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You are in the Cadillac STS/STS-V
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Cadillac STS, Cadillac STS-V, Sedan
#11 of 1325 2005 STS Prototype
Jun 19, 2003 (6:14 pm)
Here are some brief observations from a recent inspection of an STS prototype:
As has been cited on the Catera and CTS boards, The 2005 STS is built on the same Sigma platform as the CTS and SRX vehciles. That will bring the considerable benefits of double a arm suspension geometry to the front and rear,
At first glance, the STS appears to be a slightly larger CTS, but with some subtle styling improvements to reduce the jarring surface juxapostions so characteristic of the CTS.
In profile, the STS presents similar volumn proportions as the CTS.
From the front, the four stacks of vertical lights are very similar to those seen on the SRX, as is the grille treatment.
From the rear, the appearance is more similar to the XLR than to the CTS.
Overall, I found the exterior appearance to be more appealing and less challenging than the CTS.
The STS features vented rotors at all four corners, but I was disappointed to note that they are single piston units as opposed to multiple piston units; I have recommended the use of 4 pot Brembos instead, particularly on the v series.
The interior is a mixed bag. The instrument panel is a noticeable improvement over the gimmicky "home computer theme' CTS center stack arrangement and other odd bits. The proposed STS dash has more traditional appearance.
The proposed STS instrument panel is a more coherent design than the bizarre BMW 745 arrangement (oh goody, gimme column shift again ! How many computer mouse wheel clicks to change the radio station? And unlike the silly 745 will all of that shiny brushed metal stuck to every edging, the STS was tastefully restrained. Let BMW try to recreate the 54 Mecury or the 58 Buick with their love of metal decoration. Overall, the STS did not strike me as being up to audi 8L standards in this specific area.
The door panels on the STS were my least favorite parts: They appear to have the same shapings as the CTS panels, but with slighly improved plastics. Wood trim is applied to the horizontal sufaces surrounding the window controls, but not to the doors as is the case on the current STS, the new audi 8L, the Jaguars, etc. Instead, the use of wood trim had an unfortunate low rent Toyota / Lexus appearance. Room for improvement, but then again, this was a prototype.
The seat tracks are improved over the current STS's exposed tracks, and the grab handles are the damped type that one finds in VW's Golf and other cars cars.
My overall reaction to the interior is that it's a bit improved over the cheap and cheesy CTS interior, but it's far from class competitive in terms of fit/finish and material quality. The French company that supplies VW's higher end interiors should be consulted on the matter of the STS interior.
Styling issues aside, GM's interior designers, should spend a couple of minutes inside VW's higher end products, particularly the Toureg and the Audi A6 and the new A8L, to understand what is the current standard in this price class of car. Even some lowly Toyota and Nissan products offer rear window sun shades, why not the CTS, STS, etc?
Positive features are the possiblity of awd and a V-12 engine for the STS-V.
considerable thought has been given to some interesting systems interfaces, including the possiblity of linking the high-beam circuit into the adaptable cruise control distance measuring system to produce a simple means to automatically dim the high beams when approaching slower cars from the rear.
The proposed Bose sounds system will again be class leading, so that's another terrific feature.
Seat shaping has been given some careful thought. The seats are wonderfully contoured, and have a very similar feel and multiple density cushioning as found in the Catera (!) and in the new Maybach sedan, and to my rear end at least, more comfortably shaped than in the BMW 745 or Toyota's Lexus 430 (Having spent some time in all four of those cars last weekend).
As is the case on the Catera, (not the CTS), the current STS, the 5 & 7 series BMWs. the E & S class Mercedes, Toyota's larger Lexus products and Renault's higher end Infinity products, The STS offered rear ventilation with a rear compartment control panel for use by rear seat passengers. Unlike the E mercedes, the vents are limited to under seat and the end of the cener consul; there are no B pillar rear vents which are becoming a class standard. Unlike Toyota's LS430 product, the STS did not appear to offer the sort of sophisiticated rear control panel accessible in the center armrest. Rear seat cushion and seatback adjustments did not appear to be offered, which is a curious absence in this class.
To be confirmed is the availability of fold down rear seats, but they are expected in this class and likely given that the Sigma structure permits their provision on the CTS.
Unknown at this point is whether the awd version will employ the sophisticated and effective awd software that Ford developed for use on the Volvo R sedan and other upcoming higher end products. That software permits rapid changes in torque distribution front /rear and side / side based upon multiple measurements including speed, rate of longitudinal acceleration / deceleration, rate of lateral acceleration / deceleration, rate of yaw acceleration / deceleration, speed of gas pedal release and brake pedal application, and rate of steering wheel movement. As a result, the car will seamlessly transition from an oversteering mode at corner entrance into an understeering (and yaw acceleration damping) mode upon throttle application at corner exit. Terrific stuff, and if Ford's using it on a $38k Volvo, GM should be using it on a $50k Cadillac.
Overall, I thought that the STS is off to a very good start, with some obvious room for improvement in the areas of brake caliper design, and interior materials / fit / finish.
#12 of 1325 Great Stuff Gearman!
Jun 19, 2003 (8:39 pm)
Thanks for the informative posting. I'm not sure where Caddy plans to position the STS yet. I guess I see it probably as a 540i/E-class competitor. So it would probably not have all the refinement of the 7-series for example. But some of your comments are troubling. What is the world would it take to get GM to create a class leading interior? With BMW and MB having all new versions of their mid-luxury sedans, the STS has to be at the top of its game in every respect. Or it will fare poorly compared to the E 500 et al.
I consider the revamped STS to be the key product of the Caddy revitalization. If they get it right, they'll have huge momentum behind them with what will finally be a broad enough base product line to compete with the Germans and Japanese. If they come out lackluster, they could really stumble. The shortcomings of the initial CTS were forgiven because the expectations were so low. With the very positive reviews the XLR and SRX are getting, as well as the sales momentum of the CTS, the bar has been raised. The STS should not leave the factory until it has been nothing less than perfected to the point where it is class leading in every respect.
#13 of 1325 gearman
Jun 19, 2003 (10:26 pm)
I too think that was a very good review if I buy it.......kidding. How did you get a look???
Jun 21, 2003 (8:14 am)
is very cheap on all their makes from Chevy to Saab besides Cadillac. Looking inside a Deville, Seville, or CTS, I see excellent quality that works well too. I, for one, refuse to complain about Cadillac quality as it is great. However, GM needs to improve their other brands' quality starting with Saab, then Buick, then Pontiac, then Saturn, then GMC, then Chevy, and lastly Hummer. I believe the quality of the Deville AND Seville is ABOVE the quality of an E Class, 5 Series, S80, and A6 and equal to that of the Town Car.
Jun 21, 2003 (8:29 am)
#16 of 1325 STS Review by Gearman...
Jun 21, 2003 (2:38 pm)
Many thanks for the review. Can you tell us where you were able to see the prototype? I fully agree with your comments about the interior. Cadillac MUST get this right. I am constantly amazed at auto companies trying to save a few bucks on the interiors of their cars only to turn off many buyers. It cannot possibly cost much more money to put in higher quality materials and those cost could be passed on. No one looking at such a car will balk for a couple of hundred bucks more. You did not say much about engines. Can you tell us what the prototype had? Horsepower or any other details? Thanks
Jun 26, 2003 (4:32 pm)
I don't think much engine information is available yet; I'm interested in that too.
#18 of 1325 If Cadillac officials are here
Jun 26, 2003 (5:48 pm)
you had BETTER put a whole darn lot of wood (definitely as much as Seville or even more) in the STS or else this one current advantage (lots of wood) of the Seville and Deville in my mind will vanish and I will forgot about Cadillac. I wish the CTS had more wood trim than it has. The Ford Taurus SEL has more wood trim than the CTS, LOL!
#19 of 1325 Libertycat
Jun 26, 2003 (6:18 pm)
Maybe you should be looking at Jags.... they got a whole plank across the dashboard.
I want Cadillac to concentrate on performance, not maximum wood content.
#20 of 1325 Agreed
Jun 27, 2003 (10:06 am)
I hate wood in cars. High quality metal. Fine. Wood. Maybe if I want my car to look like a '70s era rec room.
At the very least, maybe Caddy could do like Mercedes and its AMG varients and offer a wood interior on the base model and pure metal and plastic interior for those of us who pay big money for cars because we happen to like machines.