We were hoping Cadillac’s all-new STS would be a dog. Just like the old front-drive Seville STS. Then we wouldn’t have minded too much about Caddy’s decision not to put a steering wheel on the right and sell its new flagship in the UK.
But here, finally, is a Cadillac that can lock horns with the big guys from BMW and Mercedes, Audi and Jaguar. A Cadillac that looks fresh, has the rock-solid feel of an S-class, the dynamics of a 745i, and the silky smooth refinement of a Lexus. And all for thousands less.
Part of the secret of the new STS’s success is that it is based on a stretched version of GM’s global rear-drive Sigma platform that has done such great things for the smaller Caddy CTS and SRX.
With the new STS, which goes on sale Stateside this month and in continental Europe next spring, there are three flavours to choose from. The base model is the STS V6, powered by a 255bhp, 3.6-litre six. The STS V8 comes with Cadillac’s impressive 4.6-litre, 320bhp Northstar eight-pot. While the top-of-the-line is the STS V8 all-wheel drive with Northstar power and a drivetrain extracted intact from the SRX 4x4.
The new Caddy measures 4986mm stem to stern. That’s 172mm shorter than an S-class, 43mm shorter than a 745i, and identical to Lexus’s LS430.While the car’s styling carries over many of the hard-edged design cues of the smaller CTS, the lines and creases have been softened.