Complaints: A "good ride" here means a boulevard ride, which means the big, front-wheel-drive DeVille DTS squats in the corners and sways a bit in quick lane changes. Traditional Cadillac devotees won't mind this. But the new crowd isn't buying it at all.
Praise: The DeVille remains one of the very best long-distance cruisers ever built. If you want a truly comfortable long drive, forget your hip self-image and take this one.
Head-turning quotient: Very definitely "old school," even with its new facial job.
Ride, acceleration and handling: Soft ride, acceptable handling, excellent acceleration.
Engine and transmission: The DTS gets a beefed-up version of Cadillac's 4.6-liter Northstar V-8, which normally kicks out 275 horses. The DTS kicks out 300 horses at 6,000 revolutions per minute. Torque is 295 pound-feet at 4,400 rpm. An electronically controlled, four-speed automatic transmission is standard.
Capacities: The DTS seats five full-size adults. Luggage capacity is a generous 19.1 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 18.5 gallons of gasoline. Regular unleaded is fine.
Mileage: Surprisingly good for a car this big. I averaged 26 miles per gallon in mostly highway driving.
Safety: Four-wheel anti-lock brakes and side air bags are standard.
Price: The base price of the tested 2003 Cadillac DeVille DTS is $48,055. Dealer's invoice price on that model is $43,970. Price as tested is $53,825, including a $770 destination charge and an estimated $5,000 in options.
Purse-strings note: A good luxury car swamped by competition. You can bargain on this one. The XM Radio system will cost you about $294.