First Drive: 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon

Don Sherman


The infotainment load parallels CTS standard and optional equipment. Two Bose entertainment systems play through eight or ten speakers. There's a 6-disc CD changer in the dash, a hard drive for audio material, plus compatibility with ipod, MP3, and Bluetooth mobile phones. AM, FM, and XM channels all play here.

The pop-up navigation screen stops in two positions to provide route guidance and entertainment system information.


Cadillac offers this Sport Wagon with rear- or four-wheel drive and a choice of two 24-valve, DOHC, direct-injected V-6 engines. The 3.0-liter version cranks out 270 hp and 223 lb-ft of torque while the 3.6-liter edition delivers 304 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The one and only transmission is a 6-speed Hydramatic with steering spoke switches to control up- and down-shifts in manual mode. This transmission is calibrated to hold gears at the redline and to downshift to the appropriate gear while slowing for turns.

To support four distinct trim levels, there are three chassis packages coded FE1, FE2, and FE3. Seventeen, 18, and 19-inch tires are available and each step up the FE ladder delivers additional braking capacity.


The 3.6-liter V-6, FE3 CTS Sport Wagon we drove for a weekend exceeded high expectations. The tautest-available suspension system keeps roll in check and provides supple wheel movement at some sacrifice of ride plushness. This is the preferred combination for those who take the Sport label seriously. The ContiSport Contact 3 summer radials stick supremely while providing ample feedback when their adhesion limit approaches. The steering is astutely calibrated for both road feel and effort. In fact, this Cadillac beats both Corvette and Camaro in steering satisfaction.


Whether by luck, by intent, or by accident, Cadillac has augmented its family with two high-function products at a time when practicality is the order of the day. The new-for-2010 SRX is aimed at women who believe they need an elevated seating position to bolster their driving confidence. The CTS Sport Wagon is more male oriented. It offers about the same cargo hauling capacity with a more tasteful appearance and a more aggressive (read entertaining) driving personality.

We've suggested to Cadillac that the ideal Neiman Marcus holiday season package might be a matched set of his/hers haulers-one SRX 2.8T and one CTS Sport Wagon in coordinated colors and special trim, each with a red bow on the roof. At the very least it would keep the peace in wealthy households while providing just the right Cadillac for every occasion.

0-60mph acceleration 7.2 sec
1/4-mile acceleration 15.4 sec @ 94 mph
30-70mph passing acceleration 8.3 sec
70-0mph braking...154 ft

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