US luxury carmaker Cadillac has given its most popular sedan a rigorous refresh for the 2018 model year that sees everything from the front grille to the chassis receive some sort of tweak. But the changes stop short of making it a dedicated rear-wheel drive car like its newer models.
With all of the effort it has been putting into ensuring its newest vehicles look and feel like premium German sedans and to get a younger car-buying demographic excited about them, it looked as if the Cadillac XTS, the company's biggest and last remaining front-wheel drive sedan, was heading to the retirement home (like many of the marque's traditional customers).
However, rather than announce its demise, the company has revealed a heavily refreshed model for 2018 complete with latest generation infotainment and connectivity, an even more premium interior and sufficient tweaks to the exterior and chassis to bring it in line with the likes of the ATS and CT6 in terms of looks and handling. Yet, it's still a front-wheel drive car, in basic specification at least.
Still, opt for the 400hp V-Sport version and you'll have the reassurance of power with responsibility, as it comes as standard with intelligent all-wheel drive.
But with one of the less potent powertrains fitted and sending power exclusively through the front wheels, Cadillac is insistent that improvements in chassis rigidity, suspension and brakes will ensure a fun drive, rather than torque steer and understeer.
Away from the facelift and handling improvements, the biggest noticeable change to the car is in terms of connectivity and infotainment.
Following its rollout in the 2017 CTS, the new XTS is getting the company's new "Cadillac User Experience". What that means is a digital platform complete with safe-to-use-while-driving apps, including a dedicated app for navigation.
The interface and the information can be personalized and different profiles assigned for different drivers. The system also has an active online connection that will let Cadillac automatically update the software and add new features over time. The car also gets OnStar and a smartphone app for keeping remote tabs on the vehicle when parked.
"Cadillac pioneered connectivity by bringing OnStar to market," said Richard Brekus, Cadillac director of Product Strategy. "We have worked to improve overall system response in recent years, and now this next-generation user experience system delivers more improvements, focused mainly on intuitive control."