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May 4, 2010 > Auto Review: CTS Sport Wagon

Auto Review: CTS Sport Wagon

This week's test car was a "brand new for 2010" Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, the first wagon type vehicle that Cadillac has produced in the USA. It is built on the CTS sedan platform, so it shares the same external dimensions, drive train, and suspension system. However, it doubles the cargo carrying capacity of the sedan with the rear seats in their upright position. Folding those seats down doubles the volume of cargo that can be carried in the Sport Wagon.

When purchasing a CTS Sport Wagon, you can choose either rear-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive system ($1,900 additional). The only transmission fitted to the Sport Wagon is a 6-speed automatic that shifts very smoothly and always seems to be in the right gear.

Both available engines use direct fuel injection technology to increase fuel economy while reducing tailpipe emissions. The base engine is a 3.0-liter, V-6 rated at 270 HP. If you want a few more ponies, a 3.6-liter V-6 (with 304 HP) can be added for an additional $1,800. Both engines deliver virtually identical EPA results at 18 city and 26 highway mpg on premium unleaded gas.

Our test Sport Wagon had the 19" Performance Tire Package. In addition to replacing the standard 18" wheels and base tires, this package included some worthwhile "go fast goodies" like an up rated suspension, bigger brakes, limited slip differential, up rated cooling components, and paddle shifters for the automatic transmission. These extras were worth every penny of their $2,090 cost, as they helped make the Sport Wagon fun to drive.

It had crisp, clean, and predictable handling. For a large car the braking was solid and fade-free. The 304 HP gave the Sport Wagon plenty of zip down the straights and accelerating out of the turns. It didn't have much body roll and it also had firm but smooth ride.

The interior has a high quality feel as you would expect from Cadillac. It is similar to the interior of the CTS sedan and very nicely done. You can order the front seats with a heating/cooling system to help keep your body temperature in the comfortable range. I thought that the driver's seat could have been a little more supportive to keep you from sliding around on the twisty sections of road. Also, the rear seats could use a little more leg room for taller adults.

The rear door is a power lift gate. This one is different from others because it is programmable. This means you can pre-set the height that it opens up. This will help prevent damaging the lift gate by hitting the ceiling when you open it in a garage.

All Cadillac vehicles are given a 4 year, 50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. The power train warranty lasts for 5 years or 100,000 miles as does the roadside assistance program. OnStar service for one year is included in the purchase price.

The base Sport Wagon starts at $38,265 for the 3.0-liter, rear wheel drive model. At the other end of the scale, the 3.6-liter, premium version lists for $50,565. The CTS Sport Wagon combines a number of very good features that make it a viable alternative to a much larger car or an SUV.

By Dick Ryan
Freelance Automotive Journalist
Member of the Western Automotive Journalists
Member of the Motor Sports Press Association

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