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It's No Sedan deVille... That's a Good Thing!

2013 Cadillac XTS

On Saturday, as I headed over to Keyser Cadillac in Williamsville, it was raining cats and dogs. Or at least it sounded like it from the inside of my cheap old compact automobile.

As I sat in the new Cadillac XTS, the GM luxury division’s large sedan, there was still a torrential downpour going on, but once I closed the door, the noise went almost completely away. That’s not just a testament to the cheapness of the YAKmobile, but it says volumes (no pun intended) about the quietness of the Caddy.

Which is as it should be. Back in the GM heydays of the 1950s and 1960s, Cadillac advertised itself as “the standard of the world.” Pretty heady stuff for what was, let’s face it, just a car. Things have certainly changed since then. Whereas the Cadillac used to be a luxo-barge, these days it’s not unusual to see car shoppers stopping at the Cadillac dealership the same day they also visited the BMW dealership—never would have seen that happen back in the day.

Although many of those sport sedan enthusiasts are (rightfully) attracted to Cadillac’s smaller ATS and CTS models, the larger XTS has certainly picked up a cue or two from it’s sporting siblings. Although certainly not as large as say, a 1975 Sedan deVille, the XTS is definitely a much bigger, roomier car than the CTS and ATS. But its handling and performance would never be recognizable as a Cadillac’s to those fans of the older cars.

With a 3.6-liter, direct-injected V-6 under the hood, the XTS moves smartly away from red lights, with the smooth, six-speed automatic handling the shifting without bothering the passengers with any jerky motions. If this isn’t enough for you, there’s a twin-turbo version of the 3.6 available at extra cost, which puts out 410 horsepower. Yikes!

Earlier I mentioned the roominess of the XTS. Certainly the front seat will fit most any driver/passenger, while the back seat is also very accommodating. I’m not sure why so many cars in this class make do with a small pass-through from the back seat to the trunk, rather than a fold-down rear seat. Maybe they figure that owners of this type of car carry nothing more bulky than a pair of skis. And speaking of the trunk—holy moley! Cadillac advertises it as 18 cubic feet of space. I have no way to equate just how big that is, but I’ll say this: I see a lot of trunks week after week, and this is certainly one of the biggest I’ve looked at. I couldn’t even reach the back seat standing outside at the back of the car. I’m not sure I could even see it!

The interior is, of course, very Cadillac-y. Meaning leather everywhere, high-quality plastics where needed, a home-quality Bose sound system (with touch-screen controls—ugh!), enough lighting for a small concert hall, real wood trim, and a choice of non-monochromatic color schemes—important in a large car which would otherwise look like one massive black, gray, or tan cavern.

My White Diamond Tricoat front-wheel-drive test car, provided by Keyser’s team of Taggarts (Mark and John) had a list price, with options, of $46,590. The 2014 FWD models start at $45,525 (AWD is $52,240); the twin-turbo all-wheel-drive model starts at $63,020. A number of packages are available, including Driver Awareness (lane departure, forward collision, side blind zone, and rear cross traffic alerts), and Driver Assist (driver awareness items plus adaptive cruise control, front and rear automatic brake, and automatic collision preparation). For information on these, visit the website listed below.

You don’t have to wait for another downpour to check out the XTS. That’s just how I do things.

More info at

Read more of Jim Corbran's You Auto Know every other week in Artvoice, and more frequently on Artvoice Daily.

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