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2008 Cadillac STS-V Review
A fun car that’s relatively expensive to drive.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2008 Cadillac STS-V is a limited-edition, high-performance version of Cadillac’s midsize luxury sport sedan, the STS. It keeps the same basic layout as the regular STS, but adds more aggressive exterior styling, interior upgrades, and a hand-built, supercharged, 4.4-liter, Northstar V-8 engine.
Engines: 4.4-liter supercharged V-8
Transmissions: six-speed automatic
Models: Cadillac STS-V
For 2008, all STS models, including the STS-V, get a new nose and wider grille, upgraded interior styling, and a host of high-tech safety equipment. Cadillac’s Lane Departure System uses cameras in the side mirrors to read road lines and warns the driver with visual and audio cues if he or she starts to veer out of the lane. A Blind Zone Alert system scans for cars in the STS’s blind spots and flashes amber lights in the rear-view mirrors if it senses an oncoming vehicle.
The super-performance STS-V features a polished, stainless, wire-mesh grille above and below the front bumper and a power bulge down the center of the hood. Its deep front air dam incorporates brake scoops below the foglights. Chromed air extractor vents mark the fenders. Unique 10-spoke wheels, a rear spoiler, and special badging distinguish the STS-V from the rest of the STS family. Standard features on the STS-V include 18-inch front wheels and 19-inch rear wheels, HID xenon headlamps, rear parking assist, rain-sensing wipers, a sunroof, and keyless entry and ignition. The 2008 STS-V stands 58.2 inches high and 197.6 inches long, and it rests on a 116.4-inch wheelbase.
The cabin of the 2008 Cadillac STS-V cabin looks warmer in appearance than the exterior, with soft leather surfaces complemented by warm wood accents. The 2008 STS-V carries all the luxury appointments of the rest of the STS family, including dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, and a top-notch Bose stereo system. The STS-V adds XM satellite radio, rear AV jacks, rear climate controls, hand-wrapped leather seats with suede inserts, a power sunroof, and olive ash burl wood and aluminum interior accents. Controls seem straightforward and easy to use, with the possible exception of the memory-setting for the driver’s seat, side-view mirrors, radio, and climate controls. These controls get incorporated into the navigation touchscreen, which seems confusing for some.
The Bose 5.1 stereo incorporates one of the industry's first OEM-installed surround-sound systems. Fifteen Bose speakers provide crystal-clear sound output for an integrated six-disc CD/DVD changer that plays DVD-A, CD, and MP3 formats. The setup also includes an eight-inch VGA-quality touchscreen and advanced navigation, Bluetooth phone capability, and OnStar with advanced voice recognition.
Even with all the power under the hood, the STS-V’s cabin does a remarkable job of keeping out noise, vibration, and the elements. A specially laminated windshield and front door glass, wind tunnel-tuned outside mirrors, and high-density/low-mass sound insulation make for a quiet cabin. However, the heavy-duty upgrades found in virtually every dynamic element of the STS-V car, including harder-riding and lower-profile tires, do sacrifice some comfort for power.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 Cadillac STS-V's 4.4-liter, supercharged, V-8 engine produces 469 horsepower and 439 lb-ft of torque. Power moves to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with auto-manual control. The STS-V accelerates from zero to 60 mph in five seconds flat and completes the quarter mile in 13.6 seconds. With acceleration like that, overtaking slow-moving cars or trucks is a breeze in the 2008 Cadillac STS-V. However, the six-speed automatic tends to move slowly through gear changes. The sport-tuned suspension, powerful Brembo brakes, and larger wheels and tires all do their part to provide a nimble, well-balanced ride. Ultimately it gets somewhat limited by its large size, but in general the STS-V handles like a much smaller car.
High-performance Brembo disc brakes with power brake assist and four-channel ABS, Stabilitrak electronic stability control, traction control, OnStar, and a rear-view camera all come standard on the 2008 Cadillac STS-V. A full complement of airbags includes dual front-seat side airbags with passenger airbag occupant-sensing deactivation as well as full-length head curtain airbags. The STS-V also comes standard with the new Lane Departure Warning and Blind Zone Alert systems.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the STS four out of five stars for frontal crash protection and front-seat side-impact protection. It receives five stars for rear side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset crash testing, the regular STS scores a rating of ""good,"" the highest possible. It scores a second-best rating of ""acceptable"" in side-impact crash tests.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Excellent performance
- Elegant design
You Won't Like
- Confusing high-tech features
- Poor fuel economy
A fun car that’s relatively expensive to drive.
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