2005 STS New Car Test Drive
There's a new game in town, and the 2005 Cadillac STS is writing the rules. At long last, Cadillac has delivered on the promise of the original Seville Touring Sedan: a car that people who like to drive will want to drive.
The new STS gets GM's newest V6 and V8 engines, both of which boast the latest in computerized engine management and variable valve timing. The result is smooth, efficient power. And speaking of smooth, the new STS offers a choice of suspensions, too, from the traditional, keyed more to commuting, to the extraordinary, actively compensating for and adjusting to a host of inputs, large and small, smooth and sharp.
But the headline here is that the STS returns to rear-wheel drive, an essential element for truly spirited driving. All-wheel drive can be had as well, putting the STS head to head with the best of the world in the handling competition. There's much more in the hardware and technology arenas, but enough of the gearhead stuff.
STS is blessed with Cadillac's best interior ever, with comfortable but supportive seats that are infinitely adjustable, ample storage space, and superior sound systems. Most important, state-of-the-art occupant safety is standard.
Cadillac's top management rolled the dice. It empowered its stylists and engineers to create an all-new STS, one designed and outfitted from the tires up with one goal in sight: a car meant to bring as much joy and pleasure to the driver as it does comfort and convenience to the passengers. If the 2005 STS is any gauge, there's new life in the wreath and crest.
The 2005 Cadillac STS is a five-passenger sedan with a choice of engines, a V6 and a V8. Each gets its own, appropriately calibrated, five-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available on the V8.
Both packages start with a respectable showing of features expected on today's luxury cars: leather trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bose AM/FM/CD stereo, the usual lineup of power creature comforts and driver aids, OnStar telematics (with one year's service), Stabilitrak electronic stability control, automatic headlamp high-beam control, and rear park assist.
The popular option package for the V6 includes dual, eight-way power and heated front seats, a six-disc CD changer, rain-sensing wipers, polished aluminum wheels and memory for driver's seat, outside mirrors and steering wheel settings ($2,390); offered as an add-on to this package are satellite radio, programmable garage door opener and eucalyptus wood interior trim ($730). A more elaborate package adds heated rear seats, six-disc CD changer with navigation system, satellite radio (with three months' trial service), wood/leather trimmed steering wheel, power moon roof, rear spoiler, polished aluminum wheels, performance brakes, limited-slip rear differential, tire-pressure monitor and variable assist steering ($6,205); a heavy-duty cooling package ($150) can be added to this. Standalone options include a power moonroof ($1,200) and an engine-block heater ($100). Two of the nine exterior paints, Line Red and Diamond White, cost extra ($995).
Checking the first option box on the V8 order form gets the top-level stereo and navigation system, the satellite radio, high-intensity discharge headlamps with washers, Cadillac's Magnetic Ride Control suspension, the wood/leather steering wheel, moon roof, tire-pressure monitor, a rear spoiler, polished aluminum wheels, rain-sensing wipers, performance brakes and limited-slip differential ($11,065). The second box adds unique aluminum wheels, Tuscany leather seating surfaces, heavy-duty cooling system, variable assist steering and W-rated Michelin tires ($2,050). All-wheel drive can be added only to this latter package ($1,900), while adaptive cruise control is available with either or both ($2,300). A Performance Handling Package ($795) with special springs and shocks is available with rear-wheel drive but not all-wheel drive. The moonroof, engine block heater and extra-cost paints are also available on the V8.
A full spectrum of occupant safety features is standard, including dual, two-stage frontal airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags and front-and-rear side curtain airbags. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are standard, too, though tire-pressure monitors are available only with the two noted option packages.