2010 Cadillac STS — More HP, More Space than a CTS

The Cadillac STS is perhaps in its final years in 2010 and 2011, pending the release in 2012 of the new Cadillac XTS large car that will replace the STS and the DTS.   As sometimes seems the case, the current Cadillac STS has evolved into a very interesting, if mostly overlooked sedan.  It does not sell nearly as well as the CTS — and it costs a step function more than the CTS is not small reason — but also offers a higher level of standard features and options than the CTS offers.  The STS starts at $46,845; the CTS at $35,165.

Image 1: 2010 Cadillac STS

New for 2010: Two exterior colors: Vanilla Latte and Tuscan Bronze ChromaFlair

Originally I felt the STS did not sell as well as the CTS due to the more muted appearance of the STS design.  Updated in 2005, the new Rear-wheel drive STS is on the same Sigma platform as the 1st Generation CTS was.  It is also made at the excellent Lansing Grand River Factory alongside the CTS.

Image 2: 2005 Cadillac STS c GM

If you compare the 2005 STS (image 2) with the 2010 STS (image 1) you can see that Cadillac has improved the front-end grill and spoiler treatment nicely over the years.  The STS still has what I think is a crucial flaw — a very plain hood line — as flat as sales for the STS have been.

What features can you get on the STS that you can’t get on the CTS?  (What do you get for the more money? More features):

  • 320 hp Northstar V8 provides more power than the 304 hp VVT DI V6 in the CTS (also available in the STS)
  • Lane Departure Warning System
  • Side Blind Zone Warning
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Heads-up Display
  • Magnetic Ride Control — STS V8 Performance Model
  • Heated Steering wheel
  • More rear leg room — 35.9 inches in the CTS compared to 38.3 inches in the STS, so 2.4″ extra room in the STS.

Notably, once you get a fully-equipped STS Performance Sedan out the door it rings up at US$68,785.  That is more than even the CTS-V, which starts at $62,020 — another sign of what a tremendous performance value the CTS-V is.

The STS is available in V6 or V8, Rear wheel drive or All wheel drive.  A certified pre-owned STS is a terrific value in the current market place.  Because they did not sell very well, and are not nearly as well known as the CTS, one can often find unbelievable bargains on lightly used examples.

Bird’s Eye View: Cadillac at Lansing, Grand River

Bit of fun with Google Earth: here are shots of the General Motors plant at Lansing, Grand River which produces the current Cadillac CTS, SRX, and STS:


GM Lansing, Grand River (LGR) bird's eye view aerial shot

GM LGR street level shot of entrance

GM LGR street level shot of entrance

The factory at Lansing Grand River (LGR) has around 1,600 employees, and makes the Cadillac CTS, SRX, and STS models. The XLR is made at Bowling Green, Kentuky at the Corvette Plant. The Escalade is made at Arlington, Texas and in Silao, Mexico (ESV, EXT).  The DTS is made at Hamtramck, Michigan.

The GM factory at Lansing Grand River (LGR) opened in 2001 and was at that time the first new GM assembly plant since the Saturn factory opened in Springhill, TN.  The new factory was built on the site of a former Oldsmobile plant.  LGR has been very successful, and the new CTS, SRX, and STS produced there have been in the top 5 in the world automobile market in initial and four year quality scores as measured by independent surveys.  LGR has been a terrific success compared to the somewhat more storied Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly (wikipedia) plant.

Apparently LGR does offer tours 2 days a week, so good idea to check ahead if you plan to be in Lansing.  GMblog’s FYI covered Lansing in 2006:

On the tour, visitors see examples of the plant’s flexibility to build very different products at one time on the same line. They see parts being delivered “just in time” to team members by a very automated system. Visitors also see safety as the plant’s first priority; bright lights, polished floors, musical Andon boards, team members in common clothing and warm welcomes. Throughout the plant they see examples of how teams are engaged in the business, working to eliminate waste, and focused on quality.

Here is the official plant photo for LGR:

GMs Lansing Grand River plant

GM's Lansing Grand River plant

I was hoping to be able to zoom in on rows of new Cadillac waiting to head to Dealers for sale, but here’s a stock image of one on the test track:

2009 Cadillac CTS

2009 Cadillac CTS