2008 DTS New Car Test Drive
Cadillac DTS is a thoroughly modern interpretation of the big, luxurious, powerful, stylish machines that once made Cadillac America's most-desired automobile.
The DTS is a full-size luxury car with full-size American power and a warm, spacious interior. Its 115.6-inch wheelbase would have qualified it as full-size car even in the mid-1950s.
Its V8 engine develops 275 horsepower, and a higher-output version is available that delivers 292 horsepower. Though its styling is restrained, the DTS is loaded with the latest technology. Yet, unlike many luxury cars these days, there's no need to study the owner's manual to make the DTS do its job. This is a rational luxury car, easy to operate in addition to being large and luxurious. We like that.
The DTS offers impeccable road manners, with crisp handling and good grip that inspires composure and driving enjoyment on winding roads. It handles surprisingly well given its size. It takes turns with poise and dignity, making it an enjoyable steed when the road goes curvy. The DTS is front-wheel drive.
For 2008, two new options harness the latest technology to enhance safety. The Lane Departure Warning system is designed to help drivers avoid a collision caused by an inadvertent lane change, for example if the driver drifts off to sleep. Side Blind Zone Alert enhances awareness of objects that might otherwise escape the driver's vision, for example a car the driver simply did not know was there.
A new Platinum Edition is available for 2008 that comes with all the performance goodies, plus a bright and cheery handcrafted interior and special exterior trim.
The current DTS was launched as a 2006 model, sporting fresh body lines, a redesigned interior, upgraded running gear, and suspension refinements,. At the same time, Cadillac abandoned the 57-year-old DeVille nameplate. Up through 2005, a DTS badge had indicated a DeVille Touring Sedan, a sporty version of the old DeVille. DTS now stands for the whole revised and revamped model line. It's fitting, given that today's DTS is sportier than yesterday's DeVille.
The 2008 Cadillac DTS ($41,770) comes in one trim level, with three available Luxury packages, one Performance package, plus the new Platinum Edition package and a moderate list of stand-alone options. All versions are powered by Cadillac's 4.6-liter Northstar V8, which produces 275 horsepower in standard tune, and 292 horsepower with certain option packages. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard.
Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front bucket seats with four-way adjustable power lumbar support, eight-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio with RDS and integrated antenna, XM Satellite Radio with three-month trial, Magnasteer power steering, cruise control, power windows, power programmable door locks with Pass-Key III Plus security, illuminated visor mirrors, remote starter, driver information center, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, rear seat pass-through, OnStar with one-year Directions & Connections service, automatic headlamps with wiper activation, fog lights, solar-control glass, self-leveling suspension, and P235/55R17 all-season tires on machined aluminum wheels.
The Luxury I package ($3,050) adds park assist, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear outboard seats, rear seat adjustable headrests, four-way power rear lumbar support, heated windshield washer fluid, Rainsense Generation II intermittent wipers with structureless wiper blades, heated power-adjustable mirrors with turn-signal indicators and driver's side auto-dimming, leather wrapped and heated steering wheel, and tilt steering column.
Luxury II ($2,340) includes all the content of Luxury I, plus tri-zone automatic climate control and a universal remote transmitter.
Luxury III ($5,075) includes Luxury I and II, plus an upgraded stereo with a six-disc in-dash CD changer and eight Bose speakers, cargo net, IntelliBeam headlights, front four-way massaging power lumbar, power tilt/telescoping steering column with memory settings, trunk mat, rear illuminated vanity mirrors, genuine Dark Burled Walnut wood trim and 17-inch chromed aluminum wheels
The Performance package ($7,560) includes all but a few of the Luxury I, II, and III items, plus the higher-tuned 292-hp V8, performance algorithm shifting, Magnetic Ride Control, and P245/50 H-rated tires on 18-inch chromed aluminum wheels.
The new Platinum Edition package ($6,490) combines the 292-hp V8, Performance Algorithm shifting, Magnetic Ride Control and 18-inch chromed wheels with special materials on the inside and an extra dash of flash on the outside; a power sunroof, DVD navigation, and other conveniences are included as well.
Options include adaptive cruise control ($1,695), DVD-based navigation ($2,145), a front bench seat ($295), Tehama leather ($1,995), body-color grille ($250), universal home remote ($110), automatic climate control ($195), a power tilt/slide sunroof ($1,200), and 17-inch chromed wheels ($825).
Safety features that come standard on all models include six air bags, including a dual-depth front-passenger air bag. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Brake Assist, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with all-speed traction control, child-safe rear door locks, and a tire pressure monitor come standard. Lane Departure Warning and Side Blind Zone Alert are available on select models.