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William Maley

LA 2011: Cadillac XTS: Comments

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I am really curious how those two very divergent groups will intersect in this car. Old folks do not like to fiddle with stuff. If the salespeople know their product, maybe they can set the system for customers so they can just DRIVE the thing.

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I am really curious how those two very divergent groups will intersect in this car. Old folks do not like to fiddle with stuff. If the salespeople know their product, maybe they can set the system for customers so they can just DRIVE the thing.

Reading GM's press release, that seems to be exactly what they plan.

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Which begs the question... why go to the trouble of installing the system in this model? I can see maybe the SRX, CTS and ATS... but not the Xtra Too Skinny.

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Which begs the question... why go to the trouble of installing the system in this model? I can see maybe the SRX, CTS and ATS... but not the Xtra Too Skinny.

Well, the car has tepid, me-too, styling and pedestrian underpinnings - so it needed to hang it's hat on something.

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I think I'm so down on this car because it makes me think of these awful things:

post-394-0-71706100-1321743764.jpg

I sure hope we get some ATS tidbits to talk about soon.

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Pedestrian underpinnings? What? MagnaRide and HiPer strut doesn't cut it anymore> Dear lord, this vehicle is a techno tour-de-force and all you people can do is decry that it is FWD and the engine is somehow inferior to the competition when it clearly isn't.

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Pedestrian underpinnings? What? MagnaRide and HiPer strut doesn't cut it anymore> Dear lord, this vehicle is a techno tour-de-force and all you people can do is decry that it is FWD and the engine is somehow inferior to the competition when it clearly isn't.

I refer to it's EPII foundation, not the dirty bits it steals from the real Cadillacs.

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I refer to it's EPII foundation, not the dirty bits it steals from the real Cadillacs.

<elitist rant>

Exactly...it may have some high tech parts, but at the core it has mainstream FWD appliance underpinings which are innapropriate for a brand w/ premium aspirations. Transverse engine w/ FWD is the very definition of mediocrity, averageness, bland... all that is anthema to premium, luxury, etc.

It's enough to compete w/ such weak entry-lux models as the ES and MKS, but such mediocrity isn't enough to compete in the big leagues. It's a weak, predicable effort. Cadillac needs to aim higher...

</elitist rant>

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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I refer to it's EPII foundation, not the dirty bits it steals from the real Cadillacs.
Exactly...it may have some high tech parts, but at the core it has mainstream FWD appliance underpinings which are innapropriate for a brand w/ premium aspirations. Transverse engine w/ FWD is the very definition of mediocrity, averageness, bland... all that is anthema to premium, luxury, etc. It's enough to compete w/ such weak entry-lux models as the ES and MKS, but such mediocrity isn't enough to compete in the big leagues. It's a weak, predicable effort. Cadillac needs to aim higher...

Precisely!

If you love the tech, that's just fine. But it doesn't say anything about the XTS' intrinsic value as a car. In that sense, it is just fluff that could be added to any car.

This car, like that nasty thing I posted earlier, is Cadillac by committee. And that committee just phoned this one in.

Edited by Camino LS6

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And GM had the design chops to pull it off too. This was contemporary to the XTS showcar:

post-394-0-56590900-1321749948.jpg

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The argument that "there is a market for this car" and "not everyone wants a CTS-V" is not valid IMO. I'm sure there is a market for this car, and GM has Buick to cater to it. Cadillac should be focusing on aligning itself with tier-one brands if it wants to be considered a world standard.

And 'Pervez,' calling the XTS' infotainment system "the Apple iOS of the industry" is premature. Everything we know about CUE at this point has come from Cadillac's PR team.

Every brand in this segment puts out highly advanced technology. We don't know yet how CUE will stack up against Audi's MMI, BMW's iDrive, etc. Ford and Lincoln's MyTouch is touch-capacitive like CUE and has been met with universally negative critical reception. Let's hope Cadillac's execution is far better than Ford's.

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I assume one reason the Epsilon II cars are narrow is that it is a global platform. I don't really care for the tall and narrow design trait of so many cars today, I prefer lower-longer-wider.

This! :thumbsup:

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It's enough to compete w/ such weak entry-lux models as the ES and MKS, but such mediocrity isn't enough to compete in the big leagues. It's a weak, predicable effort. Cadillac needs to aim higher...

</elitist rant>

Agreed. Especially when Cadillac is not a luxury leader, they sort of far back in the pack globally. If they want to move up the ladder they need to aim way higher.

And at least the 1989 Deville had a V8, not the engine from a Chevy Impala.

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Rt the Small Block was light years better than the HT4100 Power Reliability MPG NVH ...

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The argument that "there is a market for this car" and "not everyone wants a CTS-V" is not valid IMO. I'm sure there is a market for this car, and GM has Buick to cater to it. Cadillac should be focusing on aligning itself with tier-one brands if it wants to be considered a world standard.

And 'Pervez,' calling the XTS' infotainment system "the Apple iOS of the industry" is premature. Everything we know about CUE at this point has come from Cadillac's PR team.

Every brand in this segment puts out highly advanced technology. We don't know yet how CUE will stack up against Audi's MMI, BMW's iDrive, etc. Ford and Lincoln's MyTouch is touch-capacitive like CUE and has been met with universally negative critical reception. Let's hope Cadillac's execution is far better than Ford's.

I would agree. A lot of thee iDrive copies are similar, even cars like the Focus have systems like it, and I don't know if any particular one is good enough to sway a car buying decision. Cadillac should focus on tier one brands, even Cadillac said that is what they want to be, so they need to put their money where their mouth is.

I disagree a little on whether there is a market for this car, there still is, but I think it is quickly diminishing. This flavor of car works under $40k, the Lexus ES, Avalon, LaCrosse, etc sell in decent volume. However, the MKS sells worse, the Acura RL even worse still, because no one wants to pay $50k for an Accord. I think $50k for a Malibu/Impala/LaCrosse is a tough sell also.

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Pedestrian underpinnings? What? MagnaRide and HiPer strut doesn't cut it anymore> Dear lord, this vehicle is a techno tour-de-force and all you people can do is decry that it is FWD and the engine is somehow inferior to the competition when it clearly isn't.

Does it have voice commands, park itself, have self closing doors, self closing trunk, Split-view Nav screen, 1000+ watt 7.1 surround sound, does it detect sleepiness from the driver, tell you what the speed limit is, adjustable ride height, adjustable suspension settings, adjustable throttle settings, adjustable transmission settings, adjustable steering effort, LED headlights, night vision, refrigerated glove box or rear refrigerator, power reclining, massaging, heated and cooled seats at all 4 positions, HVAC that works while the car is off via solar power, double pane windows, can you set how many seconds the light over the license plate stays on after the ignition is turned off, 8-speed transmission, V8, aluminum or carbon fiber chassis and body, etc.

This car is far from a technological tour de force, it is competitive with a Lexus ES or even GS (which is dated) and a Lincoln MKS or an Acura, but this is far from S-class level technology.

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That's why Malibus Impalas & LaCrosses don't sell for those numbers. ;)

What many fail to realize is that the vast bulk of luxury buyers don't give a flying F what wheels drive or that a $90K mercedes shares the same platform with a $45K one. Again I must remind you, 75% of 1-series BMW OWNERS believe their car is FWD. The idea that these unseen things are prime factors in the purchase of a luxury car is just laughable. mercedees are purchased because the buyers believe it'll impress their neighbors; THAT'S a prime factor, not if the 'platform' is shared with another car or not. The vast majority of buyers don't know & don't care about technical details or have any idea what a 'platform' even is.

Enthusiasts are a tiny percentage of luxury car buyers, the rest want flash & gimmicks & bragging rights & a badge.

In other words, no appreciable percentage of XTS consumers are going to believe an XTS has anything to do with a Malibu (despite sharing a few unseen stampings) because everything they can see & touch bears no similarity whatsoever... as opposed to the 75% of 1-series BMW OWNERS that believe their car is FWD (which it ISN'T, and they supposedly should be able to tell this by just driving this self-proclaimed 'superior driving experience' vehicle down their own driveway).

Who has the larger problem to overcome??

• • •

Ironically, all those gimmicky electronics in the s-class are likely to INDUCE sleepiness in the driver, since he has so little left to do for himself. :P

Self-closing doors is aspirational 'technology' ?? These are not auto enthusiasts who crave RWD handling & horsepower, but 'all you can eat' & Lazy-Boys.

Edited by balthazar
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You know what? I want to see the definitive proof that all of these luxury car buyers don't know what wheels drive their car.

Sure, people who buy cars like this have money to burn, but my gut tells me that they would much rather burn it with fine aged liquor than Ronsonol.

And GM had the design chops to pull it off too. This was contemporary to the XTS showcar:

post-394-0-56590900-1321749948.jpg

The XTS showcar, for that matter, was a far cleaner and much more handsome design than what GM is going to build for production.

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You know what? I want to see the definitive proof that all of these luxury car buyers don't know what wheels drive their car.

Here you go (and note I had the percentage too low) :

>>"...for the large majority of new car buyers it would appear that it doesn’t matter which wheels are doing the driving..."<<

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You know what? I want to see the definitive proof that all of these luxury car buyers don't know what wheels drive their car.

Here you go (and note I had the percentage too low) :

>>"...for the large majority of new car buyers it would appear that it doesn’t matter which wheels are doing the driving..."<<

Whoa ... I'm going to put the brakes on this one, right now.

Let me put this bluntly: that's not evidence that I would profile an entire audience of car buyers with.

Am I going to sit here and dispute that a BMW CEO said that the results from a corporately sponsored survey for 1-Series buyers showed that most people who buy a BMW 1-Series are completely oblivious as to what wheels make their car go forward and sometimes backward? Not at all. I can believe with confidence it's a fact.

However, in the context of the article you linked to, the phrase you quoted is little more than one part opinion, one part ignorance, one part exaggeration, and one part hyperbole. It's far from a concrete fact, to say the least.

Actually, when you begin to do a little peeling away, it's a textbook example of bad journalism. If you read the exact same news story over at Motor Trend or World Car Fans, you don't see them lumping other luxury car buyers (and all other new car buyers, for that matter) in with 1-Series buyers in their respective articles. Motor Authority was the only outlet to make that statement. Hmmm ... hear that? That's the sound of something spinning, and it's not the wheels on a 1-Series BMW either.

So, to be blunt once again and to get back to the main issue at hand, you simply cannot profile an entire group of buyers with one very isolated example of data like that. That's one car from one automaker who, as of this very day in 2011, builds 15 different cars not including the 1'er, Mini's model range, a couple of Rolls Royces, and some motorcycles.

So how about guys who bought a 3'er or a 5'er? Those are also BMWs. Were those buyers just as oblivious as the buyers of the 1'er? Reaching further, how about folks who went out and bought an E-Class? How about all of those rich dudes who fell in love with a CTS? How about that billionaire who blew a wad of dough on a Bentley? That data you provided me is far from being that encompassing, sorry, and if that's what this whole notion around here that "luxury/new car buyers are too damn dumb to tell what wheels drive their car" started from ... well, you all had best regroup and think of another approach to support your argument.

By the way, sorry if I came off harsh.

Edited by black-knight

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Pedestrian underpinnings? What? MagnaRide and HiPer strut doesn't cut it anymore> Dear lord, this vehicle is a techno tour-de-force and all you people can do is decry that it is FWD and the engine is somehow inferior to the competition when it clearly isn't.

Keep in mind too that these are the same people for years who had no problem with the rebadged Chevys as Pontiac's and cried when they lost them. Thought the Pontiac did get changes like red dash lights and ribs to set them appart.They clearly not consistant.

What we all need to understand is Cadillac for a while will still share platforms with the rest of GM. As long as the build into them systems that the others do not cary it should not be a problem.. Now if all they offer is the same systems as Buick then I would agree it would be an issue. I don't see Buick getting much of this till Cadillac has moved on.

Even Bently shares the W motor with others today. It is just a part of life. Besides as it is sizing up the V6 is not shared with many cars anymore.

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Whoa ... I'm going to put the brakes on this one, right now. Let me put this bluntly: that's not evidence that I would profile an entire audience of car buyers with.

Am I going to sit here and dispute that a BMW CEO said that the results from a corporately sponsored survey for 1-Series buyers showed that most people who buy a BMW 1-Series are completely oblivious as to what wheels make their car go forward and sometimes backward? Not at all. I can believe with confidence it's a fact.

However, in the context of the article you linked to, the phrase you quoted is little more than one part opinion, one part ignorance, one part exaggeration, and one part hyperbole. It's far from a concrete fact, to say the least.

Actually, when you begin to do a little peeling away, it's a textbook example of bad journalism. If you read the exact same news story over at Motor Trend or World Car Fans, you don't see them lumping other luxury car buyers (and all other new car buyers, for that matter) in with 1-Series buyers in their respective articles. Motor Authority was the only outlet to make that statement. Hmmm ... hear that? That's the sound of something spinning, and it's not the wheels on a 1-Series BMW either.

So, to be blunt once again and to get back to the main issue at hand, you simply cannot profile an entire group of buyers with one very isolated example of data like that. That's one car from one automaker who, as of this very day in 2011, builds 15 different cars not including the 1'er, Mini's model range, a couple of Rolls Royces, and some motorcycles.

So how about guys who bought a 3'er or a 5'er? Those are also BMWs. Were those buyers just as oblivious as the buyers of the 1'er? Reaching further, how about folks who went out and bought an E-Class? How about all of those rich dudes who fell in love with a CTS? How about that billionaire who blew a wad of dough on a Bentley? That data you provided me is far from being that encompassing, sorry, and if that's what this whole notion around here that "luxury/new car buyers are too damn dumb to tell what wheels drive their car" started from ... well, you all had best regroup and think of another approach to support your argument.

By the way, sorry if I came off harsh.

To address BMW by itself; I agree that doing a straight extrapolation of this data to other models or brands is NOT factual... with such a staggeringly high percentage, there is no question SOME percentage of 3-series buyers believe their car is FWD too (maybe some percentage of 5-series buyers). There is nothing physically apparent between the 1-series & 3-series that telegraphs which wheels drive (as opposed -say- to a comparison of a mini & a 3-series, where even the most non-enthusiast would take a perceptual pause). Do some 3- and 5- buyers think their car is FWD? Of course some do. I would bet you money some 7- buyers think their car is FWD, too. How many is open to wild guesswork until someone does a comprehensive survey (Guaranteed BMW is not setting aside money to poll this... or if they are, the results will never see the light of day).

In that BMW's marketing has spent at least the last 30 years continually pushing the 'machine-oriented, corner-carving, tech-enhanced superiority' of BMWs in general, and that this is not a survey of consumers at large but of BMW owners of said car.... IMO, SOME degree of this ignorance can absolutely be attributed to consumers of other models/brands. How much, for which cars has not been surveyed. I am not taking face value acceptance this is true in general because the article breezily stated such, but because of human nature and general observation.

BTW : >>"corporately sponsored survey"<< usually is used when it's suspected/claimed that the Corp involvment is influencing the results in a favorable manner. If that was true in this instance, the true results might be that 95% of 1-series buyers believe their cars are FWD. In other words, even tho Corp-sponsored, the results here were massively unfavorable to the image BMW pushes.

My siting the survey is only to illustrate that singular factors such as which wheels drive are NOT the prime directors for a HUGE swath of the car buying public.

It's the same as saying 'the CTS is too long to compete with the 3-series', like all buyers primarily shop via overall length in rigid 6" class segments. The factor is just not that significant or tangible in real life. For a huge quantity, the same is the case for drive wheels. Not everyone obviously, but a LOT. Enthusiasts focus on specs because that's how we 'compete' vicariously with vehicles.

Car buying for 99% of the public (my guess) is far more complex than 'I'll buy whichever car has a power glove box.' It's my observation that drive wheels is NOT in the top 10% of factors overall. If it were, I would look at mercedes & BMW absolutely refusing to build FWD models as support of that (esp in light of their marketing perception)... but that's not the case.

Edited by balthazar

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You know what? I want to see the definitive proof that all of these luxury car buyers don't know what wheels drive their car.

Sure, people who buy cars like this have money to burn, but my gut tells me that they would much rather burn it with fine aged liquor than Ronsonol.

In my area, most of these luxury cars get purchased with AWD. Once that decision is made, then the RWD v. FWD thing is moot in people's minds. They have no idea about front bias or rear bias... they just see "AWD" and they're off.

In the mind of a non-foamer, an AWD BMW 5-series is the equal to an AWD CTS or XTS or 300c or A6 or E-Class for that feature. Full stop. End of argument for them when comparison shopping.

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