2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport - First Drive Review +VIDEO

2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport  (select to view enlarged photo)
2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport

2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport Review

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, New York Bureau
The Auto Channel

Cadillac’s XTS, first introduced as a 2013, now also has a new Twin-Turbo 3.6L, 410HP V6 for 2014, the XTS Vsport.

The XTS replaced the DTS and STS and sits above the CTS in the Cadillac family. It’s offered in a standard model and three optional collections: Luxury, Premium and Platinum. The new 410HP Twin Turbo V6 is offered in XTS Premium Vsport and XTS Platinum Vsport models only with all-wheel-drive. The XTS’s standard 3.6L V-6 is rated at 305 horsepower. Both engines are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions.

Additional features and equipment that is new for 2014 include Automatic Parking Assist (FWD models), electric power steering (FWD models), Intellibeam headlamps, an available rear-seat entertainment system, front passenger seat memory feature and an opaque sunroof sunshade.

2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport  (select to view enlarged photo)

This was my first XTS drive; nothing like starting out on top. Our drive route took us out of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, up the west side, first northerly and then easterly to connect on to Westchester’s Hutchinson River Parkway which continues as the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut. All in all we drove about 92 miles round trip. Now I mention these roads because they are some of the original “highways” in the U.S., constructed in the late 1920s and 1930s, and are somewhat narrow combined with twists and turns that require driver concentration and also enable assessment of a cars dynamic behavior. In other words, we were not creeping around in stop and go traffic in mid-town Manhattan.

2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport  (select to view enlarged photo)

The 2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport is equipped with GM’s HiPer Strut front suspension, Magnetic Ride Control and Brembo disc brakes with aluminum calipers.
2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport  (select to view enlarged photo)

Steering and suspension characteristics have been enhanced on the Vsport and it rides on 20inch Bridgestone tires. The all-wheel-drive system uses Haldex technology with an electronic limited-slip differential to transfer power front-to-back, and side-to-side, along the rear axle. All of Cadillac’s performance components are combined into one model.

The XTS Vsport also features a special grille and rear badging and is priced at $63,020.

2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport  (select to view enlarged photo)

The engine uses a pair of smaller turbochargers and an integral charge air cooler. The two turbochargers produce more than 12 psi of boost. Peak torque is sustained over a broad range from 1,900 to 5,600 rpm. I found the overall driving experience with this engine to be very confident with plenty of power for accelerating, merging and passing. Zero to sixty is under five seconds. Although the roads were fairly busy we did find a few spots for some full throttle accelerations. EPA test fuel economy mileage is rated at 19 mpg combined, with 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.

I recently read in a study report that luxury car buyers place a higher priority on performance over reduced fuel consumption. As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t driven the standard 305HP XTS but after driving an XTS Vsport with 105 more horsepower I know which engine I would choose. My driving partner had driven the 305HP XTS and said it was lacking a bit, which reinforced my thinking. Sales of the Twin-Turbo V6 could just be greater than expected.

2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport  (select to view enlarged photo)

As for the rest of the car, every model of the XTS line is well equipped. Depending on model, front and rear seats are heated, front seats are ventilated, there’s a heated steering wheel, head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera, sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive headlamps, power rear sunshade, a 14-speaker Bose sound system, and lots of leather and wood trim.

2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport  (select to view enlarged photo)

A plethora of safety features are offered including lane departure warning with its vibrating driver’s seat, blind spot detection, front collision alert, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and low-speed automatic braking.

2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport  (select to view enlarged photo)

Overall the XTS Vsport is fairly easy to manage for a large car and very comfortably carries five. Since its introduction last year the XTS has gotten high marks for luxury content, comfort, spaciousness, as well as strong eye appeal. The same architecture underpins GM’s Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Impala and each have their own strong points. However, XTS customers will most likely be cross-shopping the Chrysler 300C, Lincoln MKS, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, or the Audi A6. Each of these has their strengths and weaknesses, and cover a wide price range.

Cadillac provides a comprehensive warranty and note that the Cadillac Premium Care Maintenance covers routine maintenance services for 4 years or 50,000 miles.

If you are shopping luxury sedans and want to compare the XTS Vsport to all other luxury sedans you can do that right here on The Auto Channel's Cadillac Buyers GuideFor more 2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport information directly from "the horse's mouth" and the entire Cadillac model range visit www.cadillac.com.

To be sure, the 2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport does deliver a luxurious driving experience.

Larry Nutson

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