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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
high-performance car that is more than livable in day-to-day driving
Reassuring brakes provide short, straight simulated panic stops
marginally more fuel efficient
Car and Driver
The 2008 Cadillac STS-V packs some impressive performance numbers, backed with good handling.
Edmunds is quite impressed with the Cadillac 2008 STS-V, calling it "powerful in every situation." ConsumerGuide also loves the acceleration of the 2008 Cadillac, noting that "Cadillac estimates 4.8 sec 0-60 mph, and it feels every bit that quick." Edmunds knows why the 2008 Cadillac STS-V is so fast: "the rear-drive STS-V is equipped with a supercharged 4.4-liter V8 engine that pumps out 469 hp and 439 pound-feet of torque." The New York Times feels the STS-V’s response wasn’t sporting enough: “The six-speed automatic transmission lags enough to be noticed, and even when all the horsepower is summoned, the STS-V prefers to stay true to its luxury-car roots.” However, most reviews echoed Edmunds’ sentiments: “Just dip the throttle and go. Mash the pedal and the STS-V jets forward on a huge wave of supercharged torque.”
Cars.com was happy with the way the "supercharged Northstar engine teams with a six-speed automatic transmission" in the STS-V, calling the Caddy "an excellent example of a high-performance car that is more than livable in day-to-day driving." Edmunds notes that the automatic transmission on the Cadillac 2008 STS-V "has a tendency to move slowly through gearchanges." Automobile reports “the all-new six-speed manu-matic transmission doesn't always transfer the engine's goods to the rear axle as smoothly as you would expect, whether it's in fully automatic mode, on the sport setting, or in manual-shift mode, when it has an especially difficult time with the two-three upshift.”
ConsumerGuide tests indicate a rather dismal 13.7 mpg for the 2008 STS-V, for which premium gasoline is required. ConsumerGuide also includes EPA estimates, with the STS-V's supercharged V-8 coming in at 13 mpg city, 19 mpg highway.
Handling in the 2008 Cadillac STS-V is a source of mixed reviews from around the Web. Edmunds likes the car’s feel, though it finds it’s ultimately a softer sell than a certain German supersedan. “The car's rather large size ultimately limits its ability to hustle through corners, but it generally handles like a much smaller car,” they write. “Compared to the M5, the STS-V is softly sprung for American tastes, but body roll is well controlled, and the big Caddy never feels floppy or sloppy.” Automobile picks nits with its handling in comparison to German cars, though: “It's missing the fluidity that eludes so many GM products but which is usually present in the best performance cars from, you guessed it, Europe. And the Caddy's steering is too quick off-center and simply doesn't light up the lines of communication between the road and the driver.” Cars.com says, “In our experience, the STS-V is an excellent example of a high-performance car that is more than livable in day-to-day driving.”
Getting up to speed quickly is great, but should one get carried away, it's nice to be able to stop efficiently too, especially in a car of the Cadillac's heft. ConsumerGuide provides comforting feedback in this area, appreciating that "Reassuring brakes provide short, straight simulated panic stops."
The 2008 Cadillac STS-V extracts exceptional power from its supercharged V-8, but handling and gearing miss the high mark set by European luxury supersedans.