Used 2002 Cadillac DeVille Review

Edmunds expert review

With its strong powerplant, excellent road manners and well-appointed interior, the DeVille is the the best full-size luxury sedan on the market.

What's new for 2002

For 2002, the DeVille gets a host of minor refinements, many of which won't be available until later in the year. New shocks and strut valving have been added to shore up the ride quality, leather seating is standard on all models and an optional advanced navigation system with voice-recognition capabilities is offered. A Bose 4.0 sound system can now be ordered, while digital satellite radio provisions will be available later in the year. Dual-stage airbag inflators, an increased oil change interval and a new wreath and crest Cadillac badge round out the rest of this year's changes.

Vehicle overview

For more than 50 years, the DeVille has been one of the most popular models sold by Cadillac. And though the current generation is sleekly styled and packed with cutting-edge technology, it still sports a traditional eggcrate grille and a vestige of tailfin in its vertical LED taillights. The 2002 edition is available in three models: the base DeVille, a ritzy DeVille High Luxury Sedan (DHS) and a sporty, five-passenger DeVille Touring Sedan (DTS).

Even with its relatively slim and trim shape the DeVille is still a sizable sedan, so the inclusion of the Northstar V8 engine is a welcome sight. Standard DeVilles and the DHS get the 275 horsepower version, while the sportier DTS gets upgraded to 300 horsepower. Significant retuning last year resulted in Low Emission Vehicle status as well as a change in fuel requirement from premium to regular unleaded. Despite having to motivate almost two tons of sheetmetal, both versions of the Northstar V8 get the DeVille up to speed quickly and with little noise intrusion to the cabin.

Interior room is outstanding, with both five- and six-passenger models available. Front seat passengers are coddled in sumptuous leather seats with 10-way power adjustment and four-position headrests. Dual-zone heating elements and massaging lumbar comes standard on DHS and DTS models, with an even more sophisticated adaptive seating system optional. Rear-seat passengers get their own climate controls, as well as heated seats, power lumbar adjustment and a power rear window sunshade in the DHS.

Cadillac prides itself on being at the forefront of automotive technology, and the DeVille is no exception. The optional Night Vision thermal imaging system is the first of its kind in an automobile, allowing drivers to see objects beyond the range of normal headlights. Another microchip intensive system is the continuously variable road-sensing suspension (CVRSS) that comes standard on the DTS. It monitors and adjusts individual shock damping at each wheel according to road surface changes for maximum comfort and performance. Also on hand to maintain optimum vehicle control on the DTS (optional on the DeVille and DHS) is StabiliTrak 2.0, GM's most advanced stability and traction control system. A vast array of on-board sensors can detect if the vehicle is deviating from the driver's intended path and selectively apply individual brakes to restore control.

All DeVilles include leading-edge passive restraints (front, side and optional rear seat airbags) and the OnStar communications system. The industry's first light-emitting diode (LED) taillight and center high-mounted stoplight combination provides additional safety through faster illumination of the brake lights and brighter intensity.

Building on its reputation for comfort and convenience, the DeVille also offers such luxury touches as three-zone climate control, adaptive seating and massaging lumbar seats. Rear-seat passengers enjoy a theater seating layout (for optimum forward visibility), heated seats and power lumbar adjustments.

As Cadillac's flagship sedan, the DeVille is a sophisticated American luxury car that remains true to Cadillac's heritage, yet hints at the division's high-tech future. With its powerful engine, cavernous interior and multitude of high-tech vehicle systems, the DeVille should have no problem maintaining its status as one of the best-selling luxury cars on the market.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.