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The A8’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The XTS doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The A8 has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The XTS doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.
The A8 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The XTS doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A8. But it costs extra on the XTS.
A passive infrared night vision system optional on the A8 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard and even aims one of the vehicle’s headlights in the direction of the person or object. The XTS doesn’t offer a night vision system.
Both the A8 and the XTS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
The Audi A8 weighs 551 to 730 pounds more than the Cadillac XTS. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
The A8’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the XTS’ (12 vs. 6 years).
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 45 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 27th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 21 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.
The A8’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 31 more horsepower (335 vs. 304) and 105 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 264) than the XTS’ standard 3.6 DOHC V6.
On the EPA test cycle the A8 gets better fuel mileage than the XTS AWD with its standard engine (19 city/27 hwy vs. 17 city/26 hwy). The A8 gets better fuel mileage than the XTS V-Sport (19 city/27 hwy vs. 16 city/23 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the A8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The XTS doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A8’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The XTS doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A8 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The XTS V-Sport requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The A8 has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the XTS FWD’s standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 19 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The A8 has 1.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the XTS AWD’s standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 20 gallons).
An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Audi A8, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the XTS.
For better stopping power the A8’s brake rotors are larger than those on the XTS:
For better traction, the A8 has larger standard tires than the XTS (255/45R19 vs. 245/45R19). The A8’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XTS (265/40R20 vs. 245/45R19).
The front and rear suspension of the A8 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the XTS, which uses coil springs in front. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.
The A8 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Cadillac doesn’t offer an active suspension on the XTS.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A8’s wheelbase is 11.4 inches longer than on the XTS (123.1 inches vs. 111.7 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A8 is 3 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than on the XTS.
The A8 has 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 4.3 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the XTS.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the A8’s available rear seats recline. The XTS’ rear seats don’t recline.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A8’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The XTS doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.
The A8’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the XTS’ (3500 vs. 1000 pounds).
The engine in the A8 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XTS. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.
If the windows are left open on the A8 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the XTS can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The A8’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The XTS’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A8 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The XTS doesn’t offer headlight washers.
Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the A8’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The XTS doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.
The A8 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the A8 will retain 39.71% to 40.32% of its original price after five years, while the XTS only retains 34.07% to 36.66%.
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