By on April 13, 2011

I firmly believe that it’s more fun to drive a (relatively) slow compact hatch fast than to drive a big, fast car well below its potential. I remain hopeful that someone will offer a car with five doors and rear-wheel-drive that weighs under 3,000 pounds. (I’d say under 2,700 pounds, but that’s clearly a pipe dream.) Then Cadillac put a CTS-V in my driveway for a week. A wagon with a manual transmission, no less. That Cadillac even offers such a combination warrants respect. The lure of the dark side has never been stronger.


The stealth fighter-inspired design of the second-generation CTS remains polarizing, if less so than the original. Love it or hate it, the car looks appropriate for its role. This particular CTS-V wagon makes no attempt to conceal its evil intent. A “Black Diamond Edition,” it is covered in sparkly black paint and shod with “satin graphite” wheels. The all-black appearance (save the huge yellow brake calipers) makes the car look like a development mule, but I don’t doubt its appeal for some people. Given the intended look, though, why not go all the way with a matte black finish for the body as well as the wheels? Some people (certainly not including myself) don’t care for the wagon’s lines, but no one will deny that they’re distinctive and clearly communicate a sporting intent.

When the 2008 CTS was introduced, its interior was the best GM had yet offered. The “cut and sewn” upholstered leatherette on the instrument panel and upper door panels seemed especially upscale. But GM and the rest of the industry have continued to advance, and given the V’s $60,000+ price tag the cabin isn’t quite up to snuff. In the V the satin-finished trim of the regular CTS has been replaced by piano black, and the latter doesn’t work as well with the other pieces. Having shiny black plastic, black-stained wood, and matte black plastic run side-by-side the full height of the center stack is simply too much. One of the two trim elements needs to be either toned down or eliminated. I didn’t care for the flimsy, overly plasticky feel of the door pulls even back in 2007 (and pointed this out to the designer at NAIAS). Notably, the more recently designed coupe has better door pulls. Finally, the dash-to-door fits are uneven and, as in the sedan, the sections of the rear seat fit together poorly.

Under Harley Earl and then Bill Mitchell, GM continually strove to make its sedans lower and lower. They would not approve of the CTS. To provide good sight lines over the high cowl, the seating position is a few inches higher than the traditional norm. While I had the V I drove a couple of Panameras, and the contrast with the much lower, much wider Porsches is striking. In its defense, Cadillac is under no mandate to make a sedan or (in this case) a wagon feel as much like a sports car as possible. Instead, from its relatively high perch the CTS feels commanding and powerful.

The Recaro seats optional in other Vs are standard in the Black Edition. (A salesman informed me that he’s rarely seen a V without them anyway.) Unlike those in most other GM cars, these seats retain four-way lumbar adjustments. Unfortunately, these adjustments are of little value as the lumbar bulge is overly narrow and sticks into the lower back rather than supporting it. To avoid this unpleasant sensation I adjusted the lumbar to do as little as possible. Despite this shortcoming, I’d advise the Recaros for the lateral support they provide. Both the thigh and side bolsters can be adjusted to provide a tight fit. A “sueded” covering on the steering wheel and shifter is a $300 option. I enjoyed the feel of the shifter, but never quite got used to the fuzzy steering wheel.

Oddly, the high seating position up front doesn’t translate to a comfortably positioned rear seat. The cushion feels small and, like most, it’s too low. Though the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, and so forth do no better, the CTS is nearly as large as a 5-Series. The wagon’s cargo area similarly isn’t expansive, but a power tailgate provides easy access. A floor that can be employed as a cargo organizer effectively restrains groceries during aggressive maneuvers. Interior storage is grossly inadequate. My superzoom camera (styled like a dSLR, but not as large) fit in neither the glove compartment nor the center console, both of which are overly compartmentalized. Consequently it spent much of the week sliding about the passenger footwell.

Any shortcomings fall from mind once the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 is awakened with a pushbutton. With 556 horsepower at 6,100 RPM and 551 foot-pounds of torque at 3,800 RPM, it’s more than a match for the CTS-V wagon’s considerable 4,398 pounds. Acceleration is traction limited at low speeds, especially when the car is fitted with winter tires (as this one was). Luckily, it’s not hard to modulate the throttle and achieve reasonably drama-free launches. The first-generation CTS-V suffered from severe wheel hop. To solve that problem GM fitted half-shafts of differing mass to the new car. These oscillate at different frequencies when subjected to the full wrath of the V8.

At any speed the V8 responds strongly and immediately in a way that only a large engine can. And yet it doesn’t feel as astoundingly quick as the power figures suggest it should. As one passenger remarked, “it feels like only about 450 horsepower.” The car’s curb weight is one reason. Declining returns are another. The engine produces more power than the tires can transfer at lower speeds. To fully exploit the V’s extra power you’d have to drive well beyond the legal limit.

But the unexpected refinement of the engine is the primary culprit. The supercharger provides boost so smoothly that the engine doesn’t even feel boosted. In naturally-aspirated form in the Camaro GM’s 6.2-liter V8 can sound like it’s on the verge of self-destruction. These raw tones have been successfully suppressed in the CTS-V, leaving only a mild burble at low RPM, some pleasant mechanical noises in the mid-range, and a restrained roar at the high end. Cruising down the highway the exhaust is barely audible; what you do hear fits the character of the car and doesn’t begin to irritate. Some people will wish for a more expressive engine, but I fear that the result would be something like that in the Camaro. If the engine can’t scream sweetly, better that it cannot scream at all.

Under full throttle there’s a strong rush to the redline, but no surge or sense of a peak. Instead, if you’re not paying close attention it’s very easy to bang the limiter—which intervenes just 100 RPM past the horsepower peak. It’s not easy to pay attention, as it’s not possible to simultaneously watch both the modestly-sized tach and the road. The CTS-V badly needs a head-up display (HUD) like that offered in the Corvette and even some pedestrian GM vehicles like the GMC Acadia and Buick LaCrosse. Barring that, a RX-8-like beep when 500 RPM short of the redline would also work. As is, the LEDs that trace the tach needle’s movement start flashing at 5,200 RPM, but if you’re not already watching the tach you won’t notice this.

That the power peaks so close to the redline suggests that the engine could be much more powerful if only it could rev higher. In the Corvette ZR1, titanium intake valves and connecting rods do permit a 400 RPM bump. Add another pound-and-a-half of boost to the V’s nine, and the result is 638 horsepower. And even then the power peak remains 100 RPM short of the redline. Putting out under 100 horsepower per liter, the V’s engine simply isn’t working hard. Unlike more high-strung engines, it should last forever with proper care.

The shifter is not an issue. A vast improvement over that in the first-generation CTS-V, it has a satisfying level of notchiness and snicks with a moderate amount of effort and good precision from gear to gear. Given the limited traction at low speeds and low redline, it’s no surprise that the Tremec’s six gears are tall. First runs to 48, second to 72, third to 99. They’re also tightly spaced, with a ratio spread of only 4.2 between first and sixth (vs. 5.3 for the Aisin in the regular CTS and 8.0 for the seven-speed S-Tronic in the Audi S4). The big V8 is spinning a bit over 2,000 RPM at 70. At this speed, downshifting is rarely necessary.

The clutch doesn’t feel heavy unless you’re sitting at a light, where you can select neutral and relax. This said, after spending a few days in the V I nearly put my left foot through the floorboard in my Mazda Protege5. My heel-and-toeing skills aren’t what they should be. No matter-with the accelerator positioned much lower than the brake pedal it’s not a possibility in the V anyway. Those huge yellow calipers aren’t just for show—the CTS-V stops as well as it goes, and with a satisfyingly firm pedal feel.

Fuel economy? Well, even more than in other cars this depends on how you drive. During an especially hard stretch of driving the trip computer reported just a bit over seven miles-per-gallon, and quite often under ten. On the other hand, when hypermiling the V over a few suburban miles where my red light karma was good, I observed 22 (vs. 26 in a Lexus IS-F). I noted the same 22 during steady highway driving. When driving the V like a normal car around town I observed between 12 and 16 depending on the frequency of complete stops, supporting the EPA city rating of 14.

My observations on ride and handling must be qualified, for the tested car was wearing Pirelli winter tires that are likely squishier than the stock Michelin PS2s. This said, the steering, while still numb compared to that in a Panamera, has a more direct feel than that in the regular CTS. Feedback from the contact patches tickles attentive fingertips. Hit the stability control button on the steering wheel to active “Stabilitrak Competition Mode,” and the steering firms up while the electronic nannies are relaxed. But the resulting wooden feel makes the car feel heavier and less agile without doing much to enhance feedback.

It’s not necessary to rely on your fingertips for much anyway. The V prefers to be driven like a blunt instrument, but paradoxically a blunt instrument that can be driven with precision. You can throw it hard into a curve with total confidence of where it’s going to go. Guide it precisely through a curve with your fingertips? Save that for a different sort of car. As in other rear-wheel-drive GM cars, the seat of your pants will tell you pretty much all you need to know. The chassis feels so natural, and power oversteer builds so progressively, that the V can be driven from your gut. The center of rotation feels like its right under the driver’s seat.

Dive into a turn entirely off the gas, and the V understeers (though quite possibly less on its stock tires). A little gas easily evens out the chassis, and the desired degree of oversteer can be summoned up at will. The stability control seamlessly manages oversteer if you go too far. (Engage the “Competition Mode” or entirely turn the nannies off and it becomes clear how well the system works.) It manages understeer more obtrusively.

The magnetic ride control shocks, a GM innovation now also employed by Audi and Ferrari, very quickly adapt to road conditions. Since the shocks quickly move through their full range in either “Tour” or “Sport,” the difference between these two modes isn’t night and day. In “Sport” body motions and roll are a little more restrained, and the ride is a little more abrupt. In either mode the V doesn’t feel nearly as hardcore as its appearance and power figures suggest. Even in “Sport” mode there’s a modest amount of roll in turns. On the other hand, the car’s ride quality is actually better than my father’s regular CTS with the mid-level suspension, and much better than that in some other cars in the class (the Infiniti G37 especially comes to mind). The car is shockingly livable even on the awful roads around Detroit.

Can a $69,490 car be a bargain? A similarly-equipped BMW M3 lists for about $2,500 less. Adjusting for feature differences with TrueDelta’s car price comparison tool narrows the gap to under $1,000. This decision isn’t going to come down to price. Rather, power vs. precision. Around town the Cadillac has stronger, more immediate responses and so is generally more fun to drive, but the BMW has a more precise feel. To get similar power in a BMW, you must step up to the even heavier upcoming M5, which will likely cost about $100,000. If you’re looking for a wagon—well, no one else currently offers an ultra-high-performance wagon in the U.S. unless you count the Panamera. And if you have to ask the price of the Porsche…

All of these details don’t fully capture the essense of driving the V. It’s quite simply intoxicating, the immediacy and strength with which the engine reacts, the predictable competence and willingness of the chassis, all without any significant downsides save a thirst for premium unleaded and the endangerment of one’s license. On top of this, the entire experience has a seamless cohesiveness that’s rarely found in non-European cars. It’s certainly possible to drive the V casually. When not pushed the V drives just like a normal car, with no untoward noises, jitters, or heat. It’s almost too easy. Your grandmother could drive one and never have a clue about the machine’s potential. But once you’ve sampled this potential, the V’s allure can be hard to resist. All those extra pounds? Forgotten. The only thing that saved me: they insisted on having the car back at the end of the week.

Cadillac provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review.

Michael Karesh operates TrueDelta, an online source of automotive pricing and reliability data.

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127 Comments on “Review: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Sportwagon Black Diamond Edition...”


  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I like this car in concept and I like the CTS (and the wagon) in it’s normal form, but that grille, wheels and calipers look like the second-worst kind of aftermarket bling.
     
    The worst?  White rims and coloured glass.

    Also: suede on the steering wheel and shifter? Really? Do people not keep their cars longer than three months at GM HQ?

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Suede was an option, not mandatory.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I know, but even as an option suede would be questionable unless you almost never (like Ferrari-level “almost-never”) drove the car.
       
      There’s a reason why you don’t step on blue suede shoes, and it’s the same reason you wouldn’t grab a blue (?) suede shifter and wheel day-in-day-out.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      I’m curious if Cadillac, GM, has any intention on discontinuing the overly sharp, overly angular styling language any time soon. It feels like all Cadillacs have had the same general “keep the kids away or they’ll slice their fingers” sharp edged design cues for going on 10 years.

      • 0 avatar

        I personally hope they stick with it. If anything, I fear they watered it down too much for the second-gen CTS. A brand should have a distinctive appearance. 

        EChid: My father recently took his 2008 into the dealer in Virginia Beach, VA, to have some recalls performed. The loaner they gave him was a 2010 sedan with the DI 3.6 and manual that a manager had ordered to see what the manual was like, but that they never sold. It’s the cream color–my father didn’t care for it.

        With the DI manual the FE3 suspension and 19-inch summer tires were mandatory, so this car had them. My father liked the ride quite a bit better than the FE2 on his car. The firmer suspension better controls body motions on wavy roads. Seems I should have advised him to get the FE3.

        I searched Autotrader, and there’s not another such car for sale anywhere in the U.S. So if you want one…

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        Caddy is pretty much guaranteed to keep the angular design language. It’s what makes them unique in the marketplace. To abandon it would be a huge mistake.

        If you want something a bit more anonymous, GM will sell you a Buick.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Guys, cmon… its not real suede.  Its “Alcantara”, which is currently hot in lots of performance cars.  Simulated suede, looks like the stuff they use in race car seats, etc.  I happen to like it, but if you dont… its an OPTION… just like the wheels and black paint…  Dont knock them for offering it to those of us who do like it!

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      is it suede, or is it Alcantara? Big difference in durability.

      This is the OTHER RWD manual transmission wagon you can buy in the US, the cheaper option is a BMW 328iT. I can’t wrap my mind around what it would be like to drive a car with near-as-dammit 2.5X the horsepower of an already faster than it needs to be BMW. Silly really, but I would certainly not kick one out of the garage!

      Comparison to the M3 is rather moot – the M3 is not available as a wagon. This car is in a class by itself.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      The CTS, like all Caddies, is an extroverted car. This isn’t a stealthily understated Buick, never will be. A proper Caddy needs a certain amount of “bling” simply be what it is. And being the top CTS, yeah, it’s going to show it loudly and proudly. No badge-delete M5 here.

      So the only question is how obnoxious the Caddy V needs to be for what it is. I think the grille is fine, given how many have copied it – no penalty to the original sticking with the design. I have no issues with the wheels or calipers – it’s a sport upgrade, just like Porsche & Brembo painted calipers.

      If those are the biggest nits, not an issue.

    • 0 avatar

      LL Cool J i s looking at this.
      I just like that it has a stick.
      But while from the back and side it looks ok, although I wouldn’t want to have to try to see around those D pillars. Also has that damn vertically challenged greenhouse thing going on.

    • 0 avatar

      it isn’t actual suede, it’s synthetic alcantara.  it doesn’t retain heat like leather, is easily cleaned, and will last for more than three months.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I like everything but being “too black” and the rubber band sidewalls on the tires.
     
    “It’s more of a pastel black really…” – “This Is Spinal Tap”

  • avatar
    thats one fast cat

    Daddy Like!

    How long until depreciation brings it into the affordability (i.e, less than 30K) range?

  • avatar
    NotFast

    I like too.  I’ll probably never buy one, but ya can’t complain the General isn’t trying things that people (at least in the made-up world of Internet forums) ask for.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Do people buy what they say they want? Before the bailout is fully repaid, GM might as well focus on what people actually buy (i.e. things like Camry).

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Most of the bailout has been repaid and GM is making cars that “people actually buy” – Cruze, Malibu etc. Sales are up so someone is buying. Also the CTS sells and a wagon was essential for their European aspirations.

      • 0 avatar

        And if you’ve taken any form of marketing you would know that this car is also extremely important for their brand value. How can they truly be a performance brand without performance oriented, albeit somewhat insane cars? Plus, Cadillac knows this won’t sell well, but they are making car fanatics like me, who love the idea of high-powered stick-shift wagons, into fans. More brand value.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        mike978:

        1) How do you define “most”? 10%? 20%? Any numbers to back your claim?

        2) If you go to the GM market share thread, you will see that buyers are still leaving GM for other car makers. The recent growth depends on the entire pie getting larger, but GM is still getting a smaller slice.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The profit on a car like this is IMMENSE. The marginal extra cost to put the go-fast bits in the car is pretty small, but it sells for 2X the price of the cooking version.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      Good review! I had the chance to spend several days in the then new 2008 CTS on a “manufacturing validation ride” to confirm their goodness for sale. I found the handling to be crisp and the vehicles very refined and well isolated. I was disappointed the CTS-V was not in the mix yet! It is also disappointing that Pontiac was killed. Holden makes a good looking station wagon version of the Commodore that would have made a great lower priced alternative to the Cadillac. I fear CAFE will keep Buick from releasing a similar, large car.

       wsn- GM is doing well with volume vehicles. They are the only maker to have 3 top 10 cars-Cruze,Malibu and Impala and 3 top 10 trucks- Silverado, Equinox and Sierra. They do recognize the Malibu is getting long in the tooth in today’s dynamic market and are planning to pull the new model ahead 6 months. Impala is largely a fleet seller also.

      They made a lot of money in 2010′s still depressed U.S. market. In fact, as opposed to historic losses in North America, the region was THE profit driver last year with a small net loss in the rest of the world.  European losses were not quite made up by other regions profits. Stock analysts predict $45-$50 share price in the next year because of that profit and the fact that the  fundamentals of the restructured business are strong.

      Your comment implies they need to “repay” more bailout money. That is not true. There is nothing more due from the operations of the business. The Feds injected $50B to finance the company’s bankruptcy. A small portion, $6.5B was structured as a loan that was repaid long ago. The remaining stake ($43.5B) was exchanged for their 62% share of the new company’s common stock. They have sold about 1/2 and now own about 31%. Ultimate return depends on one thing, the share price when the remaining stock is sold on the market. It has been reported that is will take a share price of $53 to recover 100% of the direct investment. Worst case scenario looks like a few billion net loss, but only time will tell the truth.

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      WSN,

      I could not agree with you more… This is a goofy mistake of a car.  And its near ZERO sales numbers support this… NO ONE Buys these…  Cadillac needs to build cars for the meat of the 5 Series and S Class sales and markets… not a 5/E Class sized wagon that is priced like an M3.  This thing is just wrong wrong wrong…

      Ever see one in the wild?  Even the base CTS wagon?  Ya, me neither… Gee why is that? When it is sooooo cooool! ? LOL!

      You have one automotive enthusiast after another say “Ohh sexy… Daddy want”
      And then number who actually open up their check book and buy one… 0.0000001%

      If they want to build fans then offer a LS9 powered version of a SL fighter.  Or fix the STS and make it a real car rather then fugly E Class wannabee.

      Building a WFT performance wagon is just a waste of money and effort that frankly GM has precious little of these days.

      On the other hand, if you are looking for the rarest Cadillac to be made since say a 1992 Pink Allante.  Then your car has just arrived… but like the Pink Allante, there is a REASON why it is rare.   And its not a supply problem… its a demand problem.

      • 0 avatar
        Metacomet

        Good point

        Dealers don’t order them so they are all special order

        Unlike the hundreds of Chevies that all the dealers order by the trainload to have on hand when the random kid drops in and is dazzled

        Fact of the matter is, I have had mine for 6 months and never seen another CTS Wagon, much less a CTS.V and lordy forget about the Black Diamonds

        Maybe it’s me, but I haven’t had any car that I have seen that wants to have a go keep up with me, and that’s a lot of Vettes, Camaros, Mustangs, Mercedes, BMWS’s, Audis, everything from Japan and the occasional Porsche

        And the really cool thing is, mostly they don’t know what it is they can’t catch….

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “I remain hopeful that someone will offer a car with five doors and rear-wheel-drive that weighs under 3,000 pounds.”

    Mitsubishi i? Probably not what you had in mind.

    • 0 avatar

      Did a quick Google search, the 5-dr 116i and 118i with the manual gearbox are actually below 3000 lbs. What does it take to import one?

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        BMW’s desire to do so, or the patience to wait until it is 25 years old. Or cubic money to import and Federalize one privately. Which is probably all but completely impossible.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        If BMW sold them in the US, they’d cost marginally less money than what you’d pay for a 3-series.

        Actually, check that.

        They’d be the 1-series CSL “lightweight”, so BMW would charge *extra*.

        So you should expect to pay full 3-series price for that 1-series.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I still kind of wish GM went with the LS7 or a VXR8 Bathurst S kind of setup.

    Although I guess the V’s less frantic experience is more fitting for a Cadillac.

  • avatar

    A note on reliability: aside from a rough patch when the 2008 was new, the current CTS has been consistently average, based on responses to TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey:

    http://www.truedelta.com/car-reliability.php?stage=pt&bd=Cadillac&mc=37

    The first generation CTS-V was prone to rear differential failures, but between the unequal half shafts and other tweaks this doesn’t appear to be a weakness with the current car.
     

    • 0 avatar

      Looks like the numbers on your website show that the CTS has below average reliability.

      I think 20 repairs per 100 is excellent. 30 would be very good, 40 would be good, 50 would be average, and 60 or below is below average.

      Edited by MK: the numbers you cited were clearly stated to be preliminary results based on data that have not yet been checked for errors. Please don’t post these anywhere, as I want to be able to keep sharing them with survey participants. The current official numbers put both the 2008 and 2009 not far from the average.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Those wheels are absurd looking and there is just a bit too much dull black going on there.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      I happen to love the rims, but keep in mind, if its not your thing, you can get a regular V without them.  The black diamond package is basically just an appearance package.

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    “My heel-and-toeing skills aren’t what they should be. No matter-with the accelerator positioned much lower than the brake pedal it’s not a possibility in the V anyway.”

    What size shoe are you? I don’t have large feet (10.5D or 10E, depending on the last used by the shoemaker) and I didn’t experience issues.

    • 0 avatar

      Only an 8, but it was impossible to operate both pedals at the same time with the right foot in the car I drove. The accelerator was quite a bit farther forward (I said “lower” in the review, but this was relative to my foot on the brake pedal). Perhaps they revised the pedals in response to the Toyota mess?

    • 0 avatar
      hakata

      Sounds like he’s talking about depth rather than lateral spacing. I’m guessing in his law-abiding street driving Mr. Karesh did not have occasion to depress the brake pedal far enough to bring it in the same plane as the accelerator.

    • 0 avatar

      Yep, depth. This is somewhat visible in the photo of the interior. These brakes have a lot of bite–push the brake far enough to bring the accelerator within reach and you’re going to be scrubbing a lot of speed. I guess this is typical for track use, where you want to slow as late as possible for a turn. But I’ve driven plenty of cars where heel-and-toeing is possible in conjunction with less aggressive braking.

      • 0 avatar
        benzaholic

        I used to heel and toe my Mk1 VW Jetta to pull away from uphill stoplights. Even that “skill” is losing its applicability for daily driving now that more cars include Brake Assist, or what Subaru used to call Hill Holder. And there’s always the hand brake.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        “But I’ve driven plenty of cars where heel-and-toeing is possible in conjunction with less aggressive braking.” 

        However, it isn’t necessary or useful with less aggressive braking, unless you’re just bored. If you didn’t need to brake at max aggression, you didn’t need to rev-match.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      @benzaholic

      Color me intrigued. Can you explain how to heel-toe it pulling away from a stoplight on a hill? I recently got a manual, 6 speed Forte, and am learning how to drive it well. I’ve gotten to the point where I kill it once a day instead of 3 to 5 times per day. It’s my first manual so please cut me some slack.

      Hills are still my big issue. I either kill it and start to roll, or I give it way too much gas and sound like I’m trying to show off, which I’m not.

      Also, while we’re on the subject, is 6th gear at 45 mph and above okay, or will I actually save gas by using 6th only on the freeway? My car pulls okay in 6th at 45 and doesn’t get the shakes, but I’m still learning and got my first crash course in a 5 speed.

      Thanks for humoring me.

      • 0 avatar
        Buckshot

        Hold the car with the handbrake.
        Then you release the clutch and step on the gas, until it starts pulling.
        Then let go of the handbrake.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Handbrake is one way. Another way is to learn where the release point on the clutch pedal is. Find an empty parking lot with nothing in front of or behind you. Park the car, handbrake off, put the clutch pedal in, and put the shifter in 1st. Release the clutch pedal very slowly. At some point, the engine will shudder slightly and then the car will lurch forward, stall, or both. That slight shudder is the clutch beginning to grab. On a hill, you can hold the clutch pedal at that point momentarily while you switch from the brake pedal to the gas pedal.
         

        While the engine may be able to pull 6th at 45 mph, it isn’t ideal for fuel economy. A good guideline for mpg is to run the engine at about 1/3 of its operating range. If it idles at 800 rpm and redlines at 6,000, 1/3 is about 2500 rpm. The gearing of the car and the speed limit may not make that practical, but that is a goal to aim for.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    It seems very nice, but why?

  • avatar
    stuki

    Somewhat paradoxically, I find these mega engined sedan/wagons better suited for city/suburban duty than the open road. Once away from the crowds, smaller engines in lighter cars make for a much better experience, but for cutting through LA rush hour like a certified A-hole (and actually saving appreciable amounts of time doing so), the AMGs, Vs etc suddenly make much more sense. You can drive them almost like a liter bike, always able to jump across late yellows, and cut around the excessively timid. Automatics, if well sorted, make that kind of driving even easier. Manumatics, even Panamera grade dual clutch ones, are more of a hit and miss, depending on exactly where yo catch them when you need a burst of go. And my intuition tells me that a single gear Tesla would be absolutely spectacular.
     
    But once out in a canyon, I’d honestly rather have a lowly Civic Si than at least the E63, which I assume is fairly similar to this thing in practice.
     

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    Oh – I better say this now if anyone is reading…

    Please don’t come out with a CTS minivan, OK?

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      How bout a Chevrolet Venture/Astro/Lumina MPV SS model?  (I kid, I kid.)

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        If somebody shoehorned a Corvette engine in an Astro AWD, that’d be one hell of a ride. I’d be very interested.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Supposedly a 350V8 will fit in an Astro chassis.  There are even conversion manuals out there.  Although I’d likely keep mine RWD just cause I’m not positive how much hp and torque the AWD system can handle.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        That’s pretty crazy that people put a 350 in an Astro.

        I suggested AWD, because I had my doubts as to how much hp & torque the chassis could handle. As big and heavy as an Astro is, trying to recover one under power oversteer would not be my idea of fun.

      • 0 avatar
        smokingclutch

        350s definitely fit in the Astro/Safari.  When I was in high school in the late 90s, one of the other kids in my class had an early Astro he swapped a 350 into.

      • 0 avatar
        Ian Anderson

        Hey Dan (old post I know but this review is worth re-reading), apparently the only thing holding people up from putting LS motors in AWD Astros (and their A/4WD S10 cousins) is the lack of an oil pan to fit. In other words, get out the grinder and welder!

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Oh I absolutely love this car… Lord Vader, your car has arrived…

    I love it in black, I love the black wheels, it would be worth the washing and waxing.  I can even live with the interior shortcomings, doesnt sound like anything that would bother me, my usual complaint is not enough compartmentalized storage.  Here is your Camaro ZR1 with a nice interior, livable back seat and usable storage.  Best part is, its even decently affordable, and even more so once typical GM depreciation hits.

    Would I buy one?  Yea, but not right now, not in the budget, but no car is right now.  I have been drooling all over the new Boss Mustang, but this would fit my life much better and I am betting performance would be very close.  Guess we will see what happens in 2 yrs or so…

  • avatar
    william442

    Tall gears? The AMG, and I, have seen 115 in third.
    Michael help. I am about to spend some money, and it will probably go to Germany.

    • 0 avatar

      Is that with a five-speed transmission? Also realize that this is comparing a manual with an automatic. The torque converter in an automatic provides some additional multiplication, so the gearing in automatics tends to be taller than with a manual.

      What sort of help are you looking for? I’d definitely take a look at the V before buying something from Germany.

      • 0 avatar
        joe_thousandaire

        If its a V12 Merc its a five-speed. The same five-speed Chrysler gets crap for still using, which confuses me. If its good enough for a $120K AMG why is it crap in a cop-car?

      • 0 avatar
        william442

        I will do that soon. Of course if they offer me the full Cleveland package, I will be gone. Are we the only family that has not had major problems with German cars? (VWs omitted). The AMG has a five speed automatic, but only 302 bhp. My 1983 ElDorado was a joke. Thank you Michael.

    • 0 avatar
      neevers1

      Having gotten to drive a CTS V coupe, I would buy it everyday of the week, and twice on sunday before I bought anything in the comparable price range from Germany, or anywhere else. 

      I want one so badly now.

      • 0 avatar
        M 1

        I *did* buy an E55 instead of a CTS-V, and I regretted it. This was back when the CTS-V was new and there was a problem with their rear-ends blowing up, sometimes literally. That scared me enough to get the Benz instead, which was a faster ride anyway — and far more comfortable and fancy-ass, although the Caddy was more than enough in that respect.
         
        The Benz was ALWAYS in the shop. I swear half the mileage was put on the car just going back and forth to be repaired. I sold it the day the warranty expired at 45,000 miles. I call it the worst car I ever loved, because it was comfortable and fast and fun, and utterly crappy.
         
        I’m sure I’d still have the Caddy if I had bought that instead. And I keep thinking I might pick up a coupe… But they’re just so damned ugly.

      • 0 avatar

        Sounds like you’re mixing generations. The rear ends blew up with the first-gen, but the coupe only became available last year. They made a number of changes to the rear end for the second car, some of which I noted in the review.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I’d say under 2,700 pounds

    You like loud, harsh, easily mangled, flimsy cars?  I honestly don’t get the appeal.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    I appreciate GM bringing a performance car with utility like this to market but 4400lbs?!  That is 1000lbs more than the 3 series wagon and it doesn’t even have any more space.

    On the other hand, I am peeved that GM and most other manufactures are killing off or have killed off all of the REASONABLY priced wagons.  If the wealthy (and lets face it, mostly posers) who suppossedly hate wagons get this, why can’t us regular folk get a wagon that we can actually afford?

    • 0 avatar

      A 328i wagon weighs 3,527 lbs. But an M3 sedan weights 3,826, so an M3 wagon would be about 3,925. The remaining 500-pound difference can be chalked up to a larger, more powerful engine and dimensions closer to the 5 than the 3.

      • 0 avatar

        And far fewer options/amenities. I think this is something many people forget when they make car comparisons. You just can’t compare an American car with a German one. They just do not employ the same level of technology. Technology carries physical weight with it and American cars will eventually have to start employing more technology to reduce weight, improve drag coefficients, and increase gas mileage to hope to ever compete with the Germans.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Because no regular folks bought them.  They all bought SUVs which are much more profitable…

      Seems like premium wagons are the only ones that sell, and even those only in small numbers.

      • 0 avatar
        Doc

        I hate to say it but I think that it is a waste of money for GM to make a CTS wagon. As much as car nuts seem to like them, I do not think that Americans in large numbers will buy them. It does not seem like a wise investment to me.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        The CTS wagon exists simply because Caddy can do it, and it’s the only traditional sedan-variant wagon GM now sells. CTS doesn’t sell that many cars to begin with, but as a relatively inexpensive brand differentiator to compete with the A6 Avants, it’s not a bad choice.

      • 0 avatar
        smokingclutch

        GM reported that the breakeven point for the CTS-V Wagon was less than 100 units.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @Bryce Chessum- The CTS wagon has no commonality with the Comodore wagon. They are different bodies and completely different architecture. Commodore is Zeta and CTS is Sigma. Curious that you think otherwise. They do not even look similar. 

        Your writing style suggests you are not in Cadillac’s target luxury market, if the new car market at all. 

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      You can.

      You can get a Chevy Equinox wagon for essentially the same price as Chevy Malibu sedan. Starting invoices and MSRPs are within a few hundred bucks of each other.

      Don’t kid yourself – any 2-row CUV is a station wagon. The only difference is that it’s little taller and *lot* easier to park than the Country Squires of old.

      The low-riding sport wagons like the CTS-V and Audi Avants are precisely that – sport wagons. For actual basic kid-hauling utility, an Equinox is far better.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        Right, a CUV is a station wagon… with dull handling, high center of gravity, worse fuel economy, worse interior packaging, huge wheels, and a pretense of off road ability that it doesn’t really have.  Bringing up the Country Squire is a straw man as those were replaced by mini vans decades ago.  The advent of CUV only proves that people really want the utility of a wagon but also want the ridiculous off road poser image.  I don’t see how anyone can look at modern mid-sized wagons and even be remotely reminded of the old barges of yesteryear.  Some of us need hauling ability but don’t have kids but also don’t want a bloated wallowing CUV when a wagon would be much more efficient.

        I obviously am different and in the minority but when I see an SUV/CUV I see more of a mommy-mobile than when I see a wagon.  Usually the wagons in my area are topped with racks loaded with bikes, kayaks, and other activity equipment.  Wagons just project a more youthful image than most SUV/CUVs do.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree that wagon’s now have a youthful feel to them. I also see them as higher-class. Seriously the “truly” rich (not the show off types in debt) really like wagons. It’s not a coincidence that the only wagons you can get in the US tend to be higher end brands. The truly wealthy want a refined car and don’t feel the need to show off to others (with an SUV/big rims/etc.).

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        I learned to drive on a 1974 Ford Country Squire LTD, TYVM, so don’t give me any nonsense about how it’s some irrelevant strawman. As far as pure utility goes, a Chevy Traverse is just as capable as that Country Squire. Probably better in most ways.

        It was replaced by an A-body Olds Cutlass Cruiser wagon. Not impressed by that at all. The Chevy Equinox is a much more modern wagon, easier to wrangle kids & stuff.

        You want a low-slung sport wagon. You’re a very small minority, given that most wagon buyers want utility and space, hence things like the Equinox continuing on.

        As for off-road looks, I don’t see that in most CUVs. The popular domestics (Edge, Lambdas) don’t really have that much off-roader in them – they’ve actually been getting lower to bring step-in heights down for women & kids.

      • 0 avatar

        This car is a Holden Commodore from Aussie with a Caddy ugly suit on not an American car. The only thing GM US can make are stupid SUV pick up tanks which are neither use nor ornament,

    • 0 avatar
      Doc

      The CTS is a bit odd in that it falls in price and dimensions between the 3 and 5 (or C and E if you prefer).
      This car is a good bargain if compared to an M5 but not an M3.
      I think part of the regular CTS sales strength is that it takes sales from the 3 and 5, C and E, A4 and A6 etc. Once GM makes this car larger (as is rumored) and then adds an ATS to its line up, I suspect that neither car will sell as well.

      • 0 avatar

        Wagon’s are completely different from a non-wagon M3. Seriously, with this car you can have two car seats in the back and a dog or two in the trunk. Can’t do that (well without getting charged with animal abuse) with an M3.
        I personally think higher power, multi-use cars will become more popular. Even if you have the money, people just don’t have the space for two family cars + a fast and ridiculous car, if they live in a city (which is becoming more and more popular).

  • avatar

    Michael, how does it compare with the normal SportWagon?  I like the idea of manual wagon, and while cool, the extra power doesn’t seem a top priority.  It’s all fantasy at this point, and like one fast cat, I’ll be waiting for a used version of this guy in the coming years.

    “This said, after spending a few days in the V I nearly put my left foot through the floorboard in my Mazda Protege5″

    That quote cracked me up. :)

     

    • 0 avatar

      They don’t offer a manual in the non-V wagon. I haven’t driven a regular CTS recently. My father’s 2008 with the FE2 suspension doesn’t ride or handle as well. The V’s suspension with the 3.6 would be an interesting combination. A turbocharged V6 with 360-400 horsepower would also be a nice option.

      • 0 avatar
        smokingclutch

        A version with the regular 6.2L from the G8/Camaro with ~420 hp would cost less to build and probably get similar gas mileage.
         
        This idea that a turbo V6 and associated plumbing is somehow lighter or more compact than the GM LS-series V8 is silly.  Good old fashioned OHV V8s are extremely compact for their displacement, and when made from aluminum, have a very high power-to-weight ratio.

    • 0 avatar

      Other than the lack of a manual, I believe you can get the regular CTS wagon with AWD. If you live in the snow belt that might/might not be an advantage.

  • avatar

    Michael,
     
    Nice review, but a nit to pick…neither the ZR1 nor any other Vette has ever had factory Ti rods….unless Lingenfelter has been involved. ;-)

  • avatar
    skor

    I’m sure that Gene Simmons will be happy to license this tune to Caddy for their ad campaign.
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqu989gxEFg&feature=fvwrel
     
     

  • avatar
    v65magnafan1

    I prefer my CR-V.

    I’m joking.

    I have a 2000 Crown Vic sitting in my driveway. Any ideas what we can drop in it to replace the 4.6?

  • avatar
    nikita

    It looks like a hearse in black with those thick D-pillars.

  • avatar

    Michael – excellent review. It’s hard to believe that a car which is 2″ shorter than a 5-series weighs 3-400 pounds more. Your comment on the rear seating room is a pet peeve, as my 3-series is ok, given that it is 11″ shorter than the Caddy, but disgraceful in a car the size, and heft, of the CTS.

    When the original CTS came out, I thought about buying one, but found it to be a car which lacked a mission. It’s not a 3-series competitor, as it is too large and too heavy, yet it lacks the refinement to go head to head with a 5-series or E-class. The “V” model is a great hot rod, but I still do not understand the high cowl and Chrysler 300-like beltline. Cadillac’s “Art and Science” theme worked beautifully on the XVS, but when bloated is still ugly.

    • 0 avatar

      Check out the curb weight of the new 550i: 4,343 lbs. In wagon form it would weigh more than the V despite having a smaller engine and extensive use of aluminum to save weight.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @Michael- It is nice to see someone else defending the truth! It would be great if these things were lighter, but all of the premium cars seem to be quite heavy, even those with sticker prices that allow more expensive technology and materials to reduce weight. 

         I would like to share an experience several years ago with a deep pockets buddy at a vintage race. He was driving a current M5 as his daily sedan with a late model Ferrari for even more fun. I asked him what Cadillac could do to attract him. Trying to hide a snicker, he politely, said he did not think that could be possible.

        The next time I saw him, he let me know that he had picked up a 2009 CTS-V to replace the BMW. He said.” Not only is is faster, it cost $20 grand less!” He was looking forward to the coupe at the time.

        These cars are too expensive for most all of us who comment here, but they have certainly provided a halo for Cadillac to help them sell the more pedestrian models, though every single one is still pretty damn nice!

  • avatar

    I enjoyed driving the CTS-V Coupe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGvRzVaSO7s

    But I have absolutely no idea why everyone is having a love affair with this wagon.  I HATE WAGONS.  This thing right here is the UGLIEST KIND OF UGLY.

    The interior feels terribly cheap because of the painted plastic and the boring buttons. Why aren’t they chromed?  Why are the door pulls so bland?  All throughout the interior, I got a feel of cheap and tacky despite this interior being the best interior Cadillac has ever fielded.   My mom bought an STS and I like that interior far more because it actually looks expensive.  Besides the ridiculously powerful engine and the sharp exterior looks, I could never desire these cars. 

    I’m moving from my SRT8 300c  to a 2012 SRT8 300c.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      For some of us wagons tug on our practical side.  A wagon occupies the same footprint as the sedan version of the same platform, usually gets nearly identical fuel economy, but hauls more stuff when you need it. 

    • 0 avatar
      neevers1

      Cheap and tacky is not what I saw in the CTS-V coupe I got the pleasure of driving. It’s interior is head and shoulders above what Lexus put in the IS-F, and I like it better than the M3 interior. 

      I don’t know what car you drove, but it certainly wasn’t the same as the car I drove. The exhaust note is to die for as well. If I had the cash money I’d trade in my 2011 mustang GT in a heartbeat.

      • 0 avatar

        I DROVE THIS ONE:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGvRzVaSO7s

        I was considering buying one. But, it just wasn’t for me. The SRt8 I bought a few months later, may have a cheap looking interior, but it’s performance makes up for it. The CTS-V performs well but I expected more for that kind of money.

      • 0 avatar
        neevers1

        You do realize that the CTS-V will wipe the floor with your srt8, right? 

        If the performance makes up for the srt8, well the FAR better interior should have been no issue in the CTS-V.

        You make no sense.  Your, more chrome comment makes me wince as well, the last thing any car interior needs is more chrome.

    • 0 avatar
      Doc

      I looked at a CTS sedan (not a V) at the auto show and the trim on the dash was rather cheap looking silver painted plastic. This looks cheap and wears poorly as it gets nicked up.
      I have no problem with silver painted plastic on a car under 30 grand but in the 45 range, I expect better.
      Maybe there is an upgraded trim package that this car did not have?

  • avatar
    grzydj

    The calipers look like the rusty Mexican made remanded calipers I put on my Subaru last year. Why are they rusty already anyways?

  • avatar

    I test drove the sedan and my opinion was far less generous, considering its cost. I found the ride and lack of refinement more Corvette than Cadillac. It was “look at me” loud, unrefined, had a harsh ride, bucked when you let off the accelerator, and its standard seats are really NOT an option. I did like the interior and front seating space is admirable. 

    I do have a questions though. Didn’t GM learn anything from the Germans? Wagons DO NOT sell in the US. The effort put into the design and mfg of this wagon is a complete waste of time and money that could have been put somewhere else like QC/reliability. As Michael noted, it is only average.

  • avatar
    wstansfi

    Dude,
    That is one ugly vehicle.
    I understand the need for distinct – can we find something that most people find attractive and still be distinct?
     

    • 0 avatar
      neevers1

      Well at least this car wasn’t designed by a focus group like current Toyota and Hondas. You hate it, I love it, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Somebody please ban the color black in all its hues, please! Enough already. Save the color for things you normally don’t see, that gets covered with dirt, grease and grime.
    Caddy – don’t you DARE lose the sharp, angular styling, either!

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    A proper shooting brake (2-door, or 3-door (2 doors + the hatch)) version of this bugger would make my day bright indeed!  But not black….silver or British racing green with Connoly hides!  And with proper true wire spoked wheels! Other than that, it is fine as is….(not much to ask for, I know….)

    Peace out!

  • avatar
    pauldun170

    Friend owns the 4dr CTSv, unfortunately with the automatic.
    Outstanding car and worth the money for what you get.
    Personally, the CTSv wagon with the 6spd is the only car on the market today that I actually lust for. If I were in the market for a 80K car this is what I would get. A fast, well sorted wagon with a manual transmission? As far as I’m concerned this car is a no brainer.
     

    • 0 avatar

      You’re in luck–it’s only $69k, not 80!

      • 0 avatar
        PStone

        Michael, et.al.,  I picked up my CTS-V Sport Wagon on Jan 29 and have about 4K miles on it.  Thought I might now have enough of a feel for the car to add a couple of thoughts to yours.
        Only 4K miles in 3 months because, while I love driving it, it’s thirsty.  So I started using my old car (’04 Lincoln LS) again for my daily driving.  Also kind of saving the V for it’s intended primary use, road trips.  Planning a trip up the east coast early this summer and then to Texas later in the fall.  When we travel, we usually take along our folding bicycles, a couple of suitcases and some hanging clothes.  It all fits with relative ease and we’re looking forward to heading out.
        The most significant trip we’ve completed was from Tampa to Biloxi earlier this month and it was a hoot!  Saw 140 on the speedo briefly and loved every other minute of the cruise as well – even when there was traffic.
        The car performs so well in so many respects; from the smoothness of the control stalks operations & dash controls, to the way the car down shifts itself as you coast down to a stop (yep automatic, but since that was all it took to convince wifey that we needed one for our garage, I was happy to accommodate her and now she loves it too), that it’s faults seem minuscule.  So far, we’ve found outward visibility and minimal front interior storage are the faults, but we’re adjusting and compensating, with pleasure!
        On the way home from Biloxi, we brought another couple back with us, so I took a turn in the back seat while wifey drove for a couple hours.  The seat was actually very comfortable and, since she’s 5’6″, there was plenty of leg room.  Even when I position the front seat for me (5’10″) & try the back seat, it seems ok – not great, but what car of this size is?
        The car performed flawlessly during the trip and the total average mileage is now 15.0 mpg.  We also noticed that with people in the back seats and the back FULL of luggage, the car was significantly quieter than on the way up to Biloxi.
        Anyway, so far the car is nearly everything I hoped it would be.  We hope it stays that way.
         
         
         
         
         

      • 0 avatar
        Metacomet

        Stumbled back into this thread somehow, many months later

        Your CTS-V wagon experience is about identical to mine, including that brief 140 mph notice

        It had a lot more available, it was me that ran out of pedal

        …and have the same experiences with travel usage and mileage

        And as opposed to those here who will never have the experience and find pleasure in nit-picking things they can only imagine, I’d do it again in a heartbeat

  • avatar

    I think I’d black out the chrome grill, but other than that I think the CTS-V wagon looks “mean” in a good way.
     
    I can live with the yellow calipers as well.

  • avatar
    noxioux

    I never wanted a station wagon more than I want one now.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    Cadillac will never be a premium brand as long as these tarted up cars exist.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    Skimming over the comments, I did not see my fundamental issue with this car.  The V is a combo station wagon and sports sedan.  At this price point, I’d rather have a more pedestrian wagon and a true sport sedan or sports car.  For the price of this wagon, I could choose between several new/used wagons at the $30,000 price point and get a used Porsche with no compromises. 

    • 0 avatar

      True, however there are many people who just don’t have the space for multiple cars. Urban living is getting more popular, and while suburban houses might have 3-4 car garages, most urban town homes have room for two.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Me being a wagon enthusiast, is just all giddy at the idea of a 500 HP station wagon. I saw the regular CTS wagon at the local auto show this winter, and liked it. I entered the OnStar contest to win a new GM car, and if picked, it will be the CTS V wagon.
    OTOH, how many of these can there be in the world? This has got to be rara avis…

  • avatar

    Truly a butt ugly car.

  • avatar
    Invisible

    Sorry, but it looks like a home built kit car.

  • avatar
    Eadgben

    I own a 2011 Cadillac CTS-V black diamond wagon, a 2007 Corvette Z06, a 2011 Mercedes G55 AMG, a 2011 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged, a 2010 Toyota Tundra Crewmax Limited, and a 2010 Toyota Prius. I will be buying a Porsche Panamera GTS or Mercedes S63 AMG in the next two weeks.

    I list my vehicles ONLY to qualify my experiences as a car owner and certified car and HORSEPOWER nut(ALTHOUGH, i LOVE LOVE my PRIUS)! I am not a car blog editor and no one hands over these cars to me free of charge for my expert opinion/reviews, but in reality, i am an expert on these cars as I own them all!

    I’ve owned the CTS-V Black Diamond Wagon now for over a year and have put 16k miles on mine. I have upgraded the pulley, exhaust, lowered it 1″/2″, and tuned it. The wagon currently has 628 HP to the fly wheel.

    I love my wagon. I have NEVER seen another BLACK DIAMOND on the road. In fact, I have only seen two other CTS-V WAGONS on the road (a colleague owns one of those).

    I think that the CTS-V is gorgeous, BAD ASS, downright mean-looking, and fear-inspiring. Hearing the modified muffler/supercharger music exponentially adds to this persona. In my opinion, it is by far the superior looker of the the three CTS-V trims.

    Not only, that, of all my vehicles, the only one that gets SOMEWHAT EQUAL stops, stares, hoots, hollers, “wow man”, “bad ass ride man”, etc… to the wagon, is my TUNDRA. The way it is outfitted makes it literally one of the coolest trucks on the road.

    Thus saying, I have been to 160 in my Z06 and to 165 (!!) in my CTS-V wagon. of the two, the supercharged boost of the CTS-V gives the most visceral thrill and seat of the pants pull. However, the Z06 is a lot ‘scarier’ as it is WAAAY lighter and much more inclined to come loose than the heavier wagon.

    The Wagon rides/pulls similarly to the S63, however the Mercedes ride/build/noise levels/overall quality is vastly superior to the Cadillac.

    I love my wagon. For a big guy, road trips are comfortable, easy, quiet, smooth, and a joy. Driving around in city traffic offers a similar experience.

    I hope that Cadillac continues to make such big engine, sharp-angled, somewhat ostentatious vehicles as they do it very well. Great Cadillac comfort, improved interiors, adequate tech, and did I mention, BIG BIG V8 large displacement engines!!


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