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Automobile & the STS


Bruce Nunnally

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http://automobilemag.com/reviews/sedans/05...adillac_sts_v6/

Not a really indepth review, more of a space-filler perhaps. Some data wrong, like the 3.6L makes 255 hp, not 225 hp. Argues in favor of the V6 STS for balance, but does not discuss actually driving the car and how it accelerates or how well the engine is matched to the STS. Overall looks like a paper review, which is to say one written without bothering to drive the car.

But-and this is a big but-the Caddys aren't quite there yet. This particularly applies to the interiors, whose high-quality materials somehow look cheap. And the detailing that is so well executed on an Audi or a Lexus just isn't seen in the STS. The column stalks seem to have come out of a lower-class car, and the switchgear just doesn't feel the way it should in a $50,000 automobile. The Chrysler 300C has its faults, too, but the column stalks have a precision that the Caddy doesn't come close to matching. And it's a cheaper car.

I was hoping that since I had read that Cadillac is subcontracting entire interiors that we could avoid this type of review -- the interior should look very much 'all of one piece' in execution and have a certain consistency. Don't know exactly how you make a column stalk have greater precision though [precision: the quality or state of being capable, caused by, or designating and action, performance, or process carried out or successively repeated within close specified limits]. I get that the writer means that the Chrysler stalks look better in some way. Not usually how I pick a vehicle. I LIKE the GM/Cadillac column stalks though, so what do I know.

photoInt2_med.jpg

300C interior image largish so linked:

http://www.seriouswheels.com/2005/2005-Chr...or-1280x960.htm

and in the Automobilemag review of the 300 they said:

The confident exterior is matched by a stylish interior. Chrysler has made a quantum improvement in the quality of the bits you touch, even if they aren't always up to Lexus standards. In many cases, the materials are better than those used by the Japanese competition, with soft-touch surfaces as opposed to hard plastics, for instance. The design is very attractive, with great-looking gauges and chrome accents everywhere, and the tortoiseshell finish on the C's steering wheel, shifter, and door handles is delightful

Lexus ES330 interior:

es330-dash.jpg

shrug. My impression after a Cadillac test drive event and moving from a Lexus to a Cadillac to a Mercedes was if you removed the badges most people could not tell you which car they were in. I don't see amazing stalk technology/appearance here, nor am sure what detailing are in the lexus not found in the STS.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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I was hoping that since I had read that Cadillac is subcontracting entire interiors that we could avoid this type of review -- the interior should look very much 'all of one piece' in execution and have a certain consistency.  Don't know exactly how you make a column stalk have greater precision though [precision: the quality or state of being capable, caused by, or designating and action, performance, or process carried out or successively repeated within close specified limits].  I get that the writer means that the Chrysler stalks look better in some way.  Not usually how I pick a vehicle.  I LIKE the GM/Cadillac column stalks though, so what do I know.

I never realized before how important something like a turn signal stalk is, but I had never owned a car that had a really nice one. I've owned four GM vehicles, and one Nissan. All the GM stalks were sloppy. And when I say "stalk", I probably really mean the actual switchgear inside the column. It's loose and clanky. The stalk on my $14,000 Nissan truck feels like a quality item. The feel is very positive (not loose). I finally realized what people were talking about (in general) when they said that Japanese vehicles had better feeling interiors (buttons, switches, etc). I like the design of the Seville interior so much that I overlook the turn signal stalk. I know it's possible for GM to do one right (the Aurora for instance), but apparently not in the 92-97 Seville...which uses the same steering column and switchgear that the General has used for DECADES before.

My Seville has also developed the "loose wheel" syndrome...where the tilt wheel mechanism loosens up inside the column and you can actually move the wheel up and down a bit. There are three lock screws in there (IIRC) and they're notorious for loosening on the older GMs (I'm familiar with '80s G-bodies). That might have been acceptable back in the '70s and '80s, but a luxury car from the mid 1990s? Again, my '95 190,000-mile Nissan truck's steering column is more solid than the Cadillac's. :(

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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Maybe it’s because I grew up owning, driving and loving GM cars that I personally have no issue with their ergonomics... Maybe I just don't get it but I hate the switch gear on Toyotas. For example in my wife’s 4Runner Limited, nothing makes sense, the CD track selection button is upside-down. The gear selector lacks the forth gear; you select that one with a button. The high beam selector is backwards (and easy to accidentally trip) too...

I once managed to lock someone INSIDE a rental Camry... When you close either of the front doors it auto locked... and it turned off all internal power to the lights. The helpless driver could not find the "intuitive, silky feeling" power lock switch in the dark as the rest of us rolled around on the ground laughing.

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Easin' down the highway in a new Cadillac,

I had a fine fox in front, I had three more in the back

ZZTOP, I'm Bad I'm Nationwide

Greg

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That is ALL they would have to do is take the stalk away and replace it with buttons and start a new learning curve for prior owners. About the only option is voice activated, IMHO... The interior to me is a little edgy but the edgyness is what gives it the 'inexpensive' look, but its clean and I like it and the stalk..

I don't think it feels inexpensive. He mentioned AUDI but AUDI is an exceptionn in terms of details.

To me the interior of the caddy is clean, elegent, symetrical and well thought out. Contrast that to the Lexus where the air vent on the drivers left is out of line with the ones on the right, ie not symetric.

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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To me the interior of the caddy is clean, elegent, symetrical and well thought out. Contrast that to the Lexus where the air vent on the drivers left is out of line with the ones on the right, ie not symetric.

That's what I like most about the interior on the 92-97 Seville...and especially the 96-97 interiors. The dash is very horizontal (like current Audis) and very pleasing to the eye...unlike current models in my opinion. Unfortunately, the low quality items are the ones you use every day (like the turn signal stalks). Most vehicles have the high beams where you push the stalk forward to engage the high beams full-time, and pull out for flash-to-pass. Not the Seville (my model year anyway). When the headlights are on, it's hard to flash-to-pass...because you can only pull the stalk toward you, and when the lights are on, it turns the high beams on full-time. So you have to "double-pull" it, which is hard to do quickly. If they just had a quality and well-thought multifunction switch, the interior would be perfect, in my humble opinion.

As an aside, what makes the actual clicking sound when the blinker is on? Is it the actual flasher unit? Mine sounds so loud and cheap. Can I simply replace the flasher and get a better sound?

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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I would like flash to pass also, its annoying double jerking it.. I also agree with the cheap turn signal clicking, and miss my 91's chime...

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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The flasher is is attached to a hard surface, just unclip it and I think you will like the sound of it much better. To find the flasher turn on signals while looking for it.

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You might be confusing sloppy stalk with a GM trademark. For the last 40--give or take a few--years, GM turn signals have what's called lane changers. (I have also noticed that lots of people cannot figure this one out.) This is so that you can push on the blinker and activate it without locking it in its detent. Because of the standard equipment lane changers on GM's, I have always liked its system, and I find that driving cars without this option quite irritating with trying to signlal for lane changes.

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Every car I've had has had the "lane changer" thing. But there's a good 1/2" to 3/4" of play in my stalk, up and down, before it even hits the lane changing mode. (That's what feels cheap on my car...my Nissan has NO play in the stalk at all. It's dead center all the time, and you just have to touch it up or down to get to the lane change mode. I've driven an Aurora and a Corvette and they were perfect. Too bad the Seville isn't the same way.) And once I'm in lane change mode, the detent isn't strong enough, and it's easy to slip it right down into the full-on blinker mode. I'm afraid I might need a whole new switch in the steering column...since that's what really affects the "feel" of the stalk I think.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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Jason,

exactly what I was thinking yesterday after driving my wife's Volvo V70. These Volvo stalks are perfect, IMHO.

The turn signal stalk is one of the very view items I do not like on my SLS.

Does it happen on yours that if you are in "lane-change"-mode the clicking speeds up sometimes? It seems that it is not making contact to both turn signals (front and rear one side) in this case, thus "detecting" a faulty bulb.

One other thing I really dislike on my car is the water dripping from the trunk lid into the trunk under rainy conditions. I try to leave the trunk closed when it's raining.

Stefan

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Mine does that also. Hopefully the new stalk is more refined mechanically. I do think that the controls should have a quality feel to them commencerate with the sales price of the car. However, what I have noticed about Cadillac is a strong move to improve in many other areas. The engine and engine controls have evolved continuously. The climate control now has an air filter, dual controls, seat heaters and seat cooling. They have improved safety by improving the headlights and now use LEDs in the stop lights. Their suspensions have gotten better and better, although the CTSs wheel hop on full throttle take offs is upsetting. And they have added BIG WOW items like GPS, ON Star, back up obstruction warning, Sat Radio, Auto wipers, keyless entry, tire pressure monitors, all wheel drive, magnasteer, etc. They have even adaped to problems like putting the battery in the back seat away from the heat and I am sure lots of other improvements.

I guess what I am trying to say is that a company like Cadillac reacts to cure big problems and to improve, I dont think they do wholesale changes indiscriminately, the stalk works so why screw with a good thing. Personally, I think that things could get better, like something as simple as the annoying clicking on my turn signal, how did they go from the chime i liked on my 91 to the annoying click straight from the 50s. ALTHOUGH, a lot of people I rode with did not like the chime! Go figure. I think Cadillac is evolving fantastic while keeping its lineage intact. Cars like the 300 are built NEW from the ground up with no lineage per se, given the long lapse we had with NO 300s, so they are starting with a blank sheet of paper when they design. Cadillac is improving and will continue to improve. Personally I think that they should frequent sites like this for feedback which they may in fact be doing. Ok fess up, who is the Cadillac plant? Adallak? Kevin? LOL... :lol:

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Does it happen on yours that if you are in "lane-change"-mode the clicking speeds up sometimes? It seems that it is not making contact to both turn signals (front and rear one side) in this case, thus "detecting" a faulty bulb.

Yes! I'm very careful to "just" get into the lane-change mode, because the detent into the blinker mode is so soft. I try not to move the stalk much, just to flash the signals to change lanes. Sometimes, if I don't quite get into lane change mode, the flasher will flash at least 2x as normal. What's weird is the cornering light for the respective side also flashes with the blinkers...so it's in that "hysteria" area where it's just BARELY making connection...but not really.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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One other thing I really dislike on my car is the water dripping from the trunk lid into the trunk under rainy conditions. I try to leave the trunk closed when it's raining.

Yes, that's annoying, but there's something that annoys me even more: no roof rainguards.

My parked car, after a rain, has its roof covered with water. It's pleasant after the rain, so I open the driver's window and drive away. The first time I hit the brakes a flood of water pours in thru my window. Worse yet, the grip on the driver's door armrest has a solid bottom; it promptly fills with rainwater. I need paper towels or a turkey baster to clean up that mess. JEEZE, that grinds my gears!

Regards,

Warren

P.S. Otherwise, I flat out LOVE this piece of steel!

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There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

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;) Know what you mean warren, I keep my window cracked and in the rain with the wipers on it gets wet(I smoke thats why its cracked!) may try adjusting the arm so it dosen't get so close to the pillar

Joe

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Mine does that also. Hopefully the new stalk is more refined mechanically. I do think that the controls should have a quality feel to them commencerate with the sales price of the car. However, what I have noticed about Cadillac is a strong move to improve in many other areas. The engine and engine controls have evolved continuously. The climate control now has an air filter, dual controls, seat heaters and seat cooling. They have improved safety by improving the headlights and now use LEDs in the stop lights. Their suspensions have gotten better and better, although the CTSs wheel hop on full throttle take offs is upsetting. And they have added BIG WOW items like GPS, ON Star, back up obstruction warning, Sat Radio, Auto wipers, keyless entry, tire pressure monitors, all wheel drive, magnasteer, etc. They have even adaped to problems like putting the battery in the back seat away from the heat and I am sure lots of other improvements.

I guess what I am trying to say is that a company like Cadillac reacts to cure big problems and to improve, I dont think they do wholesale changes indiscriminately, the stalk works so why screw with a good thing. Personally, I think that things could get better, like something as simple as the annoying clicking on my turn signal, how did they go from the chime i liked on my 91 to the annoying click straight from the 50s. ALTHOUGH, a lot of people I rode with did not like the chime! Go figure. I think Cadillac is evolving fantastic while keeping its lineage intact. Cars like the 300 are built NEW from the ground up with no lineage per se, given the long lapse we had with NO 300s, so they are starting with a blank sheet of paper when they design. Cadillac is improving and will continue to improve. Personally I think that they should frequent sites like this for feedback which they may in fact be doing. Ok fess up, who is the Cadillac plant? Adallak? Kevin? LOL... :lol:

I used to work for the company that made the console mounted shift assembly for the Seville, Eldorado, many other GM cars, as well as other OEMs. When the '98 Seville was being developed, there was an incredible amount of attention focused on the sound level of the BTSI (brake transmission shift interlock) solenoid. That is the solenoid that keeps the driver from shifting out of park unless the brake pedal is depressed. There was a faint noise when the driver stepped on the brake.

We had a '98 Seville on loan from GM and when I drove it, attempting to hear the BTSI noise, my first reaction was Jeeze, how the hell did the supplier of the flasher get away with that noisy flasher? :lol: My '96 Seville's flasher has an acceptable noise level though. That '98 Seville was an awesome car though.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I used to work for the company that made the console mounted shift assembly for the Seville, Eldorado, many other GM cars, as well as other OEMs. When the '98 Seville was being developed, there was an incredible amount of attention focused on the sound level of the BTSI (brake transmission shift interlock) solenoid. That is the solenoid that keeps the driver from shifting out of park unless the brake pedal is depressed. There was a faint noise when the driver stepped on the brake.

We had a '98 Seville on loan from GM and when I drove it, attempting to hear the BTSI noise, my first reaction was Jeeze, how the hell did the supplier of the flasher get away with that noisy flasher? :lol: My '96 Seville's flasher has an acceptable noise level though. That '98 Seville was an awesome car though.

You know Cadillac is very conscious of comfort and quality. I think that they need to improve on the things you see, hear, touch and move and ensure that they have a quality feel to them. They have the smell nailed down! I know I have said this a few times but go sit in an Audi and look at and touch everything. If Caddy goes there, its game over.....

Lots of this stuff however is preference, how many times have I read that the CTS shifter is tight or stiff.... with a car that was supposedly designed and tested in Germany, that type of complaint should not exist, unless of course its fine and the reviewed needs to pick on something...

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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