Wagons are underrated but the 2010 Cadillac CTS Wagon hopes to shatter any stigmas. We review the 5-door 3.6L Premium AWD model.

Also see: First Drive: 2016 Cadillac CTS-V at Road America [Video]

Two things come to mind when pondering the new 2010 Cadillac CTS Wagon. First, the wagon is such an underrated segment. Second, the Cadillac brand continues to be misunderstood amongst the GenX’rs in today’s market. Following a week testing this 5-dr, 3.6L Premium trim, AWD mover, it became even more evident that a sport-tuned wagon still offers the performance and handling of a sports sedan with the cargo and utility near that of a compact SUV, and that Cadillac continues to make huge strides breaking that ‘old man’ stigma currently plaguing the century-old automaker, reinventing its product line with innovative features and updated styling, finding that perfect balance to attract the ‘younger’ market while retaining the Cadillac heritage. Certainly, a challenge, but a quick look at their current products, coupled with the recent, hipper marketing initiatives, its clear Cadillac is on the right track…now, its up to the consumer to buy into it, so to speak.

CTS Wagon Styling

2010 Cadillac CTS Wagon Review2010 Cadillac CTS Wagon Review

Exterior styling is sleek and sexy with very sharp cut lines without looking too boxy—definitely one of the hotter wagons taking the streets today. The design retains nice, long lines from front to back along its 2880mm wheelbase with touches of chrome along the way, including air extractors up front, adding some performance flair but more importantly, as functioning parts of the cooling system. The front grill is beefy, adorned with the classic oversized Caddy emblem; front fenders open up to the large headlamp clusters with long, vertical styling. The same theme continues in the rear: extremely elongated LED tail lights running north-to-south above a chunky bumper and sporty, dual chrome exhaust pipes. This wagon attracts loads of attention with its gorgeous Crystal Red paint scheme, but expect to pay an extra $1295 or it. Overall, A-plus to Cadillac for retaining its traditional styling attributes while adding contemporary, updated features that can still appeal to the young guys.

Powered by 3.0L or 3.6L Engine

Propelled by either 3.0L or 3.6L engine, both available with RWD or AWD in either manual or auto, the CTS Wagon offers no shortage of cultivated power. This AWD tester came with the 3.6L SIDI VVT V6 engine and 6-speed auto transmission, including the Driver Shift Control (similar to tiptronic)—the shift control felt remarkably refined and fairly responsive. The AWD system paired to the CTS’ sport-tuned suspension performed well in the corners, doing a decent job keeping the 4310-lb rocket glued to the road via 18”x8” premium multi-coat painted finish aluminum wheels wrapped in P235/50VR all-season tires.

2010 Cadillac CTS Wagon Review2010 Cadillac CTS Wagon Review

2010 Cadillac CTS Wagon Cabin Features

Inside, the CTS offers precisely what you would expect from Cadillac: class, refinement, and quality. The cabin is contoured and well designed with ample space and touches of white-stitching and genuine Sapele Pommele wood trim throughout, though headspace at the rear seats is a little limited.  The centre cluster is super-clean and easy to navigate—the pop-up touch screen really contributes to this: when fully down, it sits flush to the dash yet still functional with touch-screen capabilities; when more menu options or navigation is required the screen shoots up higher without being invasive. The analog clock is a nice, traditional touch too. The instrument panel with analog gauges, again, very clean and classic and easy to read. Above, the Ultraview roof opens up to the sky, nearly twice the size of conventional sunroofs. The electric sunroof shade is nice, but keep in mind, the sunroof only opens halfway (conventional size); the rest is simply window, but hey, nobody’s complaining!

2010 Cadillac CTS Wagon Review

Just a few of the other standard features include: heated/ventilated front bucket seats with 2-way power lumbar support; Keyless Access System, automatically unlocks doors as you approach vehicle with key fob; Bluetooth hands-free phone system; dual zone automatic climate control with air filtration; the list goes on.
Technology and entertainment are abundant. An eight-speaker Bose sound system and XM Satellite radio come standard, but the jump up for the extra cash is well worth it and includes the Bose 5.1 cabin surround sound ten-speaker system with a 40GB hard-drive allowing you to import your own music, ability to pause/rewind live music, along with full iPod integration tapped into the entire system with screen and/or steering wheel controls.

The rear standard power liftgate with preferred height settings opens up to 720-litres of welcome cargo space along with additional under-floor cargo space once upon lifting the flat, privacy door; drop the rear seats down flat for even further cargo space. Not enough? Strap your canoe to the roof via adjustable rail-mountable tie-downs for secured cargo.

2010 Cadillac CTS Wagon Review

Final Thoughts

The 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon is without question a sexy, sleek and very capable vehicle that really does offer all the essentials without compromise—loads of cargo space, technology, and safety features rolled into a luxury, performance 5-dr rocket that will appeal to a very wide gamut of people from young, successful men and women to soccer-moms to your 90-year old grandpa (I think). While these latter two are probably covered, its time for the younger generation to wake up realize Cadillac is more relevant and sultry today than ever. Take the CTS Wagon (or CTS Sedan, for that matter) for a spin, and be prepared to get knocked out.

Learn more about the Cadillac CTS

2010 Cadillac CTS Wagon Review