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2011 Cadillac DTS

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2011 Cadillac DTS Review

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The last descendent of Cadillac's past, the 2011 DTS, drives on for another year, eagerly awaiting retirement and the debut of its replacement, the XTS Sedan. Originally called the DeVille, the front-drive DTS is Cadillac's largest (and oldest) sedan offering. Purchased almost exclusively by the retirement set, the DTS is the last American luxury cruiser that places a greater emphasis on ride rather than handling. With seating for six, a powerful V8 engine and more electronic gadgets than you can shake a stick at, the DTS may well be worth its $50,000 asking price, proving value, like beauty, is truly in the eye of the beholder.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your idea of a great driving car includes complete isolation from the road while being cocooned in a shroud of silence, the DTS is the car for you.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you desire the Cadillac brand, but you want your car to have a modicum of road feel (not to mention youth-oriented styling), you might want to shoot for the STS Sedan or even the SRX CUV.

What's Significant About This Car?

The 2011 Cadillac DTS now includes as standard Cadillac's Premium Care Maintenance, covering scheduled oil changes, tire rotations, replacement of engine and cabin air filters and multi-point vehicle inspections for four years or 50,000 miles.

Driving the DTS

Driving Impressions One spin behind the wheel of the 2011 Cadillac DTS and you'll feel you've gone back to a simpler, more elegant era. In a nod to motoring the way it...

used to be, the DTS floats over road imperfections and silences all but the most obnoxious exterior noises. Feedback from the steering wheel is somewhat vague and the brake pedal can feel a bit mushy at first but, after a short while, the driver adapts to the softer inputs, making the DTS quite controllable. Despite its purposefully soft-tuned suspension, the DTS is far less floaty than might be expected and body lean in corners is tolerable. The standard Northstar V8 engine delivers impressive acceleration bolstered by the automatic transmission's near seamless shifting.

Northstar V8 Engine and Hydra-Matic
The Northstar V8 is well known for smooth running and energetic response to the gas pedal, helped by unobtrusive shifts from GM's Hydra-Matic transmission.

Optional Front Split-Bench Seat
Even if many shoppers may not particularly want one, it's refreshing to know that a six-passenger sedan still exists on the market.

2011 Cadillac DTS Details
2011 Cadillac DTS photo Interior

The DTS is one of the few sedans around that still offers a split-bench front seat, a highly desirable feature for those who feel shoe-horned into bucket-style seats. Legroom is plentiful both front and rear, as is headroom. A big plus for rear-seat passengers is the DTS' upright rear window design that allows for maximum headroom. Unfortunately, the hard rear seatbacks didn't sit well with some of our testers. From the driver's point of view, the large analog instruments proved easy to read. We did, however, find some of the pictographs on controls and buttons difficult to decipher, prompting numerous trips to the owner's manual. Despite the wide rear C-pillars and a high rear shelf, rearward visibility is still good.

Exterior

While it carries some of Cadillac's more modern styling themes (like the egg-crate grille and stacked headlamps), there is no hiding the DTS's decade-old design. A long hood, long over-hangs and a wide body are the hallmarks of the DTS design, which Cadillac optimistically describes as "architectural and linear." In fairness, the DTS does have amazingly tight gaps between its body panels and a first-rate paint job, placing it on par with the best from Europe and Japan.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Safety items top the list of standard DTS features, including four-channel anti-lock brakes (ABS) and traction control, roof-rail side-curtain airbags and front-seat side-impact thorax airbags. A factory-installed Adaptive Remote Start system includes a personalization provision. The 17-inch tires are mounted to machined aluminum wheels, and leather upholstery, automatic dual-zone climate control, folding power mirrors, a CD player with MP3 capability and GM's OnStar assistance system are standard.

Optional Equipment

Although the 2011 Cadillac DTS is offered in a single trim level, option groups can add extra features. The Performance Package includes the 292-horsepower high-output V8 engine, performance algorithm shifting, Magnetic Ride Control and 18-inch tires on machined aluminum wheels. Highlights for the Platinum Package include Tri-zone automatic air conditioning, Intellibeam headlamps, power folding outside mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, dual front lumbar-massaging heated and cooled seats, heated rear seats, heated leather and wood steering wheel, a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, Magnetic Ride Control suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels. Stand-alone options include DVD navigation, adaptive speed control and the Driver Awareness Package (Blind Spot Zone Alert and Lane Departure Warning systems.)

Under the Hood

In standard form, the Northstar LD8 4.6-liter dual-overhead-cam V8 develops 275 horsepower and is matched with a Hydra-Matic four-speed transmission. A higher-output, higher-revving Northstar L37 V8 is available with the Performance Package – rated at 292 horsepower but delivering less torque than the LD8.

4.6-liter V8
275 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
295 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23

4.6-liter V8 High Output
292 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
288 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23

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2011 Cadillac DTS Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 206 Ratings for the 2006 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Most economical used car I've owned

By on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 131,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great value compared to comparable luxury vehicles"

Cons: "steering wheel doesn't adjust in/out"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought used w/60k miles on it in 2010. Other than water pump going out 86,751 miles and dealer I bought it from charging about $7-800 for new water pump when they could have directed me to a Cadillac dealer for free replacement under warranty and one catalytic converter replacement at 134,600 miles, I've had fewoblems w/this vehicle. It has been a pleasure to own and drive. Strangers frequently compliment the blue ice color and finish. Paint job is excellent and has held up to automated car wash every 3-4 weeks. Chrome trim and black trim just now starting to show signs of age. New Michenlin Defender tires put on at 122,200 miles and they ride smooth as glass. MPG appears to have decreased from 24 hwy to about 22 since converter replacement."

12 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Comfort and ride in style

By on Thursday, June 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "low maintenance costs, comfortable, easy to drive"

Cons: "needs usb ports"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought this car as a 1 owner vehicle in Nov, 2010. Sure am glad I made that decision. Great driving car, very reliable, no major issues other than normal oil changes (all maintenance preformed at dealer). Replaced a sensor for one of the tires that measures air pressure, brakes all the way around and tires. I do a lot of highway driving, set the cruise at about 73 and no stress or worry. Handles the road very well, good, solid, comfortable ride without a lot of sway. A lot of big cars have the "floating" sensation, not the DTS. Reduced the road bumps to a minimum, does not beat you to death on a 500 mile trip. Personally, I think Cadillac made a huge mistake by discontinuing this model. If I wanted a mid-sized care I would buy a Lexus or BMW. Guess I will have to look at Mercedes now, not real happy about that."

5 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Problems form the date of purchase. Lost value

By on Saturday, June 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Pretty. Rides well"

Cons: "Cup holder too close. Cheap plastic , and the gri"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"We purchased car to last thru retirement. This car went to rest before me. Dealerships said they did the work under warranty but never did. Hired a forensic expert and proved work never done. They then fixed it. Little things as well as big went wrong. My biggest complaint is that this car cost 60000 and within 3 mos had a value of 47000. If I had purchased the lexus ls 460 I looked at, there would be no trouble and the car would be worth around 20,000 without all the problems."

7 people out of 8 found this review helpful

great road car

By on Monday, June 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfortable and reliable"

Cons: "taxes"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"very comfortable, lots of power, good gas milage. easy to spend all day on the road and arrive refreshed!!!"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Most comfortable riding auto for long trips(1440 m

By on Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 136,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is the perfect auto for me since I travel to florida each winter..spending three days driving 1440 miles. My son does half of the driving. It has great stability,acceleration and braking. I will be buying another used DTS . Currently have 136000 miles with no major problems since I purchased it In 2009( it Is a 2006)."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Not the best.

By on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,701

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"With 42k miles, I had to replace the engine this month. The timing chain slipped and the engine was shot. Very disappointed."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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