Cadillac stepped into rear-wheel-drive territory with its STS sedan, which replaced the front-wheel-drive Seville for 2005. Built on a Sigma-based architecture, like the company's smaller CTS sedan and SRX sport utility vehicle, the STS was Cadillac's first rear-drive luxury performance sedan in a quarter of a century.
For 2006, STS models with V-6 or Northstar V-8 power can have all-wheel drive instead of rear-wheel drive. Cadillac says an STS equipped with the V-8 and rear-wheel drive can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6 seconds or less.
Technology, whether standard or optional, is a big part of the STS picture. A Performance Algorithm Liftfoot system controls transmission operation to enhance spirited driving. Two-mode Magnetic Ride Control is optional. Keyless Access lets you enter and start the vehicle by carrying a special key fob. Smart Remote Start operates from up to 200 feet away.
Optional Adaptive Cruise Control uses radar to maintain a set distance from vehicles ahead. IntelliBeam automatically selects either the high- or low-beam headlights in response to oncoming lights. The driver gets a four-color head-up display.
A high-performance STS-V sedan joins the 2006 lineup. It packs a supercharged 4.4-liter V-8 that generates 469 horsepower.
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Designed with a chiseled look, the four-door STS features what Cadillac says is a "faster profile" with "more rake" than the CTS. Cadillac styling touches include a wide airfoil grille with dual horizontal slats, a dihedral-shaped hood and vertically stacked twin-projector headlights. The sides of the STS are devoid of decoration. LED taillamps contain indirect optics to provide a more even lighting pattern.
Body-panel gaps promise close tolerances. Either 17- or 18-inch wheels can be installed.
Five occupants get to enjoy soft all-leather seats. Offerings include heated and ventilated seating and a heated steering wheel. The STS features genuine eucalyptus wood and aluminum trim.
Eight-way power front seats include four-way power lumbar adjustment, and a memory feature is optional. Trunk space totals 13.8 cubic feet.
Options include Bose 5.1 Studio Surround Sound and a DVD/CD changer that can play DVD audio discs as well as MP3 CDs. A DVD-based navigation system is available. General Motors' OnStar communication system includes automatic crash notification.
Under the Hood
The 3.6-liter V-6 produces 254 hp and 252 pounds-feet of torque. Cadillac's 4.6-liter Northstar V-8 generates 320 hp and 315 pounds-feet of torque. The five-speed-automatic transmission incorporates Driver Shift Control for manually selected gear changes.
Six airbags, including front-seat side-impact and side curtain-type devices, are standard. All-disc antilock brakes include brake assist. GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability system is standard.
Cadillac's Seville was known for years as a potent road car. The STS builds solidly upon that reputation, adding a stylish exterior and ample technology.
Smooth-riding and well-controlled on good pavement, the STS isn't especially troublesome on rougher patches, either. The sedan steers with a light feel, comports itself neatly on wet pavement and yields confident sensations.
Unfortunately, the ride seems worse with Magnetic Ride Control. When rolling through broken or lumpy pavement, the model equipped with all-wheel drive felt less confident.
Because the V-6 delivers plenty of zest, there's no compelling need for V-8 power. Automatic-transmission shifts can be heard, but they're typically not felt and barely noticed. �
A performance-oriented V edition of the STS goes on sale as a 2006 model. Equipped with a supercharged 4.4-liter V-8 that produces 469 hp at 6,400 rpm and 439 pounds-feet of torque at 3,800 rpm, the STS-V can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. The supercharged Northstar engine teams with a new six-speed-automatic transmission. Cadillac claims that during shifts, power is instantly lowered and then carefully ramped back up, making gear changes virtually unnoticed.
Special STS-V design touches include a larger, polished stainless-steel wire-mesh grille; a lower front fascia that contains a bigger grille; brake-cooling ducts; and a splitter to counteract lift. Rocker panels are lower than usual, and the special sculpted hood allows space for the engine's supercharger. The STS-V features 10-spoke, painted, aluminum-alloy wheels. Features inside include hand-wrapped leather surfaces, Oliver Ash Burl wood appointments and suede fabric seat inserts. Back to top
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