A different Cadillac

| Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 8:56 p.m.

Don't let the words “large, luxury sedan” fool you.

The largest sedan in Cadillac's lineup, the 2013 XTS, handles with the poise and competence of a smaller car and with a smoothness not typically found in high-end, sporty sedans.

The modern, top-notch interior design of the XTS — complete with front seats that can have some of the biggest thigh support extenders in the business — is the best to come from Cadillac in years.

But it takes practice to use the new Cue information display with touchscreen. And even reaching over to pick up a purse that falls on the passenger-side floor can cause the radio to change channels, if only because the driver's hair accidentally brushes a display screen.

The XTS exterior is pleasing, as years of Cadillac's sharp-edge styling is smoothed for more graceful lines.

The XTS earned top, five out of five stars across the board in federal government frontal, side and overall crash test ratings.

This rating didn't take into account the fact the XTS is first with a safety alert seat that vibrates the driver's bottom if the system senses the car may be backing into an obstacle or moving into an adjacent lane that's already occupied.

Perhaps best of all, the new-for-2013, five-passenger XTS has a starting retail price of $44,995 with front-wheel drive and $51,835 with all-wheel drive. All models come with a 304-horsepower, direct-injection V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission.

Competitors include the 2013 Lincoln MKS sedan, which has a starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, of $43,685 with front-wheel drive, 304-horsepower V-6 and six-speed automatic.

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