You’ll be surprised to know how many emails we get about Cadillac’s plan not to continue making the XTS for a second generation. Each one of the questions comes from XTS owners and ultimately asks the same question: why is Caddy planning to drop the full-size sedan from its lineup? Here’s our take on the situation.
For the uninitiated, Cadillac will discontinue the XTS before 2020. In fact, the XTS might even become unattainable for retail customers much sooner than 2020, while remaining available for fleet and limo/livery customers until its final discontinuation. But why is Caddy dropping it?
The XTS never really fit in with the rest of the Cadillac lineup. Sure, it has the Art & Science design language and, to a certain extent, carries the design very well. But the biggest reason why the XTS doesn’t belong in today’s Cadillac lineup is quite simple: it does not represent what Cadillac is, what it wants to be, and where it is going.
You see, ever since the early 2000s, Cadillac has been moving in the direction of the sport-luxury market, a segment that’s is the most popular among today’s luxury car buyers. Today, the space is dominated by BMW and Mercedes-Benz, while being defined by a balanced, responsive, and engaging driving experience, besides the expected niceties of a luxury car such as impeccable quality, a longer warranty, more advanced features, and — to many — the luxury badge.
To that extent, the XTS is simply not a well-balanced car. That’s because it is based on GM’s front-wheel-drive Super Epsilon platform. And for those who may not know this already, a front-wheel-drive platform results in a nose-heavy vehicle since it usually places the engine way ahead of the front axle. This changes the personality, the driving characteristics, if you will, of a vehicle.
For the XTS, this means that it simply can not match the dynamic, sporty handling and overall driving characteristics of the Alpha-based ATS and CTS, as well as the upcoming Omega-based CT6. If all that sounds like a foreign language to you, then we’ll simply say this: drive the XTS and the CTS back-to-back. We mean really drive them. Drive ‘em like you stole them. The CTS will be the better-driving car through and through, with better handling, a more composed ride, and a significantly better driving position. Now, the CTS might not be as soft as the XTS, but it is not a good thing when said softness comes at the expense of driver awareness and vehicle control.
Even so, it’s truly because of the upcoming 2016 Cadillac CT6 — the brand’s long-awaited and genuine flagship — that the XTS is going away. That’s because the CT6 will do everything that the XTS does today, but drive better, look better, and “feel” better in every possible way, shape, and form. And what’s not to like if the XTS is being replaced by a better vehicle?