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DeVille provides smooth luxury

August 12, 2003|by KEN CHESTER, JR./Motor News Media Corporation

Steeped in more than 50 years of automotive history, the flagship marque of General Motors has kept its connection to a rich past while leading the direction of the nameplate's future.

Completely redesigned in 2000, the robust architecture of Cadillac's flagship sedan contributes to superb ride and handling performance, also forming the basis for outstanding crashworthiness and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) attributes.

Built at Cadillac's Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center, the front-drive Cadillac DeVille sedan is available in three models: DeVille, DHS (DeVille High Luxury) and DTS (DeVille Touring Sedan). The large Cadillac is powered by two versions of the sophisticated 4.6L Northstar V-8 powerplant. Both engines are mated to a smooth-shifting four-speed automatic transmission.

On the road, the large Cadillac sedan delivers above average handling - very nimble and reassuring at speed. A viscous converter clutch links the engine to the transmission, resulting in smooth operating by reducing torque variation when the torque converter clutch is applied. The automatic gearbox features equal length drive axles which limit torque steer by minimizing angle differences from side to side as the car accelerates.

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The DeVille features a four-wheel independent suspension system with struts, coil springs and a 28 mm anti-roll bar in front, semi-trailing arm with toe-control link, coil springs, electronic leveling and an 18 mm anti-roll bar in the rear. The DTS adds electronically controlled struts at each corner along with electronically controlled shock absorbers. All DeVilles feature the advanced Magnasteer variable assist steering system

Inside the cabin, analog displays with digital readouts work together with a driver friendly configuration of controls. The driver enjoys excellent outward visibility. With room for five adults, the full-size Cadillac sedan features a 60/40 front seating arrangement.

The DTS features a 40/40 front seat arrangement with a large center console for added storage and convenience. Heated chair-like leather seating is standard. Rear seat comfort and convenience are emphasized. Leg room, knee room and head room are sufficient to accommodate most passengers in comfort.

QUICK VEHICLE STATS


Wheelbase: 115.3; overall length: 207; width: 74.4; height: 56.7 - measurements in inches.

Engine: Northstar 4.6L V-8 - 275 hp at 5,600 rpm and 300 lbs-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm (DeVille/DHS), 300 hp at 6,000 rpm and 295 lbs-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm (DTS). Both engines use regular unleaded gasoline.

Transmission: Hydra-Matic 4T80-E four-speed automatic.

EPA fuel economy: 18 city/27 hwy. for both engines.

Cargo capacity: 19.1 cubic feet.

Towing capacity: 2,000 pounds.

SAFETY FEATURES


Dual front air bags, side-impact front air bags, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock, daytime running lights, automatic programmable door locks, engine coolant loss protection system, full-range traction control, remote keyless entry, Passkey III theft deterrent system, alarm system, fog lamps battery guard, OnStar communication system, retained accessory power and tire monitoring system. DHS adds Rainsense windshield wiper system. DTS adds fog lamps and StabiliTrak stability enhancement system. Optional safety/security equipment includes ultrasonic rear parking assist, universal garage door opener; navigation system; Night Vision system with heads up display and rear side-impact air bags.

WARRANTY


Basic: 4 year/50,000 mile, bumper-to-bumper

Corrosion: 6 year/100,000 mile

Roadside assistance: 4 year/50,000 miles, 24-hour

PRICING


The base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2003 Cadillac DeVille sedan starts from $44,400 for the base DeVille to $49,150 for DHS/DTS. Destination charge adds $795.

AS TESTED


2003 Cadillac DeVille sedan

Exterior color: White Diamond

Interior color: Neutral Shale

Base price: $44,400

Destination charge: $795

Comfort & convenience package: $1,170

White Diamond paint: $995

Premium Package (net of discount) $1,500

Total as tested $48,860

Copyright 2003, Motor News Media Corporation

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