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Review of the CTS-V vs the STS-V

Thanks Kadonny


Overall appearance. I still have to admit in my eyes the CTS-V is a better overall looker than the STS-V. I like the sharp lines and edgy design of the CTS. The STS is a much softer look overall. Big props though to the STS-V for the hood bulge and rear spoiler. Very cool looking.

Wheels. CTS-V wheels look a slight bit better with the 7 spokes compared to the 10 spoke STS-V.

Tires. Slight edge here to the STS-V with the wider rear meats. I am not sure if it is the Pirelli tires, the wider rears or the automatic compared to the manual trans, but the rear on the STS-V seems to stay planted better. More on this under the performance catagory.


In terms of interior quality and feel, we all know there is a big edge to the STS-V. Leather everywhere where the CTS-V had plastic. Doors, center console, steering wheel and other dash areas. The STS-V has the wood accents to finish it off as it just screams luxury. The steering wheel feels better to me because it is a bit thicker (heated steering wheel) and the steering wheel controls are vastly superior. They are set up the way it should be with the radio controls. Volume, preset scroll and am/fm/xm/wheather/cd toggle. It really has the perfect setup.

Radio/nav. I like the display of the CTS-V better with how it displays the nav and the radio. Far superior to the STS-V in everything but the touch screen. The touch screen is cooler, but the appearance suffers because of it.

Seats. Big advantage here to the STS-V. The rear seatbacks are much more comfortable and they seem to wrap around my body much better up top. I feel very secure in the seat both in the seat bottom and seat back. The upper side bolsters are more aggresive and the simulated suede is only in a small portion of the seatback and the seat, the seat itself is mostly leather. The seat bottom is a bit larger/longer too and supports my longer legs better. I also have much more leg room in the STS-V.

Overall interior room and interior feel. Advantage to the STS-V here, but it is a larger car so this is no surprise.

Ok, I think I covered the interior and exterior enough. How about the performance? That's what you are all interested in.......right?


Ride. The STS-V is a softer ride, no doubt. It also is a much quieter ride. The LS6/LS2 makes so much noise (in a good way) and I had the Corsa system on the CTS-V, so my ride right now is significantly quieter. Cruising in the STS-V is a dream.

Acceleration from a standstill. Boy, this is neck and neck. The raw blood pumpng ass kicking get the hell out of my way acceleration of the CTS-V can not be matched. Period. I will tell you though that the STS-V seems to get going just as fast as the CTS-V, but in a more subtle way. If you stomp on it you seem to be moving not nearly as fast, but if you look at the speedo the car gets to 60 seconds in a snap! I can see how these cars almost mirror each other in 0-60 times. The auto is of course a lot easier to launch, but that takes away much of the fun. I have to give props to Caddy for this transmission, it is so silky smooth and quick shifting that you can sometimes hardly feel it. I have not really played much with the manual mode because of break in. The owners manual says not to use the engine to slow the car down (major downshift) do I have been just staying out of that mode. I'll asses that later.

Speed 60-100 and pulling. I still think the CTS-V has the edge here. It seems to pull harder at the upper speeds. I reserve the right to change my opinion though because I have not really run the STS-V hard at these speeds yet. At cruising speeds the STS-V is so smooth. I was cruising yesteday on the highway and looked down to see my needle at 85. Literally, it felt like 55. With the less noise and more comfortable ride it is easier to go faster in the STS-V and not know it. The car tracked straight and solid at this speed with not a shake or shimmy.

Suspension/handling. Advantage here to the CTS-V. The STS-V is a heavier car, and it feels it through the turns. More body roll for sure and it seems to take a nanosecond longer to react to the steering. Still, the STS-V seems to carve through the corners very well and is far from a slouch for this size car. My guess is it will get better as I get more comfortable with car. My CTS-V had the FG2 shocks and this probably helped give more of an advantage to the CTS-V at this point. There is no G meter in the STS-V so I can't measure them side to side with G forces. Still, there is no doubt the nose of the CTS-V attacked the corners better and gives you that confidence that you know where the car is going if you use the throttle to your advantage. The CTS-V rear can get away from you if you are really pushing it, but I attribute that to the manual trans and the engine torque coupled together. Maybe I was not that good at harnessing the CTS-V power because of the manual trans. The STS-V rear seems to stay planted better, but again I am not sure if it is becuase of the tires or the lack of the manual trans.

Braking. Jury is out on this one as I have not applied the brakes hard yet because of break in. I can asses this later but my guess is the cars will be similar in braking ability.

Final opinion:

So, there you have it. 2 totally different cars. The CTS-V is a hot rod true and true and everyone knows it. The STS-V is a hot rod disguised in a civilized cars body. It will smoke and spin tires with the best of them if you want, but it does not act like the animal that the CTS-V is.

Still, I absolutely LOVE the STS-V. I miss shifting sometimes, but I will tell you it is nice just to get in and drive not having to think about anything. I have driven stick all my life and learned how to drive on a stick. It is second nature to me, but I have to admit there are nights after work and heavy traffic situations that I just do not feel like shifting. No worries though, I am lucky enough to still own 2 performance minded manual trans cars that will fill my void whenever I feel the need to shift.

The remote start is a godsend especially as the wheather gets cold here and the key fob/button start is so sweet. I have it set up so that when I exit the car and all the doors shut, the car automatically locks. I never have to fumble with a key or key fob at anytime during the day. It rocks.

TO se a spec for spec comparision: CLICK HERE

Thanks Kadonny

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