Cadillac's STS was all-new for 2005, so not much has changed. All-wheel drive is now an option on V-6 models, 18-inch wheels are now available on select V-6 and rear-drive V-8 models, and a Bose 5.1 Studio Surround Sound with Navigation system becomes standard on V-8 models. Also, four new colors are available: Stealth Grey, Radiant Bronze, Blackberry, and Infrared.
A new top-of-the-line performance model, the STS-V, is also available. The rear-wheel-drive only STS-V uses a supercharged, 4.4L 469-hp Northstar V-8 engine connected to a new six-speed automatic transmission. The STS-V can reach 60 miles an hour from a standstill in less than five seconds. Minor styling tweaks accompany the drivetrain modifications.
The STS, which replaced the Seville in the Cadillac lineup for 2005, is built on GM's highly-regarded Sigma chassis architecture that also underpins the Cadillac CTS and SRX. The STS comes standard with heated leather seats and steering wheel; Adaptive Remote Start and Adaptive Cruise Control; Intellibeam automatic headlamp dimming; one year of OnStar service with Cadillac Virtual Advisor; a reconfigurable four-color, head-up instrument display; woven headliner and pillar covers; and an interior combination of eucalyptus wood and aluminum.
A 256-hp, 3.6L V-6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission is standard. Options include a 340-hp, 4.6L Northstar V-8, a 15-speaker Bose surround-sound stereo system with a 6-disc in-dash CD/DVD changer, Bluetooth technology, advanced voice recognition, and more. All-wheel drive is available on both V-6 and V-8 STS models. While the added grip of the front wheels is reassuring in inclement weather conditions, the added weight of the all-wheel drive hardware and the additional friction required to drive the front wheels results in a slight gas mileage penalty.
The STS-V is a $77,090 high-performance machine. A supercharged 4.4L variant of the Northstar V-8 puts out 469 hp, making the STS-V the most powerful Cadillac in history. A brand-new six-speed automatic transmission, huge Brembo brakes (14 inches front, 14.3 inches rear), specific chassis tuning to improve handling, and aggressive wheels and Pirelli Extended Mobility tires (255/45WR18 front, 275/40WR19 rear) are among the other upgrades. The body also receives new front and rear fascias, a bulging hood, discrete V-series insignias on the trunk and front fenders, and the trademark mesh grille. Inside, hand-wrapped leather surfaces, a combination of aluminum and wood accents, and fabric seat inserts differentiate the V-series. The only available STS-V option: deleting the standard sunroof. The STS has been given a "Best Pick" for crashworthiness by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (www.iihs.org).
The Cadillac STS is in the Midsize Premium segment, an extremely competitive group of entry luxury vehicles from a variety of manufacturers. Buyers in this segment are looking for modern styling, good performance, luxury amenities, and the latest technology. In this segment, they have 13 models to choose.
The segment sales leader is the Lexus ES Series, with 67,577 units sold in calendar year 2005, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM In a tough battle for second are the BMW 5 Series (52,722 units in 2005) and Mercedes-Benz E-Class (50,383). In an even tighter battle are the STS (33,497) and Lexus GS Series (33,457).