For 2005, the DeVille, Cadillac’s oldest current model and the only remaining front-wheel-drive in the line-up, receives very minor changes. There is OnStar with Gen 6 digital hardware and upgraded hands-free capability, and three new exterior colours: Green Silk, Light Cashmere and Glacier Gold. And should you live in a rough neighbourhood, you might want to order the new Protection Series, which includes bullet-resistant glass, ballistic protection on roof and rear seat back (in colloquial terms, it’s an armoured car), enhanced mobility tire and wheel system, and a self-sealing fuel tank. Cadillac claims this model will take a .44 magnum handgun attack in stride.

For ordinary citizens, the DeVille comes in three lines: the DeVille, DHS and DTS. All use a 4.6-litre Northstar V8 engine, but the DTS is tweaked for an additional 15 horsepower. All use a four-speed automatic transmission.

The DeVille includes front cornering lights, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, 16-inch machined aluminum wheels, variable intermittent wipers, automatic tri-zone climate control with rear controls, cruise, tire pressure monitoring system, auto-dimming rear-view mirror with compass, OnStar, leather-wrapped wheel with climate and audio controls, express up/down on front windows, 40/20/40 split bench with 10-way power adjusters, leather interior, rear seat pass-through, CD player with eight speakers, speed-sensitive variable-assist Magnasteer steering, automatic rear-level control system, luxury suspension, and wiper-activated headlights.

The DHS adds driver’s side auto-dimming exterior mirror, reverse tilt-down on passenger mirror, 16-inch chromed aluminum wheels, rain-sensing wipers, rear-seat overhead illuminated vanity mirrors, memory/personalization package, cargo net, power tilt/telescopic steering column, power rear sunshade with manual rear side window shades, wood trim package, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, front massaging lumbar seats, and CD/cassette stereo with eight speakers.

The DTS adds fog lights, 17-inch aluminum wheels, front centre floor console, garage door opener, front bucket seats with 10-way power adjusters, continuously variable road-sensing suspension with computer-controlled shock absorbers, rear-seat side airbags, StabiliTrak, and rear parking assist.

Comfortable and conservative, the DeVille remains the company’s old-school Cadillac, but don’t sell it short: it’s nimble, powerful, and it soaks up road imperfections like a sponge. The Lincoln Town Car remains its arch rival, as it has from the dawn of time, but don’t overlook Chrysler: the 300C is every bit as nice, in its most expensive guise it undercuts the cheapest DeVille by $13,955, it has a longer powertrain warranty, and power goes to the correct wheels at the back.

The DeVille is built in Detroit, Michigan.

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