Overview & Reviews
Though it evolved into an entirely different species, the luxury performance DNA of the Cadillac STS can be traced all the way back to the special range-topping Seville hardtop coupe of the 1950s. At that time one of the fastest, flashiest and most luxurious cars on the road, it evolved into various different forms over the course of several decades until emerging as the buttoned-down STS luxury sedan.
If you're in the market for a used luxury sedan with competitive amounts of power, roominess, comfort and value, a STS could be a good idea. However, it was largely eclipsed in terms of performance and luxury by competing Japanese and European sedans in its later years. Even its smaller CTS sibling offered better performance and handling, a much nicer interior and class-competitive interior space.
Most Recent Cadillac STS
The Cadillac STS was a rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan that was produced from 2005 through 2011. A midcycle refresh took place for '08, bringing revised styling, a more luxuriously trimmed interior and a new base engine. We suggest focusing your search on cars from these later model years.
Originally, the STS came standard with a 255-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 and a five-speed automatic. This was replaced by a 302-hp V6 and six-speed auto for 2008. With the exception of the STS's final model year in 2011, buyers could opt for a 320-hp 4.6-liter V8 coupled to a six-speed auto. Originally, each engine represented a different trim level, as the V8 came standard with the V6's optional heated front and rear seats, memory functions, heated steering wheel and automatic wipers. Key options to look for included a magnetically controlled adaptive suspension, adaptive cruise control, a navigation system and ventilated front seats.
For 2010 and 2011, however, trim levels were introduced. The V6 came in Luxury Sport, Luxury and Premium trims, while the V8 was available in Luxury and Performance. The actual equipment that was available didn't really change. Many of the previous options were simply redistributed into the upper trims, though it should be noted that all but the V6 Luxury trims got upgraded braking, steering and cooling systems.
In reviews and road tests, our editors found the strengths of the Cadillac STS to include surprising agility, respectable performance and a high-quality audio system. Downsides include a somewhat old-fashioned feel compared to its rivals, a small trunk and hit-or-miss interior quality. Overall, it's hard to fully endorse this full-size luxury sedan when Cadillac's own smaller CTS from the time offered a more involving drive while only giving up a bit of interior space to its big brother.
Previous Cadillac STS Models
Used shoppers may come across an older STS. Technically a trim level (there was also an SLS), this is actually the front-wheel-drive, fifth-generation Seville produced from 1998-2003. The STS was the "performance-oriented version" of that car and featured a more powerful V8 engine along with more luxury features. The 1992-'97 Seville also featured a similar STS edition.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 285.00
Best Cadillac I've ever owned! - 2009 Cadillac STS
By Thomas Pascucci - January 13 - 8:52 am
This car is a great road car with all the power you need to take on all challengers. Bought mine used with low miles from a man who meticulously kept it in pristine condition and I intend to following his footsteps.
LADY RICKI - 2010 Cadillac STS
By Ted - January 2 - 7:15 pm
The car needs 2 new tires 2 have 33,300 mi. & 2 have 19,000 two cause some road noise because of having flat spots caused from setting on dealer lot too long. The car is a 2010 purchased new in Aug. 2011 Dealer replaced two and should have replaced all 4 at the same time only fixed half the problem. Otherwise the car is in perfect condition was serviced at dealership and( I HAVE EVERY SERVICE BILL IN GLOVE BOX)
Comfortable ride, good performance, clean styling - 2005 Cadillac STS
By SLG - September 23 - 11:22 pm
My 2005 STS Norstar V-8 since it was new. Currently it has almost 80,000 miles. There were a few minor mechanical problems when new, all covered under warranty, but over the last several years the repairs have been minimal, or just routine maintenance. The car has very good handling, braking and acceleration for a luxury car, and plenty of room to ride very comfortably, which makes road trips no problem. With the Norstar V-8 it has plenty of power, but without sounding like a "boy racer."
Not so Good - 2007 Cadillac STS
By Sammy Sam - September 16 - 9:17 am
This is my second Caddy. I thought I'd get a four door car because my family grew. Well this car I got from the dealer was a eye catcher and test drove it fine. After a couple weeks, I started to have some issues, the dealer couldn't figure it out and the warranty on the car wouldn't kick in since they can't nail what the problem was. Basically the noise sounded like a belt going bad, they changed everything imaginable and still the issue was there. Brakes are horrible, and electronic pieces go to quickly such as the steering wheel controls for the radio. Additionally, to replace your headlights you have to remove the entire bumper off to do so, dealer asks 350.00 in labor only, which is a rip off, although I do it myself, I have to take the day out on a weekend to do it which then the rest of the weekend is gone. My opinion is that they need to make a car that is consumer friendly for repairs such as maintenance for lighting etc. and then the dealers need to know how to fix these issues. So far this is my last Caddy and wouldn't buy another.. Going back to BMW. Way better car.
Beautiful but many costly repairs. - 2005 Cadillac STS
By Linda Noonan - July 24 - 10:13 pm
I loved the look and smooth ride. I bought my STS with 7K miles, certified pre-owned with extended warranty. At 18k miles the fuel pump went then 33K miles the water pump went after that it was something BIG each year. Cat converter replaced, intake position sensors, replaced vent solenoid, motor mounts, right & left lower control arms just to list a few. (seriously!) Transmission started clunking especially while driving slow or going from reverse to drive. Always garaged and maintained, I had to stop the $ bleeding at 85,000 miles when the transmission/drive train was about to drop out. The Cadillac dealer said new drive train $3,500 and there would be possible other issues. I'm done with Cadillac, this was my third, my beautiful Eldarado had mechanical troubles as well. Too bad, they were such beautiful LOOKING cars. Perhaps it is the aluminum North Star engine? Since my experience I have heard of others having numerous problems with this system.
Best Car We Ever Drove - 2006 Cadillac STS
By stser - August 11 - 3:13 pm
Bought new in June 2006 for my wife and two middle school boys. Boys are grown and gone, but car is still excellent. 108,000 miles and counting. Lots of short cold winter starts which can really wear on an engine, but no problems. Used synthetic oil and changed only every 10,000 miles. Ash tray covers (f&b) both broke off, and the bushings in the front suspension have moved out of place so we do get some clunking noises over bumps. Both headlamps burned out within months of each other and were costly to replace because the whole front end had to come off. On third set of tires, otherwise no issues. If looking at used...I would buy my car again. Hope to keep it another 100,000 miles. Good GM!
Cadillac Delivers Excellence, GM does not. - 2006 Cadillac STS
By darkmatter - May 28 - 6:53 pm
I purchased my 3.6L v6 STS fully loaded for $10,000 after my previous Cadillac, a 2000 Deville DHS, was totaled from hail damage. I needed to get a new car quickly, and I had my first Cadillac for so long with no issues I wanted to stick to the brand. When I first sat in the vehicle the overwhelming number of "intuitive" features was extremely intimidating. Overtime, they grew on me, and the immense customization became a tool from the vehicle to optimize a perfect driving experience. However, with all the great number of features and beautiful styling of the car I found it was easy to overlook the mechanics. One week after I purchased the vehicle, I noticed a "clicking" noise. Continued:
Good and Bad :( - 2005 Cadillac STS
By ahmaduhhs - October 23 - 4:24 pm
Owned the 2000 STS, 2001 STS, 2002 STS, 2003 STS and now the 05 STS. The interior is shameful compared to the 98-04 STS. The exterior however is marvelous particular the front and back end. Lots of standard features love the power of the V8 N*. Heard the V6 was no good :(
My first Cadillac - 2008 Cadillac STS
By powerline87 - August 5 - 6:39 pm
This is my first Cadillac and my first car that was over $1000. Value: I got my car 3-4 years old, because the price drops by $20-25k by then. Performance: 302hp 3.6L DI V6. 52/48 weight dist. AWD. Dual-Wishbone front suspension - It handles better than most smaller cars I've driven, and even handles about as well as the CTS, despite being bigger and more comfortable. Comfort: I have driven a Lincoln MKZ, a Cadillac CTS and SRX, and a Lexus ES 350, and the STS is the most comfortable out of all of them. It is roomier and its seats just feel more comfortable. Summary: A used 2008-2011 Cadillac STS has a better balance between luxury and performance than any other car in my price range.
An Underrated (V8) car that we'll miss - 2009 Cadillac STS
By cadillacmike - December 29 - 12:35 am
While the CTS is the darling sport sedan from Cadillac, the STS was a more refined car with more room, and power (with the NorthStar V8) and better egronomics with regard to the memory seat and wheel recall functions. We have both a CTS (2008 premium ed) and an STS (2009 Platinum ed), so can compare them both. We also had a 2005 CTS and two (still have 1) LT1 Fleetwood Broughams, so we've had a few Cadillacs in recent years Handling and performance are equal to or superior to the CTS, particularly with NorthStar & the wide 255mm 18" rear tires (CTS has 235mm front & rear) Interior room is better and the single glass sunroof is quieter. 15 speaker Bose system is very powerful and clear.