[quote_box_right]Up: Drives great, very modern interior.

Down: Doesn’t distinguish itself from the CTS enough.

Neutral: It’s refreshing to see Cadillac joining the 21st Century with all of their vehicles.[/quote_box_right]It’s not a secret that the team at Cadillac took a trip back to the drawing board recently. After declining sales and the downturn of the recession, post-2009 was either make or break for the iconic American automaker. So, with the advent of 2013 came two brand new cars to Cadillac’s line up. The 2013 Cadillac XTS, which I drove today, and the ATS. So, let’s see how the Cadillac team did.

I have always found Cadillacs to be, well pretentious. You know, kind of big and hey, look at me! Well, the newly designed exterior caught my attention right away. Aggressive angles swoop from rear to front, funneling into arched headlights and a new grill forcing you to think, hey, that looks fast! Al Sletten at Luxury Auto Mall Cadillac explained that the new models aim to bring in a younger generation of buyers.

Opening the cockpit reveals a very new world for Cadillac. Simple dash design, soft-leather seating and a plethora of amenities come standard in this Caddy. In this Premium trim package you’ll find all kinds of goodies like a 14 speaker Bose sound system, rear-cabin shading and the premium version of Cadillac’s new CUE entertainment system. This version rolls in at around $55,000 with options.

After spending a minute going over the CUE entertainment system with Al, I slid it into D and pulled off the lot. There’s a lot of construction going on around Sioux Falls right now and I never thought I’d say I was glad about that but this allowed me to really feel how the vehicle dealt with the road. I must say, i’m impressed. This was the most supple ride I have tested yet. The XTS suspension dealt with cracks and bumps as if they were hardly even there. Road noise was also irrelevant on the highway. I had no trouble hearing Chris speaking from the back seat of the vehicle. This would make an outstanding long-trip vehicle.

The 3.6-liter V6 Cadillac puts in the XTS boasts 304 hp and a high redline of 6,500 rpms. The XTS made light of accelerating onto the highway. That’s not to say this high-revving Caddy doesn’t come without faults. Gas mileage is about 17 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway. Still, a small price to pay for a lot of extra power in a car that weighs just north of 4000 lbs.

After about 30 minutes in the vehicle and driving around, Al was still showing us new features available in the 2013 Cadillac XTS. There’s a lot to offer. But the real question is, did Cadillac pull it off? Did they finally make the car their brand so desperately needed? Yeah, yeah they did. Oh, and that’s not even considering the ATS which was North America’s car of the year. Luxury car makers beware. Caddy’s back and they’re making no bones about it.

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