2015 Cadillac XTS changes, review

Last year, the big news was simply that Cadillac had finally introduced a modern full-size luxury sedan. This year, though, it’s all about what’s under the 2015 Cadillac XTS’s hood. Although we generally praised the XTS in its first year of production, we were underwhelmed by the standard 304-hp V6 engine, panning its relatively modest output given the size of the car. But the 2015 XTS has 410 reasons why power won’t be an issue going forward. That’s because the new CTS sport sedan’s optional turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 is available on the XTS, too. Rated at a whopping 410 hp and paired exclusively with all-wheel drive, the turbo V6 gives this dignified cruiser the authoritative acceleration it deserves. Sure, you can stick with the base V6 and still enjoy a great all-around luxury experience. But if you’re with us in believing that a proper Caddy should haul the mail, the new XTS turbo, or Vsport, as Cadillac calls it, is just what the doctor ordered.

2015 Cadillac XTS side

2015 Cadillac XTS specs

The 2015 Cadillac XTS is a five-passenger luxury sedan. There are four trim levels: base, Luxury Collection, Premium Collection and Platinum Collection. Note that the Premium and Platinum Vsport versions come with the optional twin-turbo V6. Standard equipment for the base XTS includes 19-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, xenon headlamps, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats (with power lumbar control), a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and leather/faux-suede upholstery. Standard technology features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an 8-inch center touchscreen with Cadillac’s CUE interface, OnStar, voice controls and an eight-speaker Bose sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio, iPod/USB connectivity and an auxiliary input. The 2015 Cadillac XTS starts with front-wheel drive and a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 304 hp and 264 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. All-wheel drive is available and can be identified by the moniker “XTS4.” In  testing, an XTS4 Platinum went from zero to 60 in 7.3 seconds — a second or so behind similarly priced and powered luxury sedans. Fuel economy stands at an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel-drive models are rated at 17/26/20.

2015 Cadillac XTS rear

2015 Cadillac XTS review

If you want more pep, the Premium and Platinum Vsport trims come with a turbocharged version of the 3.6-liter V6 that produces 410 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard with the turbo V6, as is a six-speed automatic. The EPA rates the XTS Vsport at 16/24/19 mpg. The Cadillac XTS gives you the kind of passenger volume you expect from a nearly 17-foot-long luxury sedan. Rear riders in particular will appreciate their ample accommodations. With 18 cubic feet of capacity, the XTS’s trunk is one of the biggest on the market, but it’s unusually narrow, so golf clubs will likely need to be creatively positioned alongside other luggage. Of course, we’re used to Cadillacs that give us room to stretch out. The XTS’s futuristic dashboard, though, is something else altogether. The optional gauge cluster display is beautiful, first of all, with all manner of driver-configurable options. Then there’s the CUE (“Cadillac User Experience”) interface, which integrates audio, phone, optional navigation and OnStar functionality into an 8-inch touchscreen display. Those familiar with smartphone and tablet interfaces will feel at home with CUE’s touchscreen, as it uses similar touch, swipe and pinch commands.

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