2013 Cadillac XTS Premium Collection
2013 Cadillac XTS Premium Collection
2013 Cadillac XTS Premium Collection. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Paul Williams

While driving along in our 2013 Cadillac XTS “Premium Collection” tester, it occurred to me that you can divide the price of cars into $20,000 increments. For example, at $20,000 you have your choice of reasonably equipped economy compact cars. At $40,000 you enter the “near-luxury” category, which are typically luxury brands, but still in the compact segment and not too well optioned, or well-equipped larger mainstream brand vehicles.

At $60,000 you have your choice of mid-range luxury cars like the Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class or BMW 5 Series to name a few. You’ll still be at the entry level, however, as you’ll find when you start adding some choice options to these vehicles.

That’s the car industry: option up an entry-level car at any price point, and you might as well move to a higher specification vehicle.

I was mulling this over while checking out the Head Up Display (HUD) of our $61,320 XTS (including $1,595 freight). This was no simple HUD. You can move it up and down to suit your position, you can customize what it displays; it’s multi-colour; it’ll show a tachometer, your navigation instructions, your speed or the artist and song you’re listening to on the satellite radio. It shows other information, too, like the speed limit where you’re driving. It’s a high-end piece.

Below the HUD is the instrument panel. But again, it’s not your average instrument panel. The whole thing’s a high definition digital display. Fully electronic, you have your choice of four data arrays: simple, performance, enhanced and balanced. It’ll also copy your navigation directions and mirror your entertainment data. It’s very impressive, I thought. Very current.

On the centre stack is Cadillac’s CUE interface. CUE is the Cadillac User Experience, and it handles all manner of entertainment, comfort, driving and vehicle tasks. Wave your hand over the screen and it goes into enhanced mode. Leave it alone, and the display returns to a basic map or basic audio data. CUE also uses buttons with “haptic” feedback. It’s kind of an electronic “thunk” when you touch it. I’d actually prefer a conventional button, but again, it’s a distinctive piece of kit.

2013 Cadillac XTS Premium Collection2013 Cadillac XTS Premium Collection
2013 Cadillac XTS Premium Collection. Click image to enlarge

My point, though – to anticipate where I’m going with this – is that Cadillac XTS Premium Collection is absolutely loaded. And not with lots of frou-frou and junk. No, this FWD model is packed with desirable features such as leather interior with smart contrasting stitching, power memory seats, “Homelink” for three garages, “surround” speakers mounted at the top of each front seat, adaptive cruise control, exterior puddle lighting, and a manual shift mode on the six-speed automatic with paddle shifters to further amuse you while driving.

Additionally, there’s a nifty lane-departure warning system that gives you little nudges through the seat side bolster to let you know you’re wandering off course. A blind-spot icon in each mirror illuminates to warn you of traffic approaching that you may not see, and a proximity sensor illuminates in the instrument panel to provide assistance when parking. There’s also forward collision alert and cross-traffic alert.

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