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2006 Cadillac DTS reviews

January 7, 2006 12:09 PM EST | Cadillac , Sedans | Email to Friend | Comments (0)

View large imageA traditional Cadillac for the traditional Cadillac buyer, the DTS offers a plush ride, plenty of room and surprisingly adept road manners, not to mention all the latest high-tech features.

Pros
Spacious and comfortable cabin, admirable handling for a sedan of its size, easy-to-use DVD navigation system.

Cons
Lacks the upscale image of its competition, interior materials should be better for the price.

What's New for 2006
The DeVille receives a significant batch of updates for 2006, and Cadillac has renamed it the "DTS." Highlights include new front and rear sheet metal and fascias, a new interior, improved chassis components and a strengthened structure.

Introduction:
For more than 50 years, the DeVille has been one of the most popular models sold by Cadillac. Last redesigned in 2000, the DeVille benefits from a major refresh and name change for 2006. The outgoing DeVille has accounted for nearly half of all Cadillac's sales for the past two decades, so its successor, the DTS, has a set of big tire tracks to fill.

With its egg-crate grille, vertical bi-xenon headlamps and sharply creased sheet metal, the DTS embodies all of Cadillac's 21st-century styling cues. A lower dash and a new analog clock combine with low-gloss interior surfaces to update the cabin. Taller folks will appreciate the additional inch of seat travel, and dual-density seat padding promises comfort and proper support. Safety is improved via an industry-first dual-depth front-passenger airbag that varies its inflated volume based on the severity of the crash and the occupant's seating position. Mounting the DTS' engine is a separate cradle that should reduce the already low levels of noise, vibration and harshness reaching the cabin.

By most accounts, the DTS is a sophisticated American luxury car that remains true to Cadillac's heritage. Between its powerful engine, cavernous interior and multitude of high-tech vehicle systems, the DTS offers a little bit of everything. There's more than enough room for four adults and the trunk can swallow a weekend's worth of baggage with room to spare. Compared to other cars in its price range, the interior could use some higher-quality materials, but overall it's a clean design with simple controls. If you like your luxury cars big, comfortable and quintessentially American, the DTS will serve well.

Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options:
The DTS is available in one model for 2006. Standard amenities include tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, OnStar, bi-xenon headlamps, power front seats and one-touch windows. In terms of luxury options, you find adaptive cruise control, heated and cooled front seats, seat memory for the driver, a heated rear bench, a power rear sunshade, rain-sensing wipers and a Bose sound system. Also available is a Magnetic Ride Control suspension that monitors and adjusts individual shock damping according to road surface changes for maximum comfort and performance.

Powertrains and Performance:
Even with its relatively slim and trim shape, the DTS is still a sizable sedan, so the 4.6-liter V8 engine is a welcome sight under the hood. The standard engine is a 275-horsepower version, while an upgraded version boasting 291 hp is optional. A four-speed automatic is the only transmission choice.

Safety:
On hand to maintain optimum vehicle control is StabiliTrak, GM's advanced stability and traction control system. A vast array of onboard sensors can detect if the vehicle is deviating from the driver's intended path and selectively apply individual brakes to restore control. All models include standard front side-impact airbags, as well as front and rear side curtain airbags. Should you need assistance in an emergency (or just need tickets to the basketball game), GM's OnStar communications system comes standard. Parking sensors are also available.

Interior Design and Special Features:
Interior room is outstanding, with both five- and six-passenger models available. Front-seat passengers are coddled in sumptuous leather seats. Rear passengers are given just as much legroom as front passengers, and the trunk can hold several suitcases without a problem. The overall interior design and materials aren't up to the standards of the European or Japanese competition, but the majority of the controls are easy to decipher, and build quality is generally good.

Driving Impressions:
Despite its considerable size and softly tuned suspension, the DTS carries itself well. There's plenty of power on hand for quick passes, while the suspension manages to offer a compliant ride and solid handling. Road and wind noise is barely noticeable and the sheer volume of room in the cabin makes it a terrific highway cruiser.

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