Cadillac STS: Lexus smooth, BMW powerful, Mercedes Class … and All Alone on Saturday night

The current Cadillac STS is the single most over-looked Cadillac model.  While the CTS has captured the lime light and popular focus as a Sales Star, the current generation STS has been the older, perhaps more elegant Sister who is still a bride’s maid, never a bride.

2009 Cadillac STS

2009 Cadillac STS

What are the differences between the 2009 Cadillac CTS and the 2009 Cadillac STS?

Powertrain: CTS offers the great 263hp 3.6L VVT V6 engine standard, with a 304hp 3.6L direct-injection variant of the same engine optional.  The STS offers the direct injection 3.6L engine as standard, with a 320hp 4.6L Northstar V8 engine as optional.  Both cars are front engine, RWD, and both cars are available in all wheel drive for northern climates.  Nod: STS.

2009 Cadillac CTS

2009 Cadillac CTS

Suspension: The CTS was redesigned in 2008, and rides on the Sigma II suspension.  The STS rides on the similar Sigma I suspension.  The STS is a bit larger than the CTS, riding on a 116.4″ wheel base vs the CTS’ 113.4 inch wheelbase, so the STS provides  2.5″ more rear leg room.   If you want a bit more room in your executive sedan, you want the STS.  Nod: CTS.

2008 STS interior

2008 STS interior

Interior Options: The STS has a higher level of standard features.  Not to jump ahead, but it also has a higer price.  There are however some features ONLY available on the STS, such as heads-up display and lane change warning.  Nod: STS

2009 CTS interior

2009 CTS interior

Price: The CTS starts at US$34K and quickly options up to over US$45K.  The STS starts at US$44.5K and quickly options up to over US$60K.  Nod: CTS

V-Series Choices: The V Series is Cadillac’s no holds-barred performance editions.   The CTS from 2004-2007 offered the CTS-V with a Corvette Z06 engine at over 400 hp.   Starting in 2006, the Cadillac STS-V bowed, sporting a 4.4L supercharged Northstar V8 making a rousing 469 hp.  Upping the ante, the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V is arriving at showrooms now for around US$60K (price not set yet) making 556hp.  Will the STS-V be able to answer?  Stay tuned.

So why has the Cadillac CTS sold better than the in some ways superior Cadillac STS?

Looks: although the last refresh has given the STS a bit more style, the STS body does not have the curvaceous appeal of the CTS.  If you want everyone’s all-American beauty, you’d select the CTS.  Price: even though with options the CTS quickly climbs into the same stratosphere as the STS, buyers may be more comfortable inching up to it with individual option packages.

Conclusion: The Cadillac STS is probably one of the most overlooked elegant, excellent, performance and luxury executive sedans of our time.  Everyone will understand and agree with your choice if you bring home the new Cadillac CTS.  It is great looking and performs well.  Bring home a new Cadillac STS and the neighbors may not understand exactly what it is.  But you’ll know that you married the older but wiser sister whose beauty, if understated, may be more lasting.

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