What it Is
2008 Cadillac STS Preview – New York Auto Show:
Okay, okay. So most sophisticated sedan shoppers overlook the STS, moving instead to the BMW 5 Series or another German – or Japanese – luxury entrant. That's a shame, too, for it has gradually improved to the point where the standard 2008 model now boasts more V6 power, a smooth-shifting (we think) six-speed transmission, a slightly more modern style and a bunch of new safety features. The name may lack cache among luxury sedan snobs, but with these upgrades, smart shoppers should put the 2008 STS on their list of cars to see.
What's Under the Hood
Cadillac brings several significant mechanical upgrades with the 2008 STS, starting with a 3.6-liter V6 engine/six-speed automatic standard powertrain that rates 298 horsepower and 268 lb.-ft. of torque. That's a 40 horsepower boost over the 2007 model and slightly more torque – the existing standard powertrain is rated at 252 lb.-ft. Other improvements include significant safety advances such as an updated version of GM's StabiliTrak stability control system, a lane departure warning system, blind spot monitoring system and more.
What it Looks Like
There's arguably more chrome than what you'd see at an orthodontist convention, and that's okay – if you're shopping Caddy you want that big toothy grille blinding passersby as you drive on down the road. That's not the only change, however: GM says the STS is slightly bigger and takes on design cues from the 2003 Cadillac Sixteen concept, just like the 2008 CTS and 2007 Escalade. This includes the grille, the vertical headlights (HID and Intellibeam lights now available on V6 models), chrome-plated door handles and a body color rear fascia. Optional upgrades include 18-inch wheels.
Inside, the 2008 STS gets some relatively minor upgrades. There's a new steering wheel, available with real “Sapele Pommele” wood trim. We don't know what Sapele Pommele wood is, either. GM says it's an exotic wood usually reserved for furniture, so here's hoping they don't really mean particle board. Elsewhere, the center stack of the instrument panel has added wood trim and new metallic surroundings. Optional upgrades include a head-up driver information display on V6 STS models.