As the passionate owner of an XXL-sized Cadillac – an old Eldorado Convertible – I constantly shed a tear for the demise of the full-size, big-as-a-house, Caddy sedan.
No more is the hulking DTS – aka the DeVille Touring Sedan. Gone is the sporty, but still hulking STS. And such whoppers as the mighty Fleetwoods and Sedan de Villes are but a dim and distance memory.
These days, if you want a four-door Cadillac you have to down-size to the CTS. Or up-size to the big-as-Texas Escalade sport-ute.
But all that changes next spring with the arrival of the almost-full-size 2013 Cadillac XTS, priced from the high $30,000s to the low $50,000s.
This is essentially Caddy’s version of the Buick LaCrosse but with sleeker bodywork, a killer front-end design, more curves than JLo in Spandex, and some pretty cool new technology. Vibrating switches anyone?
This is one handsome car. Yes, it has all the new Cadillac ‘Art and Science’ design cues, like the big, shield-like grille, the vertical LED headlamps and taillamps and lots of shiny decoration. But it’s also the first so-called ‘six-light’ Caddy in decades, with its small windows behind the rear doors for better all-round visibility.
Inside, the emphasis here is on space, with real stretch-out rear-seat legroom that’s reckoned to be four inches better than the competition. And that 18 cubic-foot trunk would no doubt have Tony Soprano smiling all the way to Jersey.
Quality is also a major feature here, with acres of gorgeous perforated leather, mirror-polished real wood and elegant brushed nickel. Cadillac plans to offer no fewer than six different interior color/wood trim combos within its two model choices – XTS and XTS Platinum.
That flagship Platinum model will also see the debut of the lame-sounding Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system. It comprises an 8-inch LCD touch screen with proximity sensing, so your finger doesn’t have to actually touch the screen.
The system also features ‘haptic’ feedback which causes the buttons to vibrate when you press them. Thankfully batteries are included.
Powering this new XTS is Cadillac’s punchy 300-horse 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 coupled to a molasses-smooth six-speed automatic. Sadly, after years of telling us that New Cadillac was all about rear-wheel drive, the XTS delivers its power through the front wheels, though all-wheel drive will be an option for all you in Minneapolis.
And if you think that going ‘bigger’ means a return to the old land yacht handling with marshmallow-for-suspension, fear not. This new XTC features magnetic ride control, just like the latest Corvette, that should contain body roll nicely.
For all us lovers of big, beamy Caddys of old, there is good news on the horizon in that there is a true, rear-drive, super-sized flagship model in the works and slated to debut in 2015. Until then, this new XTS will no doubt give Cadillac fans a real feeling of XTC.