Finally Actually Dead: The Cadillac XTS: Report

Photo: General Motors

About a year ago, we reported that GM was looking to discontinue the Cadillac XTS, and now we know the day is here. The last XTS was finished in Oshawa, Ontario this week and the FWD Cadillac sedan as we’ve known it since the K-body Seville launched in 1980 is no more.

According to Cadillac Society, the final XTS was a Red Horizon Tintcoat FWD Luxury model, which suggests it’ll find a private buyer and not live the rough life many XTSes live as ride-hail and rideshare vehicles in cities like New York.

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Though the XTS hasn’t been a terribly convincing Cadillac with its Epsilon II underpinnings shared with the Chevy Impala and Buick Lacrosse, the model has actually been relatively successful for the brand. Motor1 reports that the FWD-biased XTS outsold every other sedan in the Cadillac portfolio as late as the third quarter of 2018. Again, many of those sales were certainly to fleets and commercial drivers, but a sales success is a sales success.

Though the XTS has recently been Cadillac’s most successful sedan, we’ve known for some time that the brand would not pursue a direct successor to the model. This is a big deal for a few reasons. We’ve already noted how the XTS has provided Cadillac with considerable sales as late as last year, but this also represents the end of an era in Cadillac’s history.

The ‘bustle-back’ Seville introduced in 1979 as a 1980 model was Cadillac’s first FWD sedan. The Eldorado Coupe brought the configuration to the brand thirteen years earlier in 1966.
Photo: General Motors

The floaty FWD sedan fit for a Sunday drive over to Wolfie’s Rascal House in Miami Beach for the early-bird special or a quick jaunt from Midtown to JFK has been a Cadillac specialty for nearly 40 years at this point and now the brand will no longer have one on offer. Sure, the CT6 is still on offer for now, but it costs more than $10,000 more than the XTS and hasn’t seemed to excite buyers much.

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On the ride-hail front, Cadillac has started to get out-classed by the Toyota Avalon, a car beloved by our own Raphael Orlove, but perhaps the new XT6 crossover can pick up some of the slack there, where the older Infiniti QX60 has been successful lately.

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Cadillac’s future strategy remains unclear as the brand launches new models like the CT4 and CT5 with V-branded engines making less power and puzzlingly weird design features. Apparently, electrification is on the horizon and perhaps that will bring a more clear successor to one of the brand’s historically successful segments and provide a little clarity. I certainly hope so.

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Max Finkel

Max Finkel is a Weekend Contributor at Jalopnik.