THE RIDE: Four-door, five-passenger 2008 Cadillac STS luxury sports sedan.
DOWN THE ROAD: Freshened for '08, the STS gains in horsepower and torque to go from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds. Available in up to six trims, the sedan is equipped with a direct-injection system, which sprays fuel into the engine cylinder. The result is substantial fuel savings and reduced emissions. Handling capabilities are phenomenal, especially around sharp corners.
TECH & PERFORMANCE: A 3.6-liter V-6 engine blasts 302 horsepower at 6300 rpm and 272 pounds-feet of torque at 5200 rpm. Power reaches the rear wheels via a crisp-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. A power-assisted rack-and-pinion power steering conveys an on-center and precise feel. Handling the suspension duties is an independent short/long arm with coil-over shock in the front and a modified multilink with coil springs in the rear. If you plan to do some twisty back-country driving in the STS, the 11.9-inch front and 11.7-inch rear disc brake rotors come into play. However, I was most impressed with the noise-damping materials used in the car, which make for a quiet interior.
LOOK & FEEL: Built on a unitized welded steel body, the front fascia shows off a dual-textured, multi-faceted grille with side-marker lamps and side-air extractors, chrome-plated door handles and body-colored side mirrors. The rear sports the traditional vertical tail lights and 3-inch polished aluminum twin exhaust pipes. The cabin exudes luxury and roominess. Though an option, Sapele wood trim on the center stack, shifter knob, door trim and steering wheel blends in remarkably well with the cashmere leather. At $5,845, the luxury performance package is well worth the money. It fetches you heated and cooled front seats, Sapele wood, 18-inch aluminum wheels and multi-driver memory settings. Techies can pick the $4,250 premium luxury collection, which gets you a head-up display, side blind zone alert, lane departure warning, power sunroof and a 6-indash CD player.
SAFETY FIRST: Standard features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain for both rows, four-wheel antilock brakes, stability control, antiskid system, tire pressure monitoring system, daytime running lights and a rear-obstacle detection system.
OUT THE DOOR: $42,390, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges.
BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, P235/50R18 front, P255/45R18 rear; wheelbase, 116.4 inches; length, 196.3 inches; weight, 3,857 pounds; fuel capacity, 17.5 gallons; highway, 26 mpg; city, 17 mpg.
WHY DIG IT: The STS is the embodiment of luxury and performance. With a boost in horsepower and torque for 2008, the sedan is up to the job of competing with other luxury sports sedans on the market. Cadillac dealers have their work cut out for them, as you can tell.