2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon

I've been enamored with the CTS-V for quite some time, but as a long-time wagon guy, the new V Sport Wagon absolutely ticks all the right boxes for me. Power? This car's got it in spades. Handling? It grips, especially in sport mode, unless you turn off Stabilitrak and give the throttle a hard kick with your right foot. Practicality? Well, it seats four adults and offers almost 26 cubic feet of cargo space aft of the second row.

Like every other CTS-V I've driven, this car turns heads when viewed from the front, but necks immediately snap once bystanders get a load of the stretched roofline, angular D-pillars, and huge taillamp assemblies. If style takes a back seat to performance on V-line cars, it's still one magnificent throne. The finished product is brash yet beautiful.

My lone issue is the price. $63,660 isn't wholly unreasonable, considering the new Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon is expected to sticker for nearly $20,000 more. That said, my brain also lumps the new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 into the same category of brawny performance haulers -- and while it's not quite as engaging or enjoyable as the V, it's also nearly $8000 less, capable of towing 5000 pounds, and packs all-wheel-drive. Depending on where you live, the latter may be a key point...

Evan McCausland, Associate Web Editor

I always associate fond memories with the Cadillac CTS-V. Two years ago, I spent a week in the Hamptons on the east end of Long Island in a CTS-V sedan; that car's brash design lured people from the likes of cars costing twice as much to ask what it was. They had never seen a Cadillac like this one, and most wanted to know, could they get one? Most commonly heard phrase: This definitely isn't my father's Cadillac.

Fast forward two years to today and, no, this still is not your father's Cadillac. Putting aside the Nurburgring-tuned dynamics, the slick American looks, and premium trimmings, it's a wagon. This time I slid into the Alcantara-trimmed Recaro bucket seat of a CTS-V wagon for a birthday treat. 556 hp going to the rear wheels through a short-throw six-speed manual? Happy birthday indeed. Funny though, not a single person turned their head at this one -- it was just another station wagon.

Donny Nordlicht, Associate Web Editor

Well, we did name the Cadillac CTS-V wagon a 2011 All-Star, so the plaudits coming from various staff members shouldn't be a surprise. It's hard not to be mesmerized by a car that produces almost the same power as a Ferrari 458 Italia and can still carry both your family and that plasma TV you just picked up at the big box store.

That doesn't mean this is a car for everyone, however. The 556-hp supercharged V-8 is an enthralling powerplant, but it also only returns 14 mpg in the city and 19 on the highway. And while the CTS-V's suspension calibration makes it a star on the track, it also means that you'll feel every bump in the road on your daily commute. The Recaro seats are very supportive, but their contours don't fit all body types that well (mine, for instance). Even with those caveats, however, it's easy to see how someone would ignore their practical side when they're behind the wheel of the CTS-V. A few concessions to comfort and fuel economy seem like a small price to pay for this much driving excitement in this unique package.

Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor

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Editors like to lie, they can't help themselves. No, you CAN'T haul a plasma home in this because you can't lay a plasma screen flat while delivering. Nice Try Gumby

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