With the Arrival Of the new CT6, the XTS Will No Longer Be Cadillac’s Flagship Car

What changes will make it different?

The 2015 version is billed by Cadillac as “one of the most technologically advanced production cars in the brand’s history,” so we’re a bit surprised about rumors suggesting this latest model could be the last we see of the nameplate. However, a recent press release from Cadillac about its upcoming new flagship model being named the CT6 claims that “the CT6 will expand the Cadillac range upwards—meaning it will not replace any current product.” If the XTS does continue into model-year ’16, a freshening that includes a rearranged front fascia should be the only alterations.

Why should I wait for the 2016?

If you are interested in the minor modifications. But since the ’15 model, which received a number of safety and connectivity upgrades, will likely be a carryover, there’s not much of a compelling reason to hang on for 2016.

Should I buy a 2015 model instead?

Other than the fact that some consider this full-size luxury sedan to be a little pricey, it’s winner of a car, especially if you want to buy an American make rather than one from Europe or Japan.

Will the styling be different?

It seems that the current styling will mostly carry over. The revised front would attempt to keep the large premium car’s look fresh until a redesign in either 2017 or 2018. Most reviewers consider this to be a handsome if not a standout car, so if you like the CTS but need something bigger, it may well be for you.

Any mechanical changes?

This car is set apart from sportier models like the CTS and ATS by the fact that it is a front-wheel-drive rather than a rear-wheel-drive model, although it is also available in all-wheel drive. The only mechanical change that we may see for the ’16 is the incorporation of the new eight-speed automatic transmission that is going into the ATS. The current engine options should stay in place, which are the standard 3.6-liter V-6 that is a little underwhelming and the twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6 that performs more like a V-8.

Will fuel economy improve?

If there is a 2016 model and it gets the new eight-speed automatic transmission, we could see fuel economy improve. However, any upgrades would be negligible due to the sheer size and weight of the car. This is a big, heavy and luxuriously equipped auto, so gas mileage is never going to be its strong point.

Will it have new features?

It already has just about every feature you could possibly want, even for a full-size luxury sedan. For the ’15, Cadillac added features such as OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, power-adjustable 22-way front seats with heat, ventilation and massage, and lane keep assist (on all front-wheel drive models). It’s hard to fathom what could possibly be added to improve the XTS’s comfort, safety and connectivity.

How will 2016 prices be different?

The entry-level offering remained the same price-wise for model-year ’15. With few if any further modifications in the pipeline, the story could be the same for 2016. If the price does rise, it won’t be by more than a couple hundred bucks.

When will it come out?

Since there is no certainty that it will even come out at all, this is extremely difficult to predict. The ’15 could carry on throughout next year or, alternatively, be badged and sold as a 2016 model in its current form with a release date near the end of 2015.

Best competitors

Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Hyundai Genesis, Lexus ES350, Jaguar XJ, Lincoln MKS

What changes would make it better?

With cars like this, which are all about comfort and luxury, it’s often difficult to find faults. Nevertheless, the styling could be better; it’s eclipsed by the latest Mercedes S-Class and even the Genesis. But at least it looks like a Cadillac. With a realignment of the brand’s lineup about to take place, this is an opportunity to mess around with the XTS models and their specifications to lower the cost a little.

Quick hit

We have difficulty seeing a place for the XTS in the Cadillac family once the CT6 becomes available. This is currently the flagship model, but it could be discontinued once the CT6 comes on stream.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]