2018 Cadillac XTS Refresh Brings Revised Exterior Design, Technology, Improved Ride & More42
The Cadillac XTS is quite an interesting vehicle: initially developed to satisfy the needs of Cadillac DTS customers as that model was phased out, the XTS landed right in the midst of Cadillac’s transformation from a soft luxury marque that competed with Lincoln to a sport-luxury brand that now competes with BMW, Audi, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz. Since its launch in 2013, the XTS has delivered steady sales results, thanks to an attractive value proposition and nearly non-existent competition. The model was then slated to be discontinued around the 2018 model year, but GM/Cadillac leadership decided to keep it around and also give it a fairly substantial refresh — which we see here for the 2018 model year.
As a whole, the 2018 XTS gets updates to the exterior, interior, technology, trim levels/equipment groups, and ride. The result is a more refined model that’s more modern and that better serves its target demographic in being a soft-riding luxury sedan, as opposed to a sport-oriented offering Cadillac CT6 — the other full-size sedan in Cadillac’s product portfolio. We have extracted the changes and updates for the 2018 XTS from the order guide, and have broken them out into several categories that you can see below.
Trim Levels, Features & Equipment
- Deletion of Premium Luxury V-Sport (1SK) trim level
- This leaves the XTS Platinum as the only trim to offer the AWD V-Sport Twin Turbo engine
- Deletion of five LPO accessories:
- (PCN) Summer/Winter Mat Package
- (PCP) Protection Package
- (WCN) CD optical drive
- (VYW) Premium carpeted floor mats
- (VRV) Body-color molded splash guards
- New front end appearance, including new:
- Front fascia
- LED headlamps
- New rear end appearance, including new:
- Decklid applique
- CHMSL (Center High-Mounted Stop Lamp)
- Rear fascia
- LED taillamps
- Deletion of two exterior colors:
- Red Passion Tintcoat
- Deep Amethyst Metallic
- Addition of two exterior colors:
- Stone Gray Metallic; available at extra charge, no additional charge on Platinum or Platinum V-Sport
- Red Horizon Tintcoat; available at extra charge
- Replacement of Adaptive Forward Lighting and High Intensity Discharge headlamps with LED headlamps as standard on all models
- Replacement of 19-inch all-season tires with a new set that:
- Improves ride comfort
- Reduces tire rolling noise
- Provides quieter cabin
- Deletion of four wheel options:
- (Q6M) 19″ aluminum wheels with premium paint and chrome inserts
- (REH) 19″ aluminum wheels with premium painted finish
- (RT9) 19″ polished aluminum wheels (was standard on Premium Luxury)
- (RQ9) 20″ aluminum wheels with polished finish and chrome inserts
- Addition of four new wheel options:
- (Q7W) 19″ Pearl Nickel premium paint aluminum with chrome inserts; same wheel design as 17MY (Q6M), but with new paint finish; replaces (Q6M)
- (RUI) 19″ Sterling Silver premium paint finish aluminum (Standard on Luxury only); replaces (REH)
- (Q94) 19″ polished aluminum (Available on Luxury only). (Q94) wheel has same design as wheel (RUI), but with polished finish instead of premium paint finish
- (Q7J) 20″ Ultra Bright machined aluminum with premium paint finish (Standard on Platinum only); replaces (RQ9)
- Addition of 20-inch cast aluminum wheels with premium painted finish as standard on Premium Luxury
- Addition of Cadillac Crest badges on front fender
- Addition of exterior decklid opening switch incorporated in the Cadillac Crest emblem
- Addition of front cornering lamps standard on Premium Luxury and Platinum model
- Revision of grille lineup:
- Special grille on XTS (base), Luxury and Premium Luxury trim levels
- Custom grille on Platinum trim level
- V-Sport grille on Platinum V-Sport Twin Turbo
- Deletion of one interior color combination:
- (AFE) Medium Titanium with Jet Black accents
- Addition of two interior color combinations in place of two previous ones:
- Jet Black with Chevron perforated inserts on Platinum and Platinum V-Sport Twin Turbo models replaces Jet Black with Light Wheat accents
- Maple Sugar with Jet Black accents with Chevron perforated inserts on Platinum and Platinum V-Sport Twin Turbo models replaces Light Platinum with Dark Urban/Cocoa accents
- Change in Shale with Cocoa accents interior color combination to Shale with Jet Black accents
- Changes in pairing of interior color with decorative molding:
- Jet Black – Open Pore Graphite Sapele wood trim
- Shale with Jet Black accents – High Gloss Natural Ash wood trim
- Jet Black – High Gloss Lineate wood trim
- Maple Sugar with Jet Black accents – High Gloss Ebony Lineate wood trim
- Improvement in front row seat comfort
- Addition of Following Distance Indicator
- Available on Luxury trim levels
- Standard on Premium Luxury and Platinum models
- Addition of Low Speed Forward and Reverse Automatic Braking
- Available on Premium Luxury models with Driver Assist Package
- Standard on Platinum models
- Changes in USB ports:
- 2 full-function USB ports in the armrest storage bin are now 1 Type-A and 1 Type-C
- 2 Type-A charge-only USB ports on rear face of center floor console, replacing 12V outlet
- Deletion of 1 Type A USB port located in hidden center stack (behind CUE screen/faceplate)
- Inclusion of new CUE version 3.0, which is faster, more responsive and features new graphics:
- RPO Code (IO5) Cadillac CUE Information and Media Control System changes to RPO Code (IOS) Cadillac user experience
- RPO Code (IO6) Cadillac CUE Information and Media Control System with Embedded Navigation, changes to RPO Code (IOT) Cadillac user experience with embedded navigation
- Replacement of heated steering wheel with automatic heated steering wheel; the automatic heated steering wheel builds on the functionality of the automatic heated front seats, automatically turning on seat and wheel heating based on ambient air temperature
- Inclusion of Lane Change Alert with existing Side Blind Zone Alert technology
- Addition of two new features to Driver Awareness Package:
- Following Distance Indicator
- Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, which is replaced with Forward/Reverse Automatic Braking when Driver Assist Package is ordered
- The package also includes:
- Addition of Rear Vision Camera as standard equipment on XTS (base) trim level
Chassis & Ride
- Deletion of Magnetic Ride Control as available feature on XTS (base) and Luxury trim levels
- Deletion of rear air springs automatic level control as available feature on XTS (base) and Luxury trim level
- Improved 19- and 20-inch tire design that, according to Cadillac:
- Improves ride comfort
- Reduces tire rolling noise
- Provides quieter cabin
- Note: the 20-inch tire retains same RPO Code (RAL) but also features new tire design
- Improvement in chassis for greater occupant comfort
- Changes in exterior dimensions:
- Overall height increases from 59.1″ to 59.4″
- Overall length decreases from 202″ to 200.9″
The updates and changes described here are specific to the U.S. market and may be different for other markets.
The 2018 Cadillac XTS continues to be assembled by GM Canada at the GM Oshawa factory in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
More Information & Reporting
- Cadillac XTS info
- 2018 Cadillac XTS info
- 2018 Cadillac XTS changes, updates, new features
- 2018 Cadillac XTS order guide
- 2018 Cadillac XTS pictures
- Cadillac XTS sales numbers
- Cadillac XTS news
- Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2023 Corvette Z06 Convertible. Details here.
the XTS is getting taller and shorter.
It’s just in the bumpers (shorter) and the way the suspension sits (taller).
The point is that target demographic of this car doesn’t pay much attention to that — they are simply looking for a smooth luxury automobile… if they were very much focused on style — which most buyers associate with athletic driving dynamics — they will be looking at the CT6.
Regardless, these are some very welcome updates to what is the oldest product in the lineup.
“The point is that target demographic of this car doesn’t pay much attention to that — they are simply looking for a smooth luxury automobile… if they were very much focused on style — which most buyers associate with athletic driving dynamics — they will be looking at the CT6.”
Hence the USB-C port for our electronic drool cups.
the Cadillacs of 1960s-1990s ware low, sleek, stylesh and soft riding. I saw a 1990 Cadillac Devile and it was gorgeous and than thare was a XTS parked yonder and the XTS looks like a fat and stubby pig compared to the 1990 Caddy….the CT6 isn’t nearly as good looking as the 1990 Caddy Deville….all today’s Caddys look dull, fat and stubby.
You’re comparing cars from half a decade ago to the cars of today. Get a clue.
And how many times do people need to tell you: just because you don’t like the design of a car doesn’t mean you speak for everyone. In this case, you speak for the monitory.
The CT6 is gorgeous. Go refute that fool.
Come back and talk to us when Gorgeous gets rear ended. Many people want a car not a repair headache. No reason to consider them fools.
CT6 is a good looking car. Reviewers describe it as the body writing checks the rest of the car can’t cash.
Form follows function, susan, and the CT6 is better looking than any of the whorry old trash Cadillac made back in ‘your day’. Yes, even the Cadillac’s with fins.
Those vulgar finned heaps that had the misfortune of being badged as Cadillac were the very epitome of the phrase “writing checks the rest of the car can’t cash.” They did nothing but delude and reduce Cadillac presence to being overweight retirement rewards when they should have been symbols of wealth and status.
CT6 is a very nice looking car. No argument there. The thread topic is the XTS refresh.
The link I posted was written by a CT6 owner who was in a minor accident. There is considerable difficulty/delay getting the car repaired. His Cadillac dealer is not certified to do the work.
There are only 25 GM certified shops in the US and 2 in Canada to do this work. Some customers may consider that a deal breaker. Others may be comfortable with it. To each their own.
“CT6 is better looking than any of the whorry old trash Cadillac made back in ‘your day’.”
Is your quote in reference to my 2016 CTS? I like it. I really don’t care what you think of it. I didn’t have you in mind when I bought it. I bought it for me.
Have a nice day.
A 58 Eldorado costs more than any Cadillac made today. And yes, the CT6 is sexy, but the XTS is a fat pig..plain and simple.
Susan is absolutely correct here. “Reviewers describe it as the body writing checks the rest of the car can’t cash.” Great line. Susan +1, you always have quality comments.
However, I’d bet issues will become very comonplace for CT6 owners and probably hamper the perception of the car itself, as it ages. Let’s see how much all the automotive journalist who fawn over the CT6 think about it when it’s XTS’ age.
I first heard reports of CT6 difficulties in January, but I think it is now becoming mainstream.
Yoshiaki, transmission issues are a concern for current CT6 owners. It’s unfortunate. People buy a new car in good faith only to learn that there are faults that GM will not correct. This is a post from a CT6 owner as opposed to those who opine about cars of which they have no direct knowledge.
I hope GM makes these Cadillac owners whole. Rearranging the deck chairs while talking of what is to come in future models is not the way to treat people who are buying product now.
What do you drive Rye Shelton?
The CT6 is a beautiful car, especially the headlights. This XTS refresh looks like they took a bunch of spare parts and pasted them on. The front end proportions look odd but maybe it’ll look better in person. When the XT5 images leaked I did not like it, but after seeing it with better quality photos and in person I do like the styling.
The XTS is a beautiful car in person in spite of what some may say about it. This new front end and the headlight treatment does it no favors though and I think they are going the wrong direction with that theme.
It’s too early to make an conclusions about the design changes without looking at it in person. When was the last time GM design has failed us?
So no Escala like update to the interior?
sorry but I don’t think today’s Cadillacs are the most beautiful cars, I find the current design profiles dull looking and I don’t think the CT6 is an ugly car ether….they just don’t WOW me at all.
The real question is, does it matter what you think?
In other words, are you just running your mouth or are you a potential customer of a prestige luxury automobile?
Going off your horrible grammar and childish points of view as well as the need to constantly repeat yourself, it would seem the answer is no – you are far from being in the market for a luxury car from Cadillac or a competing make. Hence, it doesn’t matter what you think as you are not the target customer.
So until Rye answers the following questions, I will continue ignoring your comments:
1. What do you currently drive?
2. Can you afford to buy or lease a new Cadillac?
3. How old are you?
So Rye.. it’s time to put up or shut up.
What will it be?
Silent…..I am 12 years old and I don’t have a car because I’m not old enough to drive….Im planning on getting a new Cadillac in 10 years and by that time I’ll be 22 and it well be 2027 and Cadillacs well look different by than……please don’t tell a child to shut up.
Rye is correct. The current Cadillacs are boring, simple and cheap looking. They look like bricks. Dated. Cars should be low and wide. Their life less tail lights are dated. Navigation looks cartoonish… They don’t come close to the rivals. You guys eat everything that GM gives to you, that’s why they dont move forward. Because you are happy even with dated looking cadillacs.
They need guys like me or Rye to move forward. We are the future, you are the dated past…
You’re not moving forward if you forever idolize the past.
You and Rye are nothing but statistical outliers, and will do nothing to change the world, let alone Cadillac.
If improved ride means a smoother ride, offer 18″ tires like the CT6 does. My Platinum had the 20’s and I drove a loaner with 19’s. If I want a sports car ride I’ll go back to a ‘vette. I put a set of 18″ CT6 takeoffs on my car and the extra inch of sidewall on the Goodyear Eagle Sport tires makes a huge difference. The ride is a dream. If I want a little more feel put her in sport mode. Which brings up, why drop the mag shocks except for the Plat. trim? That was a big selling point upon model launch. Also the air springs. I guess they figure people won’t notice the difference. I don’t think changing tires will make up for the suspension downgrades.
Given the parameters, I think the current XTS is a very good looking car and will stand up over time. It doesn’t need big hoops to make it look “better”. The redesign, I sure hope it looks better in person.
Joe B, I completely agree. It’s insane the way car-makers are pushing (harsh-riding, high-maintenance cost) big-rim, low-profile tires on everyone, as some sort of “luxury”. If Cadillac wanted to improve the ride of the XTS via tires, they should have gone to 18″ or better yet 17″ rims. The Cadillac DTS had a great ride on 17″ rims (only the “high performance” Platinum version has 18″ rims), and the XTS is slightly smaller overall than the DTS, so it shouldn’t “need” bigger rims.
We can dispute whether the overall “performance luxury” dominance in terms of number of product offerings is a fad (I think it is), but there’s absolutely no doubt that low-profile tires are a fad that will soon fade away (like the various whitewall tire fads of the past). Today we are told that low profile tires “look cool”. Well to me they don’t look cool, in fact look at the size of the tires on any actual race cars, on F1 and Indy Cars they are very fat (high profile) and also NASCAR racers have very high profile tires, compared with consumer cars.
Low profile auto tires (bigger rims generally mean lower profile tires) of today don’t depict racing “coolness” and certainly don’t lead to luxury rides due to their harsh nature. They’ve been compared in looks with bicycle tires, wagon wheels, and even O-rings (for your aerospace enthusiasts). Low profile tires supposedly deliver improved handling, but it’s doubtful that many drivers would ever put their luxury car into maneuvers that would bring this “improvement” to their attention. Meanwhile they are getting a much harsher ride than with higher profile tires, and also face a greater likelihood of needing repairs to their car’s suspension and/or wheels.
What especially floors me is that in many cases, auto companies make larger rims and lower profile tires standard with each upgrade in trim level. So that the base version may have 16″ rims, the mid-grade 17″, and the upper trim 19″, etc. Thus what might have been a nice riding car in the 16″ version may be almost unbearably stiff at 19″ – yet if you want to have luxuries such as leather seats, a sunroof, or a high-quality stereo, you have to accept the harsh ride that goes with those “luxury upgrade” 19″ wheels. Or yes, maybe you can get the dealer to change the rim size for you (and then you have a “custom” car of dubious resale value), but most people aren’t going to bother or even have the vision that this might be possible. And in some cases such a change isn’t possible, if the brakes are too big to downsize the wheels as far as you’d want, etc.
There’s a great article online titled “Are Low Profile Tires Ruining Your Ride”, which covers this topic quite well. I wish Cadillac would take wheel size/tire profile into consideration, when attempting to improve the ride quality of their cars.
As Jeremy Clarkson would say.. POWER; make Chevy’s 650hp supercharged 6.2L V8 LT4 an option in Cadillac’s XTS and sales will increase.
Interesting. I’ll await checking it out in person before I make any judgments on the refresh. From the pictures, however, the view from the front end, is a bit more sportier. Discontinuing the optiononal glove-box CD player is a mistake, in my opinion.
I’m more interested on what this all means to ride quality. They eliminated mag-ride and the suspension, because, why?
Maybe the mag-ride is eliminated as a part of death by a thousand cuts. XTS continues to sell to the dismay of Cadillac brass. I hope I’m wrong.
If I read the above correctly, Mag Ride is eliminated from the lower two trim levels (Standard and Luxury) but still available, or possibly standard in the upper two (Premium Luxury and Platinum).
Looks like if that is the case, Premium Luxury chassis will be 19″ wheels with Mag Ride and Platinum Luxury 20″ wheels with Mag Ride.
I know for me 18-19″ + mag ride would be the sweet spot between looks on one hand, and ride, handling, comfort and durability on the other. No amount of chassis wizardry can make 40 series tires on a 20″ wheel an appropriate choice for NYC area driving.
Cadillac : F grade about traction.
All GM with code forbidden AE styles grade F by easy damage on test performance.
Social USA in AE department are street racers style by they use code forbidden AE styles for their fun to destroy all standard AE.
Database vote by them
Mercedes Benz grade F with code forbidden AE styles in all classes.
So many car manufacturers switching to leds. Last I checked, LEDS are not only not as bright, but their range is shorter as well. Talk about cutting corners everywhere. I’d be pissed on a $60k new car.
All the bad comments about the XTS are from individuals who wished they owned one. I’ve owned a 2013 for 46 months. It’s a dream to drive. Plenty of power and all the comfort. The only repair work done was on the GPS and that was covered by warranty. It has original brakes and tires. A big road car that gets 32 mpg on the highway.
Jay, sounds like a perfect car. Last year when I began shopping at Cadillac’s site XTS checked off more of the boxes for me. I bought CTS. I’ve second guessed that decision many time. GM’s home brew transmission in CTS hunts gears it never finds. Downshift for passing or lane change in highway traffic does not happen.
Enjoy your XTS!
So essentially we have the same exact drivetrain as was introduced back in 2012, one less interior color combo, restriction of the 410 hp 3.6 TT to the highest most expensive trim level, no more rear air springs or magnetic ride control on the base and Luxury some tweaked exterior cues and a newer Cue. Couldn’t they have at the very least given it the 9 speed automatic that many other GM models are getting including some far cheaper Chevy models? Apparently they want it to fail or expect it to be gone very soon after 2018 or 2019.
Some kind of weird planned obsolescence? You may be right. XTS is the dark horse contender, a fan favorite, and if they were smart, they’d build the brand around, seriously. Whatever happens, they deserve.
Do I really want or need automatic steering wheel and seat heat?
The front seat fore and aft headrest adjustment looks different. Is it better?
I hope the adjustable thigh support wasn’t eliminated in the “improvements”.
The current 20″ Plat. rims, polished with chrome plastic accent spokes had a design flaw causing premature etching, corrected in later models, but they are very sharp looking. Replaced with painted wheels? Less warranty claims.
Having reviewed the upcoming 2018 cadillac XTS, I find that features that were originally standard on the base model have become only available on higher end premium models, such as air shocks, magnetic ride etc.. Furthermore where competitors low end cars have standard features i.e. automatic braking, blind side vision etc., cadillac has these features as options at additional cost. What a disappointment, considering that I was going to upgrade from my 2013 XTS, I will now look at the the Lincoln Continental which appears to have much more to offer at a similar if not lower price point.
That’s because it’s a Lincoln.
I just bought a 2016 XTS AWD Platinum (California car) and absolutely love it. I added winter tires on 18” wheels and do agree that the taller sidewalls help the ride immensely. I may look for a set of 18” or 19” take-offs when its time to replace the 20” all-seasons, although the ride on the 20’s isn’t terrible, either. The 20’s have at least a couple of seasons left in them, so I’ll have that time to get used to them. (The STS this replaced had 18’s, and also had Mag-Ride.)