The Cadillac STS and STS-V are aging gracefully, but no longer have the cutting-edge appeal they once did.
In 2008, Cadillac gave the STS a mild restyling with a new nose and a wider grille. It's still clearly related to the original Seville STS that ushered in Cadillac's latest design themes, dubbed Art & Science at one time and ensconced at the crisp, folded end of the luxury spectrum. The unique blend of angular panels and smooth, continuous sheetmetal is teamed with elegantly minimal chrome details, which is why the STS still looks contemporary. Kelley Blue Book thinks if you like the "edgy styling of the CTS and XLR cars...you'll like the 2010 Cadillac STS," while admitting most shoppers in this class will want "a more distinctive vehicle." Cars.com finds the STS's styling "elements are in proportion" but critiques its now cliché side vents. Edmunds sees the grille as "particularly striking," but Automobile corroborates TheCarConnection.com's take, calling the STS "anodyne...a car whose exterior and interior both leave us cold." In contrast, reviewers gloss over the similarities to fawn over the STS-V: "In a luxury sport sedan market that's traditionally dominated by German carmakers, the Cadillac STS-V makes a tremendous impression," says Edmunds, while CNNMoney pegs the shape as "bright and angular, with a mouthy stainless-steel grille, vertical headlights, vertiginous flanks, and an engorged hood." Cars.com has a poignant thought to add to the debate, pointing out "few carmakers have managed to craft an entire lineup as cohesive as Cadillac has."
The 2010 Cadillac STS's interior is much softer and more luxurious than the exterior, and it's clear the brand's been paying attention to the lessons of German sedans with its soberly styled cabin. The layout, with some screen-driven controls and quite a few small buttons, can be confusing, and the materials haven't been upgraded to the extent seen in the latest edition of the smaller Cadillac CTS. "Cadillac snazzed up the STS's interior significantly for 2009 with higher-quality wood and the addition of tasteful aluminum trim," Edmunds reminds shoppers, and Car and Driver notes the "more sophisticated instrument cluster looks much richer than those in past cars." The streamlined dash style sports a wide center stack of controls and a nice balance of leather, plastic, and wood-Kelley Blue Book details the materials that give the dash and door panels "a rich look mimicking real leather," but worries "how well this material will hold up over time." It doesn't faze Edmunds, which thinks "luxury buyers should be pleased with this Cadillac's generally high-class ambience."