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2011 Cadillac DTS

Overview
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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
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 197 Ratings for the 2006 - 2011 models.

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

The '06 I owned was the most reliable car ever!!

By on Monday, March 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Used car price worth the money. Nice Ride. Quiet!"

Cons: "Expensive dealership maintenance."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Have owned '66, '94, '98, '02, '06, and presently drive an '09. All have been DeVille or DTS. Cadillacs are comfortable, smoothest ride, family safe, and reliable cars if you know the secret to economic maintenance. Cadillac Dealerships (CDs) are way way over rated and expensive. CD Oil change $120, Midas $29.99. CD struts $1300 each, On-line $120 and Midas installs for $80 each. Water pump CD $450, On-line $39.99 and Midas installs for $160. My experience shows a CD maintenance program (after the warranty) to cost $7000 before a forced trade or sale. Comfort: cadillac has soft, plush, luxury leather seats that wear easily and don't support the body for trips over 4 hours. Back and leg aches guaranteed after constant 4 hour drive. Leather needs to be cared for every month to avoid cracking. See used Cadillacs for yourself with over 40,000 miles. I recommend as family car. Safe and comfortable for around town and trips to see Grandma. Pleasure to drive."

one of the better cars that i owned.

By on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "nice smooth ride.fun to drive."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"dealership is reliable and car service is excellent.Have taken my car in for service once and sometimes twice a year for nine years.nice smooth ride with plenty of pep."

Fit and Finish were very lax on this vehicle

By on Saturday, February 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,654

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "Fit and Finish"

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

"Fit and Finish on this vehicle were not up to standard for a vehicle in this price range. Compared to my 2004 DTS it failed. Doors did not line up, spaces in inside post coverings etc. Otherwise I have found it very reliable."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

DTS~~North Star engine~~Premier Pkg~~can't be beat

By on Thursday, February 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

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: "everything~"

Cons: "nothing!"

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

"Have driven Cads as primary vehicle since 1976, Coupe DeVille, Eldorado (2) Sedan DeVilles (6) and two DTS...the '79 Eldorado had the 8-6-4 engine and all the later ones the fabulous 'NorthStar' which can't be beat, the 2011 we are now driving was the last DTS GM made and quite frankly am not impressed with the newer Caddies....we will drive this DTS as long as possible before trading...it has the 'Premier' pkg and as near as can tell the only thing missing is a chauffeur!!!...Love this car"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

EXCELLENT RIDE

By on Monday, January 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "EASY TO DRIVE AND MY WIFE LOVES IT. RED COLOR"

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

"I 0WN 4 CADILLACS AND THIS 2011 IS THE BEST EVER. TOTALLY SMOOTH AND GREAT TO DRIVE. A TRUE ROAD CAR."

4 people out of 12 found this review helpful

A Complete Pleasure to Drive

By on Friday, December 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

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

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

"If ever a vehicle was engineered to have complete command of the road, it is the Cadillac DTS. Quiet, powerful, comfortable, the DTS does everything well, but what is does best is command the road. Every bump, curve, hill is no match for this elegant beast. I swear, this thing almost steers itself. The DTS is a complete pleasure to drive and own. Several of my family members own Lexus, and I have driven each one. No Lexus I have ever driven holds a candle to the achievement in automobile manufacturing that the Cadillac is. This car ticks all my boxes, prestige, performance, power and comfort. If you haven't tried one out, you must before you purchase any vehicle."

11 people out of 18 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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