Originally Posted by levizx
90% of the way to root means EXACTLY that, not rooted. So saying Xposed REQUIRES root is not just "technically" wrong, there's nothing right about that statement, and that's a fact.
To install Xposed requires permission or workarounds to edit system files at the root level. End of story.
However you go about it, whether the user account has ongoing root access or not, whether the device allows root/bootloader access out-of-the-box or if you have to use exploits, whether it continues to run after the *user account* has unrooted, is immaterial.
SuperSU or equivalents do not *provide* root access, and removing them is not the same as unrooting the entire device. They instead take existing root access and bring it to where it is convenient for the user.
Unlocking the bootloader/system partition IS rooting your device, even if you never install a root manager program, despite how the terminology has been distorted in popular use here on XDA.
Xposed requires root access. Xposed modules do not provide root access if your device does not already have it.