: Test Drive Impressions



rayainsw
01-28-06, 10:36 AM
It has been quite some time since I was this disappointed in a test drive. Probably 20 years – or more.

The STS-V is not a bad car. Not nearly. But the driving dynamics do not justify the MSRP. Not nearly.

The interior is quite nice. Fit, finish, materials and ergonomics on the Black over Gray example I drove were acceptable. The seating is comfortable.

The issues for me were the drivetrain and the suspension.

First, the motor. I do not doubt the published acceleration numbers. But in about 10 miles of driving – from busy4 & 6 lane surface streets to just over 90 MPH on the Interstate, the engine just does not feel that powerful and the car does not feel as quick as the numbers would suggest. In 2nd and 3rd and 4th gear, the acceleration seemed quite ‘flat’.

The exhaust is very quiet – allowing the predominant noise at all times to be the supercharger whine. From outside (as the salesman was backing it in against the dealer’s showroom, there was a bit of burble – and the whine seemed less pronounced. But I would be (much) more concerned with what I hear while driving.

The 6 speed automatic trans. is (as stated most everywhere) a bit slow to respond – particularly on downshifts. I drove exclusively in Manumatic mode – as I almost always have in my current and past 3 sport sedans. It does not rev match on downshifts – making downshifts to 3rd or 2nd rather more jolting than I’d hoped. Upshifts are executed reasonably quickly and are well managed – but again the pause between request & shift is long enough to be annoying.

I found the Magnaride suspension to be rather irritatingly stiff & harsh over many surfaces. Again, surprisingly so. The handling seemed OK – I did not push it much, with the salesman holding a cup of coffee. But the ride did not impress me. I did check the tire pressures – 31 or 32 PSI in each.

Now, a bit of background, to help put this in some context. The last really high performance sedan I drove was the 2004 Jag S-Type R the general manager of the local dealership ‘forced’ me (of please, no) to take for 36 hours. At roughly the same time I test drove several other $50 – 60K Sport Sedans – Audi S4 and A6 V8s, etc. Prior to that I have driven a couple of Lincoln LS V8 Sports for a total of over 50,000 miles. (A Y2K and a 2003.) I currently am driving a 2005 Grand Prix GXP.

My GXP feels quicker than the V. I realize that it is not. Published numbers peg the GXP at low 14s in the Quarter. It sounds better than the V – to me. (Essentially no mechanical engine noise – and Pontiac engineered the exhaust to allow some of the heterodyne V8 beat through.) The (rather) old style 4 speed automatic with TAPShift manumatic control actually feels much better (to me) when it shifts up and down that the V. And the pauses before shift execution seem shorter. Weird. And the GXP’s ride (I drove it on most of the same test drive loop immediately after I left the dealership) is actually a better compromise between ride and handling. Again – for \ to me.

Odd. Very odd.

More to the point: Although in some respects one could argue that the S-Type R is not a direct competitor to this V, if those were my only 2 choices – I’d pick the Jag – in a heartbeat. The acceleration feel was better in the 400 HP Jag. The J-Gate is not a wonderful substitute for a true manumatic, but the trans. overall was superior to the V’s. The Jag’s ride was much better. Etc.

So. Just my $0.02 . . .
YMMV.
- Ray
Crossing the V off the shopping list . .

harryctsv
01-28-06, 11:03 AM
It has been quite some time since I was this disappointed in a test drive. Probably 20 years – or more.

The STS-V is not a bad car. Not nearly. But the driving dynamics do not justify the MSRP. Not nearly.

The interior is quite nice. Fit, finish, materials and ergonomics on the Black over Gray example I drove were acceptable. The seating is comfortable.

The issues for me were the drivetrain and the suspension.

First, the motor. I do not doubt the published acceleration numbers. But in about 10 miles of driving – from busy4 & 6 lane surface streets to just over 90 MPH on the Interstate, the engine just does not feel that powerful and the car does not feel as quick as the numbers would suggest. In 2nd and 3rd and 4th gear, the acceleration seemed quite ‘flat’.

The exhaust is very quiet – allowing the predominant noise at all times to be the supercharger whine. From outside (as the salesman was backing it in against the dealer’s showroom, there was a bit of burble – and the whine seemed less pronounced. But I would be (much) more concerned with what I hear while driving.

The 6 speed automatic trans. is (as stated most everywhere) a bit slow to respond – particularly on downshifts. I drove exclusively in Manumatic mode – as I almost always have in my current and past 3 sport sedans. It does not rev match on downshifts – making downshifts to 3rd or 2nd rather more jolting than I’d hoped. Upshifts are executed reasonably quickly and are well managed – but again the pause between request & shift is long enough to be annoying.

I found the Magnaride suspension to be rather irritatingly stiff & harsh over many surfaces. Again, surprisingly so. The handling seemed OK – I did not push it much, with the salesman holding a cup of coffee. But the ride did not impress me. I did check the tire pressures – 31 or 32 PSI in each.

Now, a bit of background, to help put this in some context. The last really high performance sedan I drove was the 2004 Jag S-Type R the general manager of the local dealership ‘forced’ me (of please, no) to take for 36 hours. At roughly the same time I test drove several other $50 – 60K Sport Sedans – Audi S4 and A6 V8s, etc. Prior to that I have driven a couple of Lincoln LS V8 Sports for a total of over 50,000 miles. (A Y2K and a 2003.) I currently am driving a 2005 Grand Prix GXP.

My GXP feels quicker than the V. I realize that it is not. Published numbers peg the GXP at low 14s in the Quarter. It sounds better than the V – to me. (Essentially no mechanical engine noise – and Pontiac engineered the exhaust to allow some of the heterodyne V8 beat through.) The (rather) old style 4 speed automatic with TAPShift manumatic control actually feels much better (to me) when it shifts up and down that the V. And the pauses before shift execution seem shorter. Weird. And the GXP’s ride (I drove it on most of the same test drive loop immediately after I left the dealership) is actually a better compromise between ride and handling. Again – for \ to me.

Odd. Very odd.

More to the point: Although in some respects one could argue that the S-Type R is not a direct competitor to this V, if those were my only 2 choices – I’d pick the Jag – in a heartbeat. The acceleration feel was better in the 400 HP Jag. The J-Gate is not a wonderful substitute for a true manumatic, but the trans. overall was superior to the V’s. The Jag’s ride was much better. Etc.

So. Just my $0.02 . . .
YMMV.
- Ray
Crossing the V off the shopping list . .

Hi Ray,
1.how much miles on the odometer this STS V shows when you drove it?
2.as you said, the salesperson was sitting beside you with a cup of coffee, doesn`t that mean you never put the pedal to the metal?
3.I´m a very fast driver, as you know the german autobahns let you do this but I never beat the hell out of a brand new car - so you really cannot talk about a test-drive with this STS V.
4.In June Cadillac-Europe will have their first cars here and these cars, before they give it for a test drive have about 1-2K kilomters on (600-1200 miles) I´ll get one for 3 days and I let you know what I think about it.

Have a nice weekend
Harry

Bigplay
01-28-06, 03:18 PM
Also it takes time for the computer memory to adjust to the driver. But he is probably right on with the manumatic mode though it takes time to get used to.

Katshot
01-28-06, 06:45 PM
I have a couple test drives I intend to make REAL soon. I'm gonna hit my buddy's Cadillac dealer and drive both the CTS-V and the STS-V, then it's off to drive the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8. Was going to do it today but had some work to do around the house. Maybe next weekend seeing it's my birthday! :D The wife can't possibly have a problem with me going out to play! :lildevil:

SRT8/BMW
01-28-06, 07:16 PM
It has been quite some time since I was this disappointed in a test drive. Probably 20 years – or more.

The STS-V is not a bad car. Not nearly. But the driving dynamics do not justify the MSRP. Not nearly.

The interior is quite nice. Fit, finish, materials and ergonomics on the Black over Gray example I drove were acceptable. The seating is comfortable.

The issues for me were the drivetrain and the suspension.

First, the motor. I do not doubt the published acceleration numbers. But in about 10 miles of driving – from busy4 & 6 lane surface streets to just over 90 MPH on the Interstate, the engine just does not feel that powerful and the car does not feel as quick as the numbers would suggest. In 2nd and 3rd and 4th gear, the acceleration seemed quite ‘flat’.

The exhaust is very quiet – allowing the predominant noise at all times to be the supercharger whine. From outside (as the salesman was backing it in against the dealer’s showroom, there was a bit of burble – and the whine seemed less pronounced. But I would be (much) more concerned with what I hear while driving.

The 6 speed automatic trans. is (as stated most everywhere) a bit slow to respond – particularly on downshifts. I drove exclusively in Manumatic mode – as I almost always have in my current and past 3 sport sedans. It does not rev match on downshifts – making downshifts to 3rd or 2nd rather more jolting than I’d hoped. Upshifts are executed reasonably quickly and are well managed – but again the pause between request & shift is long enough to be annoying.

I found the Magnaride suspension to be rather irritatingly stiff & harsh over many surfaces. Again, surprisingly so. The handling seemed OK – I did not push it much, with the salesman holding a cup of coffee. But the ride did not impress me. I did check the tire pressures – 31 or 32 PSI in each.

Now, a bit of background, to help put this in some context. The last really high performance sedan I drove was the 2004 Jag S-Type R the general manager of the local dealership ‘forced’ me (of please, no) to take for 36 hours. At roughly the same time I test drove several other $50 – 60K Sport Sedans – Audi S4 and A6 V8s, etc. Prior to that I have driven a couple of Lincoln LS V8 Sports for a total of over 50,000 miles. (A Y2K and a 2003.) I currently am driving a 2005 Grand Prix GXP.

My GXP feels quicker than the V. I realize that it is not. Published numbers peg the GXP at low 14s in the Quarter. It sounds better than the V – to me. (Essentially no mechanical engine noise – and Pontiac engineered the exhaust to allow some of the heterodyne V8 beat through.) The (rather) old style 4 speed automatic with TAPShift manumatic control actually feels much better (to me) when it shifts up and down that the V. And the pauses before shift execution seem shorter. Weird. And the GXP’s ride (I drove it on most of the same test drive loop immediately after I left the dealership) is actually a better compromise between ride and handling. Again – for \ to me.

Odd. Very odd.

More to the point: Although in some respects one could argue that the S-Type R is not a direct competitor to this V, if those were my only 2 choices – I’d pick the Jag – in a heartbeat. The acceleration feel was better in the 400 HP Jag. The J-Gate is not a wonderful substitute for a true manumatic, but the trans. overall was superior to the V’s. The Jag’s ride was much better. Etc.

So. Just my $0.02 . . .
YMMV.
- Ray
Crossing the V off the shopping list . .


Thats a shame....I love the look of that car, but based on your freedback, I am taking it off my list too. Normally, I would not rely on someone elses testdrive, but you, like me, have a great deal of experience with performance sedans.

Also, my current ride (300C SRT8) has my three most important qualities (spoiled me actually) 1. Acceleration from any speed 2. Handling/cornering
3. Smooth tranny in auto or manual (this tranny is the best I have ever driven..smmoth, fast, responsive, rev matching, etc.. ). And you were clearly dissapointed in all three areas.. Damn. I like the lok of that car..

chevelle
01-28-06, 08:15 PM
The STS-V does not have the Magnaride suspension. It has monotube shocks tuned for maximum handling performance. The Magnaride systems gives excellent adaptability over a wide range of maneuvers but the "passive" Sachs monotubes can be tuned for a higher performance level for specific driving conditions that the STS-V is tailored for.

A "performance" test drive with the salesman drinking a cup of coffee.....LOL. The last guys that rode in an STS-V with me complained of sore necks after I nailed it once when they weren't ready. Any coffee would have spilled hours earlier.

The 6 speed trans shift algorithms take some driving to "learn" the transmission and adjust shift quality and shift times. Given a new trans that is breaking in and a green car/engine the trans shift adapts will continue to evolve over several hundred miles.

Trust me, the STS-V will leave that Jag for dead...accelerating or cornering or doing most anything "performance" related. The Jag rides better because it has nowhere near the track prowess. Plus, you will discover that the Jag looses substantial power due to the intercooler system heat soaking as power is used continuously where the STS-V has adequate intercooler system to maintain full power levels despite continuous "power" operation.

Possibly you should have put the shift lever in "Drive" and let the trans shift for itself so it could have been in the correct gear for conditions. Then it could have downshifted as programmed and provided you with adequate acceleration feel....LOL.

erp2863
01-28-06, 08:16 PM
Thats a shame....I love the look of that car, but based on your freedback, I am taking it off my list too. Normally, I would not rely on someone elses testdrive, but you, like me, have a great deal of experience with performance sedans.



Sorry, but how does this guy's ownership of a Lincoln LS (with one of the sorriest V8 built) and a Grand Prix give him experience with performance sedans? A handful of test drives in other sport sedans? Maybe if he had owned an E55, M5, or RS6 I'd be impressed.

Eric

SRT8/BMW
01-28-06, 09:34 PM
Sorry, but how does this guy's ownership of a Lincoln LS (with one of the sorriest V8 built) and a Grand Prix give him experience with performance sedans? A handful of test drives in other sport sedans? Maybe if he had owned an E55, M5, or RS6 I'd be impressed.

Eric


Your right..I do not consider those as serious comparisons. I was refering to the Audi s.....

Maybe should just go drive it myself. I have driven an M5, E55 (No rs 6 though) - - they are on my list too. and owned BMW 745... I don't even desire it to be at those levels...just REALLY good in my three areas (handling, accel, and shifting).

CIWS
01-28-06, 09:39 PM
I think you should respect other's opinions, but when it comes to purchasing a car I think you should take the time to go look at it in person and if it looks appealing then drive it yourself. People are just too different.

Katshot
01-29-06, 07:55 AM
I think you should respect other's opinions, but when it comes to purchasing a car I think you should take the time to go look at it in person and if it looks appealing then drive it yourself. People are just too different.

Agreed.

Devil_concours
01-29-06, 10:17 AM
try putting the shifter in sports mode instead of manumatic mode.(shift it to left and do not move the shifter up or down)

mkaresh
01-29-06, 10:28 AM
It has been quite some time since I was this disappointed in a test drive. Probably 20 years – or more.The issues for me were the drivetrain and the suspension.

The 6 speed automatic trans. is (as stated most everywhere) a bit slow to respond – particularly on downshifts. I drove exclusively in Manumatic mode – as I almost always have in my current and past 3 sport sedans. It does not rev match on downshifts – making downshifts to 3rd or 2nd rather more jolting than I’d hoped. Upshifts are executed reasonably quickly and are well managed – but again the pause between request & shift is long enough to be annoying.

Now, a bit of background, to help put this in some context. The last really high performance sedan I drove was the 2004 Jag S-Type R the general manager of the local dealership ‘forced’ me (of please, no) to take for 36 hours. At roughly the same time I test drove several other $50 – 60K Sport Sedans – Audi S4 and A6 V8s, etc. Prior to that I have driven a couple of Lincoln LS V8 Sports for a total of over 50,000 miles. (A Y2K and a 2003.) I currently am driving a 2005 Grand Prix GXP.

My GXP feels quicker than the V. I realize that it is not. Published numbers peg the GXP at low 14s in the Quarter. It sounds better than the V – to me. (Essentially no mechanical engine noise – and Pontiac engineered the exhaust to allow some of the heterodyne V8 beat through.) The (rather) old style 4 speed automatic with TAPShift manumatic control actually feels much better (to me) when it shifts up and down that the V. And the pauses before shift execution seem shorter. Weird. And the GXP’s ride (I drove it on most of the same test drive loop immediately after I left the dealership) is actually a better compromise between ride and handling. Again – for \ to me.

Odd. Very odd.

More to the point: Although in some respects one could argue that the S-Type R is not a direct competitor to this V, if those were my only 2 choices – I’d pick the Jag – in a heartbeat. The acceleration feel was better in the 400 HP Jag. The J-Gate is not a wonderful substitute for a true manumatic, but the trans. overall was superior to the V’s. The Jag’s ride was much better. Etc.

So. Just my $0.02 . . .
YMMV.
- Ray
Crossing the V off the shopping list . .

I've driven around 400 different cars, and although I haven't driven the STS-V yet I think I know where he is coming from. The cars he likes, the GP GXP and Jaguar S-Type R, are relatively unrefined cars compared to the STS-V. But partly as a result they provide more feedback and seem to react more quickly to driver inputs.

Many high-end German cars, because they are so refined, don't feel nearly as quick as they are and aren't much fun to drive unless you can push them REALLY HARD. Which you often cannot on public roads. In attempting to match these cars, the STS-V might have acquired these characteristics as well. A brisk drive on a curvy mountain road might be what it takes, and we don't all have these nearby. I certainly wish such roads were closer to Detroit. Of course, if they were Detroit automobiles in general would probably handle much more like those from Europe.

We also might have a size issue. The STS feels at least as large as it is, while the GP GXP and Jag both feel smaller than they are. The S4 is also a much smaller (if not much lighter) car.

The transmission in the GP GXP is about the quickest shifting manumatic I've experienced; only clutchless manuals (conventional or DSG) have an advantage here. In comparisons most other manumatics will feel slow. Sadly there aren't many ratios to play with, and you can't downshift into first to get the engine into its powerband over 38 MPH. (In second at 38 the engine is doing about 2500 RPM.) But GM clearly knows how to do the job when it wants to.

Have you driven the CTS-V? Or can't abide a clutch? It should provide more immediate responses and more feedback than the STS-V. I don't care for the shifter in it, but I've heard there are aftermarket solutions for that.

Vrocks
01-29-06, 09:15 PM
It has been quite some time since I was this disappointed in a test drive. Probably 20 years – or more.
The STS-V is not a bad car. Not nearly. But the driving dynamics do not justify the MSRP. Not nearly.
The interior is quite nice. Fit, finish, materials and ergonomics on the Black over Gray example I drove were acceptable. The seating is comfortable.
The issues for me were the drivetrain and the suspension.
First, the motor. I do not doubt the published acceleration numbers. But in about 10 miles of driving – from busy4 & 6 lane surface streets to just over 90 MPH on the Interstate, the engine just does not feel that powerful and the car does not feel as quick as the numbers would suggest. In 2nd and 3rd and 4th gear, the acceleration seemed quite ‘flat’.
The exhaust is very quiet – allowing the predominant noise at all times to be the supercharger whine. From outside (as the salesman was backing it in against the dealer’s showroom, there was a bit of burble – and the whine seemed less pronounced. But I would be (much) more concerned with what I hear while driving.
The 6 speed automatic trans. is (as stated most everywhere) a bit slow to respond – particularly on downshifts. I drove exclusively in Manumatic mode – as I almost always have in my current and past 3 sport sedans. It does not rev match on downshifts – making downshifts to 3rd or 2nd rather more jolting than I’d hoped. Upshifts are executed reasonably quickly and are well managed – but again the pause between request & shift is long enough to be annoying.
I found the Magnaride suspension to be rather irritatingly stiff & harsh over many surfaces. Again, surprisingly so. The handling seemed OK – I did not push it much, with the salesman holding a cup of coffee. But the ride did not impress me. I did check the tire pressures – 31 or 32 PSI in each.
Now, a bit of background, to help put this in some context. The last really high performance sedan I drove was the 2004 Jag S-Type R the general manager of the local dealership ‘forced’ me (of please, no) to take for 36 hours. At roughly the same time I test drove several other $50 – 60K Sport Sedans – Audi S4 and A6 V8s, etc. Prior to that I have driven a couple of Lincoln LS V8 Sports for a total of over 50,000 miles. (A Y2K and a 2003.) I currently am driving a 2005 Grand Prix GXP.
My GXP feels quicker than the V. I realize that it is not. Published numbers peg the GXP at low 14s in the Quarter. It sounds better than the V – to me. (Essentially no mechanical engine noise – and Pontiac engineered the exhaust to allow some of the heterodyne V8 beat through.) The (rather) old style 4 speed automatic with TAPShift manumatic control actually feels much better (to me) when it shifts up and down that the V. And the pauses before shift execution seem shorter. Weird. And the GXP’s ride (I drove it on most of the same test drive loop immediately after I left the dealership) is actually a better compromise between ride and handling. Again – for \ to me.
Odd. Very odd.
More to the point: Although in some respects one could argue that the S-Type R is not a direct competitor to this V, if those were my only 2 choices – I’d pick the Jag – in a heartbeat. The acceleration feel was better in the 400 HP Jag. The J-Gate is not a wonderful substitute for a true manumatic, but the trans. overall was superior to the V’s. The Jag’s ride was much better. Etc.
So. Just my $0.02 . . .
YMMV.
- Ray
Crossing the V off the shopping list . .
I test drove the STS-V the other day and I completely disagree with you (just my .02).
In fact, a guy test drove it shortly after I did and bought it about 15 minutes later.... I guess he liked it as much as I did. It was the 2nd STS-V that my dealer has sold for full list, the first car was actually sold before it got there, and this one was gone the day after it arrived, so trust me, the car is awesome.

Devil_concours
01-29-06, 09:36 PM
I test drove the STS-V the other day and I completely disagree with you (just my .02).
In fact, a guy test drove it shortly after I did and bought it about 15 minutes later.... I guess he liked it as much as I did. It was the 2nd STS-V that my dealer has sold for full list, the first car was actually sold before it got there, and this one was gone the day after it arrived, so trust me, the car is awesome.
did you trade in your v?

rayainsw
01-30-06, 07:51 AM
First, I in no way mean to disrespect the V. And I certainly did not mean to suggest that my impressions ought to cause any one else to cross the V off THEIR list.

Here is why I posted:

Although there have been several ‘professional’ reviews now published, I had not yet seen impressions from a ‘civilian’.

I took the test drive (I had not initially intended to even ask to drive the V) largely because the current limited supply, and initial allotment in some areas apparently being sold might limit test drive access – for a while. Thus my attempt to offer some insight from a potential buyer’s perspective. My only goal was to try to provide readers here with another point of view – typically at least slightly different from those who test drive for a living.

I did not mean, by listing cars owned and test driven to ‘qualify’ myself in any way.

One reason I did accept the test drive offered is that I had hopes that I’d be ‘blown away’ by the V. Again, with a background & experience largely with sedans in the $50k - $60k MSRP range, I had expected to be very impressed with the V’s dynamics. After all, the luxury appointments can be had for a lot less money, with lower performance. And the ‘leap’ from $60K to $77K is significant, at least for most people. And going directly from my GXP (actual transaction price approx. $27K – chosen for several reasons) to a $77K sedan, I truly had very high expectations. As would seem appropriate.

I do want to see Caddy succeed at this level. As I wanted Lincoln to succeed (and continue to develop the LS – sigh) some years earlier as they tried to compete with BMW in sport sedans.

Clearly, anyone here is free to disagree with my comments. Particularly those who have driven one.

In response to a few specific questions:

1.how much miles on the odometer this STS V shows when you drove it?

A - This V had 16 miles on it when I drove it off the lot.

2.as you said, the salesperson was sitting beside you with a cup of coffee, doesn`t that mean you never put the pedal to the metal?

A – Not at all. I find it quite easy to apply WOT under these circumstances – just not abruptly – and not from a standstill. I hit ‘the metal’ several times in second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth gears. Only once in first. No coffee spilt. I did limit abrupt transitions – particularly in braking and cornering. Yet it is certainly possibly to drive very briskly under these circumstances. Smoothness does not mean slow. I pride myself of being able to drive very quickly without making passengers uncomfortable in any way.

3.I´m a very fast driver, as you know the german autobahns let you do this but I never beat the hell out of a brand new car - so you really cannot talk about a test-drive with this STS V.

A - I also “never beat the hell out of a brand new car”. This means that “I cannot talk about a test-drive”? OK. If you say so. Sorry to have wasted your time . . .

4.In June Cadillac-Europe will have their first cars here and these cars, before they give it for a test drive have about 1-2K kilomters on (600-1200 miles) I´ll get one for 3 days and I let you know what I think about it.

A – I certainly look forward to reading your impressions, in a few months.

RE: No Magnasteer. Thanks for the correction. If there is an STS-V brochure, my dealer had none.

“The Jag rides better because it has nowhere near the track prowess.”

A – I have no intention of driving a car such as the STS-V or the Jag on a track. I am thus only concerned about what it can do under real world conditions – and particularly how it ‘feels’ while performing at well below absolute cornering limits. From a Car and Driver test of the S-Type R: “ . . handling remains in a league with the M5 and Mercedes E55 AMG, but the ride is considerably more plush.”


I would use all of the acceleration available every day I drove it. Since I can do that, at least for some duration, with most anything short of a Corvette Z06. Safely, legally, and without annoying other citizens too much. I do not exceed 7 or 8 tenths of absolute cornering capability, for instance, in my street driving. Leaving room for the unexpected. But acceleration – there I feel that I can use all – and much more often.

“Maybe if he had owned an E55, M5, or RS6 I'd be impressed.”

A - Part of my point here was actually that since I have not owned a directly competing sedan, my expectations were that I’d be extremely impressed. If I drove one of the direct competitors daily, I would likely have been even less impressed than I was. But I think Caddy is looking for potential buyers among those that currently own sedans that one could classify as ‘one rung down’ from the V. Those with an STS V8 (1SF or 1SG) class sedan, for instance, or one of the many competitors in that class, now looking to step up. And again, I in no way mean my car ownership & test driving experiences to ‘impress’ – only to provide background and context.

(sigh)
- Ray
Just trying to provide another viewpoint on a car that may (for a while) be hard to find for a test drive in some locations . .

Katshot
01-30-06, 08:16 AM
Ray,
I for one appreciate you motives here, and sincerely apologize for some of the comments you've received as a result. I think you've learned a valuable lesson here. A good number of our members don't like hearing anything negative about Cadillac.
I too, share your common sense approach to qualifying cars for my possible ownership. Why some guys feel that they must own something that accels primarily in an environment other than that which it will be operated in on a daily basis is beyond me. Just because a car generates particularly good data when driven by professionals on a specific track somewhere, does not in anyway make me gravitate towards it and certainly does not constitute the main reason why I would buy it (unless of course I was looking for a race car).

harryctsv
01-30-06, 11:05 AM
First, I in no way mean to disrespect the V. And I certainly did not mean to suggest that my impressions ought to cause any one else to cross the V off THEIR list.

Here is why I posted:

Although there have been several ‘professional’ reviews now published, I had not yet seen impressions from a ‘civilian’.

I took the test drive (I had not initially intended to even ask to drive the V) largely because the current limited supply, and initial allotment in some areas apparently being sold might limit test drive access – for a while. Thus my attempt to offer some insight from a potential buyer’s perspective. My only goal was to try to provide readers here with another point of view – typically at least slightly different from those who test drive for a living.

I did not mean, by listing cars owned and test driven to ‘qualify’ myself in any way.

One reason I did accept the test drive offered is that I had hopes that I’d be ‘blown away’ by the V. Again, with a background & experience largely with sedans in the $50k - $60k MSRP range, I had expected to be very impressed with the V’s dynamics. After all, the luxury appointments can be had for a lot less money, with lower performance. And the ‘leap’ from $60K to $77K is significant, at least for most people. And going directly from my GXP (actual transaction price approx. $27K – chosen for several reasons) to a $77K sedan, I truly had very high expectations. As would seem appropriate.

I do want to see Caddy succeed at this level. As I wanted Lincoln to succeed (and continue to develop the LS – sigh) some years earlier as they tried to compete with BMW in sport sedans.

Clearly, anyone here is free to disagree with my comments. Particularly those who have driven one.

In response to a few specific questions:

1.how much miles on the odometer this STS V shows when you drove it?

A - This V had 16 miles on it when I drove it off the lot.

2.as you said, the salesperson was sitting beside you with a cup of coffee, doesn`t that mean you never put the pedal to the metal?

A – Not at all. I find it quite easy to apply WOT under these circumstances – just not abruptly – and not from a standstill. I hit ‘the metal’ several times in second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth gears. Only once in first. No coffee spilt. I did limit abrupt transitions – particularly in braking and cornering. Yet it is certainly possibly to drive very briskly under these circumstances. Smoothness does not mean slow. I pride myself of being able to drive very quickly without making passengers uncomfortable in any way.

3.I´m a very fast driver, as you know the german autobahns let you do this but I never beat the hell out of a brand new car - so you really cannot talk about a test-drive with this STS V.

A - I also “never beat the hell out of a brand new car”. This means that “I cannot talk about a test-drive”? OK. If you say so. Sorry to have wasted your time . . .

4.In June Cadillac-Europe will have their first cars here and these cars, before they give it for a test drive have about 1-2K kilomters on (600-1200 miles) I´ll get one for 3 days and I let you know what I think about it.

A – I certainly look forward to reading your impressions, in a few months.

RE: No Magnasteer. Thanks for the correction. If there is an STS-V brochure, my dealer had none.

“The Jag rides better because it has nowhere near the track prowess.”

A – I have no intention of driving a car such as the STS-V or the Jag on a track. I am thus only concerned about what it can do under real world conditions – and particularly how it ‘feels’ while performing at well below absolute cornering limits. From a Car and Driver test of the S-Type R: “ . . handling remains in a league with the M5 and Mercedes E55 AMG, but the ride is considerably more plush.”


I would use all of the acceleration available every day I drove it. Since I can do that, at least for some duration, with most anything short of a Corvette Z06. Safely, legally, and without annoying other citizens too much. I do not exceed 7 or 8 tenths of absolute cornering capability, for instance, in my street driving. Leaving room for the unexpected. But acceleration – there I feel that I can use all – and much more often.

“Maybe if he had owned an E55, M5, or RS6 I'd be impressed.”

A - Part of my point here was actually that since I have not owned a directly competing sedan, my expectations were that I’d be extremely impressed. If I drove one of the direct competitors daily, I would likely have been even less impressed than I was. But I think Caddy is looking for potential buyers among those that currently own sedans that one could classify as ‘one rung down’ from the V. Those with an STS V8 (1SF or 1SG) class sedan, for instance, or one of the many competitors in that class, now looking to step up. And again, I in no way mean my car ownership & test driving experiences to ‘impress’ – only to provide background and context.

(sigh)
- Ray
Just trying to provide another viewpoint on a car that may (for a while) be hard to find for a test drive in some locations . .

Very fair comment on this Ray
Thank you
Harry

silver12r
01-30-06, 02:26 PM
If you're driving a Pontiac GXP, who in the world gave you the keys to an STS-V??? Was it Joyride Chevrolet?

Katshot
01-30-06, 02:33 PM
If you're driving a Pontiac GXP, who in the world gave you the keys to an STS-V??? Was it Joyride Chevrolet?

Jeez I hope you're trying to be funny. If not that's a pretty stupid statement.

rayainsw
01-30-06, 02:41 PM
If you're driving a Pontiac GXP, who in the world gave you the keys to an STS-V??? Was it Joyride Chevrolet?

The answer is: They know me.
- Ray
Driving "within my means" - right now . .

silver12r
01-30-06, 06:33 PM
The answer is: They know me.
- Ray
Driving "within my means" - right now . .

That's fine Ray, what I'm saying is unless you're writing a review for Motor Trend or seriously considering buying one, you sholdn't be out test flogging somebody else's 80K car.

Seriously, if I knew which dealership it was I'd make damn sure I avoided them like the plague.

erp2863
01-30-06, 08:14 PM
And again, I in no way mean my car ownership & test driving experiences to ‘impress’ – only to provide background and context.

(sigh)
- Ray
Just trying to provide another viewpoint on a car that may (for a while) be hard to find for a test drive in some locations . .

My comments were never really towards you. It was toward SRT8/BMW for saying that he wasn't going to even bother test driving the STS-V based on your review. Which to me would be totally assinine (sp?).

I would love for you to show me how you can apply WOT on an automatic without it kicking down a couple of gears. Either Caddy made the tranny soft and is killing the power, or you never got the pedal all the way to the floor. No matter what gear you were in, if you were driving anywhere close to legal speeds, a 400+hp car should kick down pretty hard.

Eric
ps.- I'm not some Caddy blowhard. My CTS-V is my first Caddy and probably my last.

Vrocks
01-30-06, 10:58 PM
did you trade in your v?
Hey what's up Devil,

I actually got out of the V towards the end of October, and the XLR has been running strong ever since.

SRT8/BMW
01-31-06, 06:10 AM
My comments were never really towards you. It was toward SRT8/BMW for saying that he wasn't going to even bother test driving the STS-V based on your review. Which to me would be totally assinine (sp?).

I would love for you to show me how you can apply WOT on an automatic without it kicking down a couple of gears. Either Caddy made the tranny soft and is killing the power, or you never got the pedal all the way to the floor. No matter what gear you were in, if you were driving anywhere close to legal speeds, a 400+hp car should kick down pretty hard.


Eric
ps.- I'm not some Caddy blowhard. My CTS-V is my first Caddy and probably my last.


Yes, and you changed my mind. I am serious about this car, and am going to drive one....it was ..assinine (sp)?

Katshot
01-31-06, 07:50 AM
That's fine Ray, what I'm saying is unless you're writing a review for Motor Trend or seriously considering buying one, you sholdn't be out test flogging somebody else's 80K car.

Seriously, if I knew which dealership it was I'd make damn sure I avoided them like the plague.

You need to get out more. Dealerships want to sell cars and for as long as I've been in and around the industry, dealerships have let prospective customers test-drive their cars. In some rare instances, certain cars DO command such restrictive practices by the dealer as having to have a signed sales agreement with the customer prior to giving them a test drive but I doubt there's many (if any) Cadillacs that rate that kind of thing. Personally, I wouldn't even think of buying a car without being able to test drive it first.

chevelle
01-31-06, 12:51 PM
2.as you said, the salesperson was sitting beside you with a cup of coffee, doesn`t that mean you never put the pedal to the metal?

A – Not at all. I find it quite easy to apply WOT under these circumstances – just not abruptly – and not from a standstill. I hit ‘the metal’ several times in second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth gears. Only once in first. No coffee spilt. I did limit abrupt transitions – particularly in braking and cornering. Yet it is certainly possibly to drive very briskly under these circumstances. Smoothness does not mean slow. I pride myself of being able to drive very quickly without making passengers uncomfortable in any way.

3.I´m a very fast driver, as you know the german autobahns let you do this but I never beat the hell out of a brand new car - so you really cannot talk about a test-drive with this STS V.

.


I , too, understand where you are coming from with your "review" I just find it hard to understand your comments around lack of acceleration feel. At the speeds you are describing "putting it to the metal" in 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 is pretty pointless. I wouldn't expect much acceleration when the engine is running at 2000 RPM in 6..... As for not spilling the coffee....in my experience, driving an STS-V, it is pretty near impossible to get the "pedal ALL THE WAY to the metal" in 2 or 3 gear at speeds below 80 and "accelerate smoothly". The car is going to accelerate hard no matter how smooth you put the pedal down.

The STS-V is capable of easily running mid-13's in any weather at the drag strip. There is no way the car can be that quick and not accelerate hard.

As far as autobahn performance, the car has shown to be QUITE capable during autobahn testing....quite capable.

The most notable reponse I have gotten from rider after rider in the STS-V is that they just cannot believe how hard the car pulls from 80 to 150 MPH. Normally, one expects the accleration feel to fall off significantly as the speed builds and the trans shifts each time. The STS-V has an almost uncanny acceleration feel to it. Each time the trans shifts it seems to pull has hard as it did in the last gear. 80 to 150 is easily possible in long gaps in traffic on deserted interstate sections. The car is still pulling hard at the 155 limiter. You can touch 130 on most long freeway entrance ramps. "Not accelerate hard" just does not compute.

Any one who has driven other cars like this and drives the STS-V and says it doesn't accelerate hard couldn't have had the pedal to the floor and couldn't have given the car a chance to run. Punching it in 6 at 45 MPH in between city blocks is just not fair....LOL. If you are going to be punching it in 6 and expecting accleration you should be at 150 MPH first. Second is good to about 80 so make sure you are above that if you punch it in 3 if you expect the engine to be in its power band and accelerate.

Katshot
01-31-06, 01:11 PM
Actually, I understand Ray's comment. It's not that the car DOESN'T accelerate hard, it doesn FEEL like it's accelerating hard. I've seen this very thing in many of the newer cars I've driven. They are so smooth and refined that they tend to be very deceptive with regard to speed and acceleration. One of my favorites to illustrate this was a motorcycle I had years ago. It was one of the first Honda V4's and before I took it out for a test ride, the salesman told me to be careful because I would be caught off guard by how smooth it was and end up going faster than I though. Damn if he wasn't right! I was almost unimpressed by the bike's performance until I looked down and realized how fast I was going! I bought that bike that day and for quite a while was caught off guard by this same thing. I've also found this same phenomina in smooth, refined cars. They can be deceptively fast. My guess is that's the case with the STS-V.

silver12r
01-31-06, 01:45 PM
You need to get out more. Dealerships want to sell cars and for as long as I've been in and around the industry, dealerships have let prospective customers test-drive their cars. In some rare instances, certain cars DO command such restrictive practices by the dealer as having to have a signed sales agreement with the customer prior to giving them a test drive but I doubt there's many (if any) Cadillacs that rate that kind of thing. Personally, I wouldn't even think of buying a car without being able to test drive it first.

HE WASN'T CONSIDERING BUYING ONE.

The idea of having every low-rent Tom, Dick and Harry test-beat your exhorbitantly expensive prized posession like a raped ape prior to proper break-in is appalling at best.


I wouldn't even think of buying a car without being able to test drive it first.

Yeah, if I was buying an 11-year-old car with a hundred thousand miles on it, I wouldn't buy it without driving it first either.

Katshot
02-02-06, 10:14 PM
HE WASN'T CONSIDERING BUYING ONE.

The idea of having every low-rent Tom, Dick and Harry test-beat your exhorbitantly expensive prized posession like a raped ape prior to proper break-in is appalling at best.



Yeah, if I was buying an 11-year-old car with a hundred thousand miles on it, I wouldn't buy it without driving it first either.

LOL!!
Funny stuff! I'm not sure whether to think you're a jerk or just totally ignorant about cars and dealerships.
First of all, your comment about someone being a "...low-rent Tom, Dick and Harry..." is just plain ignorant and insulting. Secondly, you're showing you have no clue about what goes on at a dealership. Believe me, unless you are well connected, your car has been taken out for a thrashing before you ever step foot in it, especially if it's a high-profile car.
And as for your comment about taking a test drive prior to buying only IF it's "...an 11-year-old car with a hundred thousand miles on it..." is IMO, just plain STUPID! Why would you buy a car before driving it? I can't tell you how many cars I've been VERY sure I'd like right up until I drove it. If you don't understand the sense in that, you're a fool.

Night Wolf
02-02-06, 11:48 PM
Heh.... I someone managed to get 2 great cars... both buying them without a test drive, nor even seeing them in person.... the '93 Coupe and my Olds :).

STS-V looks like a nice car... very nice interior, I never liked the cheap looking interior on the CTS.... too bad the STS-V didn't have a manual....

silver12r
02-03-06, 08:21 AM
Secondly, you're showing you have no clue about what goes on at a dealership. Believe me, unless you are well connected, your car has been taken out for a thrashing before you ever step foot in it, especially if it's a high-profile car.

I used to run a car dealership.

I never saw a car get thrashed before the new owner picked one up.

I also never lived in the ghetto, so 'high-profile' cars might get handled differently there. Thanks for the heads-up.

Katshot
02-03-06, 03:51 PM
I used to run a car dealership.

What, Mayberry Chevy? Gimme a break.


I never saw a car get thrashed before the new owner picked one up.

I also never lived in the ghetto, so 'high-profile' cars might get handled differently there. Thanks for the heads-up.

I can't believe you're so arrogant.

Eldo1953
02-03-06, 07:01 PM
Actually, I understand Ray's comment. It's not that the car DOESN'T accelerate hard, it doesn FEEL like it's accelerating hard. I've seen this very thing in many of the newer cars I've driven. They are so smooth and refined that they tend to be very deceptive with regard to speed and acceleration... My guess is that's the case with the STS-V.


EXACTLY!! Katshot said it perfectly here. We are talking about a Cadillac here boys. It is supposed to be smooth and refined, creating the deception of speed and power.

And the first poster was right... def not the same as a Grand Prix that happens to have 8 cylinders. (and for good reason :alchi: )

Night Wolf
02-03-06, 09:33 PM
I agree, new cars, especially luxury cars with automatic transmissions are so quite, smooth and refined... the only real indication of how fast you are going is the speedometer as well as stuff passing you by....

no major body lean from acceleration, loud engine/exhaust noise or feedback in general... it just goes.

one of the reasons why a car like m '79 DeVille... a 17.5s 1/4 mi. car can, and does seem so fast... that and the engine power band.... there is alot more to all this stuff then numbers alone...

silver12r
02-04-06, 02:03 AM
I can't believe you're so arrogant.

Me!?!?! Don't throw stones if you live in a glass house, ass.

Katshot
02-04-06, 08:18 AM
Me!?!?! Don't throw stones if you live in a glass house, ass.

Hey Jack, I'm not the one making remarks like:

"If you're driving a Pontiac GXP, who in the world gave you the keys to an STS-V??? Was it Joyride Chevrolet?"

"The idea of having every low-rent Tom, Dick and Harry..."

"I also never lived in the ghetto, so 'high-profile' cars might get handled differently there."

These are rather rude, condescending and arrogant statements made by YOU, and directed toward other member(s) here. You come off like a major snob. Don't try to make ME the bad guy here.