2013 Cadillac XTS

Technology today in cars is amazing, and few have more gee-whiz gadgetry than the 2013 Cadillac XTS. Replacing two models – the DTS and the STS – the XTS is the most technologically advanced Cadillac ever. The technology comes in the form of a new control and connectivity system called CUE, which stands for Cadillac User
Experience.

When a button is pushed, CUE uses haptic (touch) feedback to send a vibration to the user’s finger, as well as to another anatomical part that we will address in a moment.

The car also uses proximity sensors to detect when the driver is reaching towards the touch screen, and displays controls and buttons even before the finger contacts the screen. After a few seconds, the buttons in the display vanish until you reach for them again. It all allows screen space to be fully utilized, rather than having the screen cluttered with buttons that aren’t being used.

In a neat feature, the panel of controls below the screen in the center of the dash rises with the push of a button to reveal a hidden compartment for valuables.

When equipped with optional safety equipment like lane departure warning, automatic braking, forward collision alert and rear cross traffic alert, the XTS takes haptic feedback to a new level. While these safety systems are not exclusive, most other vehicles will flash lights or vibrate the steering wheel when the vehicle senses the driver is wandering from his lane without using a turn signal. But in the XTS, the driver’s seat vibrates the driver’s, uh, “posterior region” to
indicate the vehicle is leaving its lane. Your car wanders to the left and the driver’s left cheek gets tweaked; if the car wanders right the right side of the seat vibrates. Let’s just say the first time the vehicle’s seat goosed me, it got my attention right away.

With its collection of apps and a fairly complicated interface, Cadillac says the XTS is delivered with a free iPad containing a CUE app. While amazing, the haptic feedback functions in the XTS aren’t quite perfect e_SEnD we sometimes had to push a button more than once to get a response.

We only drove the car for about four days, and the more we used the system, the more we got used to it and the better luck we seemed to have.

The XTS – which comes in Standard, Luxury, Premium and Platinum
models – is powered by a strong 3.6-
liter V6 that produces 304 horsepower and 264 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and our test XTS had the available AWD, which is standard in the three upper collections.

Remote start is standard on all models, and GM’s Heads-Up Display, one of our favorite features, is standard on Premium and Platinum collections.

Meanwhile, with fine interior leather that reminds me of when I was a kid looking for new shoes in Tic-Toc Shoe Store, the XTS is completely comfortable and loaded with luxury. GM’s Magnetic Ride Control is standard, delivering precise damping as it “reads” the road every millisecond and changes damping almost as quickly.

With Brembo brakes and a host of safety systems, the XTS gets five stars across the board in the government’s safety tests. It also garnered a “Top Safety Pick” award from the insurance industry.

The standard price of our 2013 XTS AWD Premium Collection was $55,810. With a Driver’s Assist package, special paint and upgraded 20-inch wheels, the price grew to $59,700. Add $920 in freight, and the bottom line was $60,620.

2013 Cadillac XTS AWD Premium

Engine: 3.6-liter V6

Horsepower: 304

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Test model base price: $55,810 ($60,620 as tested)

EPA mileage rating: 17 mpg city / 26 mpg highway