$25,673 - $40,748

2018 Cadillac XTS Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Cadillac XTS was new.


Performance: 7.7

The 2018 Cadillac XTS is a solid cruising vehicle with composed handling and a smooth ride. As long as you aren’t expecting a sports sedan, you’re unlikely to be disappointed. The V6 engines don’t disappoint, either. The base V6 is passable, 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 XTS comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that puts out 304 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The base engine’s performance is adequate for getting around, but it doesn’t stand out for its power or acceleration.

The same can’t be said for the V-Sport model, which comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 410 horsepower. This engine eagerly accelerates and generally feels more fun when you’re behind the wheel.

With the base engine, this Caddy gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Those ratings are in the middle of the pack for a large car. With the larger engine, fuel economy drops to 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.

  • "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 (2017)
  • 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

Front-wheel drive is standard in the XTS, and all-wheel drive is available. This large sedan handles fairly well, but as you might expect, it can be tough to maneuver in tight spaces. The ride quality is generally good, and it gets better with the available Magnetic Ride Control system. Standard Brembo brakes provide ample stopping power.

  • The XTS performs well on the open road, but its size becomes more obvious once you get into smaller, city-sized confines." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • This large Cadillac has a fairly absorbent and well-controlled ride, but don't expect it to be as compliant as the log-departed Cadillac DTS. Some jiggle is noticeable, possibly due to the low sidewalls of the tires. The highway ride could be steadier and better cushioned." -- Consumer Reports
  • "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 (2017)

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