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2010 Cadillac CTS ReviewThe Good
Cadillac introduces a new performance-oriented CTS Sport Wagon for 2010, which joins the well-reviewed CTS Sport Sedan and features a wide array of standard and optional luxury features, as well as distinctive Cadillac styling cues adapted for its functional yet shapely body.The Bad
Design elements in both the 2010 CTS Sport Wagon and the Sport Sedan result in limited visibility out the rear, and taller passengers might find limited headroom in the wagon's rear seats.
The CarGurus View
Cadillac thinks outside the box with its functional, luxury-oriented CTS Sport Wagon. Borrowing heavily from the popular CTS Sport Sedan, the Sport Wagon presents a viable alternative to higher-end SUVs, providing the functionality of an SUV with the luxury features drivers have come to expect from Cadillac. The Sport Wagon's distinctive good looks and wide range of standard and optional features should appeal to discerning drivers looking for something a little bit different.
At a Glance
Cadillac freshens the CTS lineup for 2010 with the addition of the CTS Sport Wagon, which combines the upscale amenities of a luxury vehicle, the fuel efficiency of a sedan, and the functionality of a crossover vehicle, all in a new four-door, five-passenger body with a rear liftgate. The CTS Sport Wagon offers a choice of two engines, available all-wheel drive, a versatile interior, and distinctive Cadillac styling cues and badging. Exterior highlights include an iconic Cadillac-style grille, angular exterior lines, vertical taillights, and a rear spoiler subtly integrated into the rear liftgate. In addition, Cadillac's designers used a V-shaped motif throughout the vehicle's design, particularly in the rear tailgate area, which gives the Sport Wagon a contemporary, unified appearance.
Based on the CTS Sport Sedan, the CTS Sport Wagon has the same 113.4-inch wheelbase, though its overall length drops slightly. The Wagon's interior closely matches the Sedan's interior as well. However, the Wagon offers more cargo space than the sedan.
Cadillac also updated the CTS's base 3.0-liter engine for 2010. The engine now features direct injection, which helps improve horsepower and fuel efficiency. It joins a 3.6-liter V6, which remains unchanged from the previous year. It's available as an option for both the standard CTS sedan and the Sport Wagon. Other changes for 2010 include the addition of a new Eco Lux sedan trim, which includes such features as tire and wheel enhancements designed to improve energy efficiency, as well as interior leather upholstery, heated front seats, wood trim, and Bluetooth. In addition, Cadillac made minor updates to the CTS's foglights and headlights for 2010 and adds a few new exterior colors, including Tuscan Bronze ChromaFlair and Vanilla Latte.
In all, Cadillac offers the 2010 CTS in 20 trims, including all-wheel-drive versions as well as Eco Lux, Luxury, Performance, and Premium trims, giving prospective owners a wide range of choices with a variety of upscale and performance features.
Both the CTS sedan and the Sport Wagon come equipped with an updated 3.0-liter V6 as the base powerplant for 2010. The direct-injection engine produces 270 hp, a jump of 7 hp over the previous year's base engine. However, torque drops from the previous year, from 253 lb-ft to 223 lb-ft for 2010. The available 3.6-liter V6 generates 304 hp and 273 lb-of torque. Both engines feature variable valve timing, which helps improve fuel efficiency, and link to an electronically controlled Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic with Drive Shift Control, which enables manual shifting. The engines run on regular gasoline. Although EPA fuel economy estimates for the engines are not yet available, GM estimates the 3.0-liter V6 will achieve a respectable 18/27 mpg.
Ride & Handling
The rear-wheel-drive CTS sedan rides on a four-wheel independent suspension with anti-sway bars in the front and rear. ZF Servotronic 2 power rack-and-pinion steering also comes standard, providing precise steering. As a result, the CTS sedan offers sport-like agility, tight cornering capabilities, and a firm suspension without sacrificing passenger comfort. CTS Performance trims add a sport-tuned suspension system and a limited-slip differential. Optional for all trims, a Magnetic Ride Control system offers a more relaxed Touring mode and a firmer Sport mode. Critics find the system provides the right amount of body control without limiting the CTS's energetic driving dynamics. Owners can add AWD as an option to all trim levels.
The Sport Wagon's advanced chassis features a tower-to-tower brace under the hood, which enhances overall structural stability, and an integrated roof load management system with crossbars, which also provides structural strength while ensuring a clean design profile. Like the sedan, the CTS Sport Wagon comes equipped with a four-wheel independent suspension, including MacPherson struts in the front and a multilink configuration in the rear. The suspension includes progressive-rate coil springs and monotube shock absorbers. All chassis and structural features were designed to contribute to a smooth, capable ride with superior handling capabilities.
Base and Luxury trims come standard with 17-inch aluminum wheels, while Performance sedan trims and the Sport Wagon with the 3.6-liter V6 receive 18-inch aluminum wheels as standard equipment. In a first for Cadillac, 19-inch wheels are also available for the Sport Wagon and Performance sedan trims. Wind and road noise do not intrude into the library-quiet cabin regardless of tire size.
Cabin & Comfort
The 2010 CTS pampers passengers with an upscale, comfortable interior, thanks to the extensive use of luxury-oriented and high-quality material throughout the cabin. The front row has a cockpit-like feel, thanks to the swooping center stack, which places the easily readable controls, including a pop-up information screen, within easy reach of the driver and front-seat passenger. Soft, supportive leatherette upholstery comes standard on the CTS, along with an 8-way power driver's seat and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel. Other standard features include a leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel, dual-zone electronic climate control, remote keyless entry, and OnStar with turn-by-turn navigation, roadside assistance, and emergency services, among other features. The eight-speaker Bose AM/FM audio system includes a CD player and a three-month trial of XM satellite radio. Owners can add such features as wood trim and a power tilt-and-slide sunroof as options.
The Eco Lux and Luxury trims add leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable heated front seats, Bluetooth wireless technology, LED ambient lighting, and a 6-CD changer, while Premium trims add an Ultraview power sunroof with a power sunshade and an Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist system with an LED indicator and audible warnings. Options include a navigation system, a Bose 5.1 surround-sound audio system, and a 40-gigabyte internal hard drive for music storage.
The CTS Sport Wagon comes equipped with a power rear liftgate, which provides access to the rear cargo area. The Wagon offers 25 cubic feet of storage space behind the 60/40-split rear seats, which fold forward to extend the cargo space. In addition, the wagon's cargo management system includes an adjustable in-floor containment space to further expand cargo-carrying capabilities. However, design elements for the wagon result in limited headroom for taller passengers in the rear seats.
Although crash tests have not yet been conducted on the CTS, the similar 2009 version earned five stars in side-impact and passenger front-impact tests, and four stars in driver impact and rollover tests. The 2010 CTS comes with a full range of airbags, including dual-stage front airbags with a passenger sensing system, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and front and rear head curtain side-impact airbags. Other standard safety features include the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system and four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist and traction control.
What Owners Think
The 2010 CTS Sport Sedan continues to receive plenty of positive comments and few negative ones from owners. Similarly, a majority of early reviewers are impressed with the new CTS Sport Wagon's design, as well as its performance. Both the sedan and wagon feature easy-to-use interior controls, which appeal to owners. The CTS's handling and fuel efficiency also receive accolades from owners. On the downside, visibility out the rear remains a problem for the sedan, and some owners may find it even more so for the Sport Wagon, with its hunky D-pillars. Overall, many owners consider the previous versions of the CTS to be among the best-built cars available from Cadillac, and should find that a high level of build quality and performance carries over to the 2010 CTS.
Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in Florida.
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