This isn't necessarily a full blown review, but Texas Jim requested I mention how I like the car. I'm more than glad to share my experiences.
As of today, my 2005 STS has 82,560 miles.
In the glorious 80,000+ miles, I've had a couple problems with the car. At about 70,000 the power-steering pump went out. I had it fixed and it was back happily on the road. My passenger door occasionally won't open from the outside (this started when it was in for the power-steering pump). I haven't fixed this yet because it isn't necessarily a large problem. And of course, as many of you may know, the AWD STS has a problem that develops around 20k where it is very harsh in it's gear changes. I sadly haven't reflashed it yet, but I plan to get around to it soon. I haven't because for easy driving (which consists of about 97% of all), it isn't so noticeable. When I am driving spiritedly, the manual gear select works gloriously.
However, it's hard to understand what other people consider reliable. In short, I believe this car is very reliable.
Our previous car was a 2003 Audi A6 2.7t. Mere months after getting the car, one of the headlights went out. Had it not been under warranty, it would have cost me $1,200 according to the dealer. A year after that, it went out again. And again sometime later. Three new headlights, thankfully under warranty. There were also numerous other problems. The master cylinder in the brakes had gotten stuck. Power windows were getting off track everywhere. Cup-holder broke off (my fault; darn 64oz cups). There are probably other things I struggle to remember now.
Don't get me wrong; I loved the car. The point is, I put an end to that car shy of 50,000 because it was becoming to be too costly.
Ironically, we go out and buy a more expensive car.
Here is what makes me (IMO) a true Cadillac enthusiast: After owning my Audi, Cadillac ranked rather low in my books. Frankly, I pictured the brand with an elderly image. I wanted something a little more sporty than a firm Buick. But for the heck of it, I decided to look into Cadillac and absolutely loved what I saw. Simply the most beautiful styling I've ever seen. And obviously, this holds true today and will tomorrow. Cadillac has the perfectly distinctive look to all of their products that no one can copy.
But there was also another car on my mind. The big American sedan known as the Chrysler 300C. I loved that car too. And it was a lot cheaper. I test drove one and was attracted to the performance of the torquey Hemi. I had plans to pick up my Hemi within the next week when GM announced the employee pricing event. That was a sign from above that I needed to go after what I really want and not look back. I knew exactly what I wanted and found it. It was on a lot in Des Moines, Iowa (about 4 hours from me). I told my local dealer I NEEDED it, and so they shipped it here. I remember the night before we picked it up, I brought my family to the dealer and spotted my car on the trailer. It looked so sharp, so mysterious, so sleek and muscly.. The image is still today embedded in my mind. I can't imagine many people being more excited than me at that point in time.
The first thing I did when I picked the car up, I took it home and spent a good 2 hours washing, waxing and detailing it. And then I took it to a nice park in my region and took a bunch of pictures. My avatar is one of them. Then, of course, I drove around town to show off. A head turner, this car. It generates so many comments and lookers, you'd think you were driving an Enzo or Gallardo. Especially when it's shiny. It simply demands attention. Still is today, even though there are at least 4 more in my town of <10,000.
An interesting thing about my car, though, is that I may have been ripped off with my wheel choice. It is my understanding that my model was supposed to come with 18" wheels. I got the 17" from the V6 model. I don't mind so much. But when I do see the other STS (exactly like mine) around town, I get jealous. I take note in the grooves around the rim which mine lack. It is stunning. But then again, perhaps mine has a lower rotating-mass And, I'm not sure if this is true by any means, but I think mine may sit lower than normal. Recently arrived a 2005 STS (RWD V8) at our dealer and when I parked next to it, I can't help but notice the RWD sits a lot higher than mine. I'll try to get a picture sometime.
Apart from my recollection of my first moments with this car, I guess I should get more into the goods.
My car has the black leather interior with the heated and cooled seats which work stupendously. One feature that I always forget about until winter, is the heated steering wheel. Absolutely great. The automatic brights work great, but I almost never use them. I prefer it manually and aside from that, the output is a lot better if you do it yourself. Initially, I thought the brights were poor. Much worse than my Audi was. But then I did it all manually and they are actually a bit better. I sometimes hear people complaining about those "fancy xenon headlights," but they very well may have saved my car a few times. Lots of deer here in NE Iowa. The automatic wipers work great. Instead of the variable intermittent adjustable knob, it is actually the sensitivity of the automatic wipers. Then of course I have to mention the Bose 5.1 Studio Surround system. Spectacular. The Bose in my Audi was great, but this brings car audio to a whole new level. One feature that I wish my car came with was the HUD. Even before my Audi, I had a Bonneville SSEI which had it, and I loved it. However the DIC on the STS has a digital speed readout so that is nice too. The A/C is spectacular as well. GM traditionally has the best AC, as I figured out with my Chevy truck and Bonneville. The Audi was rather impressive too, but this system is the best I could imagine. I normally only use the AC on the highway, but when I do, I set it to 72F and it does the rest with amazing accuracy and speed.
Performance wise, the car is great. The Northstar really is a near perfect engine. Great soundtrack. Great response. Very fast. People don't believe what they're watching when I put the hammer down. Such an innocent-looking car with 320 shotguns all aimed and ready for fun. Probably sounds funny, but I'm always on rice patrol in my Cadillac. Few people look at Cadillacs to race, so I make my own fun. I got behind a semi-riced Acura RSX one time. He gunned it getting on the highway so I copied. I had to let off to avoid hitting him. The guy couldn't shift for crap, so that probably had some to do with it, but either way, I bet it looked hilarious to spectators (4200lb sedan chasing a "sports car").
All of this car does come at a price aside from the MSRP. EPA ratings rate it pretty poorly on gas. 16 in the city and 22 on the highway. I suppose it is respectable for what it is, but it is certainly no gas-miser. On my part, however, it is a little more optimistic. When driven right, I commonly achieve 18 in the city and 24 on the highway. And in a couple extreme (short and probably unfair) cases, I've averaged 27mpg on the highway--this means driving unnaturally soft and using Iowa's rolling hills illegally to my advantage. Either way, gas sometimes hurts in this car. But I find it well worth it.
Previously I mentioned how I rarely looked into Cadillac. Now, I am pretty much sold on the brand. I consider myself a loyalist. My next car, whenever that may be, has a great chance of being a Cadillac. Along those lines, I plan to drive this car for quite some time yet. The prideful Northstar is definitely up for it. And I am too. Especially when considering the depreciation Fact is, my Cadillac is my #1 place to be when I want some alone time, or just a way to get things off my mind. I've had a great load of good times in this car. It'd be hard to give it all up.
Thank you for listening.