Cadillac's 2010 DTS Frontal Impact Protection System Gets Highest Ratings

The 2010 DTS, Cadillac's full-size luxury sedan, has no safety-related changes this year.

The DTS comes standard with front, side, and curtain side airbags; traction control; four-wheel antilock disc brakes; brake assist; daytime running lights; and GM's StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control system. Unlike many cars in this price class, the DTS does not offer seat belts pre-tensioners or other pre-collision systems.

The DTS offers several novel safety options. The Side Blind Zone Alert system flashes warning lights in the side mirrors and sounds a tone if another vehicle is in the Cadillac's blind spots. The Lane Departure Warning system triggers a dashboard light and a warning chime if the DTS leaves its lane without signaling. Both systems are standard on the Platinum model and optional on the DTS Premium; they are not available on base or Luxury models. Premium and Platinum models also include Ultrasonic Park Assist, a rear-obstacle detection system.

Road tests say the DTS has acceptable emergency handling, but its panic stopping distances are longer than average for this class.

The NHTSA awarded the Cadillac DTS five stars (its maximum rating) for driver protection in frontal impacts. The DTS received four-star ratings for front passenger protection, side impact protection (for both front- and rear-seat occupants), and rollover safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Cadillac's frontal impact protection Good (the highest rating), but side impact protection ranked only Acceptable; many comparably priced sedans receive Good ratings in both areas.

GM classifies the standard OnStar system as a safety feature, because it will automatically contact emergency personnel in the event of a crash. However, OnStar requires a monthly fee after the first 12 months.