Review: There comes a time in everyone's life when we have to trade
in our fun car for something more responsible. One moment we're drooling
over neon paint and 20-inch wheels while dangling trinkets from the
rear-view mirror, and in the next minute we're wishing for side airbags
and enough space for a couple of baby seats. But it doesn't have to be
that way. There are a few cars for grown-ups that somehow straddle the
thin line between crazy fun and sensible transportation. This car, the
Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, is one of them.
It's actually a rare
breed, a vehicle that tries to balance the competing needs of comfort,
performance and usability, and it does the job well. Its station wagon
layout makes it just as practical as a crossover vehicle, and crossovers
are nothing but wagons that ride up high and take a testosterone
injection. The new CTS, with its close-to-the-ground suspension, make it
handle better than any of the SUV wannabes.
It may seem odd for
Cadillac to make a station wagon, but somehow it just works. It looks
sleek, like it's been shot from a polished steel cannon, and gets more
attention than an ordinary CTS sedan. You don't see many cars like this.
But however rare it is, a modern station wagon makes sense when you look
at the grand arch of Cadillac history.
After starting out
making literally the world's best cars in the early 20th Century, and
some of America's most memorable cars in the 1950s, the brand had sunk
to unthinkable lows by the 1980s and '90s, when it became the exclusive
purveyor of boat like cars for little old ladies.
In the late '90s,
though, Cadillac took a sharp turn. First came the big Escalade, which
brought rappers and affluent young families into the old-lady brand, and
then the zippy CTS, which was a good luxury car for people who actually
like their cars to feel like they're on pavement, not the Intercoastal
Today, Cadillac is
making its lineup more European by focusing on driving dynamics and
interior quality, the things buyers would normally look for in brands
like Audi and BMW.
So, if Cadillac has
already tuned the CTS on Germany's famous Nurburgring racetrack, how
could it make its sports sedan even more European? Create a "shooting
brake" version, that's how.
A "shooting brake" is
what the English call a station wagon, the kind of car aristocrats could
use to haul their hunting gear across their property. It's a more
upscale concept than the station wagons we Americans often remember for
having fake woodgrain stickers applied to the sides.
Today Aston Martin
would never make a station wagon; it would most certainly make a
"shooting brake." The Cadillac Sport Wagon takes this idea of a
European-style, upscale wagon and adds an American brashness to it. It's
a bombastic car with a giant front grille and willing V-6 engine,
including a 3.6-liter version with direct injection that's absolutely
It's also comfortable,
as you'd expect a Cadillac to be, with a nice interior that is nearly
competitive with German luxury sedans, not quite to the same level of
polish, but far closer than it was a couple of years ago. You can get a
navigation system, seats that blow cold air on your backside, and a
giant sunroof for enjoying the open air.
Pricing starts at
$38,265, which is $1,800 more than a CTS sedan. It shares its
architecture with the regular CTS, including its great driving feel, but
it adds the practicality of the station wagon layout. It also adds the
spunky, attention-getting look you once tried to achieve with neon paint
20-inch wheels, proving
that practicality really can be beautiful.
What was tested?
The 2010 Cadillac CTS V6 Premium Collection edition with a base price of
$48,665. Options on the test car are 19-inch wheels for $2,090, a
compact spare tire for $250, a rear cargo tray for $110 and the
underhood appearance package for $100. The total MSRP price as tested,
including the $825 destination charge, came to $52,040.
Why avoid it?
You can't get it with a third-row seat like in bigger crossovers, and
some people don't have pleasant memories of station wagons.
Why buy it? It
drives like the sporty CTS sedan but has the added cargo capacity of a
crossover vehicle. It also turns more heads with its space-age wagon
look. By Derek Price © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The Bottom Line:
The new 2010 Cadillac's CTS Sport Wagon looks sleek with an
unusual layout, has the extra cargo capacity of a crossover vehicle,
with the lowered look of a sporty station wagon. Plus this latest CTS V6
Premium Collection edition model has a high-quality interior that nearly
rivals the best European luxury cars of today.
Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy”
is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay
Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to
TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at
And remember: “ You Are
what you Drive ”
Cadillac Home Page
Column Name: CTS wagon
has European flair
Topic: The 2010
Cadillac CTS Premium Collection
Word Count: 911
Photo Caption: The 2010
Cadillac CTS Premium Collection
Photo Credits: Cadillac
CTS Internet Media
Series #: 2010 - 45
the Microsoft Word version here:
Cadillac CTS Wagon
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