Fleet News

Cadillac Seville STS

Review

AMERICAN style, it seems, is in vogue right now-witness Chrysler's success over the past few years with the Jeep and Voyager brands over here.

It's a combination of value for money, full equipment lists and laid-back Transatlantic appeal that has notched up so many buyers, though possibly memories of that unusually agreeable rental car on your last fly-drive holiday to the States has something to do with it.

In Cadillac's case, the Seville has been available for some years on the Continent, though the cost of type approval and engineering for right-hand-drive has prevented General Motors' UK division - Vauxhall - from importing the car.

But with executive car sales polarising towards the premium end of the market, with marques such as BMW, Audi, Volvo and Mercedes cleaning up in the face of diminishing numbers from volume manufacturers such as Ford, Rover, Toyota, Nissan, Renault and Citroen, Vauxhall - or rather GM - has sought to introduce a more upmarket brand name to Britain in the hope of scoring sales in the luxury sector. So in the same way that Lexus has become Toyota's luxury arm, Cadillac will enhance GM's presence in Britain, the difference being that Cadillac is a marque with a 95-year history and a life-long reputation for building America's favourite success symbol.

The Seville is on sale in Britain in one form only - as the sporting STS. Wary of the vagaries of importing such a blatantly 'American' brand into the UK, GM is pricing the Seville aggressively compared with its opposition: at ú39,925 on-the-road, it wants for very little in terms of spec, while power comes from GM's advanced four-cam 4.6-litre North Star V8 producing 305bhp.

At that price it competes directly with the Mercedes S280, Jaguar XJ8 4.0 and BMW 728i, though it offers a far higher standard specification - enough, GM hopes, for Cadillac to achieve credibility against the established values of traditional luxury cars.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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