automotive.com®...where your car search begins

2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport First Drive

Cadillac adds further allure to its flagship sedan.


2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport Homepage Image

2014 Cadillac XTS Research

2014 Cadillac XTS Research Click to hide

What It Is
Cadillac boosts performance for its XTS Vsport flagship luxury sedan.
Best Thing
The XTS Vsport builds on the XTS with a more potent engine.
Worst Thing
Price swells with performance, the Cadillac XTS Vsport is far more expensive.
Snap Judgment
The technology, style, craftsmanship, and added performance of the 2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport will impress.


The 2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport arrives with added punch to fortify the automaker's luxury flagship. Cadillac's XTS model took on a tall order when it arrived as a 2013 model, in replacing two outgoing sedans of great measure, while simultaneously delivering on a promise the automaker has spent a century building. There was also the unenviable task of attracting new customers without alienating loyalists. And rather than just delivering a comfy, bloated sedan, Caddy added to its reputation for expansive luxury with a sleekly-styled luxury flagship laden with useful and relevant technology.

The XTS Vsport makes minor aesthetic changes to the new XTS, seen in its use of a new grille, and of course the Vsport badges. The real change is under the hood, where XTS engineers took the same 3.6-liter engine, and added two turbochargers. The result? As you can guess, a lot of performance. Exclusively AWD, the XTS Vsport drops the XTS4 AWD's 0-60 sprint time from 6.9 seconds, to 5.3 seconds. Power has been upped from 304 horses, to a more commanding 410 horsepower. The XTS Vsport starts at $63,030 after delivery, while our model came in at $65,415. On average, the Vsport will run about $6,000 more than regular XTS models. At this price range, the XTS Vsport plays in Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series price levels, with those cars sporting their V-8 engines. What do we think of the 2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport? Is the premium worth it? You can read on to learn more.

  • 2014 Cadillac XTS V Sport Front End
  • 2014 Cadillac XTS V Sport Front Three Quarter In Motion 02
  • 2014 Cadillac XTS V Sport Side In Motion
  • 2014 Cadillac XTS V Sport Rear Three Quarter In Motion
  • 2014 Cadillac XTS V Sport Rear Three Quarters
  • 2014 Cadillac XTS V Sport Side

Walkaround

By day, the 2014 XTS Vsport is a sleek luxury sedan, and one that really differentiates itself from German competitors with its definite lines and angular silhouette. By night, the XTS is as alluring as an Audi, especially when you unlock the doors and walk up to it. The LED headlights illuminate first and are extremely striking. 20-inch wheels and Brembo front brakes add to the idea of a large, powerful sedan. With substantial length and width, there's no shortage of presence. And like the XTS, the short front end and abruptly cut-off rear--much of the length is used for the cabin--you'll at least be enticed to climb inside for further inspection.

Sitting Down

If Cadillac can really differentiate itself in one key area, it's in its unique interior. A welcome animation greets you on both the digital instrument cluster--one that can be customized with four unique skins--and the Cadillac CUE infotainment screen. And there's immediately a feeling of both comfort and quality. The cross-stitching is eye-catching, as is the ambient lighting at night. There are clever storage spaces, and the driver gets a color heads-up display. To adjust the volume, you can simply swipe your finger across the haptic button, much like you would on a tablet or smartphone. As far as room, all passengers will be comfortable, as there is both ample leg and head room. The center stack looks fresh and modern, and overall, the cabin has a cohesive feel. And as we drove the 2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport in winter, the heated steering wheel and effective heated seats were especially appreciated.

  • 2014 Cadillac XTS V Sport Cockpit
  • 2014 Cadillac XTS V Sport Interior 02
  • 2014 Cadillac XTS V Sport Interior
  • 2014 Cadillac XTS V Sport Rear Interior

Driving

While priced to compete with the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6, you'll find a sportier ride in those German models. So what will you find in the XTS Vsport? A lot of power, and needed acceleration that can push the Vsport with little effort. There's a small turbo lag, but the acceleration is night and day from the regular XTS. This car isn't meant to be a sports car, but rather a comfy cruiser with a little attitude. The Vsport delivers. Shifts are effortless, and when I employ the paddles that I suspect very few drivers will actually use, the response is quick and cooperative. When taking a hard corner, the XTS Vsport stays very firmly planted, and braking power is quick and effective.

  • 2014 Cadillac XTS V Sport Instrument Cluster
  • 2014 Cadillac XTS V Sport Navigation
  • 2014 Cadillac XTS V Sport Pop Out Center Stack
  • 2014 Cadillac XTS V Sport Usb Port

Summary

The 2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport adds a 410-horsepower, 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged engine that ups performance considerably over a regular XTS. With so many large luxury sedans on the market, it's easy to get caught in the luxury haze. But with its unique styling, plush cabin, and lots of useful, functional technology, the XTS Vsport helps differentiate itself. If performance is the main draw motivating your luxury sedan purchase, we'd also look at models such as the BMW 5 Series, or Audi A6. If it's a stylish cruiser with ample power when called upon that you're looking for, the XTS Vsport will do very nicely and merits consideration.

Basic Specs

3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6, six-speed automatic transmission, AWD, 410-hp, $65,415, 16 mpg city/24 mpg hwy