If you’re just looking at a spec sheet, the 2014 Acura RLX and the 2013 Cadillac XTS4 might as well be twins. Both are equipped with a 24-valve V6 engine that’s connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Their wheelbases are within a half-inch of one another, and the exterior dimensions are only a few inches off as well. Yet, despite these similarities, once you get behind the wheel you’ll realize that they’re as different as night and day.
The 2014 Acura RLX
Both sedans are large, and both are jam-packed with features that exude luxury, convenience, and cutting-edge technology. The 2014 Acura RLX has an inviting interior with beautifully made materials, including super-soft Milano leather. The center stack is simple, easy to use, and expertly placed.
Acura has incorporated many of the latest gadgets, including 6-level heated and ventilated seats in the front, a 450-watt, fourteen-speaker Krell stereo, 2 color display screens, navigation system complete with rerouting and real-time traffic info, and AcuraLink, which allows you to communicate with your car via smartphone.
The safety features of the 2014 Acura RLX are technologically impressive as well: adaptive cruise control, low-speed follow (which automatically applies the brakes when the car ahead of you does), and lane-assistance, which gently nudges your wheels back into your lane if you stray.
The Cadillac XTS4
On the other hand, Cadillac has taken a much bolder approach to their interior design. While it is beautiful inside, much of the eye-candy has been created at the expense of functionality. For example, metallic bars operate the stereo and climate control systems, and though they may look cool doing it, changing the volume requires sliding the bars up and down. It doesn’t always work, but it is always distracting when you’re trying to keep your eye on the road.
Another example is the Driver Awareness Package, which is a great idea in theory. It notifies you when your begin to stray from your lane, though not in the way the 2014 Acura RLX does. Instead of a chime or gentle turning of the wheels, it delivers a sharp buzz to the driver’s seat cushion.
Overall, both cars have similar price tags, similar engines, and similar exterior designs, but when you get behind the wheel of both it doesn’t take long to realize that the Acura comes out on top.
“Based on 2014 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery pack age/condition (hybrid only), and other factors.”