Check us out in our gangster-black Cadillac XTS.[Not a valid template]
I’ll be honest, until it arrived, I knew very little about the Cadillac XTS, so it was a pleasant surprise to find that, on the surface at least, it’s a big step on from Cadillacs of old.
Looks-wise, the XTS is sleeker, with sharp lines filed down at the corners, unlike the bundle of angles that was our former Caddy. And inside, it’s a whole other world. Where the CTS struggled with brittle plastics and ageing technology, the XTS luxuriates in leather upholstery, much better quality materials and some cutting edge gizmos.
Our car is in full-on gangster black and really looks the part as it crawls menacingly around the office car park on its 20-inch wheels. But it’s the interior that’s impressed me the most. It’s far more luxurious than even the ATS we drove earlier this year, and shares most of its technology inside. There are some really nice touches, including the purple stitching on the dash, doors and centre console. I particularly like the configurable digital dashboard, which can be completely redesigned in terms of layout and style with a few clicks of the steering wheel-mounted controls. Intriguingly, there’s an option marked ‘Open Source’. Does this mean I can download dials from the internet? I will be investigating.
The XTS also featured the CUE entertainment system, which links all features together through a touch screen that features haptic feedback – basically, it buzzes when you touch it. The controls along the bottom of the screen only appear when your hand approaches it. Magic! A head-up display is projected onto the windscreen ahead of the driver, and there’s all sorts of features to stop you wandering from your lane, crashing into the car in front of you or reversing into a wall. Cleverly, the seat vibrates if you’re about to do any of these things, which makes a nice change from an incessant beeping.
Power comes from a 3.6-litre V6 that drives all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. There are paddles on the wheel for a more sporty experience, although I’m not sure that the XTS really has that much dynamic exuberance in mind. I will make it my mission to find out.
There’s been one slight problem already. I thought I’d discovered a secret drawer in the lid of the armrest storage area. But on pulling it out, I discovered that it wasn’t a drawer, but rather the opening mechanism for said lid. I don’t appear to have broken anything, but I can’t get the bit of plastic back in the slot, and consequently can’t open the storage area. I might need some professional help to get it relocated. Oops.
|Engine:||V6 / 3564cc|
|Power:||304hp @ 6800rpm|
|Torque:||264lb ft @ 5200rpm|
|Transmission:||Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic|
|Front suspension:||HiPer strut coil-over-spring / twin-tube dampers with gas-charged valving / hollow direct-acting stabilizer bar|
|Rear suspension:||Linked H-arm with air shocks and Magnetic Ride Control|
|Brakes:||Split / dual-circuit four-wheel-disc with power assist / vented 345mm x 20mm (front) / solid 315mm x 23mm (rear)|
|Wheels:||20 x 8.5-in polished aluminum with chrome inserts (Platinum)|
|Tyres:||245/40 R20 all-season blackwall|