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February 13, 2013

Cadillac XTS dumps the stodgy look


For a time during test week, it seemed the graphic user curve was improving only to result in more missed stations and climate problems, and more mumblings. Overly sensitive touch adjustments need some tweaking.

Voice activated navigation was also a disappointment as it is in most cars. A request for travel to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor returned ‘Panera Bread’ while another for Baltimore Zoo location replied with ‘chicken’. Food for thought, I guess.   

Some of the gadgets were effective though and the driver seat nudge from left to right side signaling lane departures or sensing nearby collision objects was a welcome addition as were blind spot indicators on outside mirrors.

Next to the center-based CUE screen is another graphic based instrument cluster that adjusts to fit your mood between simple gauge display of speed, engine vitals and tachometer to a performance mode, an enhanced view or separate pods of information. Lots of fun to mix and match.   

The new XTS is a start on what could become a world-class sedan to compete with European cruisers. Keep on tweaking GM.


Len Ingrassia is an automotive columnist for CNHI News Service. Contact him at

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2013 Cadillac XTS AWD Premium Collection

Engine: 3.6-liter V6

EPA mileage per gallon of fuel: 17 city, 26 highway, 20 combined

Base price: $55,810

Model as tested: $56,730

Assembled: Oshawa, Ontario Canada. U.S./Canadian parts content, 62 percent. Country of origin for engine and transmission, U.S.

Crash test ratings: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the Cadillac XTS a Top Safety Pick. It earned ratings of ‘Good” (highest) for front and side impact, rear-end crash protection and rollover protection. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the XTS a five star overall rating (out of a possible five), five-stars for frontal and side crash and four stars for rollover protection

Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile basic; 6-year/70,000 mile powertrain; 4-year/50,000 maintenance





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