Kelley Blue Book ® - 2004 Cadillac DeVille Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2004 Cadillac DeVille Overview

Body
Now Serving the 40 and Up Crowd

The Cadillac DeVille has always served its owners well. In the fifties and sixties, the car was considered the pinnacle of automotive engineering and a necessary status symbol for the upwardly mobile. Yet by the late seventies, the prestige of the foreign luxury car began an assault on the Deville's dominance that levied the first dent in its otherwise unblemished armor. Rather than pursue a younger, more affluent buyer, Cadillac chose to stick with vinyl tops and tufted velour interiors. By the end of the 20th century, the median age of the DeVille buyer began to rival that of the car itself and companies like Lexus, BMW and Mercedes had become the new choice of status-conscious Americans.

Today, the new look of Cadillac is once again drawing younger buyers back to the luxury lexicon. Cars like the SRX, CTS and XLR are battling the best from Europe and Japan, winning for the first time in a longtime the hearts and wallets of a much younger clientele. But the DeVille also remains in the lineup, and its appeal appears to be growing with the strongest purchasing demographic in America: the baby boomers. Cadillac says that by 2005, nearly 40% of the DeVille's customer base will be boomers, an ironic turn of events that has given the DeVille a new lease on life.

The 2004 DeVille is a handsome full-sized sedan that labors to please all those who come along for the ride. Domestically, the DeVille's only real competition comes from the Lincoln Town Car, a more traditional luxury sedan that offers none of the DeVille's high-tech gadgetry. Perhaps it is this combination of old and new that resonates so strongly with the baby boomers; their Macintosh-inspired brains love the DeVille's Night-Vision Head-Up display, heated and cooling seats and GPS on-board navigation but their overworked bodies demand plush surroundings tethered to an air-like ride.

Cadillac offers the DeVille in three flavors: DeVille, DHS and DTS. The DeVille and DHS trims are aimed toward satisfying those who value luxury above all else while the DTS offers many of the same features plus a more driver-oriented suspension. Opting for the DTS will get you a more powerful version of the 4.6-liter Northstar V8 (300 horsepower vs. 275), five-passenger seating with a front center console, front fog lamps, 17-inch cast aluminum wheels and Cadillac's continually variable road-sensing suspension. Unique to the DHS trim are a digital speedometer, power rear sunshade, rear-seat overhead illuminated vanity mirrors, rear-seat four-way power lumbar support and a wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel.

No matter which trim you opt, you'll be getting one of Cadillac's best V8 engines to date. In the DeVille, your right foot commands more power than most third-world dictators; it can be a source of great joy for those who love thrill rides or great sorrow for those unlucky enough to cross paths with a radar-equipped constable.

The DeVille is no sports car, but for a sedan weighing over 4000 pounds, its ability to round corners and zigzag through traffic is fairly impressive. When not tackling turns, the DeVille returns a totally civilized ride, its suspension busily absorbing bumps and vibrations with the efficiency of flypaper at a Sunday picnic. The DTS dials in a bit more fun thanks to its Road Sensing Suspension, an electronically-controlled setup that monitors every aspect of the DeVille's motion and continually makes adjustments to the shock dampening.

The DeVille is utterly silent at speed, oblivious to the worst Mother Nature has to offer. Should a downpour occur, the DeVille's rain-sensing wipers automatically adjust their speed to compensate for the amount of water on the windshield. If you should hit a slick patch of road, the StabiliTrak traction control will not only limit the front wheels from slipping, but by reading the position of the steering wheel, will actually help the DeVille return to its intended path.

In addition to its masterful suspension dynamics, the DeVille's wonderful litany of James Bond-inspired hardware makes this Cadillac a hoot to drive. A fully-loaded DeVille will include an onboard navigation system viewed via a dash-mounted LCD screen. The voice-activated system can either show you your intended route or verbally direct you via the car's audio system. The LCD screen also houses the audio controls that can be operated by either touching the screen or using the steering-wheel mounted controls.

As you motor along, you're backside is not only coddled by the sumptuous leather seating, it can also be heated or cooled to suit your comfort level. A heated steering wheel, Bose Audio system and power glass moonroof are but of few of the luxurious touches that awaits only the touch of a button to spring to life.

An additional measure of safety is added to night driving with the optional Night Vision system. Night Vision includes a grille-mounted infrared sensor that can detect the heat radiating off an object and display the image onto the lower portion of the windshield. This system is most helpful as it allows you to see people or animals that lie beyond the view of the DeVille's low-beam headlamps.

Outside of a refrigerator and DVD entertainment system, when it comes to creature comforts, it's hard to think of any forgotten by the Cadillac team. It is this kind of dedication to the DeVille line that no doubt has played a major role in the car's resurgence in popularity.

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