Rosie Red: A Review of the 1997 Cadillac Seville STS

20200107_124913“I want you to draw me like one of your French girls.”-Rosie

Intro and Vehicle Information:

A lot has been said about the ’92-’97 Cadillac Seville, and while most are not great things, this car has a lot of ups that get forgotten. Debuting in 1992, the all-new Cadillac Seville was so impressive that it actually won Motor Trend’s car of the year award.

The Seville was offered in two distinct styles. In the first year of production, both vehicles were equipped with the same 4.9 L V8 offering 200 horsepower, but in 1993 the infamous Northstar V8 debuted. The 1993 model saw greater distinctions between these two styles with the SLS taking a limited version of the Northstar offering 270 horsepower and the STS taking a meaty 295 horses. In 1995, both vehicle’s numbers were boosted once again and the SLS now had 275 horses at 300 lb ft. of torque and the STS had a clean 300 horses and 295 lb ft. of torque. The SLS was geared towards the older crowd of Cadillac consumers offering a smoother suspension system and limited horsepower while the STS offered younger consumers a sporty, tight suspension and 300 horses to have some fun on the highway.

I, without a doubt, always wanted my own STS and in 2017 that dream came true.

Purchase:

In the summer of 2016, my first car and my dad’s old 2004 Cadillac Seville SLS was put to rest. The transmission blew at well over 200,000 miles which was basically a death sentence. For the year following I was carless, just a man and the shoes on his feet, all the way until the following fall. I had begun shopping for a vehicle as I was tired of relying on other people to go places and I had a few vehicles in mind. I looked at Japanese cars mostly because I had bad luck with American before, so I test drove a red 2006 Infiniti M35X. I loved the car and I was actually going to call this car Rosie, but I just didn’t have the funds to support a monthly car payment.

I decided to check out something more in my price range, and what else did I stumble upon other than a mint condition, cherry red, 1997 Cadillac Seville STS with low miles priced at just $3,900. The nostalgia set in quickly. My grandfather was the owner of a blue ’94 STS, and it was my absolute favorite car growing up. Here’s a picture of me chilling on the trunk with my sick 2003 bucket hat and Star Wars prequel shoes.20200301_222058.jpgLet’s jump from ’03 to 2017. The car was located in Mogadore, Ohio, and was owned by this old Russian man who apparently helped develop Chapel Hill Mall which we’ve learned about before. Through finding the original sticker, I found out that the car was first purchased in southern California. Ohhhh, I bet she misses those sunny days in SoCal when it’s 20 and snowy in Akron. Regardless, as soon as I saw the car I knew I had to have it. The shine on the paint was so bright, the interior was perfect; it was just meant to be. So on a small loan of a million dollars, er, I mean on a small loan of $2,000 from my brother, the jewel we know of named Rosie became my own. Ron (my grandfather) would have been proud.

20170927_173116

TFW dad makes you pose for a first day of purchase pic.

Exterior Design:

Often called the “Greyhound Design” by folks in the auto world, this gen of Seville’s was the standard of the world’s take on a sporty “European style” sedan. 20180410_182446The taut and sleek design of this vehicle has really helped it age and I think that someday this car will become a classic. Hell, in 2 years I plan on getting historical tags for mine.

20190324_135104“I’m just tryna get my beach tan on.”- Rosie

I really do love all of the lines on this car though: there’s nothing about the exterior that I think could or should have been done differently. When the car came out in 1992 it was so striking compared to other Cadillac’s and pretty much every other Luxury sedan that was on the road.

The back end is a work of simplistic art as well. Seville’s have always gone against the grain in terms of the Cadillac world by making their tail lights horizontal and they were definitely pulled off well here. The high-tech (at the time) LED CHMSL or 3rd brake light was the first ever LED brake light to be installed on a car, and Cadillac was smart enough to integrate this piece so well into the design. On top of that, the quad exhausts give this rear end a beefy look, making you think twice about asking for a race.

Interior Design and Features:

While not perfect, I do think that the interiors on this generation of Seville’s definitely hold up better than the ones on the ’98-’04 generation. Though there’s a decent amount of ’90s plastic, the Zebrano wood trim and perforated cappuccino cream leather make up for that.20170927_205759That stereo bumps too. I bumped so hard listening to Everybody Wants to Rule The World that I actually blew my amp. The Bose 6 speaker stereo system works perfect for me, even better than my ’04 Caddy. It offers rich sound and I use a tape deck aux cord to play music off of my Spotify. When all else fails, I still have an original 12-disc CD changer in the trunk. Now with over 85,000 miles on it, 3 owners, and running on 23 years old, not one piece of my leather has a tear in it. The steering wheel and gear shift aren’t worn out like they are on many other Caddy’s from this era and I really haven’t had any issues with cheap plastic breaking.20190408_185153Just being the captain of that wheel makes you feel like an absolute boss. Oh and I have modern day safety features too, see my S.I.R. Airbag! The gauges are also extremely easy to read. Simple, modern, and brilliant.20181230_214119One of my favorite pictures with the car. Being an owner of one of these also means that you get that classy cursive Cadillac script right on top of the glove box.20170927_205813Aside from that, the backseat offers 3 very cushy seats, 2 cup holders, an astonishing 3 cigarette lighters, and climate control so you can smoke your cigarette in a nice, cool Cadillac.

20170927_205824“With an old school Caddy with a diamond in the back.”- Big Tymers

Engine:

Ahh, the notorious Northstar.20170927_212048This picture is from when I first got the car. I later modded it by adding a cold air intake which doesn’t add much horsepower but definitely adds a beefier sound. I was amazed though when I first saw this because it was such a clean engine bay. We’ve all heard that these generations of Cadillac’s are troublesome (and I’m not disagreeing because I’ve had my fair share of issues) but that’s not true of the engine department. Aside from an intake gasket repair (not the deadly head gasket repair) most of my money spent on this car has been in standard things like replacing the brakes all around, tires, battery and struts because Akron potholes destroyed them.

Despite that, these 300 horses bring this 4 thousand pound girl from 0-60 in just 6 and a half seconds. While that may not sound alarming by today’s standard, back in 1993 when the Northstar was introduced this car was far and away the quickest sedan in its class. I myself am not a drag racer like Jason Bateman in Horrible Bosses, but I’ll just say I’ve gotten this car well over a hundred and it didn’t want to stop.

Conclusion:

While some may be hesitant to purchase one of these bad boys, I myself think that it’s a worthy investment. Sure you’re not getting the features and safety you would out of a car from this millennium, but you’re also getting a car that stands out in a crowd. In 2020, fewer and fewer cars like this are on the road. The world is probably going to be a bunch of self-driving crossovers in ten years so I think you should experience a time when there was just enough safety and features to get you by, but not too many to take the driving experience away.

Though they won”t be classics anytime soon, I seriously think that within the next ten years people are going to start appreciating these vehicles more and more. If you’re a Cadillac lover like me and have the money for frequent repairs and premium gasoline then this car is for you. If not, pass the Camry.20190325_165154Rockstar chillin’ with my girl. Daytona Beach March 2019, she made it all the way there and back.

Review:

No bias. 10/10.

20180105_235518Rosie: That’s without a doubt the GOAT city in Ohio.

Me: This is why I bought you.

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