The 2010 Cadillac STS lags in safety crash-test scores, though not in its ample safety features and options. The low safety score indicates TheCarConnection.com's philosophy that expensive luxury cars should offer world-class safety, regardless of their origin or mission.
It comes down to the stars. The STS's crash-test results are off the pace set by newer GM sedans, not to mention the Mercedes fleet. NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) gives the STS four stars in all but side protection for rear-seat passengers (five stars). The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) gives the STS "good" results in frontal-offset protection, "acceptable" results in side impact, and a "poor" grade for rear-impact tests.
The STS is fitted with standard safety gear like dual front, side, and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; and traction and stability control. All-wheel drive is an option.
Intellibeam headlamps are also on the options list for the 2010 STS; they sense approaching taillights or headlights and dim themselves accordingly. On the Cadillac STS V-8 with all-wheel drive, adaptive cruise control and "enhanced StabiliTrak with active steering" are available as options, Cars.com adds.
Other technological upgrades include revised stability control, a lane-departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, and a blind-spot warning system. Car and Driver finds some of these annoying, as they bleep too many alerts in the cabin (though the lane-departure feature doesn't sound off until the car is "almost on the lane lines"). The blind-spot system proved nearly useless to their editors: "We had to look at the mirror so intently to see if the icon were illuminated, we might as well have just turned our heads a little farther and manually checked the blind spots."
As for the STS-V, "a limited-slip differential, antilock brakes, stability control and traction control are all standard on the STS-V," Edmunds reports, along with Cadillac's "rear parking assist, a lane departure warning system and blind spot warning system." Cars.com likes the STS-V's Intellibeam headlights, "which adjust their intensity based on the oncoming or leading vehicles."