2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon Road Test Review

Alexandra Straub - CAP staff
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There's a new breed of Cadillac on the roads for 2010, sort of.  The popular-selling CTS which, traditionally, came in the sedan body style, is now available for the first time in North America as a wagon. 
From the outside, the Sport Wagon takes some of its styling cues from its sedan sibling such as the signature Cadillac grille and front fascia, with a V-shaped deck and tailgate motif and large, vertical tail lamps with light-pipe technology; making it easily recognizable from the front or back.  Also adding to this particular example's look is a bold Crystal Red paint scheme ($1,295) and set of P235/50R18 V-rated all-season tires with 18" aluminum wheels with premium multi-coat finish. 

Yes, the CTS Wagon looks good from the outside but my favourite view of this vehicle was definitely from behind the wheel.  I was most impressed with this interior because of its tidy execution.  I didn't feel lost when looking for buttons and it was arranged neatly.  Of course, this impressive cabin didn't come without a few optional packages.  The "Wood Trim Package" that included Sapele Pommele accents on the steering wheel, shifter, instrument panel, centre console and door panels gave the CTS Sport Wagon a rich look and texture that broke up the sea of beige colouring inside.  The "Luxury I Package" added ambient lighting with LED light pipes and spotlights, which looked really cool when driving at night.  The "Luxury II Package" included heated and ventilated front bucket seats, perfect for both the warm and cold weather the West Coast has been experiencing lately. 

While there are more items in each of the packages mentioned (except for the Wood Trim Package), listing all the features would almost take a review in itself.  But I can't go without mentioning the retractable touch-screen located on the top of the centre stack that can either manifest itself or un-manifest itself with the push of a button.  It's very cool.  And what would at CTS Sport Wagon be without a novelty-sized sunroof?  Well, it would be darker inside, that's for sure.  The power ultraview roof extends from the front seats to the rear and allows a lot of light into the cabin. 

Although I really enjoyed what I saw from behind the wheel, I can't say that I was an instant fan of what I felt when behind the wheel, at least at first.  I found the sport suspension that lies underneath the Wagon's chiseled exterior to be quite raw and somewhat abrasive.  After all, it seemed almost as though I could feel every imperfection on the road.  I also thought to myself, "Why would anyone want to drive around in one of these? It's so stiff."  But that opinion changed throughout my test period.  The more I drove the vehicle, the more I liked how it felt. 
My change of heart came when I started to throw the CTS into tight turns and when I felt its capabilities at highway speeds.  After all, this Wagon does come with a few standard features like advanced chassis technology in the form of Cadillac's StabiliTrak electronic chassis control system.  It incorporates the car's standard four-channel ABS with the full-function traction control, hydraulic brake assist and engine drag control systems.  Its handling was quite impressive and made for a good time.  It also started to grow on me as I realized that if the suspension was any softer, I don't think the personality would have matched the car. 

And what better way to add personality to a vehicle than through a nicely endowed engine. Under the hood of my CTS Sport Wagon was the optional 3.6L, 24-valve, DOHC V6 that produces 304 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque.  There is definitely enough get-up-and-go to not only impress the driver, but the passengers, too.  I was also a fan of the engine and exhaust grumble when accelerating. It has a nice, deep-toned note to it that has enough punch to make its presence felt, but not so much that it would wake the neighbours.  The 6-speed automatic transmission was smooth and effortless too, with snappy shifts and a tall highway gear for good fuel economy. 

That in mind, I found that the fuel consumption wasn't too bad.  On average, the CTS Sport Wagon uses an estimated 11.8L/100km in the city and 7.5L/100km on the highway.  What I also didn't find too bad was the cargo capacity.  Externally, both the sedan and wagon are relatively similar in size, however, the wagon boasts 736 litres (26 cubic feet) of storage space, which is almost double that of the sedan.  And with the rear seats folded down, there is 1,642 litres (58 cubic feet) of stowage. 

With all the goodies of the various packages/options and the $1,295 needed for the Crystal Red Tint exterior colour, my CTS Wagon had an MSRP (including destination) of $62,190.  A CTS Sport Wagon can be had for as little as $45,745, freight and PDI included, however, so it's not out of reach of entry-level premium buyers.  And GM has regular cash incentives too, $4,000 off the top at the time of writing. 
When all is said and done, the 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, with all its bells and whistles, was a pretty fancy ride.  Even though I didn't hit it off right away with the suspension, I'm glad we had a chance to mix and mingle.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Wagon, Cadillac, 2010, CTS Sport Wagon, $40,000 - $49,999, $50,000 - $74,999,

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