2000 Cadillac DeVille
Many new features are available on the redesigned 2000 Cadillac DeVille, including GM’s innovative Night Vision infra-red system, ultra-sonic rear parking assist, tri-zone climate control, a revised StabiliTrak anti-skid system, an improved continuously-variable suspension and anti-lock brake system, and 17-inch aluminum wheels and performance tires on DTS models. Base DeVille models start at $52,770.

Land yacht it’s not…

Can you guess which was Canada’s best-selling luxury car over $50,000 last year? No, it wasn’t a Mercedes, or a BMW, or a Volvo. It was the Cadillac DeVille, followed closely by the Cadillac Seville, and the Lincoln Town Car.
American ‘high’ luxury cars still outsell European and Japanese models in the over $50,000 market despite a general perception that European models are the top sellers. American luxury cars offer a good combination of roominess, plush ride, luxury features and a competitive price that draws traditional North American luxury car buyers. DeVille buyers, whom GM describes as ‘professionals and retirees’, are usually more concerned with comfort than how the car will perform on the Autobahn.

The 2000 Cadillac DeVille, which has been completely redesigned this year, delivers plenty of comfort and quietness – but it also offers significantly better handling and vehicle safety.

2000 Cadillac DeVille

Shorter, narrower, roomier

Redesigned for first time since 1993, the new DeVille is two inches (50.8 mm) shorter and narrower than the previous model, but its wheelbase has been extended from 113.8 in. (2891 mm) to 115.3 in. (2929 mm) creating more interior room especially in the rear seat area.

The DeVille’s exterior proportions are more athletic than its conservative predecessor. A prominent new grille, which protrudes over the bumper, is flanked by taller but narrow headlamps. At the rear are larger taillights which replace the traditional thin, vertical taillamps used on Cadillacs for so many years. From the side, an arc from the front fenders to the rear deck gives it a more sporty look, while its stance is more aggressive. There’s certainly some resemblance to the Seville sedan here.

As before, the DeVille offers a front-wheel-drive layout and two powerful ‘Northstar’ 4.6 litre V8 engines: DeVille and DeVille DHS (High Luxury Sedan) models have a 275 horsepower version of this engine which uses Regular fuel, while sportier DeVille DTS (Touring Sedan) models offer a 300 horsepower 4.6 litre V8 which uses Premium fuel. Some modifications have been made to the engine to improve fuel economy, reduce emissions, and reduce engine noise. A four-speed automatic transmission remains standard on all models, but DTS models have a new adaptive transmission that adapts shift points to driving styles.

New for 2000

Many new features have been added to the 2000 DeVille, including GM’s innovative Night Vision infra-red system, ultra-sonic rear parking assist, tri-zone climate control, a revised StabiliTrak anti-skid system, an improved continuously-variable suspension and anti-lock brake system, and 17-inch aluminum wheels and performance tires on DTS models.

New interior features include a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, steering wheel controls for climate control, radio and cruise control; front and rear heated seats (standard on the DHS and DTS); available adaptive seat (on DHS) which adjusts to the contours or your body; rear-seat power lumbar adjustments; power rear sunshade and wood steering wheel (standard on DHS); optional glovebox-mounted 6-disc CD changer; rear pass-through behind the armrest; optional rear-seat side-impact air bags; and seatbelts integrated into the front seats.

In addition, the 2000 DeVille has an improved body structure which contributes to better ride and handling performance and improves crashworthiness.

Driving impressions

The 2000 DeVille was a pleasant surprise in two respects: its soft suspension has been replaced by one that provides a comfortable ride and reasonably good handling; and secondly, problems of excessive torque-steer have almost been completely eliminated.

The DeVille’s revised independent suspension retains its quiet, comfortable ride on the highway, but is considerably more competent in dynamic driving situations. Handling is surprisingly stable and well-controlled, despite the DeVille’s considerable size. I also found it surprisingly easy to drive around town. Visibility is good, although the rear deck is a bit high.

The 300 horsepower 4.6 litre V8 engine in my DTS test car had excellent acceleration from a standing start, but the acclerator pedal was a bit sensitive. There was no involuntary jerking of the steering wheel (torque steer) under hard acceleration – a problem with some front-wheel-drive Cadillacs equipped with the powerful Northstar V8 engine.

I found this engine to be very smooth and quiet, particularly on the highway where it does just 2000 rpm at a steady 100 km/h. The 4-speed automatic transmission in my test car performed perfectly, changing seamlessly. The DeVille was great on a long drive, although it consumed a fair amount of Premium fuel, averaging 11.0 litres per 100 kilometres (25 mpg).

Night Vision

The Cadillac DeVille is the first passenger car to use the new Night Vision thermal imaging technology. This system uses an infra red sensor to pick up heat signals from objects in front of the vehicle – it allows the driver to see objects twice as far as the range of the high beam headlamps. At 100 kilometres per hour, low-beam headlights provide a driver about 3 1/2 seconds to react to an object ahead. With Night Vision, the driver will have up to 15 seconds to react.

A small rectangular ‘window’ in front of the driver at the base of the windshield shows the road ahead at night time. The system is most useful on dark roads where there are no street lights. It will show pedestrians, animals, cars, houses, and other objects with heat emissions in a white or grey colour, while items with no heat signatures, such as rocks, will remain dark.

In my test of the Night Vision system, I found it useful for picking out moving pedestrians and animals that were beyond the range of the headlamps, while stationery objects were harder to pick out immediately. The Night Vision ‘window’ is rather small, so distant objects look tiny on the screen. Its best use would be on long drives at night where deer, moose, or other potential hazards might leap into the road ahead. Night Vision allows the driver more reaction time to brake.

Drivers can turn the system on or off using a switch in the instrument panel, and they also can adjust the image intensity and its vertical position.

For the 2000 model year, the availability of Night Vision is limited – many dealers are already sold out of this option.

Cadillac DeVille interior
Interior roomy, comfortable

The DeVille’s interior is attractively finished in leather upholstery with perforated inserts in the seats, while the dash and doors offer a mixture of lighter and darker shades of leather-like plastic and wood trim.

The front seats are big and comfortable with power adjustments, and each seat has seat heaters with separate cushion and backrest heaters. DeVille seats have two memory selections which include the seat position, steering wheel and radio selection.

The DeVille’s Lexus-like electronic round instruments have the advantage of being highly visible even in the glare of sunlight – and they can be turned off entirely (except for a small digital speedometer and trip computer) for a glare-free driving experience at night.

The layout and arrangement of controls includes large knobs and well-marked buttons. Features include tri-zone climate control (driver/passenger/rear) with two front temperature settings, AM/FM/CD player, and outside temperature gauge. The steering wheel includes buttons for stereo volume and station selection, heater temperature and fan speed, and cruise control. One small problem with the interior design: the sunvisor drops down very low and is not easily adjustable.

A leather-covered floor shifter with a gated shift pattern is positioned in an attractive wood-trimmed console. The centre armrest contains two flip-out cupholders and a dual-level storage bin.

2000 Cadillac DeVille rear fanRear passengers are very well taken care of: aside from a wide, three-person rear seat and lots of legroom and headroom, rear passengers have separate rear heater and fan controls, and a folding centre armrest with a built-in storage compartment and two flip-out cupholders. In addition, each outboard rear seat has cushion and backrest seat heaters, individual power points located in the rear armrests, map lights, coat hooks, and map pockets located on the back of the front seats. It’s almost like riding in a limo…

One complaint: some of the wires for the front power seats lie loosely under the front seats and look rather untidy to the rear passengers.

A centre rear armrest with a pass-through allows access to the trunk, but like most luxury cars, the rear seatbacks do not fold down.

Safety features

2000 Cadillac Deville back up warning system
All five seating positions in the DeVille offer three-point seatbelts – the front seat belts are built into the front seats so that they’re always in the right position and fit more snugly than seatbelts mounted to the body. The DeVille’s front head restraints are height adjustable and rear head restraints are fixed, and there are three rear tether anchors for child seats.

Dual front airbags and front side airbags are standard while rear side airbags are optional.
A new backup warning system gives audible beeps which increase in frequency when the DeVille approaches an object behind it. A unique feature are three lights near the rear window which visually confirm how close the car is to the object.

Three models

There’s no doubt, DeVille’s offers a lot value in the luxury car class. Base DeVille’s start at $52,770, and both DHS and DTS models priced at $60,570. This is considerably less than comparable full-size luxury cars from Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Infiniti, BMW and Audi. The DeVille’s closest competitors are the Lincoln Continental and Lincoln Town Car which also start in the low $50,000 range.

Technical Data:

2000 Cadillac DeVille DTS
Base price $60,570
Freight $940
Type 4-door, 5 passenger full-size luxury sedan
Layout longitudinal front engine/front-wheel-drive
Engine 4.6 l V8, SOHC, 32 valves
Horsepower 300 @ 6000 rpm
Torque 295 ft-lb @4400 rpm
Transmission 4-speed automatic
Tires P235/55HR17 Goodyear All-Season Performance
Curb weight 1835 kg (4045 lb.)
Wheelbase 2929 mm (115.3 in.)
Length 5258 mm (207.0 in.)
Width 1891 mm ( 74.4 in.)
Height 1439 mm ( 56.7 in.)
Trunk capacity 541 litres ( 19.1 cu.ft.)
Fuel consumption City: 13.9 l/100 km (20 mpg)
  Hwy: 8.1 l/100 km (35 mpg)
Warranty 4 yrs/80,000 km

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