It’s these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of our running and all of our cunning
If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane
I’ve done Key West
Buffett style, I’ve done the Duval crawl, I’ve watched the sunset from Mallory Square, and I’ve driven the 7-mile bridge many times. BUT – I’d never done the Keys quite the way that I did earlier this month as four girlfriends hit the road in STYLE from Key West, through Islamorada and on to South Beach in a brand new Cadillac XTS. While I thought that the Keys were about flip-flops and lazy days, I learned that when you have Caddy’s newest luxury sedan, the view from the road is VERY different.
Not your daddy’s Caddy
Growing up in the automobile business (dad, grandfather and later husband) I road in my share of Cadillac’s. I always thought they were a formal car, sort of stuffy. It was the car we’d take on Sunday drives with the whole family, but also the car that you got yelled at if you got shoe marks on the leather. So, I was SHOCKED when Jewel, Jerrell, Sandy and I hopped into our Cadillac XTS and while the temperature was a bit cool outside for South Florida, this car was HOT!
I expected luxurious leather seats (gotta love that new car smell), plenty of room, a killer sound system and great handling – but what I didn’t expect was TECHNOLOGY that would blow me away! At first glance the screen at the center of the console looked like any other navigation/sound system, but one TOUCH and I found everything from Sirius to Pandora (coming through FOURTEEN BOSE speakers), bluetooth connectivity to OnStar, climate control to weather updates, and it WIRELESSLY connects your own devices in Cadillac’s new CUE system. The voice activation was seamless – unlike my current car who thinks I must speak with a foreign accent (how does the command “XM 29” sound like “heater off”?).
My favorite feature – the heads up display that looks almost like a hologram in the lower part of the drivers window. You NEVER have to take your eyes off of the road again, as all of the information is right in front of you …LITERALLY.
Queen of the highway
While Jerrell was our pilot, and OnStar our navigator, I felt like an absolute queen as we whizzed over the bridges, through little towns (in tiny Keys), rocking all the way to Miami Beach. We stopped for a night at the Cheeca Lodge and Spa, where Sandy & I had massages on the beach at water’s edge, and to the Delano where the beautiful people come out to play. While I may not be a celebrity (both the Cheeca Lodge and The Delano attract the rich and famous), I was queen of the open road in one of the most comfortable, quiet rides that I’ve had in a long time. The Brembo braking system stopped on a dime (yes, we DID try them out), and I never felt those uneven old roads that run from Key West up to Homestead because the dual-mode Magnetic Ride Control suspension kept us on an even keel.
Jerrell is a good driver but
I was glad that we had TEN airbags. She tested out the uber cool safety alert seat that vibrates when someone gets too close. Its’ short range radar and automatic braking mean fewer accidents and more cruising without worry. The smart camera takes pictures and alerts you of unexpected problems from those CRAZY drivers. Personally, I’m not the best of drivers (my dad used to affectionately call me “crash” when I was younger), so I’m thinking that these are must-haves for someone like me.
I only wish that
Some of the people we were with drove the XTS, and others the ATS. I like my cars small (I’m only 5’1″), but I could definitely see me driving this car. The Cadillac ATS has many of the same features, and it’s probably more my size. I’m thinking that I need to give that one a try!
I think about Paris when I’m high on red wine
I wish I could jump on a plane
So many nights I just dream of the ocean
God I wish I was sailin’ again
Oh, yesterday’s over my shoulder
So I can’t look back for too long
There’s just too much to see waiting in front of me
And I know that I just can’t go wrong – Jimmy Buffett
I was a guest of GM of Canada for a 3-day trip from Key West to Miami Beach. I brought a friend with me to experience the car, the wonderful hotels, the meals and the fun. All opinions are strictly my own.