Large car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $10,800 – $31,000*


2006 Cadillac DTS


2006 Cadillac DTS


2006 Cadillac DTS


2006 Cadillac DTS

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Interior space and comfort
  • Quietness
  • Ride
Cons:
  • Fuel economy (Performance model)
  • Maneuverability
  • Steering/handling (Luxury model)

In this price range, Cadillac leaves any sporting pretensions to its rear-drive and AWD STS models. The front-drive DTS aims for traditional American luxury-car buyers–and scores with them. Powerful, roomy, and refined, it matches most competitors for standard safety features. Overall, it’s a bit more solid and better finished than the earlier DeVille, but otherwise much the same. Curtain side airbags, an important safety feature standard on DTS, were unavailable on DeVille. Base and Luxury I editions are particularly strong Recommended values.

Overview

DTS replaced Cadillac’s long-lived DeVille for 2006, as a restyled update of the company’s largest sedan. Continuing a basic front-wheel-drive design, the DTS had a 4.6-liter V8, four-speed automatic transmission, and self-leveling rear suspension.

Dimensions were little changed from the prior DeVille. The new DTS came with a standard 275-horsepower Northstar V8 engine. A Performance Package option raised engine output to 291 horsepower, accompanied by a firmer suspension with auto-adjusting shock absorbers, and 18-inch wheels instead of the usual 17s. With its DTS, Cadillac competed against such premium full-size sedans as the Buick Lucerne, Lexus LS 430, and Lincoln Town Car.

Every DTS included antilock braking, traction control, front torso side airbags, and head-protecting curtain side airbags. Also standard were Magnetic Ride Control, a tire-pressure monitor, remote engine start feature, xenon headlights, GM OnStar assistance, and leather upholstery. The in-dash six-CD changer included an MP3 provision. Cadillac claimed the dual-depth front passenger airbags was an industry first.

Styling followed Cadillac’s traditional cues, including vertical headlights and taillights, and an eggcrate grille. An available front bench seat could increase passenger capacity from five to six. Additional options included an antiskid system, front-rear obstacle detection, navigation system, satellite radio, and cruise control designed to maintain a set following distance. Also available were heated/cooled front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Yearly Updates

2007 DTS
Little changed on Cadillac’s largest sedan for the 2007 model year, except for additional standard equipment. Chrome wheels now were standard.
2008 DTS
The 2008 Cadillac DTS got a new Platinum Edition Package. The high-end Platinum Edition Package was available only on the Performance model. The Platinum Edition Package featured unique exterior and interior trim and a navigation system.
2009 DTS
The 2009 Cadillac DTS received a few new features, including an available wireless cell-phone link, and the navigation system was updated to include real-time traffic information. A new 17-inch wheel design was available on Luxury III models.
2010 DTS
The 2010 Cadillac DTS was largely unchanged
2011 DTS
The 2011 Cadillac DTS is largely unchanged for what likely will be its final model year.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Two versions of Cadillac’s 4.6-liter V8 engine have been available, generating either 275 horsepower or, with a Performance Package, 291 hp. Both engines mate with a four-speed automatic transmission.

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/279
Engine HP 275
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 292
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

19/26

18.7

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/279
Engine HP 291
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 286
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/24

Road Test

Both of Cadillac’s V8s furnish punchy takeoffs, accelerating to 60 mph in about 7.0 seconds.

Midrange power is good, too, for confident merging and passing, though the automatic transmission sometimes hesitates to downshift for passing. Some testers have praised the automatic’s quick response; others are troubled by those slow downshifts. Most premium cars have automatic transmissions with more than the Cadillac’s four speeds.

A Luxury model averaged 23.7 mpg in mostly highway driving, versus 18.7 mpg with more city work. In mostly city driving, a Performance model managed only 14.4 mpg. Cadillac recommends 87-octane, regular-grade fuel.

Base suspensions comfortably smother most bumps, but allow some float and wander over large moguls. The firmer Performance setup checks body motions with little comfort penalty, despite 18-inch wheels and lower-profile tires.

Steering/handling is no-surprises competent, but compromised by the DTS’s size and heft, as well as a large turning circle. In Luxury models, even moderately fast turns induce considerable body lean and nosedive. Grip is modest on the ride-biased base suspension with 17-inch tires. The Performance version with 18-inch tires feels more stable and confident. All models reassure with the available antiskid system and brakes that deliver short, no-drama stops.

Expect modest wind noise at any speed, but coarse-surface tire thrum is a bit high by premium-class standards. V8 sounds are audible, but subdued even at full throttle. The engine growls pleasantly while accelerating, especially in the Performance model, but it’s toned down otherwise.

Redesigned for 2006, the dashboard has clear analog gauges and large, mostly handy minor controls. However, some switch icons are not obvious, and others are too small and/or hard to make out in daylight. Refreshingly simple climate controls are independent of the optional navigation system, which absorbs but doesn’t complicate audio functions. Though it isn’t daunting, the navigation system does take time to learn. Some test cars have disappointed with minor squeaks and rattles. Workmanship is acceptable otherwise, though most import-brand rivals do better. Overall quality of cabin materials beats Lincoln’s, but trails most import-brand rivals.

Cadillac’s biggest model is among the roomiest and most comfortable big sedans, though the available bench seat may squeeze a middle rider. Front bucket seats seem all-day comfortable. Ample seat/steering-wheel adjustments cater to most any driver, but visibility is a bit restricted to the right rear, directly aft. In the rear, firm support is accompanied by plenty of head and legroom, with sufficient width for a middle adult–though the center backrest section is quite hard. Toe space is tight, too. Entry/exit is easy. Some testers have praised the Luxury II’s massage feature; others have declared it annoying. Either way, its activation switch is hard to reach.

The DTS trunk swallows four golf bags and more, through a large, bumper-level opening. Interior storage is limited, and the center pass-through opening is too small to be of any real utility.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2007 Cadillac DTS Luxury II

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 7
70%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 8
80%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 9
90%
Room/Comfort Rear - 9
90%
Cargo Room - 6
60%

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 69

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
115.6 207.6 74.8 57.6
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
18.8 18.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.2 38.6 42.5 41.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 DTS 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Rear Passenger Injury - 4
80%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Keyless entry
Description: The remote keyless entry system may not work or may work poorly and/or the tire pressure warning may come on due to a malfunction of the receiver and antenna. (2006-07)
Oil leak
Description: Oil leaks develop on the lower area of 4.6L V8 in the area of the oil distribution plate. (2006-08)
Radiator
Description: The upper radiator hose may leak due to a manufacturing problem. (2006)
Paint/body
Description: The paint on the aluminum hood blisters requiring refinishing. (2006)
Electrical problem
Description: The DVD monitors in the front seat headrests may quit working because the video feed cable comes loose requiring installation of cable clamps. (2006-08)
Electrical problem
Description: When using a portable music player (e.g. iPod) there may be noise in the car’s speakers whenever the vehicle’s power adapter is used and a ground loop isolator (from Radio Shack) is required between the device and the power outlet to prevent the noise. (2006-07)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine (service engine soon) light may come on if the car idles over 30 minutes requiring reprogramming of the powertrain control module. (2006)

Recall History

2006
Description: Power steering hose connectors may have been inadequately crimped, which could result in fluid leakage and loss of power-steering assist.
2006-09 DTS equipped with a heated wiper washer fluid system
Description: A short circuit on the printed circuit board for the washer fluid heater may overheat the control-circuit ground wire. This may cause other electrical features to malfunction, create an odor, or cause smoke, increasing the risk of a fire. Dealers will install a wire harness with an in-line fuse free of charge.
2010
Description: The tire and loading information label, which lists the proper tire and vehicle loading information, was not installed on the vehicle. In addition, there are two labels affixed to affected vehicles that incorrectly describe them as an incomplete vehicle. Driving the vehicle with tires that are not properly inflated could result in tire overloading, premature or irregular wear, and/or poor handling increasing the risk of a crash. GM will mail the three correct labels to owners along with installation instructions. Owners may also take the vehicle and the labels to a dealer for installation. This service will be performed free of charge.
2010-2011 DTS
Description: The starter or alternator cable is in contact with the power steering return line. If either the starter or alternator cable is contacting the power steering return line, the cable could wear through the line, causing a power steering fluid leak that could result in a loss of power steering, increasing the risk of a crash, and/or the leak onto hot engine parts could cause an engine compartment fire. Dealers will secure and if necessary reroute the lines to prevent contact. This service will be performed free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.