2013 Cadillac XTS4 Platinum new car reviews

Flagship. That's the word that comes to mind when you're greeted by this behemoth. Nearly as long as a Ford Expedition and as luxurious as you could want, this enormous sedan is roomy enough for four adults, all their luggage for a week-long trip, and enough flags to sink a boat. That's why they call 'em flagships, right?

Perhaps not. But though it's not eye-bogglingly powerful, it does move briskly enough—even if disabling the traction control is just a silly joke. With all-wheel drive and 4200 pounds being propelled with just 264 ft.-lbs., this car never breaks traction.

It does, however, haul people with aplomb. We took it to this year's Classic Motorsports Mitty. Read our thoughts below.

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Other staff views

Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar

You can't even tell when this thing downshifts two gears to gain or maintain speed when the cruise control is on. It's just that serene inside. The seats adjust a zillion different ways, and they're both heated and cooled. The steering wheel is heated. There's separate climate control for each front seat and another for the rear seats. Everything is laid out nicely. It's impossible to be uncomfortable in this car. Yes, performance is lacking if you want a head-snapping thrill, but while it's a bit slow, it's not pedestrian.

Like most of these flagship-class cars, it comes available with all kinds of driver's aids, like lane departure assist, crash detection and adaptive cruise control, but what I've seen in other cars with this system is that they're sometimes a bit too sensitive, and anyway they tend to beep—audibly to your passengers, too—when you're wandering in the road like an idiot. This usually meant that I would leave it turned off.

Cadillac does this more tactfully, which I imagine makes it more useful for livery services: It alerts the driver of lane departures—as well as of cars coming up the parking lot in your blind spot, among other things—with a system you're familiar with if you use a touchscreen smartphone: haptic feedback. The left and right lower seat bolsters vibrate silently. It's a bit of genius that puts this car above others in its class.

It's a supreme cruiser that's also a fine driver—body motions are controlled and it's adept at cornering, though impossible to coax into oversteer—but where this thing really excels is as something to drive others around in.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

We just did a back-and-forth from our Central Florida base to Road Atlanta for the Mitty. The big, black Caddy was perfect.

For one, it's comfy. Yeah, you'd expect that in a Cadillac, but nice to see that it still comes true. The front seats were perfect. Heated seats? Of course. Cooled seats? Nice. Did I mention that I liked the seats?

Caddy interiors have gotten really nice. It looks and feels upscale and rich. I thought the purple-ish stitching against the black leather was a nice touch. No, it doesn't make the car go faster, but it looks good. Ditto the all-digital dash--as in, when off it's just a blank screen. It looks classy but not trendy.

It's not a CTS-V, but it's probably quick enough for most owners. The autobox was smooth and didn't do anything weird. The all-wheel drive was nice when the skies opened. On road or off, in the city or the highway, the XTS did very well.

Put your junk in the trunk. We didn't test it, but that trunk should easily hold two bodies--probably even three. Then there's the equally big back seat.

Final verdict: If you're looking for a big, comfy car and have the budget, put this one on the list.

Wonder if they'll ever crank up the power and do a V-version?

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