2018 XTS packs a thorough refresh touching on power and infotainment

For the 2018 model year, Cadillac threw just about everything it had at its large, front-biased luxury sedan.

Andrew Krok
Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
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Right now, if you want a big ol' Cadillac sedan, your choices are limited to the XTS and the CT6, the latter of which is much newer. Well, I should say was much newer, because now there's a new XTS, and it looks pretty slick.

The 2018 Cadillac XTS was given a major going-over, enhancing everything from horsepower to infotainment. It's got an updated chassis that promises a compliant ride in conjunction with new tire designs. It can be equipped with rear air suspension and magnetorheological shocks for even smoother driving.

The XTS features standard LED headlights and taillights that more closely resemble other new Cadillacs, like the XT5 and the aforementioned CT6. Both front and rear fasciae are new, as are the fenders and grille. It might look more compact before, and that's because it is -- the overall vehicle length is 1.1 inches shorter than it was before.

Inside, it's largely the same story as before, with a smattering of leather and wood. Higher trims feature an interior completely swathed in leather and microfiber suede, with wood accents on the steering wheel, center console and door panels. Those fancy-pants trims also get a 12.3-inch configurable display in place of the traditional gauge cluster.

2018 Cadillac XTS ramps up with fancy looks, new infotainment

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The most important technological update is the introduction of the new Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system. Placing a heavy focus on cloud connection and user personalization, the new CUE is leagues ahead of its forebear, with a snappy user interface that makes the old CUE look like a years-long mistake. Seriously, it's that good.

Opt for the standard XTS, and you'll get a 3.6-liter V6 with 304 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive. If power is what you're after, there's a Platinum V-Sport model that packs a 410-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V6. That one also brings all-wheel drive to the table, although its Haldex-type AWD system remains front-biased.

In terms of safety equipment, the optional Driver Awareness Package adds low-speed autonomous emergency braking, lane-change warnings and a system that gauges your following distance to the car ahead. The Driver Assist Package adds adaptive cruise control and a more capable auto-braking system that works in reverse, as well. Front-wheel-drive models can also park themselves in both parallel and perpendicular spaces. A backup camera is standard, no matter which XTS you purchase.

The 2018 Cadillac XTS goes on sale later in 2017, and pricing has yet to be announced.