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With its brilliant acceleration, crisp handling, and Gibralter stability, the Cadillac Seville makes no apologies to expensive imported sports sedans. This car is just the thing for covering lots of real estate in a big hurry, cruising effortlessly at 80-90 mph like a high-performance sports sedan.
Around town, it's smooth and comfortable. The Seville comes loaded with features and technology designed to deliver comfort, safety and performance. Cadillac's StabiliTrak system is smart enough to respond to a skid before you're even aware there's a problem. OnStar, with enhanced capabilities for 2001, can automatically locate your vehicle and alert emergency personnel in case of an accident. Bose Infotainment, also new for 2001, integrates cell phone, personal data assistant, navigation, and audio-entertainment functions into a single system.
This car is fast. Its Northstar 4.6-liter V8 engine delivers 300 horsepower on the STS model. Punch it and this thing really takes off. It offers excellent throttle for brilliant passing performance. Step on the gas and you're by the offending vehicle in a flash. There's plenty of torque off the line to quickly propel you into Scofflaw County, and you can cruise all day at socially irresponsible speeds.
Cadillac's Northstar V8 engine is tuned differently for the SLS and STS models: The version used in the SLS produces 275 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 300 pound-feet of torque at 4000. The engine in the STS delivers 300 horsepower at 6000 and 295 pound-feet at 4400 rpm. That makes the STS the better choice for drivers who want a high-performance sports sedan, and the SLS better for drivers who prefer quietly cruising in luxury. Both will do fine in each mode, however.
The transmission works great. Cadillac's four-speed automatic transmission features a Performance Shift Algorithm that analyzes your driving style and adjusts shifting appropriately. Hammer the throttle and it mimics the crisp shifts of a manual transmission. Accelerate gradually and the transmission shifts smoothly. Go through a corner under hard acceleration and the system is smart enough to delay shifting until you are through the turn for improved handling balance. If desired, it's easy to pull it straight back from Drive into third gear. In fact, shifting it manually is as easy as shifting one of those fancy semi-automatic shifters that are the fad nowadays.
The steering is sharp and responsive. It has, in fact, been sharpened for 2001 with subtle changes to the front control arms, steering knuckles, front subframe, and front anti-roll bar. The Magnasteer rack-and-pinion steering system relies on an optimized 14.8:1 ratio throughout the steering range; rather than varying the ratio, the system uses a magnetic field to vary effort directly with speed or other conditions. It works well, giving the car a feeling of stability at high speeds and accurate steering on winding roads, yet it's light to the touch in parking lots making the Seville easy to park.
Standard on both models is the StabiliTrak system. It uses an accelerometer to sense even a minor skid. Then, by applying the brakes to individual front wheels and deftly controlling the throttle, it brings the car back under the control-often before you noticed anything was wrong. The latest StabiliTrak 2.0 also incorporates side slip-rate control, so if the Seville is sliding sideways, both front brakes are momentarily applied to slow the vehicle and allow it to regain stability and lateral traction.
The brakes are superb. They are easy to modulate in normal driving. In a panic stop, the ABS kicks in, quickly bringing the car to a halt without drama; understandably, they are prone to fade when used repeatedly in this manner.
Seville's Magnasteer steering system is linked to StabiliTrak's sensors, so steering effort is altered according to how aggressively a driver takes a corner. StabiliTrak even raises steering effort in low-traction or emergency-maneuver situations to enhance driver control.
The Continuously Variable Road Sensing Suspension, or CVRSS, comes with the performance-model STS. This active suspension system continuously monitors changing road conditions and instantly alters shock-damping rates to find an optimal balance between ride comfort and handling. This system, too, has been tweaked for 2001 to improve handling response. The ride quality is smooth and well controlled. A small amount of road vibration can be felt through the steering wheel.
This car is smooth and quiet around town, stable and secure at speed on the highway, and sporty and competent on winding roads. Out on the open road, it makes no apologies to BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes, Lexuses and Infinitis. You can keep up with them, pass them, or let them go while you relax in your luxurious surroundings.
The Cadillac Seville delivers the refinement, performance and handling expected from a BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus or Infiniti. The Seville is a sedan that truly loves to be driven, whether you're winding down back roads or commuting through traffic with the Bose sound system on. The STS feels like a true sports sedan.