9-5´s extended family grows mother GM delivers XTS

Cadillac XTS

Mother GM has come down with yet another sibling to big brother SAAB 9-5 and middle sibling Buick Lacrosse. They all share the same last name Epsilon 2. Yesterday at the Los Angeles Auto Show the Cadillac XTS was officially seen for the first time. The other brother Buick LaCrosse was there at the show but big old brother Saab 9-5 was at home in Sweden.
It is interesting to see how similar the siblings are and yet so different.
So what is similar and different:
– Chassis geometry length between axels, FWD standard and Haldex XWD option. HiPer chassis, DriveSense guess Caddy calls it something else but I believe it is the same.
– HUD is the same in Buick and Saab Caddy might get it in full color just like WNB and iduA (Stupid if You ask me as a Human Factors Expert)
– Rear seat infotainment seams to be the same as well as the front info screen in Buick and Saab. Caddy has stepped up somewhat with their take on Saab iQon.
– Steering-wheel same in Buick and Saab some more frustrating buttons on Caddy.
– Adaptive lights same
– Seats and headrests looks like it is the same basic structure Saab Whiplash protection, and control knobs etc.
– Door buttons for windows etc. looks the same
– Exterior mirror design with the LED turn signal bar similar.
– Glass similar? hard to tell. But sure look similar on all 3 cars. Plastics on B-pillar looks just like 9-5.
– Exterior styling. Well here is the great water divider. It´s a matter of taste. My raking is this Buick looks like any Japaneze car, Saab looks sporty modern and sleek, Caddy looks modern but with that edgy hard non-welcoming look.

Buick LaCrosse

Saab 9-5 NG

Would be great to have all three in an AutoCross shootout to see if there are any handling differences.

What on the 3 siblings is designed by the Saab people, would be interesting to know. Sure the germans at Opel in Russelsheim as been on it so my two cents on this is that all there are to a VERY high degree European cars, if not at least to some percentage SAAB. Hurray!
Lets hope people can have the choice of all three pretty soon.
Please fill the link with any information You have on the three vehicles similarities and differences.

93 thoughts on “9-5´s extended family grows mother GM delivers XTS”

  1. I think the price of the Caddy will be interesting. The Saab is about $10.000 more expensive than the Buick, will the Caddy be more expensive than the Saab?

      • Sidestepped by a guy who lives in New York…. Simon who is highly talented should not have been replaced as design boss. But that is just my thinking. Design and taste is so hard to agree on.
        Saab where on a winning way with the AeroX , 9-5 and the new 9-3´s by Simon. To bad that one of the really great talents in Saab design decided to quit 6 months ago Ola Granlund.

  2. I always find it interesting to compare siblings (cars and people).
    This Saab/Opel/Buick/Cadillac-Combo will, for me at least, be as interesting to compare as the old Saab 9000/Alfa 164/Lancia Thema/Fiat Chroma-siblings.

    I really like the Cadillac. And had not GM treated Saab as they did, I might even have wanted one. But as it is I’m not so happy.
    Saab and Cadillac could have been something together, but not now.

  3. Good coverage Trued, I wonder, how the three siblings would show off, if they were put into dirty hands of guys from Top Gear 😉 they always know how to kick our enthusiast’s butts 🙂

    And now for serious, I wish people knew, that theese three cars are from one family, and a lot’s of stuff was developed in “T-hattan”. It would be a nobilitation for Buick and Caddy to spread the news, that they are sharing parts from Saab, but we know it’s not the way, the old lady acts.

    Taste is always an individual thing, but I give +1 to all, who says XTS is NOT a beauty, rather ugly car.

    • Exactly my thought as well: with most of the chassi, seats and safety developed and/or co-developed by Saab, it seems a true shame to erase the source for much of the creativity and invention! And the Buick is so bland and the Caddy with unruly and aggressive lines, the Saab is clearly (imho) the design paradigm (but I’m swedish…).
      GM has gained a lot from their years with Saab, and Saab? A state of the art production line in Trollhättan that is idle? Unfortunately, I can also see why GM has very little interest to allow for any IP transfer eastwards… Hopefully there are sharper brains than mine that are trying to work out a deal… Also, sad to hear about the IP for the 9-4x and 9-5 is mostly/only GM’s to do what they want with, and while I find the 9-3 very attractive, it is not “new”… A deal with GM seems like the only life line for some years.
      …fingers crossed…

      • It would be good to know, how for the 20 years was Saab treated in GM’s group?

        Wasn’t the T-hattan the developement center? Then the technology was sucked off, placed into other brands, and labeled with GM stickers, under their patent? And now they don’t want to let the Saab go because of IP…

        If talking about 9-3, after 9 years (8 under old lady), the bill was paid, for sure. GM did a good money on this car. What do they want more? They are affraid, that wealthy Saab will make trouble for their poor, macdonaldised, brands, because of it’s quality and uniqe style. They want Saab dead, and now officially, they will not be the ones, who killed him. They just protect their IP. It’s a murder in white gloves. Sorry for going off topic. XTS looks like a coffin

    • On the Caddy you can get the 3.6L naturally aspirated V6 with 300hp, on the Saab you have the 2.8L Turbo V6 also with 300hp. Both cars with auto transmission and AWD have an EPA mileage of 17/27 mpg (City/Highway). The

      Caddy engine will have 264 lb-ft of torque and the Saab has 295 lb-ft of torque. I would always go the turbo-way. 😉

  4. Ladies and Gentlemen:

    The road-going version of the XTS remains true to its concept counterpart, sporting Cadillac’s latest interpretation of its ‘Art & Science’ design language. The XTS is highlighted by its bold egg-crate grille and vertical taillights.

    Inside the XTS places a heavy emphasis on technology and design, including the luxury division’s new Cadillac User Experience, or CUE for short. The CUE system includes an eight-inch screen in the center stack, a 12.3-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster and a unique touchscreen interface that mimics today’s tablets.

    Other technologies available on the XTS include Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control and a color Head-up display.

    Power for the XTS is provided by a direct-injection 3.6L V6 delivering 300 horsepower. Shifting duties are handled by a six-speed automatic, which routes power to all four wheels via a Haldex all-wheel-drive system with electronically controlled limited-slip differential.

    Although the previous DTS was known strictly as a boulevard cruiser, the XTS should be able to hold its own in the corners thanks to GM’s Magnetic Ride Control, a rear air suspension, HiPer Strut front suspension and Brembo brakes. Standard wheels measure 19-inches but 20s are also on offer.

    The XTS will go up against cars like the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6, but the Caddy holds a size advantage over its German rivals — about four inches in the cases of the 5-Series and E-Class and two-inches over the Audi.

    The 2013 Cadillac XTS will begin production at GM’s Oshawa, Ontario production plant in spring 2012.

    • The XTS will go up against cars like the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6, but the Caddy holds a size advantage over its German rivals — about four inches in the cases of the 5-Series and E-Class and two-inches over the Audi.

      Strangely the same advantage was a big negative in the NG 9-5…
      I’d bet most people would sense no driving feel difference between a 4,7 and a 5,0 meter car in daily commuting. The advantages; leg room, trunk size and safety.

  5. The 9-5 and the XTS may be siblings but that Caddy sure looks like it fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. That thing is puke ugly!

    The Buick is little better IMHO.

    Saab must survive just to ensure we have some half decent cars to look at!

    Griffin Up! Cuore Sportivo!

  6. Maybe I am i bit biased, but for me it would be the Saab. Absolutely no question about it.
    But I am afraid the Chinese might go for the Caddy.
    As far as I heard, they like chrome *bling*

    • Troels, don´t be so superficial, underneath it is a SAAB more or less. Only way to get more 9-5´s and SW´s on the roads is to have General Mother as good mother. She can provide essential nourishment for the SAAB company.

      • I am sitting here thinking, what are the odds that GM would (be made to) reconsider and take Saab back under their wings again, as the individual, quirky choice? Is that at all a possibility? Is that even something we would like? It is easy to say that GM has only lost money on Saab, but that is only a fraction of the truth, I believe. Look at the XTS specs and tell me that GM would have been able to do this without Saab. Both GM and Saab has benefitted from the cooperation, while one can easily say that GM never “got” Saab and the brand to develop it anywhere near its’ potential. I just cannot understand the reasoning to let Saab slowly, painfully melt away to oblivion, when we are standing for huge shifts in vehicle technology and propulsion and where Saab could provide immense “out-of-the-box” and unconventional thinking.
        Or, would one scenario be a completely independent Saab, with all the GM IP models retired, no production for w few years, while (chinese) investors would help develop a complete new line of vehicles, in Trollhättan, branded Saab? Or is the dark reality that we will never see a “new ” (western) car brand on the roads, that developing new cars and found a new brand is simply costing way too much??? When even established brands are struggling?
        I surely hope for some good Saab news after the weekend!
        …fingers crossed…

        • Personally, as an American, I would love to have GM take Saab back and condense its line further. GM has gone from nine US models to four and could really concentrate on a few cars instead of so many.

          I really see very little hope for Saab in the US if GM does not take it back. True, China and India will be where the future growth of cars will be for a few years, but the North American market will still be second and may not even be taken over. I read the other day that China is bankrupt.

          China Bankrupt.

          Think about that. Maybe their “wealth” has all been an illusion. If so, maybe the Chinese won’t be taking over the west at all. Maybe that is why GM is not hot on the Saab to the Chinese sale.

          And on fixing my 9-5. Just received word that the seatbelt tensioners were broke in the accident of August 30 and are not expected to get here till November 25. It will be three months without my car from an accident that the insurance company said should take eight days to fix.

          Three months. That is why I say unless GM takes Saab back, Saab in North America is dead.

  7. Interestingly, what GM now calls the Science and Arts style, I can remeber to have been referred to as Stealth Design when first introduced, a reminescence of the then new stealth bombers. So, the Caddy design is really born from jets too. Unfortunately, from the ugliest built so far. And, as I heard, they fly like a brick. The Caddys ever since look pathetic and militarian at the same time.

  8. What this shows beyond a shadow of a doubt is that Simon Padian is a superb designer. He may have a weird thing for light surrounds eg 9-5 dame edna look and the black ‘masking tape’ around the 9-3 saloon rear lights but when it comes to fluid, uncluttered, interesting (no make that gorgeous) cars he is streets ahead of the GM boys.

    Does the Caddy has something of a Passat side elevation (try covering the front with your hand to see what I mean) albeit with an unsubtble crease and UGLY headlamps that look like something off an old Vauxhall/Opel and an even uglier grill. The Buick looks like an old man’s car and the Chevvy well the phrase ‘I’d like the blandest thing on the menu’ comes to mind 🙂

    • Caddy has had this edgy stealth fighter design now for about ten years. Some people in the US apparently like it, but I never have. I guess it is a matter of taste or lack thereof. Caddy’s do look noticeably different than most other cars from the front.

      • I actually do not think it is true stealth-design. – More like a money-box.. And I guess this it the signal it is supposed to send: Money, prestige. IMO Cadillac (if standing for anything at all,,) in many senses stands for the opposite values as Saab. Opulence and vulgarity versus modesty, honesty and refinement …

        • Could not disagree more stongly with that statement as to what the brand represents. Rather I would contend that current Saab Marketeers have distorted those values in recent times…. There was nothing modest about Stig Blomqvist’s, Erik Carlsson’s, Ola Stromberg’s, Pat Moss’s, Per Eklund’s … achievements nor driving styles (nor the cars they drove — 99 Turbo..raucous, turbo lag, torque steer). They were, for the record, out to ‘Kill the Competition’. Saab can no longer afford to wallow in touchy-feely mediocrity (‘move your mind’, ‘responsible performance’…and so on– it’s fricken milquetoast–sterile intellectualism). And why we’re stuck competing against low end BMWs and Audis, Subarus (not doing terribly well there either).

          Read Venkatesh Rao on Social Media; then look at Saab’s current Marketing (Product too?). Then ask why we’re on the edge of Bankruptcy (or Reconstruction, whatever).

          Enough kumbaya language. Though the exterior of the Cadillac ain’t my cuppa (Here 9-5 wins handsomely…) XTS interior fittings are said to be of a very high order and the CTS-V would (dare I say) Eat a Saab for Lunch.

          • The whole meaning for me, regarding the efforts to save Saab is actually also to save some true values and integrity in the car-industry. Among them a coherence between technical innovations and design.language.
            Regarding the modesty I was not talking about power or driving, but solely about a design-language which distances itself from the most boastful and showy.

          • Yes You nailed it once again Brother Marcus.
            Now it is all or nothing. Up with all sails, banners, flags, drums and loud trumpets. Noone remembers à coward be bold be strong, be successful. Be drivers and not passengers!

  9. GM Is the Worlds biggest car failer manifactor in the hall humman been history ,, and there speacialest in thefing another hard inteligents workers work as SAAB ,,

  10. As prviously stated above, can someone please remove that image of that caddy asap? What a hideous creature that is. It hurts my eyes….. Gone is the balance in the design, which suits 9-5NG so well. Even that Buick has a rather uncomfortable flow across the side when seen in that picture.

    Anyway, Gm is cashing in on what I see as the 9-5NG legacy. Am sure someone will state brash and bold styling for that caddy. Somehow the arching of the roof reminds me of myself when my back has caved in, i.e. bloody uncomfortable……..

  11. The first thing that came to my head when I yesterday saw a picture of the XTS was: If I had to choose between the XTS and a E-Class, I would choose the Cadillac.

    Cadillac is trying to compete with Mercedes, and I think they could manage to beat Merc in the US.

    • If I had to choose between Caddy and Merc I would shoot myself in the head.
      In the afterlife I would dream of Saab, and maybe have some back-up toughts about Jaguar.
      I just can’t get my head around gaudy American styling-its just too damn “obvious” I guess European style to the Yanks must seem dull and boring…i’d call it subtle or understated but they have a right to think that, that’s the difference. I do like the new Mustang though I think that is a brilliant muscle car design, but all that bling and grunt doesn’t transfer well into the exec premuim sector in my view. And Merc-well they still have quality issues and their price puts me off. plus they are a bit dull for me-a proper Bank managers car.

    • The previous E-Class was a good looking albeit very conservative car. The latest E-Class? well words fail me other than what the heck are the funny creases running from the rear door handles – looks like the design efforts of a 13 year old trying to add some ‘interest’ to the design. And then there’s the interior what a stressful looking place to be. Still better looking than the Caddy though so that puts things in perspective 😉

      • Why the Mercedes bashing guys? I have a CLS as well as my Saab and it’s a cracking car. Build quality is far beyond anything GM could even dream about.and the styling is iconic. Saabs are great, that’s why I bought one, but other cars are good too, remember that please. Blinkered is not good.

    • If I had to choose between a Cadillac and a Mercedes?
      I would choose the beautiful Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3. The granddaddy of all supersedans. 🙂

  12. I really, REALLY cannot stand the proportions of this car. The nose is too stubby up front, which is not necessarily a bad thing, except that there’s WAY too much overhang in the rear, and it gives a seriously ugly profile.I also really hate that little window next to the C pillar. Only the headlights are slightly attractive, but still, when combined with the massive grill, this car looks more Chevrolet Malibu than any Cadillac.

    And sadly, this this will sell like hotcakes. Disgusting.

  13. One of the things I have learned is that (though that Caddy would not be the one I bought), I can’t see “ugly” from inside the car while I am putting you in my dust.

    Make up your minds, I swear you exhibit schizophrenic symptoms here. One minute Saab is “Big Brother” and the next the aver no affinity or relationship to or with GM. Ugly, cutting laps around Nurburgring at a pace that would make you dizzy. Mother GM cutting laps around around “The Ring” in a “Blue Devil” on street tires on the heels of a full race RSR.

    I like that kind of ugly. Don’t like what you see? Like I said, looking over the hood I won’t be able to see a single wart.

    Saab is perhaps the bar sinister, the bastard child if anything.

    Sigh. Take something for this will you?

  14. Took a look at the interior pics from the xts…


    the xts-interior feels a lot more classy and premium to me than the interior of the 9-5 – not designwise, but from a quality point of view (i’ve not seen it in real)…looks like on a level with bmw, mb, audi and that asian stuff…i think saab should take a look at their interior and interior options…

    • Gelsenkirchen baroque, American style? There are about 50 too many useless details in that dashboard, along with strategically misplaced bling elements. Amazing that you prefer this clutter of resin lumps. But de gustibus non disputandum.

      • Maybe that was too harsch. But the AeroX dashboard and the green acrylic cladding in the 9-4x concept really re-programmed my perception of how car interiours could look like. I would not appreciate the style of most contemporary car interiours at my home; why should I accept them in my car? Give me something new and cool, Saab!!

    • @SaintJohn

      “On a level with BMW MB, AUDI and that Asian stuff” ??

      I’d be interested to know who from Asia you put against the German competion. Proton? Hyundai maybe?

      In which case fail to see your point.

  15. Rule #1 in fast driving is “get your head out of the cockpit and look at the road”.

    That is followed closely by Rule #2 which is “get your head out of the cockpit and look at the road”.

    I do admit that about the only other interior I have seen that is that ugly is in a Spyker. Really, VM was “suspect” the minute I took a look at a Spyker. They are ugly inside and out. Not even from the same genetic stock so you can’t blame GM for that. I would prefer to own an Alfa Montreal and at least I would be vintage retro. Really, I have had nightmares about the dash of a Spyker; the devil handed me a bottle of Windex and told me to get the swirl marks off and 🙂

    • i don’t like the xts-interior either…it’s too frumpy for me…but quality wise it looks great…and yes, the spyker-interior isn’t mine either…and the backside of the most spikers is an imposition to my eyes, too…

      • Amen! I think Caddy is trying to hold onto the “silver haired set” of retired folks and they are afraid that (and they are correct), that they will lose that market niche. Those folks loved that cushion of air that the land yacht gave them.

        Racing history, I would suggest that our Euro friends look up the Caddy of the 1940’s and 1950’s and you would find them racing across the Mexican desert in the Pan-Am series. They were big and fast too, like the Mercedes of the era.

        I would have loved to have been a Zora Duntov and been given a free hand with the development of the Caddy.

  16. It is an ugly mother. It’s a pity the 9-5’s related to it. What is that they say about being able to choose your friends and not your relatives!

      • The only problem is that CTS-V does not only look horrible on the outside but inside as well. True GM. The engineering for Nurburgring might be very good though. Real life probably not so much.

      • At least we have been spared Cadillacs down here in Australia. Plans to sell them here were well advanced, but GM’s bankruptcy forced it to abandon that idea.

  17. Ladies, ladies! Do you really GM cares whether you like a Caddy or not? The only thing that counts is if they sell. I can tell you that, in the American market, Caddies with their ugly faces sell like hot cakes. The Saab 9-5, as pretty as you may think it is, almost doesn’t sell at all. Same will probably be true for the Chinese markets, they seem to like in-your-face cars too.
    Of course, in Europe it’s a completely different story. GM has been trying to make in-roads with Cadillac in Europe for years now, without much success. Europeans just don’t like the styling and don’t like to be called a pimp by their neighbours.

    • I agree that the styling of the XTS leaves something to be desired (but it would be hypocritical to criticize the underpinnings) . I’m not going to be an Apologist for Cadillac either…but the Cadillacs of 2011/12 (and for the last few years) have not been the floaty barges of old (people here sometimes need to ‘Move Their Minds’). It’s actually the contrarians choice (folk getting bored of the ‘Me Too’ Germans–but not wanting to sacrifice Performance). While they have a huge legacy to overcome in respect of ‘Old Man’s Car’ Cadillac has been re-positioned (and styled) as a true alternative in the High Performance Sedan/Vagon stakes (should congratulate Lutz for, if nothing else; though stupidly, I understand that Cadillac has disbanded its High Performance Vehicle Operations team during its ‘reconstruction’). There is no doubt that the glory of the CTS-V has trickled down the range (building sales). There’s a lesson for Saab here…

      As I commented other times, you’d be surprised how many Turbo X drivers, coming off lease in the next months will be looking to Cadillac as an alternative. Here in Toronto a CTS-V is a quite a rare bird (as we are awash in BMWs …of equivalent or more price…and less performance).

      [ For the record, though, I will not be one of them] .

    • Caddies not sell well in chinese. Chinese love european brand, like Audi, BMW, Benz,

      SAAB also hadn’t sold well in chinese, because there are too much GM material used in interior, looks same as Buick. Those GM components make SAABs look like very cheap, don’t like a true european brand.

      in chinese mind, european products are high quality with advanced materials.

  18. I’ve always liked and respected Cadillac’s design language, even if it’s not personally something I would buy. I saw the XTS Concept at the auto shows last year (virtually identical to this production model) and thought it looked great, with a lot of presence. Again, it’s not for me, but I thought the XTS Concept I saw was 95% of the way towards Cadillac finally nailing that design language and making it feel like it “fits.” I’m very curious what they do with the upcoming XTS-V. The previous and current CTS models, while attractive, have felt a bit awkward, especially towards the rear, which tend to overwhelm the tires in appearance.

    Now that they’re 95% there, I’m hoping they nail it 100% with the upcoming ATS, which is looking really tasty in sneak previews right now…

  19. Speaking of the XTS interior.
    Here’s the deal. Had GM allowed Saab to be their true European premium brand with the nice looking interior materials and competitive engines boy would we be in a different place right now.
    It’s like GM was almost scared of letting THN loose so they wouldn’t start steeling Caddy customers (in the US)? Why else kill any chance of Saab competing against the M-series starting late 80’s. Strange strategy over all when you think how poorly American brands have always done here.
    Ford at least let Volvo function.

    • Agreed RS (I guess we’ve been over some of this ground in the ‘Hi Po Challenge’ of SU yore).

      Will never forget (and forgive me if I repeat myself, being an old man), during the Trollhattan Festival of Summer 2010 when the World seemed Ours… ‘snuck’ into after the Factory Tour — courtesy of E. Morsa!– which ended with mingling and presentation of a new 9-5 …opened the driver’s door… and jaw dropped. Where was the ‘ice-block’ finish of the car I had seen in April in Toronto (and so impressed)? I’ve since got used to the finish…but I knew that the Journalists would be all over it (and that the car was presented without Aero wheels too…no spoiler, nor Nav..). Rest is History.

      All the Hirsch goodness has been so late in coming (yes, better than never…). Here’s a thought: That the twin turbo (blueprints are available) be resurrected during the impending 4 month ‘down-time’ and Saab come back, Explosively, with a special ‘Blomqvist’ edition 9-5 for mid-year release (even if only 500 cars) and outflank the XTS. Am I Dreaming? If we’re going to go down, let us go down with a Fight! While GM might have some justification with their paranoia of abstract ‘IP’ in respect of China…they would never dare sue (imagine the publicity fallout!) for Saab producing a car that outflanks their own, built in Trollhattan, on a GM engine base.

  20. I hope that Cadillac will not have a wagon version of this model giving a chance to the 95 SC on the North American market especially than Audi (6) and BMW left this market as well of Volvo with only the XC 70 model.

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