- Smooth freeway cruising
- Seats six comfortably
- Bulletproof edition for VIPs
- Mediocre fuel economy
- Boat-like handling
- Cumbersome size/maneuverability
The 2009 Cadillac DTS is in need of a better, more modern transmission, but the full-size sedan remains a luxurious front-runner in its market.
The 2009 Cadillac DTS is Cadillac's most traditional model serving a variety of purposes from common civilian transportation to bulletproof versions shuttling personalities such as the President of the United Sates.
Depending on the seating configuration, the front-wheel-drive Cadillac DTS can seat five or six full-size adults comfortably, with plenty of head- and legroom to spare. 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.
The 2009 Cadillac DTS, in keeping with its rather conservative look and feel inside and out, appeals to buyers who want a large and powerful (yet cushy) sedan. The exterior shape of the DTS 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.
Six airbags and a long list of amenities are standard, but the Cadillac DTS gets only four-star crash ratings in its standard form for front and side impacts and for rollover. Stability control with brake assist helps keep handling safe even when weather threatens, and Magnetic Ride Control help refine the car's ride and handling characteristics, providing reasonably good handling despite a very smooth, soft ride. With either engine, the DTS has good throttle response and straight-line acceleration, though the transmission has lumpy shift quality, can hesitant to downshift, and has two fewer gears than most of its rivals.
For 2009 the DTS remains largely unchanged except for a host of luxury and technical upgrades, including a new nine-spoke wheel design with Cadillac’s wreath and crest logo displayed in the center, “Razor” turn signal LEDs, and clearer Side Blind Zone Alert icons in the rearview mirrors. Popular options on the DTS are grouped into large packages and include heated and cooled front seats, XM NavTraffic, a Bose Centerpoint sound system, a sunroof, and rear sunshades. A Platinum Edition gets a "handcrafted" interior and special badging.