The 4,000-pound DTS is front-wheel-driven and offers a choice of closely related V-8 engines.
There's a 275-horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8 or a 292-horsepower version of the same engine. Car and Driver says the engine's power is "adequate," though Kelley Blue Book describes it as having "utterly smooth response." MyRide notes that on paper the numbers may be different, but observes "negligible differences in power ratings." Both engines come with an outdated four-speed automatic that Motor Trend calls "effective, but somewhat old news in this world of five, six, and even seven-speeders." Edmunds reports it's "calibrated for quicker response in the Performance model." According to their tests, the DTS Performance accelerates to 60 mph "in 7 seconds flat." As TheCarConnection.com's editors see it, the 2010 DTS accelerates fairly well in a straight line, and responds quickly enough to requests for power, but the lumpy shift quality and the battle between power and weight tends to favor weight.
The DTS sedans limp along with lower fuel economy, thanks to the transmission. The base version checks in at 15/23 mpg, while the Performance edition gets 15/22 mpg. The hearse versions get 12/16 mpg-not that you'll need to care.
Handling is not the calling card of the DTS; base versions steer adequately and have a well-cushioned, emotionless ride quality. ConsumerGuide says the DTS handles "competently," noting that it's obviously "compromised by its size and heft." While it "comfortably smothers most bumps," it "allows some float and wander over large pavement humps." Car and Driver chides the DTS for "vague steering feel." In TheCarConnection.com's experience, Magnetic Ride Control (standard on luxe versions) refines the ride and handling, giving reasonably good responses to the big sedan in spite of a very smooth, softly tuned ride. Kelley Blue Book notices that with an "indisputably soft suspension, the DTS is far less floaty than might be expected." Still, steering is almost completely without feel, and the big Cadillac has a big, SUV-like turning circle of at least 42 feet.
Brakes are smallish 12.7-inch rotors in front and 11.5-inchers in back; 17-inch wheels are standard, while 18-inchers are standard on the top Platinum edition. Few reviewers comment at all on the car's braking capabilities.