What an exquisitely chiseled piece of metal, this. I prefer the chunky proportions of the wagon to the overstyled, poke-your-eye-out rear deck of the coupe. Apart from a better load angle and potentially more space with the seats folded, the CTS Sport Wagon offers zero practical benefit over the sedan.
The beautifully restrained exterior, however, belies the interior's frustrating mess of buttons, surface textures, ergonomics, and steering wheel controls. I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out how to sync my phone with the car's Bluetooth, although several buttons on the steering wheel were marked for such a purpose. After a futile attempt with voice commands, I gave up. The nav screen does the neat GM trick of up/down at the push of a button-useful, because the system looked and acted like it was already five years on the market, and the graphics were far from top-class.
Ride quality struck a superb balance between sportiness and comfort, and quick steering response made the CTS feel light on its feet.
If the CTS Sport Wagon succeeds, I imagine a pat on the back is due for the marketing flack who decided to heed the call of wagon lovers and auto-journalist types and make the CTS into a wagon. Not a Lexus IS300 SportCross. Or a Chevrolet Malibu Maxx. Even if the added value of the Saab-like taillights and folding rear seats doesn't add up to more than a hatchback, it could pay off-big-for Cadillac. Bring on the CTS-V!
Jeffrey Jablansky, Assistant Editor