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23 November 2014 Last updated
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Long-term reviews

Cadillac XTS - Week 3

By Imran Malik
Added 15:15 | May 12, 2013
  • Cadillac XTS

    Cadillac XTS.

    Source: Grace Paras/ANM
  • Cadillac XTS

    There lies a potent 304bhp 3.6-litre V6... Err, under the plastic cover.

    Source: Grace Paras/ANM

The XTS boasts a 3.6-litre V6 that is good for 304bhp. But is that enough to put a smile on your face? Imran Malik finds out

Granted, looks and comfort are all important factors when buying a car, but neither excites me as much as being pinned back to the seat when I floor the throttle.

Therefore, I’m keen to see how the XTS performs and find out whether or not it has the ability to provide a thrill behind the wheel. Yes it does! Darn it, I’ve gone and ruined the conclusion again.

I can’t dilly-dally around and nor does the XTS. If you thought the CTS-V is for those wanting real grunt, you’d be right. However, you cannot ignore this luxury saloon’s ability to blend performance with efficiency and comfort in one fell swoop.

The first thing you notice is just how smooth the XTS is and the Magnetic Ride Control, coupled with GM’s new HiPer Strut technology, takes much of the credit for that; it soaks up all the little bumps and road imperfections without a problem.

Facts

Driven by: Imran

Start mileage: 3,520km

Recent cost: Fuel

Average fuel economy: 12 litres-per-100km

Highs: Solid performance

Lows: Exhaust note could be better

Powering the handsome Caddy is a naturally aspirated 3.6-litre V6 that gets you a combined fuel consumption of 11 litres-per-100km. The direct-injection motor produces an impressive 304bhp at 6,800rpm and has 358Nm of torque at 5,200rpm. It pulls nice and strong and has a smooth delivery of power but it sounds a bit like a Traverse. It could be better.

Though it doesn’t leave the line as quick as some of its blown V8-powered rivals, the XTS has enough grunt to hit 0-100kph in 6.8 seconds and that’s not bad for a car that weighs a hefty 1,817kg. The V6 has been mated to a Hydra-Matic six-speed auto, with a manual mode, which shifts the cogs ever so smoothly and never goes hunting for gears.

Thanks to the Haldex all-wheel drive system with a limited-slip diff that can send power fro m front to back, precise electric steering and Brembo brakes, the XTS handles very well for what is a large saloon measuring 5,131mm long, 1,852mm wide and 1,510mm high. You can press it in the corners at speed and it’ll hold onto the tarmac all day long, making driving that much more fun.

No, this is not a sportscar but it encourages you to drive it like it was one. The chassis is rock solid and easily copes with the V6’s power and could probably handle more; perhaps a supercharged version is on the way? We’ll have to wait and see.

The progress

Week 2: GM’s luxury saloon deserves praise not least for those 20in wheels and CTS-like angular looks, but also for the fact it rides on an enlarged Epsilon II platform, which the upcoming and also very handsome Impala will share.
Highs: Comfy interior
Lows: CUE takes some getting used to

Week 1: We were in need of something of this ilk to cheer us up, having bid a tearful goodbye to the 86 last week. The little Toyota was a fabulously fun car, but now it’s time to see whether or not this luxury saloon from GM has more to it than just good looks.
Highs: Good looks
Lows: Drop the acronym-like names please, Cadillac!