2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon – Silent & Smooth

It’s the rare occasion when a station wagon looks better than the sedan that it is based upon. But that’s arguably the case with the 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon. In a word, it’s tough. The wagon looks so good that I’m surprised that I haven’t seen more CTS Sport Wagons zooming around the pavement as the chosen vehicle of the young, the smart, the cool and the savvy. I guess it’s a matter of time. With just a little tuning: custom wheels, ground effects and special coloring, the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon could quickly become a streetwise standout.

The CTS Wagon is about the same size as the sedan it’s based upon and for those who care, the Sport Wagon comes in either all-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive configuration. What’s more that CTS Sport Wagon had 25 cubic-feet of storage space behind the rear seats and that more than doubled to almost 54 cubic–feet with the rear seats folded. I had RWD version. Even without any special body treatment, my test car turned heads during my week-long test drive. The look was so slick and sophisticated that many folks asked me what it was. Keep in mind that Cadillac is one of only two brands that are still assembled in this area. The point is that the car is that much of a watershed; it’s a lot different than anything Cadillac has produced in many years.

My test vehicle had a 3.6-liter direct injection V6 that made 304 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque that was mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. There is a 270 horsepower V6 available but my test car with its larger displacement had just enough oomph to justify its sport suspension, 19-inch wheels and steering wheel mounted shift controls that were part of its option package. The car had winter tires but the snow had cleared and I really didn’t need them. Still, they were a reassuring safety net and much better for this weather than the 19-inch summer only tires that come with its option package. The driving characteristics of my test vehicle were impressive. The Caddy Sport Wagon handled with rifle shot accuracy. The car was quick but not brutally fast and that was okay. After all, I’m talking about a station wagon. The gear box provided smooth almost imperceptible shifts. In other words, Caddy’s Sport Wagon ran smooth and silent.But what impressed me most was the suspension. It was comprised of shocks, springs, stabilizer bars and a link set up in the rear. Ride characteristics of a suspension are about design and materials. Cadillac engineers did an outstanding job on the CTS Sport Wagon.

That’s because I felt like my test car had an air suspension. I found that particularly impressive because the car had a sport suspension which is supposed to be firmer than a regular setup. The only time firm came into play was when I went from the lip of my driveway and onto the street. The interior of my sport wagon was impressive. Fit & finish was top notch. The French stitching caught my eye. The seats were comfortable and provided plenty of support. And the car had the usual phalanx of equipment that’s expected in a luxury brand.

There were heated and cooled seats, adaptive Xenon headlamps, satellite radio, Bluetooth, OnStar, a programmable power lift gate, keyless entry, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a tire pressure monitor, heated outside mirrors, a wood trim package and on it went. I was particularly pleased with the ambient lighting; it even illuminated the rear door handles. I’ve always liked the fact that you can turn off the day time running lights in GM cars and the Sport Wagon’s moon roof was over the front and back seats. The only quibble I had was the silver satin template for the center stack. Extending all the way from the top of the center stack to the center console, there was simply too much of it.

However, there wasn’t enough of it to keep me from enjoying my test drive and from buying this car. Cadillac is committed to challenging world class luxury brands and the 2010 Cadillac Sport Wagon is the latest example. My test vehicle’s sticker was $55,630.

Frank S. Washington is managing partner/editor of and

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