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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tips To Find The Best Auto Insurance Companies

There are many auto insurance companies in the market which promote themselves as the best auto insurance companies, but actually they are not. To find the best car insurance companies car drivers have to follow these tips.

 The Best Auto Insurance Companies, Car Insurance Companies, Auto Insurance Tips
Tips To Find The Best Auto Insurance Companies
3 Tips To Find The Best Auto Insurance Companies
If you are a new driver you can get advice from the people in the industry. There are many parties like car agents, car dealers, mechanics and car sellers those who are dealing with the companies in regular basis can give you concrete information about choosing auto insurance companies.



Having strong financial stability is the indicator of the best auto insurance companies because if the company doesn't have enough assets, it cannot provide compensation for its clients. Check which insurance company has greater financial position.

You should seek the reputation of insurance companies in the market because cost is not the only factor you should always consider. An auto insurance company with high market reputation handles the customers' claims in a better way than others.

Which Are The Top Rated Auto Insurance Companies?
Another way to find the best auto insurance companies is to justify which auto insurance companies have higher ratings from both customers and independent rating organizations. Independent rating organization like A. M. Best and J. D. Power analysis the auto insurance companies and rate these companies. From their report you will get additional ideas which is the best auto insurance companies.


Getting insured means getting protection not just paying premiums and getting claims. The best auto insurance companies sell not only just the insurance policy but also the protection, value, service and care. Best car insurance companies will be the one that offers the best insurance quote and the best customer service.

Best Auto Insurance Companies-How To Choose The Best Auto Insurance Company

Choosing the best auto insurance companies from hundreds of available auto insurance companies is really tough, because when you are searching you will find that all auto insurance companies claim they are the best auto insurance companies in the market. 

You will easily get confused if you go to their website because every car insurance company claims that they have the best quality customer services, the cheapest auto insurance rates, the highest discount programs and the best auto insurance policy which will be fit within your budget. 


Customers fall into the trap of numerous glamorous advertisement of auto insurance companies which often leads them to the wrong auto insurance companies. If you face these problems then how can you choose the best autoinsurance companies within your budget?

To find the best auto insurance companies you have to compare car insurance companies, consider some facts about them and follow few simple tips.

The best auto insurance company is an approximate term because it can be either cheap auto insurance or the right auto insurance within your budget. Some drivers think cheap car insurance companies are the best car insurance companies, but cheap car insurance policy can be a frustrating if your claims do not get approved. Also auto insurance with high premiums cannot be always the best because you may pay for unnecessary coverage. 

The best auto insurance companies could be such companies which provide cheap car insurance within your budget without any hassle, have quality customer service and have a strong financial position. These are the main criteria to choose the best auto insurance companies.

Compare Auto Insurance Quotes Online
It is the best and easiest way to check which auto insurance companies are best. Go to individual auto insurance companies websites and collect the quotes by giving your personal information, driving records and vehicle information. Compare car insurance quotes and choose which insurance company offers cheaper auto insurance rates than others.

Which Auto Insurance Companies Have High Quality Services And Greater Customer Satisfaction
Though every auto insurance advertises that their services are high quality, you have to check by following these steps.

Step 1. Review Customers Testimonial Page: every auto insurance company has a testimonial page where customers write reviews about the services of this company and how satisfy they are. Search as many companies testimonial page as you can and you will get the basic idea about service quality and how is the customer satisfaction.

Step 2. Ask, Ask and Ask:ask people around you who have insurance policy already from different auto insurance companies and you will get the real situation about the service quality. Insurance companies may publish only positive reviews because of reputation, but getting information by asking car drivers cannot be deceptive.


Step 3. Get Information From Forums And Community Blog: in a forum you can ask question about which is the best auto insurance companies in your state or country and the forum members will answer and discuss the question. You will get more information from the real insurance policy holders.

No matter how cheap the auto insurance are and how much discount you get from, you will recognize the auto insurance companies as the best which stand beside you when the accident happens and if you feel there is someone on the other side to support you and process your claim as soon as possible.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Affordable Arizona Auto Insurance Quote

What can a car driver do to get affordable Arizona auto insurance quote? Do cheap auto insurance quotes really exist? After reading this post you will get all the necessary ideas and information to find Arizona auto insurance quotes that are affordable.

Arizona Auto Insurance Law
Like every other state Arizona has own set of laws which include that you must have a license for your car, you have the financial ability to run the car and you have to have minimum state required coverage. If you have caught without having state required minimum coverage, you have to compensate $250 to $750 and you may lose your car registration and your driving license if you get caught in an accident without having a basic liability policy. The state’s minimum coverage is 15/30/10 which means minimum $15,000 per individual, minimum $30,000 for an accident and minimum $10,000 for property damage.


Though Arizona State has required minimum coverage many insurance experts in Arizona suggest to have more than these coverage, because you have to bear the expenses beyond the minimum coverage out of your pocket.

How To Get The Affordable Arizona Auto Insurance Quotes?
You can get auto insurance quotes in Arizona in two ways; you can visit individual auto insurance companies available in Arizona or find third party websites which provide auto insurance quotes from different auto insurance companies. It is easy to get insurance quotes from third party websites rather going to insurance companies website individually. To get quotes you have to provide your personal information, your driving license number, zip code and vehicle model and type. They have own database and within 15 minutes you will get your requested car insurance companies quotes. Compare car insurance quotes online and choose the cheap one within your budget.

Where Can You Get The Best Arizona  Auto Insurance Quote?
You can find the best Arizona auto insurance quote on your profile if you compare as many car insurance companies as possible. To get the best one make sure your selected auto insurance company has the license to provide services in Arizona and also listed Arizona department of insurance.
After selecting company visit to its website to confirm your appropriate coverage and customer satisfaction. You should also check how many complaints it has from customers and what other policy holders of this company say about its service quality.

Tips To Get Lower Arizona Auto Insurance Quote
By raising deductibles you can save money on auto insurance policy. Just make sure you can cover the deductible amount.

You can lower your insurance rates by avoiding unnecessary coverage. Auto insurance companies set the insurance coverage as a package and sometimes drivers have to pay extra money for nothing.

Many auto insurance companies provide discounts if the drivers attend driver’s safety courses. Ask your agent whether the company offers discounts on safety courses or not. The Arizona National Safety Council offers AZ residents courses in defensive driving. Taking such courses can save you a handsome money.

Install few safety devices in your car which may reduce the insurance prices. Also mentioning the occupation to insurance companies in Arizona will help to get lower auto insurance quotes.

Getting an Arizona auto insurance quote that is cheaper from top auto insurance companies can be easy if car drivers follow these ideas.


Arizona Auto Insurance Companies

There are many auto insurance companies those provide services in Arizona, but not all of them are cheap and good for you. Car drivers may want to find auto insurance companies for two reasons; either they have bought new cars or want to switch to another car insurance company. Those who have just bought new cars may have little information about auto insurance and have to select carefully the best auto insurance company for them. Car drivers who have bought insurance policy have to search extra benefits and facilities the auto insurance companies in Arizona State provide for. In Arizona like other states has some auto insurance laws and insurance holders have to follow them.

Why You Need To Search Auto Insurance Companies In Arizona?
To find the cheapest car insurance quotes in Arizona you have to search the available auto insurance companies in your state. If you go to one insurance company and buy an auto insurance policy from them, there is little chance your policy would be the cheapest one. Suppose you have 10 car insurance companies available in Arizona and to get the cheaper one you have to collect auto insurance quotes from all of them and compare auto insurance companies.

What Are The Auto Insurance Companies Available In Arizona State?
There are almost more than 20 auto insurance companies in Arizona State. Among them the top Arizona auto insurance companies are SafeAuto, Titan Insurance, Nationwide, GEICO, AmicaCoverage, Phoenix, StateFarm, Allstate, Infinity, Arizona auto insurance, Farmer’s insurance and American Family Mutual insurance.

Which Arizona Auto Insurance Companies Have The Highest Market Share?
Auto insurance industry in Arizona is very competitive and among the above auto insurance companies available in Arizona State, there are 3 car insurance companies which cover highest percentage of market share. These companies are:

1. State Farm
2. American Family Mutual Insurance Company
3. Farmer’s Insurance

What Factors You Should Consider Before Rating Car Insurance Companies In Arizona?
Having a large market share with reputation doesn't mean this auto insurance company is best. There are several factors by which you can justify which one is top rated and will be best for you. The first factor is which company offers enough and perfect coverage because unnecessary coverage just costs you extra money. The second factor is which auto insurance company has the highest customer satisfaction and the third factor is which auto insurance company is cheaper and offering lower premiums. 

In order to find auto insurance quote Arizona, you have to search car insurance companies available in Arizona State, request auto insurance rates and compare the car insurance companies to get the best auto insurance company in Arizona.

Friday, April 19, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350 - Luxury Car


The good: The F Sport package on the 2013 Lexus GS 350 includes an adjustable suspension that improves handling. The navigation system uses a 12.3-inch LCD, the current largest for a production car. Lexus' Enform system integrates Yelp, Bing search, Pandora, and other apps.

The bad: Real-world fuel economy averaged under 20 mpg. The cabin tech interface controller lacked the heft that should be present in a luxury vehicle.
The bottom line: The 2013 Lexus GS 350 makes for a convincing high-tech cruiser. With the F Sport package, it has some real performance chops, although it falls short of a BMW M or Mercedes-Benz AMG.
For its 2013 model year, Lexus gave the GS 350 a fierce look and performance options that make it one of the best-handling Lexus models, and let it begin to approach the sport levels achieved by the German competition. Catching the eye first of all, however, is the tremendous 12.3-inch LCD sitting in the dashboard.
Beyond the main menu screen, this whopping display shows its information in a perpetual split, using about two-thirds of the area for maps, destination input, audio selection, and phone calls. The other third shows current audio, phone, climate control, and fuel economy.
Lexus launched its mouselike controller for in-cabin electronics a few years ago, and this system was refined for the GS 350. Where before it felt like a joystick, now it slides around more like a mouse. Previously, the pointer could move anywhere on the screen, but now it more securely snaps to the onscreen buttons, making it easier to use while driving.
Lexus also took away the Enter buttons, previously mounted on either side of the controller, replacing that function with a push down on the controller. I found the controller a little too sensitive, as it too easily jumped to a different button when I tried to press down. Looking into the settings, there was no way to reduce the sensitivity, but it was possible to raise the level of haptic response, so the controller would be less likely to skip off a selected button. The controller also felt too much like a cheap, plastic mouse; I would expect more heft for switchgear in a luxury car.
Along with the controller upgrade, Lexus improved its voice command. Pressing the voice command gave me a lot of top-level options for navigation, phone, and audio. I could place a call by saying the name of a person in my phone's contact list, or request music from an attached iPod or USB drive by saying the artist name or album. Entering a destination still required saying the city, street name, and number individually, instead of as one string.
The GS 350's massive 12.3-inch screen can show maps in a dual display, 
and still have room left over for an audio display.
Despite the large screen, Lexus' navigation remains unchanged from that of prior model years. Maps, stored on a hard drive, only offer 2D views. The system uses traffic data from satellite to avoid jams, but does not offer text-to-speech for route guidance. The system offers quite a few ways to enter addresses, including the new eDestination feature, which lets you send destinations from a PC through the Lexus telematics system.
More impressive is the system's integration with Lexus' Enform apps system. Enform is very much like the Toyota Entune system. It requires either an Android phone or iPhone running the Enform app. Android phones can connect over Bluetooth, but the iPhone must be plugged into the USB port. And as I have found with recent Toyota cars, my iPhone 3GS would only connect to the system sporadically, although the iPhone 4 and 4S seem to connect consistently.
In the GS 350, the Enform apps complement the data brought in through satellite radio. Along with the aforementioned traffic information, satellite radio provides weather forecasts, gas prices, stock prices, and sports scores. Enform offers well-known apps such as Bing search, OpenTable, and Yelp. Lexus could do a better job of putting these different apps into a uniform interface, as a driver doesn't really need to differentiate between apps powered by satellite and ones that get data over a connected smartphone.
Of the Enform apps, I found Yelp the most useful. The navigation system's own stored database of restaurants and other points of interest came up short on a couple of occasions. Yelp does a very good job of noting when a restaurant or other listing has closed, and it provides much more information about each listing than the point-of-interest database. Best of all, the system let me input the address of any listing as a destination in the navigation system, directly from its Yelp page.
Enform's Yelp listings include a link to the map location, 
which can be used to set the destination in the navigation system.
Enform also includes Pandora and iHeartRadio, two apps that work as audio sources for the stereo. They complement an already robust set of audio sources that includes a USB port for iPods and thumbdrives, and satellite and HD Radio. I was impressed by how the system analyzed the MP3 tracks on my 8GB thumbdrive, letting me browse by artist and album.
CNET's car came with the standard audio system, using 12 speakers and 5.1 surround processing for very good sound quality. This system is well-balanced, producing distinct sound with good depth. I was pleased with its production of background percussion instruments on some tracks, and vocals came through with a pleasant richness. Better would have been the optional Mark Levinson audio system, which uses an 835-watt amp and 17 Green Edge speakers. Toyota started deploying these premium speakers in cars last year; they're supposed to consume less power than speakers of equivalent quality.
The stereo gets some competition from the engine, which makes a delightfully loud purr with the gas pedal floored. The 3.5-liter V-6 in the GS 350 is the same as what Lexus put in the IS 350, and uses an interesting mix of port and direct injection. At low speeds, the engine uses its port-injection system, less efficient but quieter, while at higher acceleration it switches to the direct injectors, delivering more power. The extra noise of the direct injection gets swamped by the overall road noise at higher speed. Or so the thinking goes.
Other automakers are increasingly going to direct-injection engines for the increased efficiency, and dealing well with the extra engine noise. Lexus should lose the complexity of this system and just go to straight direct injection.
This engine produces 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, generally satisfactory but at times not enough to get the nearly 2-ton GS 350 out of its own way. CNET's car came with all-wheel drive, an option that adds about $3,000 to the total price, and the F Sport package, which brings in an extensive amount of performance gear, including an adaptive suspension.
A large dial on the console changes the drive modes between Eco, Normal, Sport, and Sport Plus. In Eco mode, the accelerator is detuned, a helper designed to force slower starts, and therefore better fuel economy. The EPA estimates put the GS 350 at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, but I rarely saw the average fuel economy rise above 20 mpg. After a week of driving, its average came out to 19.4 mpg. A couple of extra gears in the transmission should raise the average.
The dial behind the shifter lets you choose from Eco, Normal, Sport, and Sport Plus modes.
The Sport and Sport Plus settings are new features for Lexus, and not as aggressive as similarly labeled settings in competitors' cars. Put the GS 350 in Sport mode and the six-speed automatic transmission holds its gears longer, and downshifts aggressively in response to braking. Put it into Sport Plus, and the suspension takes on a more rigid character. The GS 350's Sport Plus does not go quite so far as BMW's similar mode, which changes the traction control profile.
Taking advantage of the full Sport Plus setting, I enjoyed the performance of the GS 350. Letting the transmission shift automatically, it held high engine revs as I pounded the gas pedal in the straights, letting the engine sound off with its satisfying growl. Getting into the brakes ahead of a turn, I found the transmission downshifted fast, keeping the revs up so I had power through the corner.
In the turns, the GS 350 gripped well, letting me keep a good amount of speed. The all-wheel drive must have also been doing its job, helping the front wheels claw for some grip to aid the overall handling, but I couldn't really feel the effect. With the rigid suspension setting, the car tried to remain flat, but there was still slight roll, the car's weight being too much for the suspension to hold back. I never really got a feeling of rotation in the turns.
A few other problems with the GS 350's performance made themselves known, suggesting it will never be a real track competitor. Getting close to the limits in the turns, it showed understeer, losing the responsive steering character it had at moderate speeds. And the engine just did not have enough oomph to push it convincingly out of the turns. Clearing an apex with a good straightaway ahead, I slammed the gas, but even with the revs well above 5,000 the engine didn't have the power for a fast exit.
The F Sport package gives the GS 350 custom wheels. 
The high gap between wheel and fender is due to the all-wheel-drive system.
In really tight corners, the car became terribly bound up by its own traction control. The system reacted to a lot of wheel turn by stripping out the power, leaving me with no response on the accelerator. That behavior may also be due to the all-wheel-drive system, as some can bind at steering lock. The all-wheel drive also has the effect of raising the car height half an inch, which will adversely affect handling.
With the dial set for Normal mode while cruising down the freeway, the GS 350 showed all the luxury I would expect from a Lexus. The ride quality is very nice, although prone to oscillation over wavy roads. Unlike typical Lexus power steering, where you can turn the wheel with one finger, the GS 350 feels more responsive and in touch with the road at all times.
To ease long-range driving, CNET's GS 350 came with radar-based adaptive cruise control. Typical for these systems, it let me choose among three following distances. It also brought the car to a complete stop when a vehicle in front of me slowed for a right turn off a highway.
The Lane Keeping Assistant was a nice complement to the adaptive cruise control. When I let the car drift over a lane line, it first beeped, then tugged the wheel to put the car back in its lane. The car also had a blind-spot detection system, lighting up an icon in the side-view mirror when another car was obscured by the GS 350's C pillar.
In sum
Lexus offers some real cutting-edge tech in the 2013 GS 350, from Enform app integration to the driver assistance systems. CNET's car lacked some of these features, such as the head-up display and the Mark Levinson audio system, but I was impressed by what it did have. The new voice command system is also very capable, and the sheer size of the LCD is impressive.
For performance, the GS 350 with the F Sport package sits near the IS F as one of the few Lexus models that can really hold its own in the corners. Fun on a country road, it lacks the power and handling at the limits to be taken seriously on the track. Fuel economy is also well short of impressive.
Tech specs
Model2013 Lexus GS 350
TrimAWD
Power trainDirect- and port-injection 3.5-liter V-6, 6-speed automatic transmission
EPA fuel economy19 mpg city/26 mpg highway
Observed fuel economy19.4 mpg
NavigationOptional hard-drive-based, with integrated traffic data
Bluetooth phone supportStandard, with contact list integration
Disc playerMP3-compatible single-CD
MP3 player supportiPod integration
Other digital audioPandora, iHeartRadio, Bluetooth audio streaming, USB drive, auxiliary input, satellite radio, HD Radio
Audio systemStandard 12-speaker system, optional Mark Levinson 835-watt 17-speaker system
Driver aidsAdaptive cruise control, lane departure prevention, blind-spot detection, head-up display, rearview camera
Base price$49,450
Price as tested$60,824

2013 Cadillac XTS - Luxury Car

The good: The 2013 Cadillac XTS features a versatile LCD instrument cluster and the new CUE infotainment system, with 3D maps for navigation and a combined music library interface from four USB ports. An adaptive suspension and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive highlight the driveline.
The bad: CUE takes too long to boot up and reacts too slowly to user input. The volume slider on the dashboard is difficult to use.
The bottom line: Strictly a luxury cruiser rather than a sport driver, the 2013 Cadillac XTS insulates you from the outside world while providing the latest in cabin tech.


Cadillacs of old were masters of the road, big luxury vehicles with V-8s and cutting-edge technology, such as the first electric starter and the first automatic climate control system. The 2013 Cadillac XTS retains the idea of a big, luxury vehicle with cutting-edge technology, but bows to modern engine downsizing with a 3.6-liter V-6, the same as used in the CTS model.
As for the XTS's front-wheel-drive platform, which it shares with theBuick LaCrosse, the Eldorado had front-wheel drive long ago. However, the Premium-trim XTS I tested came with a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system, available on all but the base XTS trim.
Gauges are so last-century
Where the XTS really departs from tradition is in the cabin. Sitting in the plush driver's seat, I was looking at a blank panel where the speedometer and tachometer should be. When I fired up the engine, a neat little animation had those gauges flying in from the side, taking their rightful places before my eyes.
Yes, the XTS offers a full LCD instrument cluster, something that might bother traditionalists but that offers a lot of advantages. These virtual gauges look like the real thing, and each can host useful information such as navigation or range-to-empty in its center, selectable by the driver with controls on the steering-wheel spokes.

2013 Cadillac XTS restyles luxury (pictures)

The center stack, completely devoid of dials or physical buttons, further defies tradition. Cadillac uses a touch surface for the XTS' climate controls and stereo volume. The former worked well enough in my testing, but I still prefer a dial for volume control. However, drivers will find the volume buttons on the steering-wheel spoke much handier to use, and should never really have to touch the slider.
The XTS' center touch screen, hosting the new Cadillac User Experience (CUE) cabin electronics interface, works in a way that's initially baffling. Looking at the map screen, for instance, there seems no option for zooming or entering destinations. However, as I put my hand near the LCD, buttons for those functions and more suddenly populated the screen. This proximity sensor is cool, but takes a little getting used to.






The Navigation system renders buildings in 3D 
for some cities, including San Francisco.
CUE streamlines entering addresses, letting me enter the entire address string from the onscreen keyboard, where other navigation systems break it up into separate screens for city and street. It also seems that CUE can understand partial addresses, employing fuzzy logic in its searches. The XTS has voice command, which let me say whole address strings. The navigation system's points-of-interest database was limited, lacking listings for some fairly large businesses, such as Fry's Electronics and Beverages & More, although it could find me the nearest Taco Bell.
The maps on the system were excellent, showing 3D-rendered buildings in downtown San Francisco. The system displayed traffic flow and incidents, using this data to dynamically adjust routes around bad traffic. And one feature I particularly like, previously seen on the CTS, is that the navigation system will proactively warn about bad traffic down the road even when it is not under route guidance. The car not only showed route guidance graphics on the main LCD, with lane guidance, but also gave turn-by-turn directions on the instrument cluster and head-up display, while voice prompts included street names.
Underpowered software
A big problem with CUE is how slowly it operates. After you turn on the car, the main LCD shows an application load screen for a number of seconds before showing the main interface. I found this load time frustrating when I wanted to program in a destination right after hopping in the car. When I hit some of the onscreen buttons, there was noticeable lag while waiting for the system to respond.
The audio interface in CUE is every bit as ambitious as the navigation interface. It controls satellite radio, HD Radio, devices plugged into the car's USB ports, and the CD player. That last piece of equipment, a standalone unit in the glove box, seems like an afterthought in the XTS, old media just about obsolete. When using the XTS' stereo, I gravitated toward the USB ports, plugging a thumbdrive into one and my iPhone into another.
The XTS' audio system supports voice commands, 
so you can ask for music by name.
Instead of making me choose either of these USB sources, the CUE interface shows a common music library drawn from each, a particularly cool feature. In the Album category, for instance, CUE showed all the available music from each source in one list. Even better, its voice command let me select music by album, artist, track, or genre without me having to specify the source.
The stereo also supports Bluetooth audio streaming, and offers Pandora integration. The Pandora interface looked good and was fully functional, letting me select any one of my customized stations and give songs a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Oddly, Cadillac puts the Pandora icon off in a different menu than the stereo interface.
Music plays through a 14-speaker Bose audio system, which includes 4 small speakers mounted in the shoulders of the front seats. The quality of the sound reproduction was excellent, and I was impressed to hear some quieter layers I had never before noticed in a few well-worn tracks. For example, La Roux's "In for the Kill" apparently has a cowbell track, which gets completely trampled by lesser systems. I did feel the bass, though adequate, could have been stronger with this system.
The Pandora interface lets you give songs the thumbs-up or thumbs-down.
CUE has a full-featured Bluetooth phone interface, complete with voice command over a paired phone's contact list. It also offers an interface for the OnStar telematics service, making some services available from icons on the screen. OnStar in the XTS comes with the full suite of services, such as stolen-car recovery and accident response. The XTS gets integration with the OnStar app, making it possible to, for example, remotely unlock the doors.
Keep it smooth
All of these high-end tech features support the XTS' prime mission as a luxury cruiser. Although Cadillac touts the car's adaptive magnetic ride suspension, which sees use in such performance vehicles as the CTS-V, the XTS is not a sports car. That adaptive suspension, which lacks driver-selectable settings, feels tuned for comfort, for soaking up potholes and other bruising bumps in the road, rather than keeping the car flat in a fast corner.
The XTS rides down the road like a mattress full of kittens, and adding to that luxury feel is an electric power-steering unit so boosted that it only takes a single finger to pull the wheel all the way around. The seats feature heating and cooling, although there's no massage feature, as in some other luxury vehicles. The rear seat bench also feels very comfortable, and has its own climate control.
The XTS is definitely more of a luxury cruiser than a premium sports car.
The 3.6-liter V-6 under the hood uses direct injection, helping it produce its peak 304 horsepower. However, torque is only 264 pound-feet, which becomes noticeable when accelerating. When I floored the gas pedal on a freeway entrance, the XTS did not suddenly turn into a rocket, but did make reasonable time up to 60 mph. It was fast enough for easy freeway merging, but not a car I would use to race trains to railroad crossings.
The engine is backed up by a six-speed automatic, a fairly sophisticated transmission but one that has been in use for over five years. From GM's Hydra-Matic series of transmissions, it did its job quietly in support of the XTS' luxury character. Appropriately, there is no sport mode on this transmission, but Cadillac does include a manual mode, with paddle shifters for convenience. This manual mode is best used for engine braking down a hill rather than by wannabe Nascar drivers.
The engine and transmission combination leads to an EPA fuel economy rating of 17 mpg city and 26 mpg highway for this all-wheel-drive-equipped car. A few more gears in the transmission might get it higher. In my testing, which involved a lot more city driving than usual, the XTS only turned in 16.5 mpg, incessant red lights and heavy traffic taking their toll.
In that traffic, I would have preferred the XTS to drive itself, which it can almost do. Radar, sensors, and cameras give it a good set of driver assistance features, from collision warning to blind-spot monitoring. However, the XTS has a very unique way of alerting drivers to potential problems. It actually patted me on the butt with some actuators in the driver seat.
For example, if its forward radar thought I was about to ram the car in front, I got a nice, full pat on the rear. If I crossed a lane line without signaling and the car believed I had drifted over, it patted me on the side I had drifted on. I know many people will find this behavior way too intrusive, but I found it very effective. Other cars I have tested might warn about lane drift by slightly shivering the steering wheel or sounding a tone, both of which are easy to miss.
There was no missing the XTS' pats, and it was easy to get used to them. If I found myself really craving a massage feature on the seats, then driving recklessly might just make this warning feature an adequate substitute.
With its excellent noise insulation, the XTS proved a comfortable car to cruise around city streets or road trip down the highway in. Living in a temperate climate, I could easily pass on the all-wheel-drive option, but those in northern areas might feel more comfortable with front and back tires digging in. Engine power is adequate and fuel economy, at least in the EPA tests, rates very well for a big, luxury-class sedan.
There is a possible discrepancy in how the CUE system and LCD instrument cluster seem more likely to appeal to a younger demographic, while the comfortable cruiser nature of the car should attract an older set. That said, the 2013 Cadillac XTS features some pretty advanced tech in the cabin, while the driveline tech is at least ahead of the curve.
Tech specs
Model2013 Cadillac XTS
TrimPremium
Power trainDirect-injection 3.6-liter V-6, 6-speed automatic transmission
EPA fuel economy17 mpg city/26 mpg highway
Observed fuel economy16.5 mpg
NavigationStandard flash memory-based with traffic
Bluetooth phone supportStandard, with contact list integration
Digital audio sourcesPandora, Bluetooth streaming, iPod integration, USB drive, satellite radio, HD Radio
Audio systemBose 14-speaker system
Driver aidsCollision warning, adaptive cruise control, HUD, blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, rearview camera
Base price$56,370
Price as tested$57,725