“Its high-powered V variant embarrassed Euro competitors by smashing the production car lap speed record at the revered Nurburgring, in Germany.”

The CTS Sport Wagon (2010–2013) was the first in-house full production wagon (based on a sedan) made by Cadillac.

The CTS has clean, crisp, edgy styling that is distinctively modern Cadillac. The sedan edition of the highly successful rear-drive CTS was introduced for the 2003 model year and captured numerous awards. Its high-powered V variant, which followed in 2004, embarrassed Euro competitors of the day by smashing the production car lap speed record at the revered Nurburgring, in Germany.

These days, wagons are less popular here than in Europe, so the available local used car market pool, for this edition of the CTS, is not a very deep one. North Americans tend to buy utility type vehicles instead of a wagon. A wagon is typically closer to a sedan in terms of driving dynamics, yet has more than double the cargo capability.

A CTS Sport Wagon is a little taller and heavier than the sedan, it offers 736 litres of storage space with the rear seats up, and 1,642 litres with them folded. There’s also a clever sub-floor cargo management system and the rear door is power-operated.

The base engine is a 3.0-litre (255 horsepower) V6 that’s mated to six-speed automatic transmission. The other engine is a 24-valve, 3.6 litre, direct injection (304 horsepower) V6, that provides more torque at lower engine speeds, yet fuel economy is about the same. Using the newly revised rating method, consumption should be about 12.8/8.6 L/100 km (city/highway).

The CTS can also come with an all-wheel drive system that normally splits torque 30/70 front-to-rear, to maintain its sporty (rear-drive) driving dynamic. It’s capable of delivering up to100 per cent of torque to either axle if needed, but there is a small increase fuel consumption.

An interesting adaptive forward lighting system was included in an option package that came with Xenon headlights. This system automatically adjusts headlight direction for improved visibility at night. It can also turn the headlights up to 15 degrees inboard and 5 degrees outboard, providing better vision while cornering.

The big news for 2011 model year was the addition of a, limited edition, high-performance CTS-V Sport Wagon model. Like the V sedan it’s powered by a 556-horsepower supercharged V8 engine and came with 6-speed manual transmission or optional 6-speed automatic. You’ll likely pay a $20,000 premium (maybe more) to acquire a (hard to find) used CTS-V Wagon.

The 2012 edition of the CTS Sport Wagon came with a new 3.6-litre V6 engine that is more powerful (318-horsepower) yet lighter than the 3.6-litre engine it replaced. It also came with a new grille, standard Bluetooth and a new option package that made it look like a V Wagon. No significant changes followed for 2013 and it was the last production year of this generation of the CTS.

Although it can be harder to find in the used car market, Sport Wagon adds a handy utility bonus, without destroying the scintillating driving experience that is Cadillac CTS.


Price Check: 2010 – 2013 Cadillac CTS (January 2015)

Year                             Edition                                          Expect to Pay Today

2010                         Sport Wagon                                       $17,000 to $21,000

2011                         Sport Wagon                                       $21,000 to $25,000

2012                         Sport Wagon                                       $25,000 to $29,000

2013                         Sport Wagon                                       $30,000 to $35,000

*Prices vary depending on a used vehicle’s condition, mileage, usage and history. A complete mechanical check should always be performed by a reliable auto technician prior to purchase.


Safety Recalls: 2010 to 2013 Cadillac CTS:

2003 to 2014: Some drivers may bump the ignition key with their knee and unintentionally move the key from out of the “run” position. A subsequent loss of engine power would unexpectedly increase steering and brake pedal effort, and airbags may not deploy in a collision. Dealers will remove the key blade from the original flip key/transmitter assemblies provided with the vehicle, and provide two new keys and two key rings for every original key.

2009/2010 – A wax coating applied to rear suspension toe link jam nuts may allow them to loosen. This causes a metallic clanking noise from the rear of the vehicle and the toe link could eventually separate. Dealers will clean, install two new jam nuts and, if required, the rear suspension toe link will be replaced.

2011: A loss of grease from the centre constant velocity (CV) joint, on all-wheel-drive editions, can result in vibrations of the propeller shaft. These vibrations may be transferred to a rollover sensor, located on the floor above it, and cause an unwarranted deployment of the side curtain airbags. Dealers will replace the rear propeller shaft assembly.

2012 – The brake booster pushrod retention nut may not have received adequate tightening torque during vehicle assembly and could separate from the brake pedal assembly. Dealers will inspect the pushrod retention nut and, if necessary, torque the nut to specification.

Contact: bob [dot] mchugh [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

“Heck, even funnyman Jerry Seinfeld couldn’t miss the Acura NSX reveal as he sat in the front row awaiting its presence…”


Detroit, Michigan.

Within moments of pulling out of a parking lot in the 2015 Cadillac CTS 3.6L AWD, its pristine crimson coat was soiled by the elements. And of course, salt, dirt, grime and all that isn’t amazing about winter in Toronto.

Nevertheless, its smooth and comfortable ride didn’t disappoint along the arduous and incredibly four-plus-hour drive to Detroit, Michigan for the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS.)

I would soon trade in the coziness of heated leather seats – and steering wheel – for a pair of not-so-cozy leather shoes and roam the showfloor to check out what’s hot, cool and what sparkles amidst the industry’s top cars. It would only make sense to start with Cadillac’s latest offering when it comes to their “V” series cars.

At the Los Angeles Auto Show in late 2014, we met the ATS-V – the smaller brother of the mid-sized four-door I drove to Motown. Now, get ready for a performance sedan that will knock your socks off.

Cadillac CTS-V

Arriving late in the summer of 2015, the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V is ready to take on its German competitors (like the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG) with a whopping 640 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque.

The all-new third generation sedan is the most power-endowed product the brand has ever created.

But aside from power, you’ll have the luxury of the third generation Magnetic Ride Control to not only blast you through the corners with grace and poise, but with the comfort of being able to drive it around town, or between cities/countries without sacrificing an enjoyable ride. Road or track, I’ll take this one for a spin any day.

Acura NSX

Perhaps one of the most anticipated reveals of the last few years from the Japanese automaker, Acura, comes in the form of the NSX. The acronym, which stands for New Sports eXperience, rolled out onto the stage to a frenzy of flashes from the crowd. Heck, even funnyman, Jerry Seinfeld, couldn’t miss the reveal as he sat in the front row awaiting its presence.

While pricing hasn’t been released yet, it’ll likely be north of $150K.

But, for that price, you get a vehicle that not only delivers gargantuan power, but one that is hybridized thanks to an all-new power unit. That unit is a twin-turbocharged, 75-degree DOHC V6 engine with a 9-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) and three-electric motor Sport Hybrid system. Not to mention Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), so it’s a perfect supercar for all seasons.

Chevrolet Volt

Speaking of electric motors, Chevrolet gave us a preview of the 2016 Volt. With a longer EV range and a lighter body, not to mention a new design, this plug-in hybrid is sure to win even more hearts over. Highlights include an EV range of up to 80 km, a new two-motor drive unit, which is now up to 12 percent more efficient and 45 kg (100 lb) lighter than the first-generation drive unit, and a new 1.5L range extender, designed to use regular unleaded fuel, offering a GM-estimated combined fuel consumption rating of 5.7L/100km.

AS Lexus NXB Concept Bike

Lexus NXB Concept Bike

Completely changing gears, atop one of Lexus’ sparking vehicle at their stand was a concept bike that caught my eye. Not only because it was totally out of place at an auto show, but also because it looks so cool. NXB stands for Neo Xtreme Bike and comes with a Lexus original carbon frame, carbon wheels and a KYB inverted suspension up front. Even if it never is ridden, I still like the idea of a zero-emissions commute on something as interesting as this concept.

Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept

For a zero emissions commute that doesn’t require muscles but rather a motor, the Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept is another step in the brand’s commitment to the electrification of automobiles.

It’s still a concept, but it embodies the philosophy of giving drivers over 300 kilometres of range out of one charge, without charging a premium for it.

The concept’s technological prowess can be linked with an App in which you can control various vehicular functions like starting the car from your smartphone. Additionally, it even incorporates the concept of automatic park-and-retrieval technology, which enables the driver to exit the vehicle and tell the Bolt EV concept to park itself – and when errands are completed, the Bolt EV concept can be summoned to return to the owner’s location. Sounds ideal to me!

Contact: alexandra [dot] straub [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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