The new 2014 Cadillac XTS VSport series five-passenger sedan delivers all of the luxury you expect from a full-size Cadillac sedan along with a very healthy (almost muscular) dose of the performance you might not expect from this enhanced trim level of the Cadillac XTS.
We recently were able to check this new Cadillac out for a full week including a round trip to Dallas from Austin for a preview of the new (for 2015) GM full size SUVs that left us very much impressed (both XTS and the 2015 SUVs) and, as my partner pointed out, hard pressed to find anything we did not like about this XTS.
Our test car was a Cadillac XTS VSport AWD Premium sedan in luscious Crystal Red Tintcoat with a subtle yet elegant leather trimmed interior in Shale color with Cocoa Accents.
The MSRP for our test XTS was $62,095. It came equipped with the 3.6L Twin Turbo V6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with tap shift manual control and all-wheel-drive (AWD) and riding on 20-inch Aluminum Premium Painted Wheels.
Added to the our test XTS was the Driver Assist Package for $2,395 which included Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Collision Preparation and Front and Rear Automatic Braking that starts the braking action for you if you do not respond to warnings quickly enough.
The Crystal Red Tintcoat is an optional color for $995.
Delivered with freight included this Cadillac XTS VSport AWD Premium priced at $ 66,410.
To manage the road, the XTS VSport suspension - through its advanced all-wheel-drive system uses Haldex technology with an electronically controlled limited-slip differential that transfers power front-to-back, and side-to-side, along the rear axle plus Stabilitrak-Stability Control with Traction Control to keep the right wheels engaged in response to road conditions. It adds to that control using its Magnetic Ride Control, rear air springs, HiPer Strut front suspension and Brembo front brakes to deliver a comfortable yet solid performing ride that is well matched to this power train.
Some of the luxury and performance features that make the XTS stand out include unique “Twin-Turbo” grille and VSport deck lid identification, Intellibeam automatic headlamp control, illuminating door handles, High-intensity discharge headlamps with Twilight Sentinel feature, Adaptive Forward Lighting, LED center high-mounted rear stop lamp, heated outside mirrors with auto-dimming feature, turn-signal indicators and puddle lamps and Rainsense automatic windshield wipers.
On the inside, Cadillac luxury begins with one of the most spacious cabin spaces in the segment with (as an example) 40-inches of legroom in the back seat for the superb comfort of passengers. The trunk of the XTS has 18 cubic feet which, by my reckoning, is room enough for the golf clubs of a foursome.
The seating, front bucket seating and rear 60/40 split bench are trimmed in Soleil Keisel leather surfaces with perforated detailing and are heated as well as ventilated both front and rear. Additional interior features include adaptive remote start, a Bose Studio Surround Sound with 14-speaker system with energy-efficient amplifier plus SiriusXM Satellite Radio and HD radio,Tri-zone automatic climate control and a Rear Vision Camera.
In addition, a color reconfigurable 12.3-inch gauge cluster with driver information center, Head-Up Display with color readout, illuminated entry and courtesy lighting, (really cool) accent lighting - including LED spotlights with light pipes, leather-accented steering wheel with real wood accents and tap up/tap down transmission controls along with heated steering wheel and Power rear window shade and manual rear side windows.
Cadillac CUE with Navigation is the standard technology package on all Cadillac models. It is a significant design element in the cockpit highlighting the center stack. It's heart is the standard eight-inch screen in the center stack, the faceplate below the screen and the steering wheel controls. Features include capacitive-touch control with proximity sensing, haptic feedback, gesture recognition and natural voice recognition.
The 12.3-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster features vibrant graphic displays showcased among four driver-selectable themes, ranging from minimal to extensive information. We worked with this feature quite a bit and, though a bit intimidating at first, we found that it pretty easy to configure with a bit of practice and the owner's manual. We would point out that Cadillac now has certified advisors in place at all dealerships to guide and train new owners through the CUE experience.
The Cadillac Driver Awareness Package, also included on the XTS VSport, has Lane Departure Warning Forward Collision Alert, Safety Alert Seat, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Reflected LED display.
Lastly, our test XTS included Automatic Parking Assist, which enables the car to parks itself in parallel spaces. It uses ultrasonic sensors to locate a suitable space and maneuver the car into the space. The driver is required to only engage reverse and apply the accelerator and brake pedals.
Cadillac introduced the full-size luxury XTS sedan in 2013 as a replacement for the aging STS and DTS full-size luxury sedans that had outlived their time.
Taking styling and performance cues from their very successful CTS (mid-size) and ATS (compact) luxury sedans, Cadillac developed the XTS - a sleeker and slightly smaller (than the STS and DTS) - for 2013 to satisfy the Cadillac owner who still wanted full-size luxury but with the younger styling and performance attributes of the CTS and the ATS, but wanted those attributes to be a bit more to the soft rather than the hard side of the performance driving experience in the CTS and ATS.
However, a younger segment of the XTS customer (plus a few old guys like me) - seeing the enhanced performance attributes of the high performance V-Series in the CTS Sedan, Coupe and Wagon equipped with the 6.2L V8 engine with 556 HP and 551 lb.-ft of torque - were still not being addressed especially with the marginal performance of the standard 3.6L V6 with 305 horsepower and 264 lb.-ft. of torque that came with the 2013 model year of the XTS.
To address that segment for 2014, Cadillac added this higher performing version of the XTS, the Cadillac XTS VSport, equipped with the new (for 2014) Cadillac Twin-Turbo 3.6L V-6 delivering 410 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque - one of the most power-dense six-cylinder engines in the segment. This new power plant is mated to the Hydra-Matic 6T75 six-speed automatic transmission with tap shift manual control and is leaps and bounds better than the previous standard V6 with reasonable fuel economy of 16/24 mpg City/Highway and an average of 19 mpg.
Though the XTS VSport is not quite the performance vehicle that the CTS V-Series are (with the V8 engines), it is not intended to be. It is instead a very fine full-size sedan in the Cadillac tradition of luxury and feature rich convenience with a good ride plus enough kick-in-the-pants power to do it very nicely - thank you.
As my partner said, there was nothing we did not like about the 2014 Cadillac XTS VSport AWD Premium other than having to give it back.