While my car was at the dealership, my warranty allowed me a $50 stipend toward a rental. The dealership naturally had Caddies so I chose a DTS over a CTS.
PROs: Build quality--tolerances are very small now so all the panels are flush and have good texture throughout.
Electronic throttle (basically a pedal position sensor and an actuator--no longer a mechanical linkage)--it is tuned to "fly" at medium light pedal application. This makes the car feel much lighter than it is. While it is the 275 hp LD8, it does at 1/3 pedal application, what my L37 does at 1/2 pedal application. This gives one the impression of power right away--easy on the gas!
Responsiveness could be fine tuned with software alone.
HID and LEDs
When opening the car one notices the red LEDs in the tail lamps light up alongside the reverse lights that project a blueish-white light... resulting in an almost purple color. Very high tech in appearance. One can also appreciate the ultra-white spotlight reading lamps (LED). The headlamp hue is very pleasing, I wonder what the color temperature is--I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Firm, precise handling.
For such a large car, it handled extremely well. I basically forget it's front wheel drive. The suspension is fine-tuned to feel firmer than before (possibly higher spring rates and larger wheels add to this effect), yet the chasis does an amazing job of absorbing jolts from bumps on the road. Porpoising is greatly reduced and the car is very flat in cornering. Steering wheel is very lightly assisted. It drives like a smaller car. I had a similar experience with the Chrysler 300, which is a rear wheel drive. Braking is also enhanced greatly. I was impressed--my ETC felt a little clumsy and sloppy by contrast!
Smooth transaxle operation, well isolated.
The cabin is very quiet and the shifts are barely noticeable. There is a new torque converter coupling that makes this a reality. It works very well.
The engine is well isolated so that you can barely hear it, except when you step on the gas. It has that similar warming sound that we all love on a Northstar at heavy throttle--music to the ears. Unfortunately there's not that many times where it's pratical to give the car that much gas--it's not necessary as it is very responsive "out of the box." The engine is very quiet at idle. With the hood open it sounds like a snake hissing constantly and little "tic tacs" rhythmically marching under the engine conver.
Sideview mirror placement is a little obtrusive of the view in my experience, but I don't raise the seat very high.
Sideview mirrors were not photochromic (they did not dim).
The car has very little road noise, but more than i expected. There is no longer a feeling of floating on a magic carpet. I suspect the tighter suspension and larger wheels (17") contribute to this. It's still much smoother/comfortable than an S-Class Benz.
Not as Warm/Inviting
While the cabin is more refined, it lacks a je-ne-se-quoi that was there in the previous model. It feels a little colder. The Driver Information center has a larger screen and more information available at the same time, but the menu system is too complex compared to the simple operation in the previous model where you could scroll by hitting the info button repeatedly. On this one there are six buttons. There's up and down as well as different buttons for different information items such as one button for "trip information" another for "fuel economy" another for systems and another for customizing features. There is also a customization button for customizing the perimeter lights, flashing the lights on unlock, unlocking upon putting the car in park, etc... which is good... The problem is that it's in the same cluster of buttons so it requires more of your attention to not press the wrong button. This is too complicated. I don't think the average driver is going to reprogram the door locks that frequently and much rather prefer the method that was in the owner's manual.
The model I drove did not have the Bose radio. The sound quality was a little "boxy." Honestly the Bose system of my ETC sounds clearer and higher quality. The Bose system is optional, and I'd recommend the upgrade.
I'd completely recommend that anyone in the market for a midsize or large sedan test drive a DTS. I'd recommend renting one so you get a good feel for it. I have little doubt that after driving it, there's much out there that drives/rides so well for the money.