Cadillac's renaissance takes another step forward with the 2010 CTS Sport Wagon. The latest addition to the CTS range is all about prestige and presence -- and attracting more customers in European markets. Introduced this weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the new wagon will roll into Cadillac dealerships in spring 2009.
Not surprisingly, the CTS Sport Wagon powertrains are identical to those of the sedan. A 3.6L 263 hp V-6 sits as the base engine in the U.S. with the direct-injection 3.6L V-6 making 304 hp as the top engine. As on the sedan, potential wagon buyers must choose between an Aisin six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, and between rear and all-wheel drive. With EPA highway ratings expected to be in the mid-twenties, the wagon should garner a few more MPG overall than bigger crossovers.
General Motors says a 2.9L turbodiesel is being prepared largely for European and Asian markets, although 250-hp engine will not be an option on the CTS Sport Wagon when it launches. No word yet on whether we'll see a diesel option in the U.S. at some point, but don't count on it.
While the wagon's front-end styling is carried over from the four-door CTS, there is plenty of new glass and sheetmetal out back, including thick D-pillars and large vertical taillights that flank both sides of the power lift-gate.
In an effort to better integrate the roof management system into the design, the chrome bars stretching to the rear of the car are set right against the roofline and GM says the system allows for an unobtrusive placement of the cross bars. Whether it's form over function remains to be seen. The bars meet the top of the taillights, which extend just a bit beyond the rear windshield, creating a small visual homage to finned Cadillacs of the past.
"They're not fins in the classic sense," says Clay Dean, Cadillac's global design director, "but they work to help disguise the cargo load system and, yes, they acknowledge Cadillac's design heritage."
Beneath that sloping roof and behind the 60/40 fold-flat rear seats is 25 cu ft of cargo space. This compares favorably with the BMW 535xi Sports Wagon and Mercedes-Benz E350 4MATIC wagon (17.6 and 24.4 cu ft, respectively), but not with the Audi A6 Avant or Cadillac's outgoing SRX (33.9 and 32.4 cu ft, respectively). Actually, the CTS Sport wagon's cargo capacity with the rear seats up is almost identical to the Infiniti FX's 24.8 cubes. Cadillac has yet to release cargo capacity figures for when the rear seats are folded down. In the cockpit, expect the wagon to carry over the design and layout of its CTS sedan sibling.
While the new wagon's styling may compromise some visibility (if you fill the wagon to the roof with stuff) and cargo capacity, when has buying a vehicle from Cadillac or any other premium automaker for that matter been a truly practical purchase?
Nineteen-inch wheels are an option, and an attractive one at that. The wheels make their debut on the five-passenger wagon, which is actually 0.3 in. shorter than the sedan.
While Cadillac will surely sell more than a few CTS Sport Wagons in the U.S. market, its real mission is strengthening Cadillac's reputation around the world, especially in Europe, where it will go head-to-head against the formidable German competition.
Will we ever see a Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon? It would not be too difficult to create, but with the development of the SRX replacement (scheduled to launch in mid-2009) and the soon-to-arrive CTS coupe -- not to mention the present economic situation within GM -- Cadillac probably has its hands full.
|2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon|
|Base Price||$36,000-$39,000 (est)|
|Vehicle Layout||Front engine, RWD or AWD, 5-pass, 4-door wagon|
|Engine||3.6L/263-hp/253-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6; 3.6L/304-hp/273-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6|
|Transmission||6-speed manual; 6-speed automatic|
|Curb Weight||3900-4200 (est)|
|Length x Width x Height||191.3 x 72.6 x 59.1 in|
|EPA City/Hwy Econ||16-18/25-26 mpg (mfr est)|
|CO2 Emissions||0.93-1.02 lb/mile (est)|
|On Sale In U.S.||Spring 2009|