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Cadillac DeVille DTS (2001)

SEE ALSO: Cadillac Buyer's Guide

By Tom Hagin


     Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price              $ 46,267
     Price As Tested                                    $ 51,672
     Engine Type              DOHC 32-valve 4.6 Liter V8 w/SMFI*
     Engine Size                                 279 cid/4565 cc
     Horsepower                                   300 @ 6000 RPM
     Torque (lb-ft)                               295 @ 4000 RPM
     Wheelbase/Width/Length                  115.3"/74.4"/207.0"
     Transmission                           Four-speed automatic
     Curb Weight                                     4222 pounds
     Fuel Capacity                                  18.5 gallons
     Tires  (F/R)                           235/55R17 all-season
     Brakes (F/R)                          Disc (ABS)/disc (ABS)
     Drive Train                  Front-engine/front-wheel-drive
     Vehicle Type                       Five-passenger/four-door
     Domestic Content                                        N/A
     Coefficient of Drag (Cd.)                               N/A


     EPA Economy, miles per gallon
        city/highway/average                            17/27/22
     0-60 MPH                                        8.0 seconds
     1/4 (E.T.)                          15.5 seconds @ 94.0 mph
     Top-speed                  (Electronically limited) 130 mph
                 * Sequential multi-port fuel injection

Cadillac as a brand seems to be the most pampered of the nameplates in GM's stable of vehicles. Its luxury sedans are fitted with the latest in technological advancements, and GM is dumping lots of money into the brand's development. It's 2001 DeVille is offered as the base model, the slightly upmarket DeVille High Luxury Sedan and the sportiest of the trio and our subject for this week, the DeVille Touring Sedan.

OUTSIDE - The new DeVille's look is clean and elegantly angular. Although it's two inches shorter than the vehicle it replaces, it is still massive. The headlights are large and somewhat Euro-looking, with integrated turn indicators wrapping into the sides of the front fenders. It retains the wedge shape of its predecessor, but appears a bit more bottom-heavy and athletic. Sharp angles and bold character lines, mixed with flat surfaces and attractive detailing, are signature Cadillac design traits, though a whole new series of upcoming Caddies will attempt to set the automotive design world on fire. Seventeen-inch cast aluminum "blade-style" wheels and sport-level tires are standard.

INSIDE - As the sport-luxury DeVille version, the DTS provides its occupants with a high level of creature comforts, yet doesn't overstate its opulence. Leather seating is standard, while a small amount of Zebrano wood trim sweeps across the dashboard and down the door panels, with an extra "dollop" of wood attached to half of the leather-wrapped steering wheel. The 12-way power adjustable front seats feature standard massaging lumbar and heat, while the rear seat also offers heating elements, along with a powered rear window blind. To aid driving at night, our DeVille carries a grille-mounted thermal-imaging system. It takes some getting used to at first, but after a few nights behind the wheel, the low-resolution projection screen at the base of the windshield greatly enhances nighttime vision.

ON THE ROAD - DeVille's 4.6-liter V8 engine uses GM's Northstar technology. The Northstar system is a combination of the engine, transmission, vehicle electronic controls and suspension, all teaming together as a single, cohesive unit. The engine itself uses dual overhead camshafts, which have a low-friction roller-follower valve train operating 32 valves total. The latest version carries larger intake and smaller exhaust valves, new pistons, and a higher-energy ignition system, all of which help to reduce emissions. Also new are the intake and exhaust manifolds, which help the smallish engine produce a whopping 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. And as an added bonus, the engine is now able to run on regular unleaded fuel. Mated to this is a smooth-shifting four-speed automatic transmission. To help its driver keep the car in its intended direction, Stabilitrak interacts with the braking, suspension and vehicle electronics systems for greatly enhanced safety. Traction control helps reduce wheelspin on slippery roads.

BEHIND THE WHEEL - Riding on GM's new ultra-stiff G-body platform, DeVille gives an excellent blend of old-time "floatiness" and new-age responsiveness. Its four-wheel independent suspension uses MacPherson struts up front and a multilink setup in back. Cadillac calls this its Continuously Variable Road Sensing Suspension. The fast-acting electronically-controlled shock absorbers provide real-time damping of even the most severe road irregularities, and each wheel is controlled independently for far less pitch and roll. Overall, DeVille is very entertaining to drive, giving good grip from the tires and a supple ride from the suspension, with a great feel of the road from its variable- assist rack-and-pinion steering system. Braking is handled by four-wheel discs with a standard anti-lock braking system (ABS).

SAFETY - Dual dashboard and side-impact airbags, StabiliTrak, ABS, traction control and side-impact door beams are standard.

OPTIONS - Safety/security package (garage door opener, ultrasonic rear parking sensors, tire pressure monitoring system), $550; Comfort/convenience package (memory seats, trunk mat and deck lid tie-down, power tilt/telescoping steering column), $695; Night Vision system, $2250; six-disc CD changer, $595.