2005 Cadillac STS V6
2005 Cadillac STS V6. Click image to enlarge

Test Drive: 2005 Cadillac STS V6
Test Drive: 2008 Cadillac STS V8

Manufacturer’s web site
Cadillac Canada

Review by Chris Chase
Photos by Haney Louka and Laurance Yap

Two years after Cadillac brought rear-wheel drive back to its sedans with the mid-sized CTS, GM’s most prestigious brand followed up with a new full-size car called the STS. While the STS was a familiar name, having been used on a variant of the previous-generation Seville (Seville Touring Sedan), this was a completely different car and was not marketed as a Seville.

There was one common thread between the Seville and the redesigned 2005 STS, that being the use of Cadillac’s Northstar 4.6L V8 engine, first seen in the early 1990s. In the STS, the optional Northstar was rated at 320 horsepower and 315 lb-ft of torque. The base engine was a 3.6L V6 that made 255 hp and 252 lb-ft. Both engines were paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive was an option in V8-powered cars.

In 2006, AWD could be added to V6 models, and Cadillac added the high-performance STS-V, powered by a stonking 469 hp (and 439 lb-ft) supercharged 4.4L version of the Northstar V8. It used a six-speed transmission and was rear-wheel drive only.

2008 Cadillac STS V8
2005 Cadillac STS V6
Cadillac STS. Click image to enlarge

For 2007, regular V8-powered models got a six-speed automatic, too. Two new option packages—a performance handling group and a platinum package—were offered in non-V models.

Model year 2008 brought more changes. The original 3.6L V6 was swapped out for a newer version with direct fuel injection and a power boost to 302 hp and 272 lb-ft, which was paired with the six-speed automatic, so no more five-speeds for this big Caddy. Refreshed styling went along with revised options: a new handling package included active steering and Brembo brakes; lane departure and blind spot warning systems were made available as extras; HID headlights and a head-up display could be added to V6 models; and automatic high beams (which switch from high to low beam when approaching another vehicle) were added.

There were no significant updates for 2009, but 2010 brought news of the STS-V discontinuation. That was the first sign of Cadillac winding the STS down to make room for a replacement; the next was the loss of the V8 model in 2011, leaving naught but the entry-level V6 model. There was no 2012 model, as Cadillac prepared for the launch of the STS’ replacement, the 2013 XTS. (http://www.autos.ca/first-drives/first-drive-2013-cadillac-xts )

The STS’ Natural Resources fuel consumption ratings for 2005 were 14.2/8.8 L/100 km (city/highway) for V6 models, 14.2/8.6 for V8 RWD cars, and 15.8/9.7 in V8 AWD models.

There was a marked improvement in 2006, especially for the STS V6, whose rated consumption dropped to 13.1/8.6 L/100 km, while the V8 AWD model improved to 14.6/9.4. The V6/AWD model new that year was rated 13.8/8.7 L/100 km.

In 2007, the STS-V’s ratings were 17.4/10.4 L/100 km.

The direct-injection V6 added in 2008 dropped that model’s ratings to 12.2/7.5 L/100 km, and those figures would improve further, to 11.7/7.4 in 2010.

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