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By Jim Flammang
February 5, 2003
Posted on 11/20/2002
Vehicle Overview Next-generation Magnetic Ride Control is the big news of 2003 for the performance-oriented Cadillac Seville sedan. The new ride-control system responds rapidly to sensor inputs and aims to improve stability, directional steering responses, ride comfort and body-motion control by using magneto-rheological fluid in the shock absorbers and struts. Altering the electrical current changes the fluids consistency can be changed for continuously variable, real-time damping.
A body-colored grille and fog lamps go on this years SLS sedan, while the STS gets standard chrome wheels. An XM Satellite Radio system and navigation system are now available. Two new colors are offered, and Michelin tires are now installed on both models.
Still serving as Cadillacs primary export model, the front-wheel-drive Seville is 201 inches long overall, which is 6 inches shorter than the automakers DeVille. A 4.6-liter V-8 engine is rated at 275 horsepower in the SLS (Seville Luxury Sedan) and 300 hp in the STS (Seville Touring Sedan). A sport package for the STS includes a firmer suspension and 17-inch tires rather than the standard 16-inchers. An advanced DVD-based navigation system is available.
Exterior Not much has changed in the Sevilles overall appearance since its last redesign for the 1998 model year. Prior to its redesign, the Seville shared the same platform and basic construction with the Eldorado coupe, which is now extinct. Unlike the rounded appearance of the DeVille, the Seville retains a more angular profile. Riding a 112.2-inch wheelbase, the Seville is less than 56 inches tall.
Interior All Sevilles accommodate five passengers. Front bucket seats are standard and can be equipped with Cadillacs adaptive seating system. Ten air cells in the upholstery change pressure every 4 minutes or so to adapt the seat to its occupant and the way the passenger is sitting.
A navigation system with touchscreen controls and a 5-inch color display screen in the dashboard are optional. GMs OnStar communication system is standard, and two premium services are available. As a safety feature, Web-browsing and e-mail capabilities do not function unless the car is stopped.
Under the Hood The Sevilles 4.6-liter Northstar V-8 engine produces 275 hp in the SLS, while a 300-hp version goes into the STS. Both engines can run on regular fuel, but Cadillac recommends the use of premium gasoline for the best performance and fuel economy. Each engine works with a four-speed-automatic transmission.
Safety Both Seville models have antilock brakes, traction control and side-impact airbags for the front seats. GMs StabiliTrak electronic stability system is also standard.
Driving Impressions Sevilles have long been considered the sportiest-handling Cadillacs. A brief, early drive in a Seville equipped with the latest Magnetic Ride Control system confirms the sport sedans road-going credentials. Without impairing the handling talents in any perceptible way, it yields a supremely satisfying highway experience not quite cushiony or gentle, but about as smooth as one can expect in an automobile that delivers such impressive control on the road.When equipped with either engine, the Seville driver needs just a tap on the throttle to unleash vigorous responses, aided by a smooth-shifting automatic transmission. This car is loaded with technological extras that dont diminish the cars basic attributes.