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2014 Cadillac XTS

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/9/2014 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2014

The 2014 Cadillac XTS adds automatic high-beam headlights, an available rear-seat entertainment system, front passenger seat memory function, and an opaque sunroof sunshade. Front-drive models also gain a new electric power steering system and automatic parking assist. Cadillac has also added the Vsport model with a 3.6-liter twin turbo V-6 producing 410 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque paired to a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

Vehicle Summary

The 2014 XTS is a large luxury sedan sold in four trims and in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations.

Overview

In addition to the new 3.6-liter twin turbo V-6, the 2014 XTS is available with a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V-6 making 304 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque paired to a six-speed automatic as its base engine. It's available in front- and all-wheel drive-configurations. Fuel economy is average for the class at an EPA-rated 18/28 mpg city/highway for front-drive 3.6 models. Opting for all-wheel drive drops those numbers down to 17/26 mpg. Vsport variants sacrifice fuel efficiency in favor of performance, achieving 16/24 mpg.

Driving dynamics are a 2014 XTS strong suit. A well-tuned chassis features GM's Magnetic Ride Control. For such a large car, the XTS handles well because of its magnetic dampers, especially in all-wheel-drive guise, striking a great balance between agility and a comfort that doesn't disrupt driver engagement. Good steering feel contributes to the car's performance with a "firm on-center feel and more organic feedback." The Vsport variant builds upon the XTS' good performance with a more powerful engine and a retuned suspension, improving acceleration and handling without ruining its ride quality with a firm but comfortable ride. However, the transmission remains a weak point because of slow shifts in manual mode.

Interior space is generous in the 2014 Cadillac XTS, with ample room for four adults. Build quality, however, isn't up to par with the class with front seats that use low-quality material for the bolsters and looked "out of place in an otherwise very refined, high-end cabin." Additionally, Vsport variants have "seats that are clearly not designed for hard cornering" because of its inability to hold the driver in place during aggressive driving through twisty mountain roads. Cadillac's CUE infotainment system and its touch-sensitive controls are confusing to use. Its lack of responsiveness, unclear map guidance, and slow reaction time detract from an otherwise livable cabin.

The 2014 Cadillac XTS has a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) and scored good in the four tests that the IIHS has tested it in (good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

While the 2014 XTS is a pleasantly comfortable luxury sedan, it also possesses great handling for such a large vehicle. We noted in a First Drive review of a 2014 Vsport that "body roll and other movements are very well-controlled" despite its two-ton curb weight. The larger 20-inch wheels on Vsport models detract from the car's ride quality, making it "too firm" while "transmitting more tire noise." In a Comparison Test with the 2014 Acura RLX, the Cadillac XTS lost due to its unimpressive fuel economy and "clunky user interface" that became "extremely annoying and frustrating" to operate due to its sensitivity.

You'll Like

  • Available twin turbo V-6
  • Excellent handling for a large luxury car
  • Roomy interior

You Won't Like

  • Lackluster fuel economy
  • Firm ride with 20-inch wheels
  • Confusing infotainment system

Key Competitors

  • Acura RLX
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  • Audi A6
  • Infiniti Q70
  • Lincoln MKS

Rating

3 star

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