2008 Cadillac STS

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2008 Cadillac STS Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Cadillac STS was new.

The newly freshened STS adds more power and better looks to a classic American sedan. Improved for the 2008 model year, the STS has an attractive exterior and advanced safety features. If you're in the market for a luxury large sedan, also consider the BMW 5-Series, the Infiniti M or the Lexus GS.

7.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.8
Performance: 9.3
Interior: 6.7
Safety: 7.6
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Faster and more fuel efficient V6
  • Bold and stylish exterior
  • Hi-tech safety options
  • Impressive handling and braking for a large sedan
  • Stereo upgrade has exceptionally high sound quality
  • Interior fit and finish falls short of class rivals
  • Some reviewers find steering lacks feel
  • Some find dashboard controls confusing or difficult to use

2008 Cadillac STS Overview

With a significant refresh for 2008, the Cadillac STS finally competes with other sedans in the luxury segment, offering more performance, better looks and additional features. This all-American car, introduced in 2005, falls between the sportier Cadillac CTS and the larger DTS.

Auto reviewers are impressed with the recent changes, finding the overall end product significantly better. Car and Driver calls the 2008 upgrades a "vast improvement" over the 2007 STS. The Detroit News says that the STS "has been substantially reworked, giving it a more refined and powerful look." Improvements include a faster direct-injection V6 engine, a reworked exterior with a glitzy fascia, smoother handling and a better transmission. Overall, Edmunds calls the new STS "an even stronger player in an arena filled with talent," adding: "It is more handsome, more distinctive and certainly more powerful than the model it updates. All this makes the STS a better car."

While the improved STS is praised by most, some still find it unimpressive. Car and Driver reports: "We like, but don't love, the Cadillac STS. Reason being, its base V-6 model is tepid, and the V-8 model, although robust, is heavy and expensive. And neither model is terribly eye-catching." Yet, the Orlando Sentinel sums up the majority view nicely by saying, "Cadillac has done a commendable job of updating an already competitive car."

Edmunds says the STS offers a "low price for a full-size luxury sport sedan," and most reviewers agree. Still, some reviewers note that while the price is attractive, the fit and finish of the interior suffers a bit. However, Edmunds argues, "Having a price that undercuts the competition by thousands doesn't hurt either, even if a side effect is a few low-grade interior plastics." And reviewers from Cars.com conclude: "I suspect a lot of Cadillac buyers spend more time luxuriating in their cars than driving them hard. If those buyers are looking for value, the STS may prove to be the right choice."

And, where value is concerned, the STS makes a strong argument.  It offers some of the most fuel-efficient configurations available in the luxury sedan class.  That has not been enough to save the vehicle from cancellation, however.  GM will not build a 2009 STS.

The 2008 Cadillac STS comes in a standard V6, V6 Luxury, V6 Luxury Performance, V8 Luxury, V8 Luxury Performance and V8 Premium Luxury Performance trim levels.

IntelliChoice gives the 2008 STS an overall value rating of "Poor", based on total cost of ownership compared to others in its class.

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