Like all large Cadillacs, the XTS is not a sports sedan. Its magnetic suspension, which automatically adjusts for imperfect roads while keeping the body flat in turns, does a good job keeping the XTS on its feet, but this is not a car that wants to dance. It was obvious on Mulholland Drive, a twisty, mountainous stretch of road near Los Angeles that’s meant for Miatas and Porsches, not two tons of cushy Caddy.
The steering isn’t quick or accurate enough for that task, and the XTS feels big all the time, unlike an Audi A8 or a Jaguar XJ, both of which tend to shrink around the driver. The brakes are quite good (they’re sourced from Brembo, fitted on nearly every sports car) and the 304-horsepower V6 delivers decent thrust but not enough for a head rush. Fuel economy, estimated at 17 mpg city, 28 mpg highway for front-wheel-drive models, is acceptable for a car this size. During our short drive, we weren’t able to calculate a proper average.
An XTS will likely excel at loafing around town or racking up hundreds of highway miles at a time. While Cadillac marketers compare the XTS to other German sedans, the car doesn’t try to be a BMW, and that’s just fine. When compared to the old DTS, however, the XTS might as well be an M5.
Cadillac has done well against those Germans with the smaller CTS, and the plan is to fill the holes in Cadillac’s current lineup, which right now includes just two sedans, the midsize SRX crossover, and the huge Escalade SUV. The compact ATS goes on sale later this year. Cadillac’s best work—a very own “Godfather” sedan reimagined for this century—has yet to come.