The Cadillac CTS line was launched with the purpose of revitalizing the brand’s image worldwide. While Cadillac sales have always been relatively strong in the United States, the brand has languished in other markets, particularly Europe, where premium auto manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz sit on the top of the hill. The new 2010 CTS Sport Wagon is Cadillac’s latest offering in the line, and it looks like this could be the break they’ve been looking for.
There are two trim levels of the CTS Sport Wagon. The basic level gets a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 263 horsepower, and the higher level gets that same V6, but with direct fuel injection and altered tuning that produces 304 horsepower. This is about on par with what is found in other sport wagons, so it is neither extremely impressive nor disappointing. The power is mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. Both are borrowed from the CTS sedan and both work well in this new application. Both trim levels also have the option of either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. No big performance differences between the two, but those that live in climates where the roads get slick in the winter are better off spending a bit of extra money for the AWD version.
As far as the styling is concerned, the CTS Sport Wagon is virtually identical to the CTS sedan from the windshield forward. After that, the chrome bars along the roof stretch towards the back and meet up with the rear tail lights. This design gives a strong, sporty impression, and does the double duty of camoflaging the roof’s cross bars. The rear end seems inspired by Cadillacs of old, with taillights that protrude a bit like the vintage fins, but not nearly so far as to be gaudy. The window on the rear lift gate is a bit small, and if the rear cargo area were filled with items, it could restrict visibility, but that is only a concern for the few times people will actually fill that cargo area to capacity.
The interior is, like the front styling, largely borrowed from the CTS sedan. Since the CTS sedan is well-appointed and comfortable, this is a good thing and there is plenty of leg room. If there’s one thing you can count on in life, it’s that Cadillacs always have plenty of interior space. Of course, that may hamstring the brand considering the recent push towards smaller, more economical vehicles, but there will always be customers out there with a bit of money in their pocket who aren’t afraid to splurge.
Bottom line is that the 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon has shaped up to be a good car and will likely have a decent amount of sales in the United States. The real test for Cadillac, however, is to expand their market reach to European markets and try to displodge manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi from the Sport Wagon segment. Time will tell if this is possible, but if any Cadillac model can do it, the new CTS Sport Wagon can.