The big, front-wheel-drive Cadillac XTS has faded into the background as Cadillac pursues a sportier direction with the rear-drive ATS, CTS, and CT6 sedans. And yet, so far in 2017, the aging XTS remains Cadillac’s best-selling sedan—clearly, Caddy’s established customer base resists major changes (as do livery companies). So, it should come as little surprise that the XTS is getting updates to its appearance and technology features for 2018, despite previous reports of its demise after 2019.
The XTS’s new front end borrows from the other front-drive-based Cadillac, the XT5 crossover, as its headlights and grille shape are nearly identical to that SUV’s. The sedan’s revised rear end features new LED taillights that wrap around the trunk lid horizontally, and it has a shorter overhang that reduces the overall length of the car by 1.1 inch. Luxury and Platinum trims get different wheel designs, and all models roll on new tire designs that aim to improve ride quality and reduce noise levels.
There are new trim and upholstery packages available inside, along with revised seat structures, but the bigger news is that Cadillac’s maligned CUE interface is getting a significant makeover. While we’re disappointed to see that it still eschews hard buttons and knobs in favor of touch-sensitive sliders, Cadillac says that the 8.0-inch touchscreen features larger buttons and clearer menu organizations.
The XTS’s two engine choices are unchanged, including a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V-6 with 304 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque and a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6 with 410 horsepower and 369 lb-ft in the V-Sport model. Both mate with a six-speed automatic transmission, and both offer all-wheel drive—it’s standard on the V-Sport and available as an option on all other XTS trims.
The freshened XTS will go on sale in the fall. Don’t expect pricing to change much from the 2017 model, which costs $46,590 to start and $65,090 for the high-zoot V-Sport.