2019 Cadillac XTS vs. 2018 Ford Taurus

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Cadillac XTS are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Ford Taurus has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the XTS and Taurus have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XTS has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Taurus’ child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The XTS’ standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the front seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The Taurus doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XTS offers optional Forward Automatic Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Taurus offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XTS offers optional Reverse Automatic Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Taurus doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Cadillac XTS has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Taurus doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The XTS offers an optional Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Taurus only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the XTS and the Taurus have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Cadillac XTS is safer than the Ford Taurus:

 

XTS

Taurus

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

27%

31%

Neck Compression

11 lbs.

13 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.5 inches

Neck Stress

138 lbs.

145 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

206/282 lbs.

316/229 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Cadillac XTS is safer than the Ford Taurus:

 

XTS

Taurus

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.2 inches

Abdominal Force

148 G’s

173 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

121

284

Hip Force

763 lbs.

910 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

15 inches

18 inches

Spine Acceleration

51 G’s

53 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The XTS comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Taurus’ 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the XTS 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Taurus. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Taurus ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The XTS’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Taurus’ (6 vs. 5 years).

Cadillac pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the XTS. Cadillac will pay for an oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Taurus.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the XTS has a standard 660-amp battery. The Taurus’ 600-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

The XTS’ standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 16 more horsepower (304 vs. 288) and 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (264 vs. 254) than the Taurus’ standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The XTS V-Sport’s standard 3.6 turbo V6 produces 45 more horsepower (410 vs. 365) and 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 350) than the Taurus SHO’s standard 3.5 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the XTS gets better fuel mileage than the Taurus:

 

 

XTS

Taurus

 

FWD

3.6 V6/6-spd. Auto

19 city/28 hwy

18 city/27 hwy

3.5 turbo V6/Auto

AWD

3.6 V6/6-spd. Auto

17 city/26 hwy

17 city/24 hwy

3.5 turbo V6/Auto

The XTS AWD’s standard fuel tank has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Taurus (20 vs. 19 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

The XTS’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Taurus are solid, not vented.

The XTS stops shorter than the Taurus:

 

XTS

Taurus

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the XTS has larger tires than the Taurus (245/45R19 vs. 235/60R17).

The XTS’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Taurus SE’s standard 60 series tires. The XTS’ optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Taurus Limited’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XTS has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Taurus SE.

Suspension and Handling

The rear suspension of the XTS uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Taurus, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The XTS offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Taurus’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The XTS offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Taurus doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The XTS’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (57.8% to 42.2%) than the Taurus’ (60.7% to 39.3%). This gives the XTS more stable handling and braking.

The XTS handles at .85 G’s, while the Taurus Limited pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the XTS’ turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Taurus SHO’s (38.7 feet vs. 39.4 feet). The XTS’ turning circle is .8 feet tighter than the Taurus’ (38.7 feet vs. 39.5 feet).

Chassis

The XTS uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Taurus doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the XTS is quieter than the Taurus SHO:

 

XTS

Taurus

At idle

41 dB

47 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

70 dB

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the XTS offers cargo security. The Taurus’ non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Towing

While the Taurus SHO is not recommended to tow, any XTS can tow a minimum of 1000 pounds.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 60% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Taurus Limited/SHO, the XTS Premium/Platinum/V-Sport has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The XTS’ instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Taurus does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The XTS Premium/Platinum/V-Sport has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and tachometer readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Taurus doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The XTS’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Taurus’ passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XTS offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Taurus doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XTS Premium Luxury/Platinum also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The XTS’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Taurus SEL/Limited/SHO.

When the XTS with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Taurus’ mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The XTS has a standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air-conditioning is only available on the Taurus SEL/Limited/SHO.

The XTS Premium/Platinum/V-Sport has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Taurus doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XTS is less expensive to operate than the Taurus because typical repairs cost less on the XTS than the Taurus, including $69 less for a water pump, $58 less for a muffler and $55 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Cadillac XTS, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Ford Taurus isn't recommended.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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