2009 Cadillac STS Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Cadillac STS Sedan

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Cadillac STS Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.6 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 302 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Cadillac STS

  • With its edgy styling, powerful engines and high-tech safety options, the 2009 Cadillac STS is a strong player in an arena filled with talent. The Caddy's competitive pricing sweetens the deal even more and makes the STS a must on any consumer's short list.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Low price for a full-size luxury sport sedan, powerful base engine, nimble road feel for such a large car, all-wheel drive offered with both engines, superb optional Bose stereo.

  • Cons

    Sporty front seats might be too firm for some posteriors, some mediocre interior plastics, smallish trunk, V8 model makes little sense.

  • What's New for 2009

    Detail changes carry the Cadillac STS into 2009. Among them are Bluetooth capability for non-navigation-equipped cars and the adoption of a tire inflator kit to replace the compact spare, though the latter remains optional.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (29 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

My first cadillac

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Vehicle: 2008 Cadillac STS

This is my first Cadillac and my first car that was over $1000. Value: I got my car 3-4 years old, because the price drops by $20-25k by then. Performance: 302hp 3.6L DI V6. 52/48 weight dist. AWD. Dual-Wishbone front suspension - It handles better than most smaller cars I've driven, and even handles about as well as the CTS, despite being bigger and more comfortable. Comfort: I have driven a Lincoln MKZ, a Cadillac CTS and SRX, and a Lexus ES 350, and the STS is the most comfortable out of all of them. It is roomier and its seats just feel more comfortable. Summary: A used 2008-2011 Cadillac STS has a better balance between luxury and performance than any other car in my price range.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Bose stereo issue debugged

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Vehicle: 2008 Cadillac STS

In an earlier review I wrote the Bose system was basically terrible. The lows had no THUMP the Mids were Watery and the highs were muted. Apparently There are five different listener settings: Centerpoint, Driver, Talk, Normal and Rear. Centerpoint is the setting to use. The other four settings make the system sound awful at high volumes. Centerpoint wakes up the entire system and is easily comparable to the Boston Acoustic sytem I just came out of from my SRT8 Charger.

I fall in love everyday

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Vehicle: 2008 Cadillac STS

I have owned this STS for 27 months and I love it more everyday. It was a GM owned CPO with only 8200 miles. This is my third Cadillac. My others were all V8s and I do not miss the V8 at all. The V6DI is great engine, not only for the power but the fuel mileage. The car is very comfortable on long trips and handles like a dream. There were a few minor issues early that were promptly fixed by the dealer. Now I only take it in for an annual oil change and inspection. Best car I have ever owned in my 67 years.

1st cadillac, great car

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Vehicle: 2008 Cadillac STS

This was my 1st Cadillac. I purchased it new in Dec 09. It was on the dealer lot of 1.5 years and I got a great deal. After reading all of the reviews, was worried about build quality and reliability. I have been very happily surprised. Ride quaility is #1, handling and V8 performance are great. I am in my mid 40's and looked at Lexus, Infiniti, MB. The caddy, for the price, exceeded those other car makers. My younger friends have all been impressed with this car and are looking a Cadillac instead of a BMW or lexus. I hope that GM will continue to improve the model. At this writing, I don't think I will purchase anything but a Cadillac again. I have been very satisfied.

Very happy

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Vehicle: 2008 Cadillac STS

Wife and I bought our 08 STS V8 in March of this year and it had 13000 miles on it. We like it so much that we have driven to to Vegas, Denver and Ohio from our home in Oklahoma. Wife drives it every day to work and another 13000 miles later we couldn't be happier with our purchase. On the trip to Vegas and back we averaged 30 MPG with 4 adults and trunk full of luggage. Sound system is the best of any factory system available. Nav is good but could be more user friendly. Interior storage space could be improved upon and the glove box is a joke. Overall a great car with lots of performace and fun to drive. It's performace isn't that far off from my 94 Vette.

Finally gm got it right...for

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Cadillac STS

I purchased two new GM vehicles in 2008, a Cadillac STS AWD and a Silverado 1500 LTZ 4WD. The quality of workmanship was the best I've ever seen in my 53 years of owning and driving all kinds of cars. 0 defects, good fitment, quality throughout. As good over better than any foreign car or truck I've ever been exposed to. Thinks I, "They've finally got it right".

Full 2009 Cadillac STS Review

What's New for 2009

Detail changes carry the Cadillac STS into 2009. Among them are Bluetooth capability for non-navigation-equipped cars and the adoption of a tire inflator kit to replace the compact spare, though the latter remains optional.


Being the middle child is never easy. Just ask Jan Brady of "The Brady Bunch." Somewhat plain and not especially talented, Jan was constantly overlooked in favor of her popular older sister Marcia and oh-so-cute kid sister Cindy. Jan just couldn't catch a break, or adoration for that matter.

And so it's been for the middle child of the Cadillac family, the full-size STS luxury sport sedan that sits between the inexplicably popular DTS luxury barge and Caddy's best-selling midsize jock sibling, the CTS sport sedan. By comparison, the STS barely gets noticed, with less than half the sales of its siblings. And that's even after Cadillac made a number of cosmetic revisions last year (such as a new grille and upgraded cabin trim), while adding a beefier base V6 engine that helped bring it out of the shadows and give it more of a chance in a very competitive luxury sport sedan market. The 2009 Cadillac STS sees only minor detail changes, such as Bluetooth capability for cars not equipped with a navigation system, new wheels and a speed-limit notification feature on the navigation system.

Buyers in the luxury sport sedan segment expect the latest in high-tech gadgets, and the 2009 Cadillac STS has enough to make a Sharper Image junkie drool with delight. Among them is a lane departure warning system, which, as with rivals' systems, uses cameras to watch road lines and warn the driver if he or she wanders. There is also a side blind-zone alert system that scans for vehicles in the driver's blind spot and flashes a warning light embedded within the sideview mirrors.

We've always liked the current Cadillac STS, and last year's revisions made it even more endearing. The powerful V6 almost makes the V8 version irrelevant. Meanwhile, the STS's ride and handling continues to impress, with moves that almost make you forget you're driving a sedan that's 6 inches longer and 200 pounds heavier than a MB E350. Undercutting its European rivals' price tags by thousands doesn't hurt either, even if a side effect is a few mediocre-grade interior plastics.

The STS does have a new competitor this year, Hyundai's all-new Genesis sedan, which offers many of the same strong-value qualities as the STS but a more powerful V8 and a higher-quality interior. All said, know that there are plenty of excellent choices in the $45,000-$60,000 range, including this car's not-so-little sibling CTS. So, as much as we like Caddy's STS, we can't help but think that, just like Jan Brady, it's yelling "Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!"

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Cadillac STS is a large luxury sport sedan available in V6 and V8 models. Both versions feature 17-inch wheels, leather seating, wood and alloy interior trim, eight-way power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote keyless entry and vehicle start, satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, an eight-speaker Bose sound system and OnStar. The V8 version adds a CD changer, memory seating presets, heated seats (front and rear), a heated steering wheel and rain-sensing wipers. Many of the V8's features can be added to the V6 model via a series of packages.

Other features available on both models (in packages or as la carte items) include a sunroof, xenon headlamps with washers, adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning system, a blind-spot warning system, a head-up display, and heated and ventilated front seats. The navigation system is bundled with a Bose surround-sound audio system. There is also the Performance Handling Package, which adds better wheels, tires and brakes. An adaptive suspension system (Magnetic Ride Control) is also available, as are larger 18-inch wheels.

Powertrains and Performance

The standard engine on the 2009 Cadillac STS is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 302 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque. The optional engine choice is a 4.6-liter V8 making 320 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque. Though that's certainly plenty of thrust for most folks, the truly power-hungry should know that top rivals have anywhere from 40 to 62 hp more. Both engines come only with a six-speed automatic transmission, and both can be ordered in rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive guise.

In performance testing, the STS V8 reached 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. Cadillac estimates put the V6 at 6.5 seconds to the same speed. Fuel mileage estimates range from 17 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined for the V6 to 15/24/18 mpg for the V8.

Considering that the new V6 accelerates with similar gusto and turns in better fuel mileage, it's hard to justify the V8's added price and weight.


Antilock disc brakes, stability control and a full complement of airbags are standard on every Cadillac STS. The airbags include front-seat side and full-length side curtains. There are also a number of available advanced technologies designed to prevent accidents, including lane-departure warning, a blind-zone alert system and active steering. The latter is available only on AWD V8 models, and is notable for turning the front wheels into a skid when the rear wheels lose traction.

In government crash tests, the STS earned four stars (out of five) for both driver and passenger in frontal tests. In federal side-impact tests, the STS scored four stars for front impacts and five stars for rear impacts. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset crash testing, the STS scored a rating of "Good," the highest possible. It scored a second-best rating of "Acceptable" for side-impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

Last year's refresh brought higher-quality wood and the addition of tasteful alloy trim to the cabin. A sportier steering wheel also debuted with more wheel-mounted controls. Fit and finish are solid, and luxury buyers should be pleased with this Cadillac's generally high-class ambience. Minor demerits include the use of some low-grade plastic trim pieces that put the STS at a disadvantage against the admittedly more costly European and Japanese luxury sedans. The overall design is also on the dull side compared to the classy confines of the CTS.

Controls are straightforward and easy to use, with the exception of the confounding memory-setting procedure for the driver seat, mirrors, radio and climate controls. Unlike with traditional systems, which place buttons on the door or driver seat, you must dive deep into the navigation touchscreen to set memory functions. It's frustrating and unnecessarily complicated, but at least it's something done only occasionally. The trunk is also a bit small, with 13.8 cubic feet of total capacity.

Driving Impressions

Although large in size, the 2009 Cadillac STS sedan feels three-fourths its size when driven with enthusiasm -- yet it rides like a supple luxury car when you're gobbling up miles on the highway. Cadillac offers an optional Magnetic Ride Control suspension that includes Touring and Sport modes. In Touring mode, the Cadillac STS provides a cushy ride and composed handling, although the car will still dive into the turns with unwavering composure and never feels as if it's sprung too softly. In the Performance setting, the handling is a little sharper and the ride a bit stiffer, but the STS handles so well in Touring that we question the necessity for the two settings.

Braking is strong as well, with progressive pedal action and an impressively short 120-foot stopping distance from 60 mph. The torquey V6 is more than ample. With its V8-matching acceleration and higher fuel economy, the base-model STS would be our pick over the pricier V8 version.

Talk About The 2009 STS

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs