2010 Cadillac DTS Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Cadillac DTS Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Cadillac DTS Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.6 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 275 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2010 Cadillac DTS

  • While Cadillac's full-size 2010 DTS luxury sedan has some good qualities, it's outclassed overall by European and Japanese competitors.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Roomy and quiet interior, cushy ride, huge trunk.

  • Cons

    Unimpressive performance and handling, hard to park, so-so crash test scores, some interior materials look/feel subpar, lacking some modern technology features.

  • What's New for 2010

    The 2010 Cadillac DTS returns largely unchanged, except for the loss of last year's Performance model.

Full 2010 Cadillac DTS Review

What's New for 2010

The 2010 Cadillac DTS returns largely unchanged, except for the loss of last year's Performance model.


You know the expression "the more things change, the more they stay the same"? Well, that old cliché actually turns out to be a pretty succinct summation of the 2010 Cadillac DTS sedan.

Despite Cadillac's attempts to modernize it over the years -- including giving it the somewhat uninspiring DTS moniker back in 2006 -- this full-size flagship of GM's luxury brand remains a bit of an anachronism. Simply put, it has as much in common with the classic DeVille sedans of Detroit's golden age, an era when rolling up in one of these epic land yachts announced to the world that you'd arrived, as it does the current luxury sedan market.

While it offers its share of modern amenities, this old-school luxury liner's handsome yet conservative styling, plush ride quality and quiet, roomy passenger cabin all combine to create a leisurely motoring experience reminiscent of the DeVille's glory days. There's a big V8 engine as standard, too, though in modern DeVille/DTS fashion it sends its power to the front wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission.

In comparison, more than a few European and Japanese luxury sedans -- including the BMW 7 Series, Infiniti M56 and Lexus LS 460 -- offer fresher styling, significantly better performance and more cutting-edge gizmos. Of course, these vehicles can cost considerably more, but the DTS is also outclassed by the similarly priced Lincoln MKS EcoBoost. Further complicating matters is the fact that the new Buick LaCrosse, Hyundai Genesis and trusty Toyota Avalon offer similarly smooth rides and spacious interiors for thousands of dollars less.

In spite of all this, we still like the 2010 Cadillac DTS, and it remains a solid choice for buyers looking for a full-size American luxury sedan. But we'd still recommend test-driving several of its competitors before signing on the dotted line.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Cadillac DTS full-size sedan is available in one well-equipped base model and three increasingly upscale trim levels dubbed Luxury, Premium and Platinum.

The standard equipment list for the entry-level DTS includes 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, front foglights, remote engine start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power front seats, Bluetooth, OnStar and an eight-speaker CD stereo.

Step up to the Luxury model and you get 17-inch chromed wheels, a sunroof, front and rear parking assist and an auto-dimming driver-side mirror. Interior upgrades include a three-zone climate control system, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, driver seat memory settings and an eight-speaker Bose audio system with a six-disc CD changer.

The Premium trim level adds a body-color grille, front seats with power lumbar adjustment and massage, a power tilt-telescoping steering column, genuine burled walnut interior accents, a heated leather- and wood-trimmed steering wheel and a DVD-based navigation system with real-time traffic updates.

Top-of-the-line Platinum models add several of the best mechanical bits from last year's Performance trim level, including a more powerful version of the base 4.6-liter V8 engine, electronic Magnetic Ride Control suspension and 18-inch wheels. Inside you'll also get a leather-trimmed dash and a classy suedelike Alcantara headliner, plus lane-departure and blind-spot warning systems.

Some of the additional features on the upper trims can be added to the lower ones as options. Other notable options include adaptive cruise control and a 40/20/40-split front bench that gives the DTS seating for six.

Powertrains and Performance

Under the hood, the 2010 Cadillac DTS gets one of two slightly different 4.6-liter V8s. The base engine, which comes standard on all but the top-of-the-line Platinum trim level, puts out 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Platinum models offer a little extra oomph courtesy of a modified V8 that makes 292 hp and 288 lb-ft of torque.

Handling the shifting chores is a somewhat dated four-speed automatic, which also gets tweaked for better performance in Platinum models. Front-wheel drive is standard.

Even with the more powerful V8, acceleration can best be described as adequate. A test car with the Platinum engine managed a 0-60-mph time of 7 seconds flat, which sounds respectable enough until you learn that most V8-powered luxury sedans -- and even a few V6-powered models -- are considerably quicker.

EPA fuel economy estimates are also just average at 15 mpg city/23 highway and 18 mpg combined for the base engine. The DTS Platinum differs with 22 mpg on the highway. However, the fact that both engines are designed to run on regular-grade gasoline does give the DTS a definite advantage over many of its competitors that demand a steady diet of pricier premium fuel.


Standard safety features include electronic stability control, antilock disc brakes, side-impact airbags for front seat passengers and side curtain airbags that cover both rows. Missing from this list are active front head restraints, something that is typically standard on a car in this price range.

As with other aspects of its performance, the big Caddy's safety ratings are merely adequate. In government crash tests, the 2010 Cadillac DTS scored five stars (out of five) for the driver and four stars for the front seat passenger in frontal impacts. Side-impact tests resulted in four stars front and rear. The DTS received a top "Good" rating in frontal-offset crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but a second-best "Acceptable" rating in side impact testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

Even though the DTS is roughly 18 inches shorter than some of its ancestors, its passenger cabin still feels remarkably spacious. While front bucket seats are standard, the available 40/20/40-split front bench makes this one of the few modern sedans that offers seating for six. No matter which configuration you choose, you'll find comfortable seats and abundant head- and legroom for both front and rear seat passengers. Wind and road noise are nicely subdued, creating a hushed environment that adds to the luxury sedan feel.

Out back, the huge trunk offers close to 19 cubic feet of cargo room. A pass-through opening in the middle of the rear seat makes it possible to carry long narrow items like skis with the trunk lid closed.

In general terms, the cabin offers conservative yet stylish good looks and straightforward, intuitive controls. But while most materials are much better than those used in previous generations, they still aren't quite up to par with the best interiors in the category.

Driving Impressions

With a suspension tuned to favor a cushy ride over sporty handling, the 2010 Cadillac DTS is all about coddling its occupants. In other words, it's the epitome of a car built for comfort rather than speed.

The DTS Platinum is the best driving model thanks to its more powerful V8 under the hood and the Magnetic Ride Control suspension -- the same technology offered as an option on the Chevrolet Corvette -- that automatically adjusts suspension firmness to match road conditions and your driving style. But let's keep things in perspective here, as even with these powertrain and suspension upgrades, the DTS is no sport sedan. Also, because of its size, it can be difficult to park -- especially for shorter drivers.

Ultimately, its combination of a smooth ride and a comfortable, roomy interior make the DTS best suited to drivers who prefer to motor along at a nice relaxed pace.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

From avalon to dts

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Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac DTS Platinum 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)

I have now had my DTS for 2 years (23,000MI). I think I have experience enough now to say, having owned a 09 Avalon previously....there is no comparasion. The Avalon is far superior. The gentlemen that said there is no comparasion has apparently not driven the Avalon. My DTS started with front wheel balancing problems. After ordering 2 sets for me it still feels that I'm driving it unbalanced. And it took several attempts to get them to do that. Fit and finish both interior and exterior are sub-par. Road and wind noise is pronounced and the engine noise is extremely annoying. The only reason I can see why anyone would buy one is the "name". That was my reason..mistake.

Above the rest.

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac DTS Premium 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)

This is absolutely an eye catcher of a vehicle. The ride is smooth and very quiet. Handling if very good and responsive. The cabin area both front and rear has more than adequate room. Our friends could not believe how roomy and stately this car is. The chrome wheels really enhances the silver DTS. I previously owned a Lincoln Town Car and this DTS is far superior both in roominess and handling. DTS interior is by far more rich looking. Has an awsome stereo system. My wife and I will definetly purchase another Cadillac. We are very satisfied and throughly enjoy riding in our DTS. MPG on the road is 20 and in town 16. We are statisfied with this.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Dts vs avalon

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Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac DTS Premium 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)

What are the editors drinking or inhaling comparing the Avalon to the DTS? I just completed test driving both vehicles multiple times starting out w/an open mind - The Avalon rides like a little & lighter car compared to the DTS. The trunk is significantly smaller on the Avalon & it just doesn't have the ride quality of the DTS. The overall appearance is that of a much cheaper vehicle, which the Avalon is. I was very surprise when I looked at the expert review & found these two vehicles being compared as peers. The DTS is significantly more of a luxury vehicle in nearly all respects. This notion that not having a six speed trans somehow lessens the vehicle is hogwash.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac DTS Luxury 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)

I test drove the Lincoln MKS, Buick Lacrosse, Lucerne, and the Lexus E350. Hands down the DTS was a superior engine and ride., and luxury items to either be on par or superior. Everyone will have pro's and con's...but at the end of the day it was an easy decision for me. I know there will be some who will say it's a Grandpa vehicle...call me old, but there is nothing like the ride and luxury of a Caddy.

Compared to my 07 town

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac DTS 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)

I've found my Town Car superior to the DTS in almost every way except: pedal position, ride, brake feel, and power (DOHC in DTS vs SOHC 4.6 L in TC). DTS engine is noisy and expansion joints cause booming throughout the structure. TC's body on frame is quieter with much less road noise. DTS steering is too firm making small corrections difficult without yanking the wheel. DTS: no locking fuel filler door; no trunk lid pull down; no trumpet horn; FWD; occupants sit too low; seems like a mid-sized car when compared to the TC. Town Car: rides too firmly; accelerator and brake pedals too close together and too far to the right; engine not as responsive as in DTS; RWD.

Poor build quality

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac DTS Premium 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)

I've had the DTS for 3 months now. I love everything about it except the build quality. Ride is spectacular. Interior build is just good. Inside window molding is lose and has a gap where you can see the edge of the window. The outside is where the build quality looks bad. Trim on doors does not line up. Doors themselves do not line up. Doors either hang higher or lower than the front or rear doors. Trim inside the trunk fell off as it was never snapped on. Transmission leak at 1000 miles (Bolts had to be sealed). GM just doesn't care about the DTS as they are doing away with it. Well guess what. I'm doing away with GM. Cadillac is NOT the standard of the world as they claim.

Talk About The 2010 DTS

2010 Cadillac DTS Discussions See all Started By

2006-2010 Cadillac DTS...

DTS sales have been dropping from over 100,000 in 2000 to less than 60,000 for 2006. The CTS sales were nearly as good for 2006. I will agree that not everyone wants a sports sedan. The RWD DTS will p...

The DTS was a complete restyle/redesign for 2006, so any changes will be minimal till the end of production I think. The six speed automatic is possible for 2008, but if they plan on replacing the pla...

Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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