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2018 Cadillac XTS: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 6/6/2018 U.S. News & World Report
a car parked in front of a building: 2018 Cadillac XTS© Cadillac 2018 Cadillac XTS

The 2018 Cadillac XTS delivers respectable performance and a spacious, upscale cabin. However, it finishes near the bottom of our luxury large car rankings because most competitors bring more to the table.

The 2018 Cadillac XTS is ranked:

Is the Cadillac XTS a Good Car?

The Cadillac XTS is a fine luxury large car. The XTS provides a smooth and comfortable ride, and its posh cabin rewards with generous seating space and quality materials. The XTS also rates highly for crash safety, and its $46,000 starting price is one of the lowest in the class.

Should I Buy the Cadillac XTS?

It’s hard to fault the XTS’ many positives. If you’re shopping for a safe, comfortable, and relatively affordable luxury car, this Cadillac checks the boxes. On the other hand, the XTS’ pricier competitors hit most of these marks, then add sportier handling and more powerful engines as well. If you want a luxury large car that is as fun to drive as it is refined, consider alternatives like the Audi A7, Genesis G90, or even the XTS’s newer sibling, the Cadillac CT6.

Compare the XTS, A7, and G90 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Cadillac XTS?

The 2018 XTS is part of a generation that began with the 2013 model year. You can save money with older models, but you'll have to take some year-to-year changes into account. Only the 2016-and-newer models support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These model years also benefit from a redesigned grill—the 2013, 2014, and 2015 models have an older design. Notably, the 2013 XTS was not available with the higher-performance turbocharged engine that became offered on later models.

If you're interested in a used model, be sure to visit our overviews of the 2016 Cadillac XTS and 2017 Cadillac XTS. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 XTS »
We Did the Research for You: 54 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from every year of the current XTS generation, which includes the 2013 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Cadillac XTS Cost?

The Cadillac XTS has one of the lowest base prices in the class: $46,395. It can certainly get more expensive, as there are several higher trims, but even the highest trim (which starts at about $72,500) is considerably less than you’d pay for some fully loaded rivals.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Cadillac dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Cadillac deals page.

Cadillac XTS Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Cadillac XTS or Cadillac CTS?

The Cadillac CTS costs about the same as the XTS even though it competes in a class of luxury midsize cars. The CTS delivers superior overall performance and better base fuel economy than the XTS. For performance enthusiasts, it also offers a 640-horsepower supercharged V8 in the CTS-V. As a larger vehicle, the XTS provides more passenger and cargo space. In terms of features and interior quality, these two are on level ground. This comparison boils down to whether you prefer the larger confines and smoother ride of the XTS or the superior performance of the CTS.

Which Is Better: Cadillac XTS or Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a luxury midsize car that's far more expensive than the larger XTS. However, it's worth the extra money for many buyers because it excels in many ways over Cadillac. The E-Class offers a stronger engine lineup and is more fun to drive. While the XTS is roomier, the Mercedes offers a lot more features. Plus, its material quality is unmatched.

Compare the XTS, CTS, and E-Class »

XTS Interior

How Many People Does the XTS Seat?

The XTS seats five people. Whether you’re up front or in the back, your seat will have all-day support and enough head- and legroom that even tall people won’t feel cramped.

XTS and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. There aren’t any issues with the tether anchors, but the lower anchors are set a bit too deep in the seat.

XTS Interior Quality

Cadillac certainly doesn’t skimp on quality inside the XTS. In addition to looking great, the cabin is replete with premium soft-touch materials, delivering the posh feel you want from a luxury vehicle.

XTS Cargo Space

With 18 cubic feet of space, the XTS’ trunk is larger than many competitors’ trunks. That’s enough space for more than a dozen shopping bags or a week’s worth of vacation luggage.

XTS Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Cadillac XTS include a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, wireless phone charging, and an infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and two USB ports. Available features include a sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, navigation, and a 14-speaker Bose audio system.

While standard features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and wireless phone charging are nice, the XTS is really all about the CUE infotainment system, which you'll use often. The touch screen is responsive, but the touch-sensitive buttons underneath this screen can be tough to adjust. Additionally, this Cadillac has a digital instrument panel that can be configured in a myriad ways. With so many choices and menu items to sift through, it can be overwhelming.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

XTS Performance

XTS Engine: No V8, No Problem

The XTS' base engine is a 304-horsepower V6; a 410-horsepower twin-turbo V6 is available. The base engine doesn’t feel special, but it has plenty of power for most driving situations. You’ll definitely feel the extra horsepower if you opt for the twin-turbocharged engine, however, and it delivers noticeably better acceleration.

XTS Gas Mileage: Decent, Not Great

The XTS gets OK fuel economy for a large sedan, earning 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Unlike many luxury vehicles, it doesn’t require premium gasoline. The XTS V-Sport, which does require premium gas and has all-wheel drive, earns 16/23 mpg city/highway.

XTS Ride and Handling: Comfort First

The XTS prioritizes a comfortable ride, which it mostly delivers. It may feel slightly jittery at times, but the available Magnetic Ride Control system improves the cushioned feel. Though this is no sports sedan, the XTS is composed around turns.

Read more about performance »

XTS Reliability

Is the Cadillac XTS Reliable?

The 2018 XTS has an above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Cadillac XTS Warranty

Cadillac covers the XTS with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. Many luxury vehicles have similar warranty terms.

Read more about reliability »

XTS Safety

XTS Crash Test Results

The 2018 Cadillac XTS earned a perfect five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a rating of Good (the best possible) in every crash test performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

XTS Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features in the Cadillac XTS include a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. Available features include lane keep assist, front parking sensors, automatic park assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a surround-view camera, a head-up display, lane departure warning, lane change alert, forward collision alert, and forward and reverse automatic braking.

Read more about safety »

Which Cadillac XTS Model Is Right for Me?

You have five trims to choose from when shopping for this Caddy. If you want the most powerful engine, you have to jump all the way to the top trim. That carries a hefty price increase over the lower trims, so be sure you want that engine before taking the plunge.

If you’re OK with the base engine, the Luxury trim makes a great choice. It comes standard with a wide array of features, and lots of driver assistance features are available. Sure, it’s missing things like a sunroof and massaging seats, but you’d have to pay another $15,000 or so to step up to the Platinum trim if you want those. For most buyers, those aren't worth the money.

Cadillac XTS

The XTS has a base price of $46,395. Standard features in the XTS include leather upholstery, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, automatic dual-zone climate control, wireless phone charging, a rearview camera, rear park assist, Teen Driver, and an infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and two USB ports.

There aren’t any notable option packages for this trim, and this is the only trim that doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Cadillac XTS Luxury

The XTS Luxury has a starting price of $50,395. In addition to the base trim’s features, the Luxury comes with heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, navigation, front and rear parking sensors, and automatic parking assist.

For $1,800, you can add the Driver Awareness package, which includes forward collision alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, a safety alert seat, and more. You can add all-wheel drive for $2,000.

Cadillac XTS Premium Luxury

The XTS Premium Luxury starts at $56,795. The Premium Luxury comes standard with Magnetic Ride Control, a 14-speaker Bose audio system, tri-zone automatic climate control, a head-up display, forward collision alert, forward automatic braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane change alert, blind spot monitoring, a surround-view camera, and a safety alert seat.

All-wheel drive costs $2,200. The Driver Assist package ($1,100) adds adaptive cruise control and forward and reverse automatic braking.

Cadillac XTS Platinum

The XTS Platinum has a starting price of $65,695. Standard features in the Platinum include upgraded leather upholstery, 22-way power-adjustable front seats, massaging front seats, a sunroof, adaptive cruise control, and reverse automatic braking.

There aren’t any notable option packages for the Platinum trim, but you can add all-wheel drive for $2,200.

Cadillac XTS V-Sport Platinum

The XTS V-Sport Platinum starts at $72,495. The V-Sport Platinum comes with a 410-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V6 engine and all-wheel drive, as well as the Platinum’s features.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Cadillac dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Cadillac deals page.

See 2018 Cadillac XTS specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Cadillac XTS has a lot going for it, both inside and out. Comparing it head-to-head with class competitors reveals many areas where this Cadillac is merely OK or good, while rivals are great. Because of that, you might be better off exploring other options.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2018 Cadillac XTS review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.

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