2005 Cadillac STS

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$40,525

starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown.

Overview

The good:

  • Performance with either engine
  • Handling
  • Ride comfort with regular suspension
  • Automatic-transmission operation
  • Helpful electronic technology

The bad:

  • Ride comfort with Magnetic Ride Control
  • Over-left-shoulder visibility
  • Price with V-8 and AWD

2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price.

  • V6

    $40,525

  • V8

    $47,025

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2005 Cadillac STS trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • RWD configuration
  • V-6 or Northstar V-8
  • Available AWD in V-8-equipped models
  • Six airbags
  • Numerous standard and optional technical features

2005 Cadillac STS Review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

Curve dancing done well requires good music and a nimble automobile. No ordinary car will do. No truck need apply. You can’t salsa with a wimp. You can’t tango with an elephant.

Curve dancing demands a tight body and responsive soul. It is ritualistic art — engine humming, music pumping, speed building, approaching the entrance to the curve, easing into its apex, letting the curve take you as you take it, flowing into a graceful exit.

That is the joy of driving a car such as the 2005 Cadillac STS Northstar V-8 sedan. It is made to dance. Its body is sleek versus slick, chiseled yet sensuous, stunning without the slightest hint of being overdone — purposeful.

May I have this dance?

Curves?

Yes.

The music was Armik, the Rev. Al Green, Ray Charles and B.B. King. The routes were U.S. 50 East running into Annapolis and Bay Ridge, Md.; and after a visit there with friends, it was back on U.S. 50 again, this time heading west toward a hookup with Interstate 66 on the way to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

If you love dancing and driving, you know that the only difference between the two is the size of the floor. In a car that can boogie, the floor is as wide and long as the road you’re on. If the road has cozy and exciting corners, so much the better. You and your partner can become familiar in those spots, which is where I learned a few things about the STS V-8.

Two months before going out with that car, I had driven many other automobiles — high-enders such as the Aston Martin DB9, the Bentley Arnage and Continental GT, and the Mercedes-Benz CL600 — all of them good dancers, all of them costing substantially more than the STS V-8.

But bigger prices do not guarantee better talent. (Base price on the tested Cadillac STS V-8 is $47,025. Dealer’s invoice price on the base model is $43,025.) The STS V-8 danced as well as all of the pricey exotics, and in the case of the elegant but stiff-bordering-on-stuffy $243,000 Bentley Arnage, it danced a heck of a lot better. If that surprises you, it’s a safe bet you haven’t driven a Cadillac, or haven’t even been a passenger in one, for at least 15 years, which means you’ve missed a lot. Cadillac has changed tremendously for the better in recent years; and the new rear-wheel-drive STS V-8 and its siblings — the rear-wheel-drive STS V-6 and the STS V-8 all-wheel-drive — are proof. The cars collectively replace the Cadillac Seville, which was introduced in 1956.

Cadillac’s workmanship now rivals that of any luxury automobile manufacturer from Europe or Asia. Exterior and interior gaps have been reduced to the most narrow of apertures. The STS V-8, for example, feels solid, tight, rattle-free right.

The car has a curb weight — factory weight minus passengers and cargo — of 4,230 pounds, but the STS V-8 feels hundreds of pounds lighter than that. You can swing with it. It goes exactly where you point it, exactly when you point it, keeping up with every movement of your hands with precision and grace.

The interior is comfortable and finely crafted. The seats are all leather, and it is rich and supple. There are attractive, judicious applications of eucalyptus wood trim on the center console and door panel, and the vinyl portions of the instrument panel are high-quality, soft-to-touch vinyl.

Technologically, the truly expensive luxury mobiles have nothing discernibly, measurably better than the STS V-8. For example, the Cadillac’s touch-screen navigation system works better than anything lately used by BMW or Mercedes-Benz. Its standard OnStar emergency telecommunications system has long been the best in the business. The STS V-8 also is available with Bluetooth wireless networking capability and an advanced voice-recognition system.

In summary, the car is smart, sexy, hot — very hot. The Northstar V-8 has a maximum 320 horsepower, and although you’ll probably never use all of it, it’s just fun thinking about the possibility.

The valves are electronically controlled (variable valve timing) for more precise air/fuel intake, combustion and exhaust, which help increase power without a big jump in fuel consumption. Maximum torque is 315 foot-pounds at 4,400 rpm. A 255-hp V-6 is available for the more fuel-conscious buyer.

Both engines are mated to five-speed automatic transmissions that also can be shifted manually.

And to all of the street spectators who asked: Yes, it’s a Cadillac designed and engineered by General Motors Corp. No, it’s not a Lexus, BMW, Italian car or any other foreign luxury car with a Cadillac grille and badge. It’s a Cadillac. OK?

Purse-strings note: Check out all three STS versions. Compare with Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Lexus GS 430, Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.4
  • Interior design 4.0
  • Performance 4.6
  • Value for the money 4.3
  • Exterior styling 4.5
  • Reliability 4.2

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

Best riding car I have ever owned and driven.

Sporty car with plenty of get up and go. Excellent leg room front and back. Color changes with the daylight and sometimes appears silver or metallic light green. Only 1 other driver besides seller.

4.7

Love this car very luxurious,strong motor fully lo

Never was able to enjoy lost my job and tags were due .Held on to this car as long as I could hoping to come up with the registration fees & sales tax never happen. Owe $300 in fees,this really is a nice car drives so smooth and comfortable

5.0

It was just a pleasure to drive

Luxurious ,and most fun. The sts is top of the line and with the 15 speaker Bose surround sound with a dvd player, your going to just spend more time sitting in the car than watching your home system.

See all 36 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Cadillac
Certified pre-owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 50,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
4 year, 50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper
Powertrain
6 years/100,000 miles (2012-2017 models)
Dealer certification required
172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

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See all 2005 Cadillac STS articles