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2019 Cadillac XTS Review

2019 Cadillac XTS Review
The 2019 Cadillac XTS feels purpose-built as an executive chauffeur’s chariot but provides a comfortable and pleasant ride from any seat.

The 2019 Cadillac XTS builds on the brand’s reputation for comfortable, modern big-car luxury. Unchanged from the 2018 model year, the 2019 XTS remains a capable full-size sedan that carries plenty of heritage without the stale nostalgia.

Trim packages carry over for 2019 as well, with Base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, Platinum, and Platinum V-Sport trim levels available. Several of those can be had with all-wheel drive. Armored, stretch, and hearse packages are available.

Shorter front and rear overhangs and sharper styling brought a much more modern look to the XTS in 2018. The update also included an updated chassis that greatly improved ride quality—a big deal for the stretch limo crowd.

Powertrain choices remain unchanged in 2019, with two V-6 engines on offer. Most XTS trims come with a 304-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6. The top of the line V-Sport gets power from a 410-hp, twin-turbo version of the same engine. The entire XTS range is serviced by a 6-speed automatic transmission that would benefit from an extra gear or two, especially given this model’s primary temperament as a comfortable people-hauler.

Inside, the XTS offers plenty of space, with comfortable and supportive seats, much more suited for all-day cruising than carving out canyon roads at high speeds. The XTS does not fail its heritage as an executive transport, with beautifully trimmed and very spacious back seats.

Though safety and crash-test scores are not yet out for the 2019 model year, we expect the same IIHS ratings of “Good” and “Superior” that the 2018 model achieved, though some ratings were awarded to models with optional equipment that brought extra cost to the already premium-priced XTS line.

—Chris Teague, For Internet Brands Auto

The 2019 XTS takes a no-risk approach to styling and design.

The Cadillac XTS was overhauled in 2018 to feature sharper lines and a shorter overall length. The revised exterior brought a new grille, redesigned wheels, and LED taillights in 2018, which remain in place for the new model year. The changes help the car hide its overall size.

The upscale look still hasn’t done much to add excitement overall, which means we’ll stick with our style rating of 7 out of 10. 

The XTS offers an expected rich experience inside, with detailed stitching, soft-touch, and high-end materials throughout. With an almost minimalist design, Cadillac has kept the interior simple and centered around the 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Upgraded in 2018, the CUE (Cadillac User Experience) system offers a smoother and more intuitive experience than before.
Cadillac’s design-light theme carries over to the control panel, where most controls for things like climate are now touch-sensitive panels instead of buttons. This creates quite a learning curve, but calms the cabin’s look down.

The 2019 Cadillac XTS is an all-day cruising machine, thanks to a refined ride and capable engines.

The 2019 Cadillac XTS excels on the road—albeit in a straight line, though in V-Sport trim the big Cadillac can become a dynamic, responsive driver’s machine.

We’ve given the 2019 XTS a 7 out of 10. We praise it for solid powertrains and a posh ride. (Read more abouthow we rate cars.)

The 304-horsepower V-6 that powers most XTS models pushes the big sedan to 60 mph in an estimated 6.8 seconds. That’s solid for a car of this size, but the engine feels stressed when the XTS is loaded with people and their gear—exactly where this car should shine most. The 6-speed automatic is smooth and predictable but does not excel at lower speeds.

With the exception of the V-Sport, the XTS comes standard with front-wheel drive, and all but the base models offer all-wheel drive. The refinements made in 2018 carry over; they greatly improved ride quality over previous versions.

As with other Cadillac models, the V-Sport trim package turns up the heat. With 410 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque from a twin-turbo V-6, the range-topping XTS V-Sport is a fairly convincing sports sedan. Cadillac claims 0-60 mph times of just over five seconds; standard AWD gives the XTS V-Sport a planted and confident feeling under acceleration.

Optional MagneRide brings electromagnetically adjustable dampers and self-leveling rear suspension to the XTS, offering a capable and comfortable ride in nearly any road conditions. Feeling much more big-boned than outright big, the XTS carries its weight well. The two ton-plus curb weight makes itself apparent under braking, where the big sedan pitches forward and nosedives while braking. The V-Sport tightens things up considerably, but you won’t be running hot laps in the XTS no matter the trim.

Comfort & Quality
Everyone gets a great seat in the 2019 Cadillac XTS, but the ride in the back seat is truly a noteworthy experience.

Passengers front to back will find the 2019 Cadillac XTS roomy and extremely well-appointed. From the driver’s seat, the XTS is finished in leather and high-end materials everywhere the eye can see. We think it’s worth an 8 out of 10. 

This car is the torch-bearer for Cadillac’s historic reputation as the brand of big, luxury, land-yachts. Take one look inside the back seat of the 2019 XTS and you will see why. With room for even the tallest adults to stretch out, the XTS has been designed with executive shuttle space. Despite the sloping lines and extended moonroof, the XTS has plenty of headroom for even the most vertically gifted individuals.

Seating up front treats the first-row occupants in the same fashion. With just enough bolstering to be supportive, we found the front bucket seats to be well-shaped and comfortable on even the longest of road trips. Add in the optional massage seats and the XTS can make even some of the most expensive European cars feel rough.

The XTS comes standard with soft, premium-feeling leather throughout. Higher trims build on this solid foundation with wood trim, nicer leather, and plenty of synthetic and real suede for an interior that punches well above its price class.

The 2019 Cadillac XTS can be a very safe vehicle when fitted with the right options.

The Cadillac XTS has performed very well in limited testing from federal and independent agencies. Based on similarities with last year's model, we give the XTS a 7 out of 10. 

Federal testers give the XTS five stars overall, including five stars in most subtests. The IIHS rated the XTS mostly "Good" in all its crash tests, but it hasn't yet rated the XTS in the finicky small overlap crash test.

Options include automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera system, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and rear cross-traffic warnings. Features such as these are standard equipment on some rival cars, we would note.

The 2019 Cadillac XTS can be downright decadent for the right price.

Even in base trim, the 2019 Cadillac XTS is more than well-equipped. Luxury models raise the bar and the Platinum trim adds some of the very latest luxury innovations. Coupled with the enhanced technology features introduced in 2018, this is enough to earn the 2019 XTS an 8 out of 10.

The list of standard equipment is long, with an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, Bose audio, eight-way power front seats, LED headlights, OnStar with 4G LTE hotspot, and 19-inch alloy wheels

Luxury trim adds the option of AWD and includes navigation, auto-dimming mirrors, and automatic parking. Heated front and rear seats, as well as cooled front seats and a heated steering wheel make their way into Luxury trim levels as well.

The XTS Premium Luxury includes the optional safety technology bundle. Rear seat automatic climate control, heads-up display, a 12.3-inch configurable screen in the instrument cluster, and other upgrades make their way into the Premium Luxury as well.

Platinum-trim XTS sedans can be fitted with  20-inch alloy wheels, semi-aniline leather upholstery, and even more plush and swanky finishes throughout.

Both the Premium Luxury and Platinum can be further upgraded with full-speed automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.

The 2019 Cadillac XTS Platinum V-Sport is available only with all-wheel drive and includes firmer suspension along with several sporty styling touches.

In 2018, Cadillac overhauled its CUE infotainment system, significantly streamlining and enhancing usability.

Fuel Economy
The 2019 Cadillac XTS is as frugal as its big body will allow.

The 2019 Cadillac XTS should carry over the previous model year’s fuel economy ratings. We give it a 4 out of 10 based on those carry-over ratings. 

The EPA rated last year’s XTS at 19 mpg city, 28 highway, 22 combined. All-wheel-drive models are a bit thirstier, but even their 17/26/20 mpg rating is competitive in its class.

The V-Sport’s turbocharged V-6 is good for 16/23/18 mpg, but all XTS models benefit from recommended regular fuel instead of premium.


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