2019 Cadillac XTS vs. 2019 Nissan Maxima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 Nissan Maxima has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the XTS and Maxima 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 Maxima’s 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 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Maxima doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the XTS and the Maxima 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, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors 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 Nissan Maxima:







5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Compression

11 lbs.

20 lbs.




5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.7 inches

Leg Forces (l/r)

206/282 lbs.

840/589 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 Nissan Maxima:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Movement

.8 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

148 G’s

188 G’s


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

57 G’s


Into Pole


5 Stars

4 Stars

Max Damage Depth

15 inches

16 inches

Spine Acceleration

51 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

779 lbs.

997 lbs.

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


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 Maxima’s 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 Nissan covers the Maxima. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Maxima ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The XTS’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Maxima’s (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. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Maxima.


To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the XTS has a standard 170-amp alternator. The Maxima’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.


The XTS’ standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 4 more horsepower (304 vs. 300) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (264 vs. 261) than the Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The XTS V-Sport’s standard 3.6 turbo V6 produces 110 more horsepower (410 vs. 300) and 108 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 261) than the Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the XTS V-Sport is faster than the Nissan Maxima:




Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

5.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.4 sec

14.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.6 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

13.6 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

105 MPH

101 MPH

Top Speed

137 MPH

135 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The XTS FWD’s standard fuel tank has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Maxima (19 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The XTS AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Maxima (20 vs. 18 gallons).

The XTS has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Maxima doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the XTS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Maxima:




Front Rotors

13.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

12.13 inches

The XTS stops shorter than the Maxima:





70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XTS has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Maxima. The XTS’ optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Maxima SR/Platinum.

Suspension and Handling

The XTS has standard front gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Maxima’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The rear suspension of the XTS uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Maxima, 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 Maxima’s 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 Maxima doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XTS’ wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the Maxima (111.7 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

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

The XTS AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Maxima Platinum pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the XTS a Large car, while the Maxima is rated a Mid-size.

The XTS has 5.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Maxima (104.2 vs. 98.5).

The XTS has .9 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 5.8 inches more rear legroom, .8 inches more rear hip room and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Maxima.

Cargo Capacity

The XTS has a much larger trunk than the Maxima (18 vs. 14.3 cubic feet).


The XTS has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Maxima has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The XTS has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Maxima doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Nissan. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 47% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 20th.


Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Maxima (except S/SV/SL), 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 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 Maxima doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the XTS and the Maxima have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the XTS is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Maxima prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Maxima’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XTS offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Maxima 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. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Maxima SV/SL/SR/Platinum.

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 Maxima doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The XTS FWD’s optional Automatic Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Maxima doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the XTS owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the XTS will cost $255 to $4340 less than the Maxima over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XTS is less expensive to operate than the Maxima because typical repairs cost less on the XTS than the Maxima, including $32 less for fuel injection.


The Cadillac XTS has won recognition from these important consumer publications:




Consumer Reports® Recommends



Car Book “Best Bet”



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

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