2009 Cadillac STS-V Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Cadillac STS-V Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Cadillac STS-V Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.4 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 469 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/19 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Cadillac STS-V

  • The 469-horsepower 2009 Cadillac STS-V nips at the heels of more expensive European competitors, though it's now outgunned by its new CTS-V stablemate.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong supercharged V8, sharp handling, loaded with nearly every STS option, cheaper than European über-sedans.

  • Cons

    Automatic transmission only, limited trunk space, some cheap interior trim pieces.

  • What's New for 2009

    There are no changes for the 2009 Cadillac STS-V.

Full 2009 Cadillac STS-V Review

What's New for 2009

There are no changes for the 2009 Cadillac STS-V.


A mere decade ago, the pickings were slim if you wanted a luxurious midsize sport sedan with steroidal power and room for four adults. BMW's newest version of its M5 was just about ready to hit stateside, and Mercedes had just introduced the E55 AMG. But if neither of these super-sedans tickled your fancy, you were pretty much out of luck. Today, rival models from Audi, Jaguar and Maserati have elbowed their way into this exclusive segment alongside updated efforts from BMW and Mercedes. And then there's the 2009 Cadillac STS-V, now in its fourth year on the market. It's an attempt by GM to cut the haughty European competition down to size.

Thanks to its supercharged 4.4-liter V8, the 2009 STS-V can sprint from zero to 60 mph in an impressive 5.1 seconds. That the STS-V isn't even close to being the quickest car in this segment is a testament to the ferocity of the current horsepower wars. That honor goes to the brutally powerful Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, which reaches 60 in a physics-flouting 4.3 seconds. But make no mistake -- the STS-V is one fleet-footed luxury sedan. And while it doesn't offer world-beating handling, it's no slouch here either, having been tuned extensively on the Nürburgring's famous Nordschleife in the course of its development. When you consider these traits alongside the STS-V's downright civilized ride and spaciously luxurious interior, there's no doubt that this remains a highly desirable car even after four years of production.

Thing is, GM's got a hotter iron in this fire -- that would be the new CTS-V, which is marginally smaller than the STS-V but about the same size as the Germans. It boasts a mildly detuned version of the new Corvette ZR-1's supercharged V8. On paper, that means it will put out fully 81 more horsepower and 111 more pound-feet of torque than the STS-V's already healthy 469 hp and 439 lb-ft. In practice, the CTS-V has lapped the Nürburgring in a production-sedan record 7 minutes and 59 seconds. The STS-V is no slouch, but it can't touch the all-out performance of its brash new sibling.

Still, the fact that traditionally staid Cadillac now offers two Nürburgring-bred luxury sport sedans is a good measure of how thoroughly the brand has reinvented itself in recent years. The 2009 Cadillac STS-V certainly does justice to the high-performance "V" badge, even if it's no longer the sprightliest steed in Cadillac's stable. However, there are many highly capable players in this segment, so we'd advise giving the competition a close look as well. The Audi S6, BMW M5, Jaguar XJR, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and even the somewhat pricier Maserati Quattroporte are all worthy of consideration.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Cadillac STS-V is a large high-performance sedan available in one fully loaded trim level. Standard equipment includes 18-inch front wheels and 19-inch rear wheels, HID xenon headlamps, rear parking assist, rain-sensing wipers, a sunroof, keyless entry/ignition, leather and faux suede upholstery, heated eight-way power front seats, driver memory functions, heated outboard rear seats and a heated steering wheel. Dual-zone automatic climate control, a head-up display, a navigation system, Bluetooth and a 15-speaker Bose surround-sound system with six-CD changer, auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio are also standard. The only option is deleting the sunroof.

Powertrains and Performance

A supercharged 4.4-liter V8 making 469 hp and 439 lb-ft of torque is the secret to the STS-V's ferocious acceleration. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic with manual shift control. In addition to that 0-60-mph sprint of 5.1 seconds, we've clocked an STS-V through the quarter-mile in a blistering 13.6 seconds at 106 mph, though this performance is far from best-in-class.


Antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length head curtain airbags, OnStar and a rearview camera are all standard on the 2009 Cadillac STS-V. Also standard are blind-spot and lane-departure warning systems.

In government crash tests, the STS scored four out of five stars for frontal crash protection and front-seat side impact protection. It got five stars for rear side impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset crash testing, the regular STS scored a rating of "Good," the highest possible. It scored a second-best rating of "Acceptable" for that agency's side impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2009 Cadillac STS-V sports satisfactory levels of fit and finish, and luxury buyers should be pleased with this Cadillac's generally high-class ambience. However, there are some low-grade plastics to be found -- a shortcoming shared by neither the STS-V's competitors nor the finely wrought CTS-V. Controls are straightforward and mostly intuitive, though the memory-setting procedure for the driver seat, mirrors, radio and climate controls requires an undue amount of futzing around with the touchscreen menu system. Trunk space, at 13.8 cubic feet, is perhaps a bit disappointing given the car's overall size.

Driving Impressions

Put the pedal down in the 2009 Cadillac STS-V and you're instantly surging forward on a huge wave of supercharged torque, even though the six-speed automatic isn't as quick-witted as it should be in a V-badged car. The sport-tuned suspension, powerful Brembo brakes and substantial wheels and tires conspire to imbue the STS-V with a remarkably composed character at higher speeds and around corners. Compared to the single-minded M5, the STS-V feels a bit soft, but body roll is remarkably well-controlled for such a large car.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Wolf in sheep's clothing

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Cadillac STS-V 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl S/C 6A)

This is the ultimate sleeper performance sedan. I did add "supercharged" to both sides of the hood cowl. At speed it seems to get smoother. It does so many things well that it is hard to fault the car. I get better mileage than the sticker, 21 MPG at 75 MPH. Simply going for a drive will make you smile.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Smokin' deal

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Cadillac STS-V 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl S/C 6A)

So I'm looking for an STS and find the V for 62k, new, 26 miles on it. After a 2000 7 Series and and an '05 A8L I thought I'd go American. Fast, quiet, steady at speed but the rides a bit jiggly on the OEM run flats...will swap for the Pilot A/S Plus. Very nice car at a great price

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Gas Mileage


  • 13
  • cty
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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