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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2003 Cadillac DeVille Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2003 Cadillac DeVille Overview

The Timeless Cadillac

The DeVille is now the longest running nameplate in the Cadillac arsenal. It holds tremendous value to customers who recall when the epitome of an individual's success was punctuated by having a Cadillac parked in the garage. While Cadillac owners still view their cars as just rewards for a lifetime of hard work, the DeVille must now contend with a slew of competitors—both foreign and domestic—that also want to be the new symbols of success.

Cadillac completely redesigned the DeVille in 2000 and since then the car's styling has remained mostly unchanged. Though it does not resemble any DeVille before it, the current model does retain the signature egg-crate grille and tall vertical tail lamps that have been the calling card of the DeVille line for over 40 years. DeVille and DeVille DHS models feature bright chrome accents around the windows, grille and bumpers, while the more performance-minded DTS receives a monochromatic treatment. 16-inch cast aluminum wheels are standard on the DeVille and DHS; the DTS receives 17-inch wheels. All DeVille models now ride on Michelin tires.

The DeVille is powered by Cadillac's renowned Northstar V8 engine, which delivers all 275 horsepower to the ground via the car's front wheels. To allow the DeVille to accelerate and steer through the same set of tires, Cadillac has equipped every car with traction control and offers its StabiliTrak system as optional equipment. StabiliTrak uses a complex array of sensors and computers to help the driver keep control of the DeVille under adverse driving conditions. Among other things, StabiliTrak senses the driver's intentions by reading the direction the steering wheel is aimed and then determining if the vehicle is headed in that direction. In a situation where the driver is turning left, but the vehicle is sliding forward, StabiliTrak will compensate by reducing power or using the ABS brakes on one of the wheels to bring the car into alignment with the driver's intentions.

We found in testing the DeVille that the StabiliTrak system works well and proved especially helpful when performing emergency maneuvers—such as the sudden need to avoid an object in the road ahead. And lest you fear that all this technology may affect the DeVille's ride, you need not worry; Cadillac may have removed the pillow like qualities from the DeVille's handling and braking, but its ride remains like floating on air. StabiliTrak is standard on the DTS model, which also has a more powerful 300-horsepower version of the Northstar V8.

While the DeVille is a competent luxury car, the real bells-and-whistles reside on the DHS and DTS trims. Here you'll find all the technology and creature comfort for which Cadillac has become famous. You'll love the optional Night Vision, which features an infrared heads-up display projected onto the lower portion of the windshield. The system lets you see beyond the range of the vehicle's headlights to avoid animals or objects that may lay in the road ahead, hidden by the dark. The DeVille also now offers XM satellite radio, which for a small monthly subscription fee delivers over 100 mostly commercial-free stations that will remain with you wherever you drive in the continental U.S. Though the dash and interior are logically laid out, controlling all of the DeVille's technical marvels can be a bit complex, so be sure to spend some time with your dealer and get a thorough explanation of how everything works.

The DeVille's substantial size and front-drive configuration affords it plenty of room for 5 adults. Few will find much to complain about in the area of head and legroom, though the rear-center-seat occupant may feel a bit cramped. The DeVille's trunk is both long and deep and seems to have been designed with a large number of golf bags in mind. You'll find the DeVille is relatively easy to drive and maneuver, though you will have to learn to use your side mirrors to compensate for the large blind spot created by the wide rear pillar. The DeVille's size also conveys a feeling of security, which is reinforced by its impressive list of standard and optional safety features including side-impact airbags for both front and rear passengers, seatbelt pretensioners and the OnStar system that automatically calls for help when the airbags are deployed.

Of course there are the expected luxury features such as on-board navigation, heated front and rear seats, a rear-sensing parking aid, memory functions for the driver's seat, steering wheel and mirrors, Bose audio system, tri-zone climate control with individual adjustments for driver, passenger and rear-seat occupants, power seats with power lumbar support, a power rear sunshade (DHS only), OnStar and the list goes on and on. Given the DeVille's agreeable MSRP, you might just as well walk into your Cadillac Dealer and just say "give me the works," which on the DeVille DHS would run you about $55K.

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