2018 Cadillac XTS: You've Seen the Face, Now Ask About the Seat Foam

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Thanks to China’s media, as well as General Motors’ aggressive pursuit of new buyers in that populous, prestige-seeking country, we’ve already seen the facelifted 2018 XTS sedan. The Chinese market model appeared a month ago, powered by a downsized motor you won’t find in U.S. variants.

Despite this, the refreshed XTS is now official. Cadillac has released details and photos of a model that wasn’t supposed to have a second act — until it realized you don’t drop a vehicle with steady sales, no matter how outdated it may appear. Say hello to Cadillac’s front-drive full-sizer, now gussied up to look like Cadillac’s rear-drive full-sizer.

For 2018, the XTS dispenses with the previous model’s swept-back face and headlights, adopting a more upright grille reminiscent of the newer CT6 and Y-shaped LED headlamps. The game of dressup continues with vertical LED running lights flanking its new face and a badge adorning the front fender. More chrome trim appears in the remolded lower fascia.

All of these changes amount to a car that’s 1.1 inches shorter than before.

While there’s nothing new about the model’s flanks, the sharp character line now flows into L-shaped LED taillights and a newly sculpted trunklid. You won’t mistake it for a CT6. Still, Cadillac models need to toe the company design line, especially if they’ve been granted a last-minute stay of execution. The automaker had planned to discontinue the XTS following the CT6’s launch, but strong sales of the old model swayed Cadillac brass.

Inside the XTS, Cadillac promises more comfort — both for your ears and backside. Increased use of sound insulation and new tire designs should make for a quieter cabin, while your derrière will apparently rejoice at the prospect of “changes to seat foam geometry, wire frame structure and heat pad redesign.” Revolutionary changes these are not.

Tech-savvy owners will note the adoption of Cadillac’s cloud-based user experience system, which groups together key applications on one screen. Want to add apps? Fancy some connected navigation? Eager to personalize any number of infotainment settings? Cadillac makes it possible, though just how tech-savvy the non-livery buyers of this traditional sedan might be remains a big question mark. At least the updated CUE interface is designed to be easier to operate.

Whether owners know it’s there or not, Cadillac’s suite of driver aids now includes low-speed automatic braking and lane change alert (with the Driver Awareness Package) and forward/reverse automatic braking and adaptive cruise control (with the Driver Assist Package).

As before, buyers can choose between a standard 3.6-liter V6 making 304 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque, with optional all-wheel drive and Magnetic Ride Control for those concerned about handling limits. The V-Sport model returns, boasting a twin-turbocharged version of the 3.6. Count on that mill to generate 410 horses and 269 lb-ft. As before, a six-speed automatic remains the sole transmission.

New 19- and 20-inch wheel choices and interior trim patterns and colors round out the menu of choices for XTS buyers. The automaker hasn’t released pricing, preferring to wait until closer to the official launch later this year.

[Images: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • BrentinWA BrentinWA on Jun 20, 2017

    It's a boring update..... it doesn't work with the proportions of the car. The front end of the car is much too broad and tall for such a small lighting treatment. I have a 2013 and I prefer the much more bold look of the older model's face.... people should notice when a Cadillac is bearing down on them in their rearview mirror. The one thing that I think they could have done to improve proportions from the rear would have been to widen the rear fascia and squared it off more, then made the vertical light treatments taller and deeper. I am a repeat Cadillac buyer, and I am 42 years old.... so I should have a few more cars to buy in my life. I think that my next car will be a Black Label Continental given the direction of Cadillac.

  • Ltcmgm78 Ltcmgm78 on Jun 21, 2017

    I love the way this refresh looks. Frankly, Cadillac makes the mistake of not being Cadillac. Who cares if it's somewhat German? Their biggest mistake is overpricing. They need to do what Hyundai does: Car with cool stuff in it at a significant savings. Then, they can try one special model with stratospheric pricing. This car costs more than I'm generally willing to pay. A neighbor has one in a metallic red that really looks nice. Before I got over my SAAB addiction, the local Cadillac dealer did its servicing and I got either an ATS, a CTS, or an XT5 loaner. I really liked the ATS, but couldn't get past the fact it used run-flats. The CTS was OK, but felt too big for me (average build). The XT5 was very comfortable but I felt like I had to go shopping at the Galleria when I got in it.

  • 2manyvettes A fraternity brother had a '67 Cougar and I had a '71 Pinto. Come to find out we had identical ignition keys. That can't happen anymore, but it was a fun coincidence at the time!
  • Fred There is also a case going before the SCOTUS https://www.levernews.com/scotus-is-considering-a-deregulation-bomb/ It's about a convenience store challenging debt card fees. But it could be used to restrict government agencies from regulating industry. Warning, this is a liberal site that some may find difficult to believe
  • Vatchy And how is the government going to recoup the losses from gas taxes and EV incentives? They are going to find another way to tax us. Maybe by attaching a GPS device to every car and charging by the mile.
  • Kwik_Shift And the so-called GND / TGR experts were so sure of themselves.
  • Verbal It seems there is an increasing number of cases where the factories send out software updates to fix their products in the customer fleet. Either their software engineers don't know what they're doing, or the factories are using their customers as beta testers, or both.