2011 Cadillac DTS Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 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 2011 Cadillac DTS

  • While Cadillac's full-size 2011 DTS luxury sedan has some good qualities, it's outclassed by newer and more desirable competitors.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Roomy and quiet interior; cushy ride; huge trunk.

  • Cons

    Unimpressive performance and handling; difficult to park; subpar interior materials.

  • What's New for 2011

    For 2011, the Cadillac DTS carries over essentially unchanged.

Full 2011 Cadillac DTS Review

What's New for 2011

For 2011, the Cadillac DTS carries over essentially unchanged.


The 2011 Cadillac DTS sedan is something of a modern take on the classic American luxury car. Although the clean, slab-sided styling is fairly contemporary, a few styling cues such as the large egg-crate grille and vertical taillights recall the days when Frank Sinatra's "My Way" played through the speakers via an eight-track player. Back then, rolling up in a Caddy carried a certain amount of prestige. The Cadillac DeVille was nothing less than an imposing, powerful luxury car with room for six and innovative features.

But current times haven't been as kind to Cadillac's full-size sedan. Though the DTS (DeVille Touring Sedan) has the requisite V8 engine and broad array of modern amenities, there are a number of other choices that top the Cadillac in several important areas. Other large luxury cars such as the BMW 7 Series, Infiniti M56, Jaguar XJ and Lexus LS 460 offer fresher styling, significantly better performance and even more high-tech gizmos.

In fairness, some of those vehicles can cost $10,000-$30,000 more than the 2011 Cadillac DTS. However the Cadillac is also outclassed by even more affordable cars like the 2011 Buick LaCrosse and Lucerne, 2011 Hyundai Equus and Genesis, and even the 2011 Toyota Avalon, all of which offer similarly soothing rides, pampering luxury features and spacious interiors. As an American luxury sedan in the classical sense, the DTS gets it right. But our recommendation is to get with the times and go with any of the aforementioned competitors.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Cadillac DTS full-size sedan is available in four increasingly well-equipped trim levels: base, Luxury, Premium and Platinum.

The base DTS includes 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, foglights, remote engine start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power front seats, OnStar and an eight-speaker CD stereo with satellite radio. Step up to the Luxury model and you get 17-inch chromed wheels, a sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, triple-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-and-telescoping steering column, genuine burled walnut interior accents and a navigation system with real-time traffic updates.

The top-of-the-line Platinum adds a more powerful version of the base 4.6-liter V8 engine, 18-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, upgraded interior trim and 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 2011 Cadillac DTS has a 4.6-liter V8. On all but the top-of-the-line DTS Platinum, this engine puts out 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. In the Platinum, the V8 is tweaked to make 292 hp and 288 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission, which also gets tweaked for better performance in Platinum models.

Even with the more powerful V8, the DTS's acceleration can best be described as adequate. In Edmunds testing, a DTS Platinum 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 some 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.


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

The 2011 Cadillac DTS has not been tested using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 testing procedure; however, its 2010 rating (which isn't comparable to the new methodology) was 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. In general terms, the cabin offers conservative yet stylish good looks and straightforward, intuitive controls. But while most interior materials are generally good, there are still a few cheaper plastics seen here and there.

The huge trunk offers nearly 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 such as skis with the trunk lid closed.

Driving Impressions

With a suspension tuned to favor a cushy ride over sporty handling, the 2011 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 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 relaxed pace.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

From avalon to dts

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac DTS

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

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

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac DTS

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

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

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

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 2011 DTS

2011 Cadillac DTS Discussions See all Started By

The last Full Size Caddy was the 2011 DTS (Deville Touring Sadan). Now they only make these cheezy small euro looking sports trash, i.e CTS, XTS, ATS, they may say Cadillac. But, they are not Caddies,...

Can anyone who owns a new XTS address any reliability problems they have encountered? Have their been any high oil consumption engine oil problems that many owners of the CTS (2003-2011) have complain...

I own both a 2005 Town Car and A 2006 DTS. No doubt that for me the Town Car is the better choice, It doesn't have that many high tec features as DTS but is much more reliable, feels like a luxury car...

Gas Mileage


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