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STYLING | 7 out of 10
one of the more dramatic restylings you're likely to see outside of a complete redesign
some of the switches and buttons lack the precision feel of the competition
Car and Driver
Cadillac snazzed up the STS's interior significantly for 2008
The 2008 Cadillac STS-V has undergone a face-lift, with a new front end that’s more like its sibling CTS and a new interior that’s substantially nicer than the one it replaces.
Cars.com observes that Cadillac’s lineup, including the 2008 STS-V, is one of the more consistent in the automotive world. “Unified styling gets a lot of lip service these days, but few carmakers have managed to craft an entire lineup as cohesive as Cadillac has,” they write. With its newly reshaped front and rear ends, the STS-V is even more distinctive than its competition; Edmunds says, "In a luxury sport sedan market that's traditionally dominated by German carmakers, the Cadillac STS-V makes a tremendous impression." With its bold stance and prominent larger grille, the Cadillac 2008 STS-V is definitely hard to miss. CNNMoney calls its look “bright and angular, with a mouthy stainless-steel grille, vertical headlights, vertiginous flanks, and an engorged hood that cocoons a supercharged Northstar V-8.” Cars.com points out the differences from the stock STS sedan: “Its special sculpted hood allows space for the engine's supercharger, and its 10-spoke, painted aluminum-alloy wheels are exclusive….Distinguishing touches include a polished stainless-steel wire-mesh grille, brake-cooling ducts and a splitter to counteract aerodynamic lift.”
However, Automobile sums up the shape as many reviewers do: “Aesthetically, the maximum Caddy sedan suffers from its genesis as the anodyne STS, a car whose exterior and interior both leave us cold.” Car and Driver finds the look somewhat inauthentic, too: "the exterior is all jeweled up with chrome door handles and trunklid trim plus fender 'air extractors' that don't function since air can't pass through solid plastic. They look nice, anyway."
According to Cars.com, "the STS has gotten some interior improvements--and it didn't need as many to begin with." The 2008 Cadillac STS-V's interior is well liked, with reviewers generally approving of the Cadillac 2008 STS-V's stylish steering wheel, trim, and seats. Car and Driver notes the "new, more sophisticated instrument cluster that looks much richer than those in past cars." Edmunds reports “Cadillac snazzed up the STS's interior significantly for 2008 with higher-quality wood and the addition of tasteful aluminum trim. Also, a sporty new steering wheel looks and feels better than the previous one.”
The 2008 Cadillac STS-V has a more subtle front end, and with a new interior, it’s more in line with its expensive imported competitors.