Secret in the seats
Mike Parris, WTOP'S Car guy
WASHINGTON - Such a "rough life" I live when all I have to drive for the day are the three newest sedans from Cadillac.
This week, I'll start with my impression of the 2014 XTS Vsport, the largest sedan Cadillac has to offer for now.
The XTS was all new in 2013 and it looked really good. The inside was really nice with plenty of space and it rode like a proper Cadillac should, but it was lacking against some of the competition with not enough horsepower from the 3.6 liter v6 for some.
Cadillac has fixed that situation and for the 2014 model, added the Vsport trim, which boasts a twin-turbo v6 engine with 410 horsepower and also comes standard with all-wheel drive. You do have to use premium fuel if you choose the turbo engine.
Checking the option box for fully-loaded XTS Vsport platinum also raises the sticker price to around $70,000, but you get everything except the rear entertainment system. Also, there is a slightly less-loaded version of the Vsport for around $63,000. And if you don't need 410hp, a base XTS with front wheel drive starts at around $45,000 -- a real bargain for a large luxury sedan.
I spent some time with the Vsport and came away impressed with its new-found power. It made an already solid car into what a true large Cadillac sedan should be. It drives smaller than it is, which was a pleasant surprise. The ride was very composed, quiet and smooth. The seats were some of the most comfortable I sat in and the rest of the interior was very nice.
GM has really stepped up its game for its Cadillac brand and it seems to be paying off.
The XTS Vsport is loaded with safety features. One of the cool ones is the safety alert seat. It sends vibrations to the driver's seat to warn the driver of drifting or other potential hazards. It seems much better than the "beeps" you usually get and grow to ignore or turn off after a while.
The only downside I saw in my day of driving was the need for premium fuel. My need to feel the turbos do their magic can certainly hurt the fuel economy. But if you drive like a normal person, you will see 25 mpg on the highway. If you use a smartphone or tablet, you will find the Cue system -- which controls your radio, nav system and phone -- easy to use. If you like your knobs, you won't find any to control your radio. Instead it's just a touch screen and some touch sensitive buttons on the bottom of the screen which may take a little time to study before you hit the road.
If you're looking for a large luxury sedan and you like some power in your ride, the 2014 XTS Vsport with 410hp should be driven. The increased power turns the fine XTS into a more rewarding driving experience. Cadillac has come back to the luxury game. Make sure you check out my next report on the Cadillac ATS small sports sedan, and then I spend some time with the new 2014 CTS mid-size luxury sedan.
Editor's Note: Mike Parris is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. The vehicles are provided by STI ,FMI or Event Solutions for the purpose of this review.
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