The new Cadillac DTS is agreat luxury value. TheDTS takes its place asCadillac's largest passengercar, comparable to the BMW 740 andthe Mercedes S-Class. This newCadillac has a long wheelbase ofalmost 116 inches, which creates acomfortable ride with a nimble feel.The whole package remains distinctlyCadillac. The quad headlights arevertical and have a family resemblancethat Cadillac has executedwell. This vehicle has a distinct nighttimesignature. The tail lights andturn signals are vertical light-emittingdiodes (LEDs). A substantial portionof the interior lights are bright LEDs,as are the backup lights.
There are basically two ways to customorder your new Cadillac, one ismore luxurious and the other is moreperformance-based. The DTS houses atraditional Cadillac driveline: a Northstar4.6-liter V8 aluminum engine withtwo banks of double overhead camsdriving 4 valves per cylinder using dualplatinum tip spark plugs with an ignitioncoil on each. The standard engineputs out approximately 275 horsepowerand the performance variationaround 290 horsepower. The electronicallycontrolled 4-speed automatictransaxle is linked directly to theengine's computer so they work in harmony,returning outstanding response.Strong, silent, and smooth would categorizethis modern luxury car.
Our preproduction test cars wereassembled well with flush finishes andsymmetrically spaced body panels. Byits structure, design, and safety enhancements,we expect this to be thesafest Cadillac ever. The engineerspulled every trick to keep the DTSquiet: laminated glass all around,unique door baffling, and even injectedstructural foam.
As you step into the driver's seat,you will notice an uncluttered look.The new DTS is loaded with extras,and most are easy to understand.Detail is evident throughout. In frontof the driver is a wood and leatherfour-spoke steering wheel with aseries of thumb controls on theinside. The top of the dashboard isalways a dark earth tone for lessglare. Front and center is an elegantchrome clock that is positioned as ahallmark of classic appeal. The texturespicked for the interior are special.The knobs that control the lightsand climate controls are enjoyable totouch and instantly identifiable bytheir size, texture, and position, sofiddling with them while keepingyour eyes on the road is easier.
An optional adaptive cruise controlis available, as is Intellibeam.Unique to GM, Intellibeam keepsturning up your high beams at everyopportunity possible to create thesafest situation without blindingother drivers. There's also GM'sdynamic stability control—the bestoption you may never know savedyour life—called Stabilitrak.
Several other luxurious extras thatare offered on the DTS includecooled front seats, a heated steeringwheel, and heated rear seats. TheDVD-based navigation system includesvoice recognition and a 6-discchanger, and plays DVD movies withthe car in park. The standard radio isone of the most sophisticated tunersin any car today. It allows you AM,FM, and XM satellite radio mixed onone set of buttons any way you like.It's a great display.
The performance option packagegives you the higher horsepowerengine with a special shift pattern forthe transmission, 18-inch wheels,and a safety feature that hides as aperformance feature called magneticride control suspension. The magneticride control changes the viscosityof the shock absorbers'fluid instantly.The car automatically sets up toride flatter through the turns byslowing up the shock absorbers onthe side where most weight is beingshifted. The magnetic ride controlhelps even during acceleration anddeceleration. The proof of Cadillac'snew luxury liner is in the driving.This is a true Cadillac ride judgingfrom the light, directional steering tothe strong, fast acceleration.
This new Cadillac DTS is truly agreat work of industrial art that weexpect will prove itself and become amodern classic in time.
Jean Swenson and Ashly Knapp are independent research
reporters and the founders of AutoAdvisor.com.