The DeVille, the best-selling luxury sedan, was redesigned last year and became the first car to offer Night Vision, which uses infrared, heat-sensing technology and a camera mounted in the center of the grille to see three to five times further than the headlamps can reach.
This year Cadillac adds new features to the standard OnStar communication system and new telematics capabilities.
Infotainment, a new option on the DHS and DTS models, provides voice-operated services such as navigation assistance and downloading e-mail from the Internet, docking a portable cell phone that can be operated by voice or keypad, an infrared port for personal digital assistants and a voice memo recorder.
The e-mail and Web-browsing capabilities are disabled unless the vehicle is stopped. These features will be test marketed in several areas to determine if there is sufficient demand to offer it nationally.
OnStar, which provides emergency services and navigation assistance, will add two premium services later in the model year. These services include personal calling, which allows hands-free, voice-activated calls from the car without an additional cellular phone contract, and virtual advisor, which provides Internet-based information such as headlines, sports scores, stock quotes and weather conditions, also through voice activation.
The DeVilles overall length of 207 inches is the same as that of the Buick Park Avenue and just slightly shorter than the Lincoln Continental and Chrysler LHS. In a departure from tradition, Cadillac does not offer whitewall tires on the DeVille, though some dealers offer them.
The DeVille still offers room for taller passengers in the front and rear. The rear seat has ample legroom even when the front seats are moved all the way back. A split, front bench seat is standard on the base DeVille and DHS, and the DTS comes only with front buckets and a floor-mounted shift lever.
The trunk lid swings open 90 degrees, and a low liftover makes it easier to load the 19-cubic-foot trunk, which has a wide, flat floor that holds a foursomes golf bags.
Massive rear roof pillars and a narrow rear window limit the drivers view for parking and lane changes.
Under the Hood
All models use Cadillacs 4.6-liter V-8 engine, which is rated at 275 horsepower in the base DeVille and DHS and 300 hp in the DTS. Both versions team with a four-speed automatic transmission and can run on regular gasoline, though Cadillac still recommends premium gas for best performance and fuel economy.
Night Vision, a $2,250 option for the DTS and DHS models, detects other moving vehicles, humans and animals long before the naked eye can see them and alerts the driver through a black-and-white, head-up display projected in front of the windshield. An ultrasonic rear parking assist feature also is available. When the car is in reverse, four sensors in the rear bumper detect objects that are less than 5 feet away; warning lights illuminate and a chime sounds.
The standard front airbag on the passenger side is designed to protect both the right-front and middle-front passengers. Side-impact airbags for the front seats are standard, and side airbags for the rear seat are optional.