Here it is, the last Sedan de Ville. Well, for all intents and purposes. As I’m sure you’ve heard, production of the Cadillac XTS, which replaced the Northstar V8 powered 2007-2011 DTS, is ending sometime in October of this year.
And it will end close to thirty-five years of production of full-sized, front wheel drive Cadillacs. Most people won’t notice, most people would prefer an XT5 or XT4, if they’re shopping Cadillacs at all. But I’ll notice. I liked these cars. And I’ll miss them when they’re gone.
When the XTS first appeared as a 2013 model, I thought it was a nice car. From its swept-back, almost fastback-like rear end, it reminded me a bit of the neoclassical 1980-85 Cadillac Seville, Bill Mitchell’s swan song at General Motors. I even tested a 2014 for the old website, and enjoyed it very much. Over the intervening five years, I half kept an eye on XTS certified pre-owned trade-ins at McLaughlin Cadillac, in case they get one in in pearl white or ruby red with the creme leather interior. So far, the right one hasn’t appeared. But I remain vigilant.
Most of the regulars here know I have two Lincoln Town Cars. A daily driver 2000 Town Car Cartier with 158,000 miles, and Big Rhonda, my 2004 Town Car Ultimate with only 58,000 on the clock. The 2004 I intend to keep permanently, but the Cartier is approaching pretty high mileage (not for a Panther, though, a friend saw one last spring locally with 371K on it), and nearly twenty years of age.
But everything still works on that car. Climate control, the power windows, locks, mirrors, stereo, auto-dimming mirrors, heated seats, the whole schlemiel. So it isn’t giving me a reason to get rid of it yet. And I still enjoy it. But…but. I think there will be an XTS in my future. And earlier this year when I heard the XTS was going out of production with no replacement, I talked to my partner in crime at McLaughlin Cadillac vis a vis road testing vehicles.
Namely, Brian Cox. I called and said since the XTS was going away, I wanted to try out a 2019 sometime soon. About a month back, I was scouting the lot and there was a gunmetal gray 2019, with but a few thousand miles on the clock, as a certified pre-owned Cadillac. I texted Brian the following Monday, and set up an appointment to try it out the following week.
The agreed-upon date arrived, and I discovered the car had been sold. But not all was lost. Brian said, “Well, we’ll just put you in this brand new one, it’s the same color!” Excellent.
This car had seventeen miles on it. But wait, there’s more! “We should run it through the car wash, it’s kind of dusty.” So I rode in the passenger seat with Brian as he took it through McLaughlin’s automatic car wash. Then a dealer plate was obtained and I was sent on my way. “I’m here until six, go have fun!” And indeed I did.
When I tried out the 2014 XTS, I was impressed, and liked it. But the 2019, I enjoyed even more. I really loved the interior, with its ‘tuxedo’ interior consisting of creme leather and door panels, with black dash pad and door caps. I have never warmed to dark gray or black interiors, they always reminded me of sitting in a flip-top plastic Rubbermaid garbage can. And the light interior trim is always a plus in the hot, humid Midwestern summers we get.
This interior was swank. The seats were comfortable-VERY-and there was wood trim everywhere. Even on the steering wheel and transmission lever. Everything looked suitably upscale, leather, wood and soft-touch trim-that bugaboo of shrimp-inhaling major media journalists everywhere, ha ha.
I also was rather infatuated with the glass panorama roof. With a push of a button, the color-keyed headlining retracted, revealing the bright Midwestern sun. It was almost like riding in a convertible, without risk of my fedora flying off.
I even sat in the back, and it was suitably roomy and cushy for my five foot ten, approximately 165-lb. frame Note: Give or take five pounds and depending on gin consumption, see your dealer for details…
The XTS was a pleasure to drive. I’m one of those people who doesn’t need a ‘sport’ sedan. I just want something smooth and comfortable to drive to work, to the supermarket, to car shows, and to the occasional supper club. I have driven the larger CT6, and prefer the XTS to it. Maybe because the XTS is a little more ‘traditional Cadillac’. It is pretty much the last Sedan de Ville, though an argument could be made for the 2011 DTS as being the last one. But the XTS has more of that gin and tonic, steak dinner at the country club Cadillac vibe of olden days, while the CT6 seems to be promoted as more of a swank club in NYC, sushi and Poland spring water type of customer.
I’m rambling. But I’m old enough to remember when Cadillacs, Lincolns, Buick Electras and Oldsmobile Ninety-Eights were driven by the fiercely local doctors, lawyers, alderman and clergy of my town in NW Illinois. Sober types, traditional types, but folks who got things done too. And loved the game of golf. Most of those city pillars, people who were sought for their advice, their wisdom and their experience are no longer about. And we’re all the poorer for it.
True, the 2019 XTS is not a 1970 Sedan de Ville, but it is a Cadillac, and still has some of that special Cadillac feel in my opinion. And it is a composed, comfortable ride. Too many modern cars are hard-riding with their giant alloy wheels and low-profile tires. Not the Cadillac. It is smooth and quiet.
One is now on my short list for future transportation, along with the Lincoln MKZ, Lincoln Continental and Volvo S60. The 3.6 liter V6 has plenty of power, and much of the same oomph as my V8 Town Car.
One neat feature I really liked was the bird’s eye view section of the back up camera. I had stopped at the house to show my dad the car before I headed back to the dealer, and reversing out of the driveway, I noticed the overhead view, showing the pavement, trees, shrubs, etc. It’s like James Bond! Cool.
I took this car on a variety of roads, from four-lanes to two-lanes, then onto I-80 for a while. The Cadillac was a pleasure to drive, and accelerated with vigor when I shot onto the interstate on-ramp.
The more I drove it, the more I liked it. As previously mentioned, I drove a 2014 XTS back when it was new, and the 2019 is not drastically different.
But it seems more refined, smoother somehow. The new nose and tail design, as seen on our tester, first appeared on the 2018 models.
When the new look first appeared, I preferred the earlier style. But for some reason, it has grown on me, and now I prefer the revised schnoz and caboose. Go figure. And the combination of Phantom Gray metallic over the Shale leather was a nice combo. Though I like the Red Horizon and Adriatic Blue even better! So many black, white and gray cars out there, I’d rather have a real color, though I always have had a soft spot for gunmetal gray.
The more I drove this car, the more I talked myself into getting one in the near future. So I’ll be keeping an eye on the lot at McLaughlin for fresh certified trade-ins over the next couple of years. If the right one in the right color makes an appearance, who knows what could happen? Until then folks, keep calm and Brougham on.
Best of all, it’s a Cadillac.