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2017 Cadillac XTS Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Cadillac XTS was new.


Performance: 6.9

The 2017 Cadillac XTS is a comfortable cruiser with composed handling and a smooth ride. Its priority is comfort and it delivers as it glides over both smooth and rough roads with ease and little disturbance. However, it still satisfies in the power department. The base engine is adequate, but the upgraded twin-turbocharged engine provides more power and exciting acceleration.

  • "The 2016 XTS sedan from Cadillac walks the line between coddling cocoon and a hard-driving sports car. It's a place most luxury-car buyers have settled and one the XTS roams freely." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "Thanks to the standard adaptive suspension and trusty steering, the XTS manages to shrink its big body around the driver. Nonetheless, rival sedans are generally better bets in terms of driving dynamics." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "Although the standard XTS is by no means an all-out performance sedan, it does make a few conscious choices intended to satisfy the driver." -- Autotrader (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The 2017 XTS may have been built more for comfort than performance, but that doesn't mean it doesn’t provide a satisfying drive. It comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 304 horsepower. The V-Sport trims come with a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 410 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.

The base engine provides adequate power, but it won't get your heart racing. However, the twin-turbocharged V6 packs more of a punch. It has exciting acceleration and gets up to highway and passing speeds with ease. Despite the increase in power, the cabin remains mostly quiet, and the transmission has smooth shifting.

The XTS gets 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. With all-wheel drive it gets 17/26 mpg city/highway. With the twin-turbocharged engine it gets 16/23 mpg city/highway. These numbers are average for the class.

  • "When it comes to power, the V-Sport's turbocharged V6 completely transforms the driving experience. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the base engine, but the standard V6 lacks the confident oomph Cadillacs are usually associated with. The V-Sport, on the other hand, feels more like an old, muscular Caddy V8 off the line. Springing for the upgraded engine is a no-brainer if you like the idea of having power to spare." -- Edmunds
  • "The 3.6-liter V6 may not win any drag races, but it plays well with the 6-speed transmission, offering decent acceleration and responsiveness." -- Autotrader (2016)
  • "Power from the standard V6 is acceptable but not thrilling. We suggest opting for the 410-horsepower twin-turbo V6 in the Vsport trim, instead." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)

Handling and Braking

The 2017 XTS soaks up bumps and dips in the road with little disturbance, and it has composed handling, even on rough roads. Despite its heavy weight, it drives like a smaller car and has a composed ride. Still it doesn’t compare to rivals like the Audi A7 or BMW 6 Series.

  • "… rival sedans are generally better bets in terms of driving dynamics. Comfort is king for a traditional Cadillac sedan, and the XTS doesn't disappoint. The same magnetically controlled adaptive suspension that keeps the body composed in corners provides a buttery-smooth ride on most surfaces. It's far from floaty, but when you're rolling down the highway in an XTS, there's no doubt luxury is its main mission." -- Edmunds
  • "On the open highway, the XTS cruises effortlessly, its Magnetic Ride Control constantly working to absorb the occasional blemish or pothole in just milliseconds. We were most impressed with the XTS4's all-wheel-drive (AWD) setup and exclusive hydraulically assisted steering system, which returned immediate response from the slightest input." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "Although the standard XTS is by no means an all-out performance sedan, it does make a few conscious choices intended to satisfy the driver. For instance, rather than succumb to the current trend of maximizing fuel economy by using a lifeless electric power-steering setup, Cadillac's engineers opted for hydraulic steering, which offers greater feel. Body control is excellent given the XTS's large proportions, and this Cadillac doesn't feel excessively floaty or disconnected when driven aggressively on challenging roads." -- Autotrader (2016)

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