Not just for pimps and hip-hoppers

Posted on 30 Oct 2006 at 2:55pm
By Casey Williams – Auto Reviewer

Cruising in a Cadillac DTS is about living large and roomy luxury



Full-size luxury sedan: Cadillac applies its contemporary design vocabulary to the DTS.

2007 Cadillac DTS

Whether heading toward you with stacked night-enlightening Xenon headlamps, wafting by in a long side profile, or dashing away with its twin LED tailfins in full view, the DTS is obviously a Cadillac.

Restyled for 2006, the car wears a eggcrate grille, sharp creases, vertical tail lamps and a formal roofline. It looks elegant while connecting the DTS to hip stablemates like the CTS, STS, XLR and SRX. Unlike the outgoing model’s frumpy styling, the DTS is recognizable as a member of a very prestigious family.

Few changes come for 2007. There are new exterior colors: mystic gray, gold mist, white diamond, cognac frost and Mary Kay V. Other upgrades include Cocoa-colored interior, center wheel caps with a colored wreath and crest, and a Cadillac-specific key fob. If you’re a globetrotter, the navigation system now includes Korea and Taiwan.

As the most traditional Cadillac, the DTS’ interior is like your living room, only more comfortable. Heated and cooled power-adjustable front leather seats complement a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel.

All gauges and controls are lit in clean white. The chrome trim is applied with restraint. A six-disc in-dash CD changer sounded great. Rear seat legroom is beyond reproach the roomy trunkspace is like an extra garage.

What also works great is Cadillac’s 4.6-litre Northstar V8, which produces 275 horsepower and 292 lb.-ft. of torque to surge away from traffic on the open road. The four-speed automatic transmission briskly steps down when commanded to blow slower drivers into the weeds. From the interior, the only thing you’ll hear is a refined throaty rumble and hushed wind whisping by. Provided you can resist from mashing the gas pedal into the DTS’ thick-pile carpeting, expect to get 17/25-MPG city/highway.

On Thanksgiving, I drove a DTS to visit the parents. The car was smoother than a Lexus and as controlled as a Mercedes. At almost any speed, the Northstar V8 has an unyielding power curve. With the exception of confusing windshield washers, the car couldn’t be easier to drive. I’d rather own a DTS than either the CTS or STS (excluding the amazing V-Series, of course).

Once ridiculed for being out of date, the DTS still inspires envy. Many teenagers and twenty-somethings, who undoubtedly awoke to Cadillac through Escalades in hip-hop videos, admired the car at gas stations and coffee shops.

No wire wheels, tufted upholstery or padded roofs just a world class sedan. With an as tested price of $47,575, the DTS makes tough competition for the Infiniti Q45, Chrysler 300C, Acura RL, and Lincoln Town Car.



DRIVER’S SEAT

Who: Trent Hagler

Day job: Residential Real Estate agent

I drive: 2001 BMW 525i.

Purchased from: Classic BMW

Were you a tough negotiator? Absolutely.

Insurance agent: State Farm

Insurance rate: $154 a month. But that’s for full coverage on two cars

Why this car? It’s hot.

Favorite feature: Halo light: A thin ring around the headlight that looks way cool.

Anything interesting in your glove box? Nope, it’s the one place I keep a mess.

Buff sound system? Its ok. I scrapped the six-CD changer for my iPod.

Car nicknames: None.


Describe your car’s personality? Sporty and athletic.

Previous vehicles: Lexus SC400, Acura Legend Coupe and Acura Legend Sedan.

Least favorite car: Yugo.

Ultimate dream car: Still thinking on this one. In 2007, I’ll be getting something new.

Worst speeding story: Forty miles over the speed limit, which resulted in a $300 ticket. The weekend before, I had just finished driver’s defense for another infraction.

Worst flat tire: Blowout tire of a passenger car in front of me scared the @$%# out me and my 3 passengers when I swerved to miss the flying shrapnel.

Dallas’ worst intersection: Too many to count

Best road trip: Don’t like them. Get me there fast by plane.

Worst auto trip: Any trips over four hours.

Been “taken for a ride” by an auto mechanic? Yes. And then he received a letter threatening legal action. And all of a sudden the job was gratis.

Most ridiculous car repair: Most anything out of warranty at the BMW dealership.

If your car was destroyed and you had to buy a new one, what would it be? Probably another BMW. Or a Mercedes. Hmmm must be something about those Germans.

Thought that races through my head when I’m going through a yellow light: Okay, just this one time.

Sexiest car on the road: Mine because I’m in it.

Best car memory: Driving off the lot with my former dream car, the Lexus SC 400.



Who Killed the Electric Car?

Conspiracy theorists will applaud Chris Paine’s docu-mystery “Who Killed the Electric Car?” (Sony Pictures, $26.96) Like a certain Agatha Christie whodunit involving a train, almost everyone turns out to be guilty.

In terms of lavishing entertainment value on his documentary, Paine isn’t yet in a league with Michael Moore, Errol Morris or Morgan Spurlock. But there are celebrity appearances and natural, mostly ironic humor emerges from the story.

Narrator Martin Sheen relates how electric cars were left in the dust a century ago when their gas-burning brothers hit the assembly line. In 1987, the concept was revived because of concerns about global warming, health hazards and dependence on foreign oil. General Motors and other companies built them and the California Air Control Board mandated that a growing percentage of cars sold in the state would produce zero emissions.

GM worked against the mandate while unenthusiastically marketing the EV-1 (EV = electric vehicle), which it would eventually recall and destroy. While lamenting the death of the electric car Paine offers the plug-in hybrid as our current best hope. (There’s no mention of ethanol fuels.)

Raising the electric car’s profile won’t solve anything, but people who see this movie will know a viable alternative exists.

Steve Warren

Grade: B

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, December 1, 2006.

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