2008 Cadillac DTS Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
July 22, 2008

The 2008 Cadillac DTS makes no apologies for being big, though it could use a more modern transmission and better crash scores.

TheCarConnection.com's editors read the latest road tests on the new 2008 Cadillac DTS to write this comprehensive review. Our car experts also drove the 2008 Cadillac DTS to be able to deliver more opinion and details on the car, to compare it with other cars in the class, and to help you decide if the DTS is the right car for you.

The 2008 Cadillac DTS is a front-drive, full-size luxury sedan of the old-school variety. It remains the most traditional model in the Cadillac lineup, and you're as likely to see it used as an airport car, a bulletproof sedan, or transportation for the Pope or the President as you are to see it driven on the road by civilians. It's also commonly used as the basis for hearses.

That said, the Cadillac DTS has some enormous virtues, not the least of which is its size. It can seat five or six passengers, depending on seat configuration, and all those passengers can be full-sized adults. There's plenty of head- and legroom for all in the DTS's huge cabin.

The DTS offers buyers a choice of either a 275-horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8 or a 300-horsepower version of the same engine. Both come mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox, which doesn't help the DTS get more than 23 mpg on the highway.

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The 2008 Cadillac DTS is designed to appeal to buyers who favor a large and powerful sedan with conservative styling, a soft ride, gentle handling, and a plush interior. The exterior shape is creased and angular like the current generation of Cadillacs, and in darker colors, it's reasonably handsome. The interior is well-executed, though the large seats in leather are slippery and unsupportive. Large gauges and a tall center stack on the dashboard with a touch-screen video display are the hallmarks of the dash, along with lots of wood veneer.

Stability control with brake assist and Magnetic Ride Control help refine the car's ride and handling characteristics. Six airbags and a long list of amenities are standard, but the Cadillac DTS gets only four-star crash ratings for front and side impacts and for rollover.

A Lane Departure Warning system and a Side Blind Zone Alert system are new options for 2008. Other popular options such as XM Satellite Radio, a cargo mat, and rear sunshades are now offered with a wider variety of optional equipment packages than before. A Platinum Edition gets a "handcrafted" interior and special badging.

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