chevrolet Impala

Complicating matters is the Canadian government’s reluctance to sell their stake in GM. While officials have previously stated that they don’t plan to hang on to their shares for the long term, there’s still the pesky matter of Canada’s $13.7 billion bailout package to GM. As part of the agreement, 16 percent of GM’s production must come from Canada, but it looks like the continued production of the previous generation Impala should help satisfy the requirements until June, 2014. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess. GM recently invested $185 million into the facility, but the figure pales in comparison to the billions it has received from the Canadian government.

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Disappointed By Four Detroit Cars, Consumer Reports Recommends A Japanese http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/disappointed-by-four-detroit-cars-consumer-reports-recommends-a-japanese/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/disappointed-by-four-detroit-cars-consumer-reports-recommends-a-japanese/#comments Tue, 20 Nov 2012 12:21:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=467522 Consumer Reports tested the latest offerings of Detroit automakers, did not like the Dodge Dart, was frustrated by the Cadillac XTS, was underwhelmed by the Lincoln MKS,  and put off by the Chevrolet Spark. CR ended up recommending a Japanese Lexus ES instead. The Dodge Dart, the first all-new model to emerge from the Fiat-Chrysler […]

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Consumer Reports tested the latest offerings of Detroit automakers, did not like the Dodge Dart, was frustrated by the Cadillac XTS, was underwhelmed by the Lincoln MKS,  and put off by the Chevrolet Spark. CR ended up recommending a Japanese Lexus ES instead.

The Dodge Dart, the first all-new model to emerge from the Fiat-Chrysler alliance, “feels underpowered” with its standard 2.0-liter four, says Consumer Report. The optional 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder did not impress either. The magazine grouches that the engine “is raspy and has drivability issues when mated with the optional dual-clutch automated manual transmission.”

Disappointed by the Dart, CR tried to find solace in big American iron, the Cadillac XTS and the Lincoln MKS, but found them lacking. According to CR, “both cars underwhelmed in a class dominated by German, Japanese, and Korean models.” Consumer Reports found the Cadillac to be “wonderfully luxurious,” but was put off by the CUE infotainment system, which CR calls “convoluted and frustrating.”

The Lincoln MKS left a negative impression on CR with its “cramped driving position, ungainly handling, uncomposed ride, and limited visibility.”

Nor could Detroit redeem itself in the discount segment. The Chevrolet Spark scored points with its “excellent fuel economy”, with “a surprisingly useable rear seat,” and “a comprehensive assortment of features.” However, “sluggish acceleration, stiff and jittery ride and very noisy cabin” caused CR’s enthusiasm to evaporate.

None of the Detroit cars were deemed as recommendable by Consumer Reports. Only when CR tested the Lexus ES, smiles returned to the testers’ faces. Consumer Reports likes the “comfy, quiet interior, impressive hybrid and V6 drivetrains, and excellent fuel economy.” CR tut-tutted that the “redesign took a step back in ride and interior refinement” and that the “handling didn’t impress,” but ended up recommending the Lexus and putting it on the list of CR’s higher-rated upscale sedans.

 

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Review: 2013 Cadillac XTS http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/review-2013-cadillac-xts/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/review-2013-cadillac-xts/#comments Wed, 31 Oct 2012 13:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=463855 Once upon a time, being the “Cadillac of <insert a noun here>” meant something magical. The problem is: it’s been 60 years since Cadillac was “The Cadillac of cars.” While the phrase lingers inexplicably on, GM is continues to play off-again/on-again with a flagship vehicle for the brand. The latest example is the all-new XTS. […]

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Once upon a time, being the “Cadillac of <insert a noun here>” meant something magical. The problem is: it’s been 60 years since Cadillac was “The Cadillac of cars.” While the phrase lingers inexplicably on, GM is continues to play off-again/on-again with a flagship vehicle for the brand. The latest example is the all-new XTS. Instead of being “the Cadillac of flagships,” the XTS is a place holder until a full-lux Caddy hits. Whenever that may be. In the mean time, Detroit needed to replace the aging STS and the ancient DTS with something, and so it was that the XTS was born of the Buick LaCrosse and Chevy Malibu.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Exterior

Engineers might have tried stretching the STS, or re-skinning the DTS yet again, but cash was in short supply so Caddy found their platform further down the food chain. Engineers took the Epsilon II platform (shared with everything from the Opel Insignia to the Roewe 950), stretched it to 202-inches long and hey-presto, the XTS was born. Unfortunately Cadillac wasn’t allowed to change the platform hard points, so the same 111.7-inch wheelbase and 62-inch track as the rest of the Epsilon rabble remains. With the wheelbase staying the same, the cabin had to be pushed as far to the wheels as possible to maximize interior space. For some gangsta feel, the belt-line was kept high, and for practical reasons the cabin was extended over the trunk to create a coupe-like profile and more rear headroom. Just for kicks the XTS’s narrow nose was raked to create a “cowcatcheresque” profile. The result is a sedan with awkward proportions, especially when parked next to the CTS, ATS, STS or DTS. (Wow that’s a whole bunch of TSs.)

Of course, style seems to be a problem for American luxury brands lately. Lincoln’s new nose took the recently refreshed MKS from country-farm-girl to tragic-farming-accident and while Chrysler doesn’t pretend to play in this segment, the new 300 is less attractive than its predecessor. (The 300 is unquestionably the most attractive and commanding sedan in this trio however.) What redeems the XTS? It still has plenty of bling and the fin is back. I must admit, I have the fin-love that dare not speak its name. Honestly.

Interior

The problem with an awkward exterior is that first impressions matter. Pity. The XTS has GM’s best interior ever. Aside from the bugaboo of a plastic airbag cover (an ailment many luxury brands suffer from), every  touch point is near perfection. From the tasteful two-tone stitched dash to the microfiber headliner, the XTS’s materials would pass an Audi taste test. Compared to the MKS, the Cadillac is more attractive and assembled with more precision. Compared to the Chrysler 300’s new luxury level interior, the Caddy is the place to be even though the 300’s leather dash is sublime. Unfortunately every silver lining has a cloud, and so it is with the XTS. There was a pleather dash part that was strangely crinkled and the glove box would routinely fall open beyond its stops and crash completely to the floor. (Check out the video for that.)

Thanks to the XTS’s odd profile, rear seat legroom measures out at 40-inches, 1.4 ahead of the MKS while also providing 46-inches of legroom up front (four more than MKS.) In addition, the XTS provides more head room in the rear and much nicer trappings. As proof that more traditional body shape provides more rear room, Chrysler’s 300 bests the XTS by 1/10th in rear legroom and rear headroom but in true-livery fashion leaves less space to the driver. Because the XTS is narrower than the competition, sitting three abreast in the rear is a “cozy” affair.

Infotainment

All XTS models get the new “Cadillac User Experience” or CUE system controlled by a gorgeous 8-inch LCD in the dash. Most navigation systems use a resistive touchscreen with a matte plastic surface that can easily scratch and causes images to look “fuzzy” at times. Cadillac stuck out their neck and used a more expensive capacitive touchscreen with a glass surface that is easy to clean and delivers graphics that are crisper than any system I have seen to date. What was Caddy’s muse? Think iPad.

Powering the LCD is software that gives MyLincoln Touch a run for its money. CUE supports “natural” voice commands to control the majority of system functions from iPod control to destination entry. Cadillac has gone USB crazy with three USB ports that all provide enough power to charge an iPad, something very few systems can do. CUE takes a novel approach to using multiple USB devices, the system indexes them together as if they were one music library so there’s no need to switch from one to the other to look for a song. CUE also sports the best iOS device integration available, for more information, check out the video at the top of the review.

Base XTS models come with an 8-speaker Bose system while upper trim levels of the XTS get a 14 speaker surround system with speakers integrated into the front seat backs. The 8 speaker system is well-balanced but seemed unable to handle moderate volume levels without some distortion. Thankfully the 14 speaker system proved an excellent companion and competes well with the up-level systems from the Germans.

As you would expect with a first generation system, I encountered a few hiccups. Despite the screen being large and high-resolution, CUS uses fairly “chunky” maps that lack detail and aren’t as attractive as iDrive. In addition, the “soft” menu buttons around the map cut the window down to a narrow slot making it difficult to use CUE as a map when navigating around downtown. The ability to “multi-touch” gesture on the screen for zooming sounds cool, but the response time is slow and the process proved more aggravating than useful. Lastly, much like Ford’s Touch system, CUE crashed frequently (four times in a week). While the crashing is a concern, my statement about Ford’s system applies equally to CUE: I can handle occasional crashing as long as the rest of the system is snazzy and does everything I want my car to do. Still, let’s hope Cadillac has a software update pronto.

 

Gadgets

The XTS is a conflicted vehicle. For every awkward exterior angle, there is a tasteful dash seam. For every complaint I have about CUE, there is a 12.3-inch LCD “disco dash” that stole my geeky heart. Sure, the cost of LCD-admission is the $54,505 XTS Premium, but this is the best LCD instrumentation ever. Yes, Jaguar/Land Rover/Mercedes have been toying with large LCDs for a while and even Dodge has a moderately configurable screen in the Dart, but the XTS makes use of the LCD. Huh? In JLR products, the LCD has one “look” (imitating traditional dials) and if you don’t like it that’s just tough. Cadillac gives you four layouts that range from traditional gauges to a modern digital theme and allows sections of the display to be further customized.

In addition to the LCD gauges, the XTS offers available pre-collision warning, lane departure warning, cross traffic detection, blind spot monitoring, heads-up display, adaptive cruise control and a system that will automatically stop you if you try to back over Jimmy on his skateboard. Most of these systems communicate with you through your backside via a seat that vibrates the cheek corresponding to the side of the vehicle that is in danger. Sound strange? It was, yet I found myself changing lanes sans signals so the “Magic Fingers” would feel me up.

Powertrain

Under the stubby hood you’ll find one engine: GM’s 3.6L direct-injection V6. Instead of the 321HP/275lb-ft tune the baby Caddy uses, this mill produces a more sedate 304HP at 6,800RPM and 264lb-ft at 5,200RPM (400RPM higher than the ATS’s peak). While there are rumors of a twin-turbo V6, I will believe it when I see it. Until then, all the power is sent to the front wheels via the GM/Ford 6-speed transaxle, or to all four wheels if you opt for a $2,225 Haldex AWD system.

Our AWD tester hit 60MPH in 6.1 seconds so it’s hard to call the XTS slow, but neither is it fast. The problem is the 260lb-ft versus a 4,200lb curb weight. While the base MKS (3.7L V6) is slower at 6.5 seconds, Lincoln’s twin-turbo bruiser gets the job done in 5.1. The 300 hit 60 in 6.3 thanks to its greater mass, but the 300’s 8-speed transmission allowed it to tie the XTS for a 14.9 Second 1/4 mile at 93 MPH.

Drive

My week with the XTS started with a journey to sample the 2013 Chevy Malibu turbo. The event made me wish GM’s new 2.0L turbo had been jammed into the XTS. Why? Because the Malibu hit 60 in 6.2 thanks to 260lb-ft plateau from 1,500-5,800RPM and delivered 24.7MPG in mixed driving. Our AWD XTS eeked out 18.9MPG in a highway-heavy cycle and FWD XTS shoppers should only expect one more MPG.

Acceleration quibbles aside, the XTS’s road manners are impeccable. The XTS proved a faithful companion on Northern California mountain highways thanks to the AWD system, GM’s “HiPer Strut” suspension design and Magnaride electronically controlled dampers. The oddly named suspension design moves the steering axis to a more vertical orientation closer to the center of the tire, reduces the scrub radius and helps keep the contact patch more consistent. Whatever the name, the system just works. The benefit is most obvious in the FWD XTS where it quells the torque steer demon but it also pays dividends in the AWD model by keeping the wheel more vertical thereby improving grip. While I wouldn’t call the overall dynamic “sporty,” the XTS is confident and predictable. Of course the 300’s rear-wheel setup makes it more fun and the MKS exhibited less body roll, but the XTS’s well sorted suspension and Magnaride system make it an excellent all-around performer.

I left my week with the XTS more confused than when we met and I’m no closer to understanding who the XTS is for. The Chrysler 300 makes a better performance vehicle with the 5.7L V8 and a better livery vehicle due to the rear seat dimensions. Lincoln’s twin-turbo V6 is insane and addictive in its own way, and Lincoln will (optionally) toss in quantities of real-wood that would make Jaguar blush. BMW, Audi and Mercedes have better brand names, more polished interiors and a complete line of engines that range from normal to 400+ horsepower. The XTS on the other hand is a confident-handling technological four de force dressed in a corduroy leisure suit. With leather elbow patches. And a fedora.

 

Cadillac provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of fuel for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.48 Seconds

0-60: 6.1 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 14.9 Seconds @ 93 MPH

2013 Cadillac XTS, Exterior, Tail Fin, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Cadillac XTS-002 2013 Cadillac XTS-003 2013 Cadillac XTS-004 2013 Cadillac XTS, Exterior, Front, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Cadillac XTS-006 2013 Cadillac XTS-007 2013 Cadillac XTS-008 2013 Cadillac XTS, Exterior, Rear, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Cadillac XTS-010 2013 Cadillac XTS-011 2013 Cadillac XTS-012 2013 Cadillac XTS, Engine, 3.6L V6, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Cadillac XTS-014 2013 Cadillac XTS-015 2013 Cadillac XTS-016 + 2013 Cadillac XTS-018 2013 Cadillac XTS-019 2013 Cadillac XTS-020 2013 Cadillac XTS, Infotainment, CUE system, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Cadillac XTS-022 2013 Cadillac XTS-023 2013 Cadillac XTS-024 2013 Cadillac XTS-025 2013 Cadillac XTS-026 2013 Cadillac XTS-027 2013 Cadillac XTS, Infotainment, CUE system, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Cadillac XTS-029 2013 Cadillac XTS-031 2013 Cadillac XTS-032 2013 Cadillac XTS-034 2013 Cadillac XTS-035 2013 Cadillac XTS-036 2013 Cadillac XTS-037 2013 Cadillac XTS-038 2013 Cadillac XTS, LCD Digital Gauges, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Cadillac XTS, Interior, Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Cadillac XTS-041 2013 Cadillac XTS-042 2013 Cadillac XTS-043 2013 Cadillac XTS-044 2013 Cadillac XTS-045 2013 Cadillac XTS-046 2013 Cadillac XTS-048 2013 Cadillac XTS-049 2013 Cadillac XTS-050 2013 Cadillac XTS-051 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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OnStar Glitch Causes GM To Halt Sales Of Certain Models http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/onstar-glitch-causes-gm-to-halt-sales-of-certain-models/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/onstar-glitch-causes-gm-to-halt-sales-of-certain-models/#comments Sat, 08 Sep 2012 17:18:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=459459 A software glitch in the OnStar system caused GM to halt sales of certain models, including the brand-new Cadillac ATS. Some 60,000 vehicles were affected by the glitch, which prevents OnStar’s crash notification system from notifying their call center in certain collisions that don’t trigger the airbags. Among the cars affected are the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox, […]

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A software glitch in the OnStar system caused GM to halt sales of certain models, including the brand-new Cadillac ATS.

Some 60,000 vehicles were affected by the glitch, which prevents OnStar’s crash notification system from notifying their call center in certain collisions that don’t trigger the airbags. Among the cars affected are the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox, Cruze and Volt, the Cadillac XTS and ATS, the 2012 Cadillac SRX , the Buick Verano and the GMC Terrain.

According to Automotive News, GM sent a memo to dealers telling them to “stop the delivery” of affected vehicles, and that the issue would be cleared by late September. Most vehicles can be fixed via a remote software flash, however some cars require a manual upgrade performed at the dealer.

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Cadillac’s XTS Based Livery Fleet Fleet Announced: Sedan, Limo & Hearse. Livery Sedan to Have “More Luxury” Than Standard XTS Models http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/cadillacs-xts-based-livery-fleet-fleet-announced-sedan-limo-hearse-livery-sedan-to-have-more-luxury-than-standard-xts-models/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/cadillacs-xts-based-livery-fleet-fleet-announced-sedan-limo-hearse-livery-sedan-to-have-more-luxury-than-standard-xts-models/#comments Wed, 05 Sep 2012 13:57:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=458945 With Lincoln abandoning the tradition Panther platform Town Car and moving to the awkwardly shaped MKT for its offerings to livery fleet operators, you might think that Cadillac would aggressively market their new XTS to the “black car” industry. The XTS, like the outgoing Town Car, is a traditionally styled luxury sedan. Cadillac just announced […]

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Why does a hearse need a sunroof in the back? - GM Photo

With Lincoln abandoning the tradition Panther platform Town Car and moving to the awkwardly shaped MKT for its offerings to livery fleet operators, you might think that Cadillac would aggressively market their new XTS to the “black car” industry. The XTS, like the outgoing Town Car, is a traditionally styled luxury sedan. Cadillac just announced it’s plans going forward for professional vehicles, and while they are indeed based on the XTS. Cadillac will be appealing to fleet operators that want to offer something a bit more luxurious to their customers than the decontented Town Cars of recent years.

Cadillac’s David Caldwell said that Lincoln’s Town Car brand, “has for a long time been the far-and-away market leader for these – and that will likely continue to be the case. But we are doing something specific for this, in a different direction… We are offering the Livery Package with a bit more luxury inside than standard XTS models… which honestly will limit the volume quite a bit, but is the right approach for how we wish to present the brand.”

While that might be a clever long term strategy to reenter a market more of less defined by the outgoing Town Car, it carries risk for the XTS brand. The strategy does make some sense. Once upon a time limousines were the apogee of luxury. I’m not talking about custom stretch jobs with stripper poles and neon lighting, I’m talking about factory built Series 75 Fleetwood limos, with jump seats to accommodate extra passengers and mohair upholstery. The decontented Town Car town cars used by livery services of late do present an opportunity for a fancier livery service vehicle. The problem with making the XTS Livery Sedan package more luxurious than standard retail XTS models is that it runs the risk of upsetting some of those retail XTS customers when the car service they use has a more luxurious Caddy than they do. Mechanically, the XTS Livery Sedan will differ from retail units in that they will come standard with air-leveling rear suspension. They also will feature GM’s trick magnetically adjustable dampers and brakes supplied by Brembo. Livery passengers will enjoy a premium sound system, heated seats, the rear seat comfort option package, shades on the side windows as well as the backlight, plus their own climate control zone for the back seat. There’s a console in the back as well and if there aren’t enough 12 volt outlets for everyone’s electronics, the XTS Livery Sedan comes standard with a power inverter if you need AC mains voltage. Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system is also standard on the Livery Sedan and while the announcement didn’t say so, my guess is that folks in the back seat will have their own touch panel.

The XTS Livery Sedan will be factory built alongside of regular XTS models at GM’s Oshawa, Ontario facility. It’s a safe guess that with the way that wealthy and successful Chinese prefer being driven, quite a few of the XTSes that will also be built in Shanghai will have the same rear seat accoutrements. As for other “professional” cars, hearses and stretched limos, as with Lincoln’s professional car program, Cadillac will be working a small group of coachbuilders that have been certified as meeting the OEM’s standards for quality, engineering, and safety.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

 

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2013 Cadillac XTS Starts At $44,995 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2013-cadillac-xts-starts-at-44995/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2013-cadillac-xts-starts-at-44995/#comments Thu, 05 Apr 2012 15:39:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=438494 The 2013 Cadillac XTS will start at $44,995 when it goes on sale later this spring. While three trim levels have been confirmed for the car, only the base price has been revealed. No word on how much the tech-laden Platinum edition will retail for. Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system will be standard, but all-wheel drive […]

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The 2013 Cadillac XTS will start at $44,995 when it goes on sale later this spring. While three trim levels have been confirmed for the car, only the base price has been revealed. No word on how much the tech-laden Platinum edition will retail for. Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system will be standard, but all-wheel drive will be an option across the board.

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Cadillac XTS, Lincoln MKT Livery Cars On Display Next Week In Las Vegas http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/cadillac-xts-lincoln-mkt-livery-cars-on-display-next-week-in-las-vegas/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/cadillac-xts-lincoln-mkt-livery-cars-on-display-next-week-in-las-vegas/#comments Tue, 31 Jan 2012 16:49:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=428773 Panther fans, grab your heart medication. Cadillac and Lincoln will be unveiling their entrants into the livery car market next week at the International LCT show in Las Vegas, based on the front-drive Cadillac XTS sedan and Lincoln MKT crossover. The “W20 Livery Sedan Package” appears to be a trim level on its own, with distinct […]

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Panther fans, grab your heart medication. Cadillac and Lincoln will be unveiling their entrants into the livery car market next week at the International LCT show in Las Vegas, based on the front-drive Cadillac XTS sedan and Lincoln MKT crossover.

The “W20 Livery Sedan Package” appears to be a trim level on its own, with distinct extended wheelbase and sedan chassis variants offered later this year. The W20 looks like  comes loaded with every option available, including the Brembo brake package. Lincoln has previously shown their MKT livery car concept. For my money, nothing beats a nice Signature L. The full press release is below.

Cadillac, Premier Sponsor at 28th Annual International LCT Show Produced by LCT (Limousine, Charter and Tour) Magazine, Set to Debut New Livery Vehicle

LAS VEGAS, NV–(Marketwire – Jan 26, 2012) – Annual International LCT Show produced by Bobit Business Media, with media sponsor, LCT (Limousine, Charter and Tour) Magazine announced a Premier Sponsor, Cadillac, will debut new their newest livery vehicle during the event, taking place February 13-15 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Cadillac jump-starts a changing limousine market with a long-awaited premier luxury sedan it hopes will catapult it ahead of longtime livery rival Lincoln. Once unveiled Feb. 13, the Cadillac XTS will go head-to-head with other luxury brand sedans in the industry. Buyers will need to choose between the multiple luxury sedan offerings and the crossover-styled MKT Town Car that Lincoln is showing.

While a successor to the former DTS/DeVille line of luxury sedans, the XTS heralds a revamped design that emphasizes a sportier, younger luxury image suffused with advanced technology and intuitive connectivity. “This new vehicle will help dispel some of the myths out there about Cadillac,” said Ray Bush, Cadillac Professional Vehicles Program Manager. “The Cadillac of old was from the standpoint of large, floaty vehicles. Cadillac has moved away from that with its new products launched over the last 10 years. The XTS will further that with outstanding ride characteristics that compare favorably with Cadillac vehicles of the past.”

Standard features include: illuminated door handles, push-button start, Brembo brakes, rear vision camera and obstacle detection, and OnStar. Optional features include: Navigation system; a Luxury Package with a memory driver’s seat, heated/cooled front seats and a premium audio system with surround sound; and a Rear Comfort package with heated seats, side-window and backlight sun shades and Tri-zone HVAC controls.

The XTS “W20 Livery Sedan Package” will be unveiled in the Cadillac booth at the International LCT Show, with the extended sedan and limousine chassis available later this year. Special pricing and incentives are expected be announced at the show as well. All vehicles for the chauffeured transportation industry are covered with PVPP extended warranty for 3 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first.

For more information on the International LCT Show, visit www.LCTSHOW.com.

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