By on April 17, 2012

Even as the German brands are moving away from wagons and towards freak-of-nature pseudo-crossovers like the BMW 5-Series GT and Audi Allroad, Cadillac is standing by their station wagons – and coupes, for that matter. But there may be some product shuffling involved.

Car and Driver recently spoke with Cadillac regarding the future of their two-door and two-box offerings,

“The fact that we offer coupes and wagons, that’s gonna continue,” Don Butler, the VP of marketing for Cadillac told us recently. But, he clarifies, “I’m not saying that will necessarily continue forward in the way we’re doing it today.”

C/D thinks that the coupe duties will shift to the ATS, with a larger CTS Coupe doomed to fail. BMW offers a 6-Series and Mercedes has an E-Class coupe, so in theory, there’s room for a CTS Coupe. But an ATS-based coupe (like the Audi A5, or the rumored BMW 4-Series) is the more likely candidate. With the CTS growing larger to better compete with the 5-Series and E-Class, the obvious choice for the wagon is the CTS. Cadillac claims that the CTS Sportwagon outsells the BMW 3-Series, and wagons are traditionally bought by a brand’s wealthiest customers (if you believe what Mercedes PR has to say). Continuing to offer the wagon makes sense both from a sales and prestige point of view. The SRX crossover will always be the volume seller anyways.

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31 Comments on “Cadillac Wagon Here To Stay...”


  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    I love the under the radar attitude of a sporty wagon. Further argument why Audi needs to being over the S4 Avant – right now. Hello Audi, blank check in hand……..

  • avatar
    sjhwilkes

    There’s definitely a group of hardcore wagon buyers out there, here in SoCal I see plenty of 5 and 3 series wagons, as well as Avants and E Class. I miss my 5 series, chatting with dealers they think those customers mostly bought E series wagons, which seems likely. I’ll probably get a 3er, ‘cos I’m a freak and want to drive a stick in LA, but I can’t say I’d ever consider a Caddy.
    Really hoping BMW/Audi USA bring the wagons back, there’s not much actual development involved as they sell wagons in droves over the pond, they just need to get them certified etc.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    I’m glad to see that they’re committing to a wagon in a time when even the euro brands are pulling away from them. However, if they would put the 6MT into this, I could see actually buying one. Then of course, someone will want a Diesel…

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    Awesome! I’d love to say I’d get one but it’s just out of my price range. Of course I could ask for a cheaper version, but that won’t come along and in the end, my wife would end up driving it. But they sure are a sweet looking ride (and driving, per the sedans I’ve had as rentals) and authentically American.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I was talking with a friend last evening about Spring arriving and how it would be pleasant to be out & about in her convertible. I mentioned I’m not a big fan of convertibles, and when she asked me what I’d like to drive, I said a CTS-V wagon.

    She was a little dumbfounded by that statement, because she wasn’t aware that the car existed. But once I showed her pix of the car, she understood.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    BMW has publicly admitted that pulling the 5-series wagon from the US was a mistake. The people who bought 5-series wagons bought E-classes instead, and most of those who bought the 5GT bought them instead of $20K more expensive (and more profitable) 7-series. So I fully expect to see the return of the 5-series, and I bet we get the new 3-series wagon too when it comes out. Cadillac committing to wagons has to help that business case.

    But on the one hand, it is a chicken and egg situation. BMW does not market thier wagons AT ALL, and the dealers do not typically stock them. So most sales are special order, and Americans are generally too impatient to do that. The other hand is that they really would prefer that you buy an X1, X3, or X5, as they are more profitable than the wagons.

    @Geozinger

    I am quite surprised that there is no CTS Convertible – seems like such an obvious thing to do.

    • 0 avatar
      sjhwilkes

      +1 on that. My ex boss had a 7, lease ended, bought a 5GT. Only person I’ve come across that got one. The dealers don’t stock them at all anymore either, so don’t think it has been much of a seller after the initial marketing period.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        The GT is in no man’s land; and hence cannot benefit from BMWs marketing strategy number 1; winning comparison tests.

        Their SUVs outdrive other SUVs. Their cars others’ cars. But the GT gets lumped in with the cars, and between runflat skiboot like tires and a pair of stilts; even a BMW cannot hope to hang with more focused competitors.

        And the brainiac who decided it was important to engineer in the complexity of a double opening trunk lid; ostensibly to prevent dear passenger from catching a draft when the luggage gets loaded; really should be promoted to his level of incompetence, and set to work on the next Rolls Royce.

      • 0 avatar

        The BMW 5-Series GT and its big brother in the whale-shaped family (the BMW X6)are both niche vehicles, with compromised abilities over their platform mates and polarizing styling. Popular opinion says that Americans demonstrate an extreme aversion to wagons over the rest of the world (and we do, compared to, say, Europe), but if there’s one thing we like less than a wagon, it’s a half-baked, crossover-coupe sort of thing. The Pontiac Aztek more or less set the pace for–and subsequently ruined–that particular class, although I think that the Acura ZDX (the first Acura designed by a woman, mind you) is a great implementation.

        The question, though, is why the folks at the blue roundel would eliminate what was clearly a volume seller for something with little profitability and few takers…

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Darn then I guess it’s up to me to win the lottery and pay someone to build a large Cadillac wagon off of a low mileage RWD STS. :P

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    Dan

    You should make a slammed Cadmino STS instead.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    I’d love to see an ATS 5 door. The CTS wagon is getting a lot of good street cred, it would be a shame to just throw it away.

    Also, “anyways” is not a word.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    So they’ll make a CTS wagon, which probably won’t even sell 1000 copies a month; but they won’t bring in the (much nicer looking) Cruze stationwagon, which could easily sell 4 or 5 times as many.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverInfidel

      Couldn’t agree more. Several times now my wife has commented “that’s a nice car” after seeing a cruze on the highway. Then she asks if they make a wagon. C’mon GM….

    • 0 avatar
      MadHungarian

      GM’s theory is that the Cruze wagon would cannibalize sales from the [more profitable, I am sure] Equinox. The way I look at that is it indicates that at least some crossover buyers are settling for their vehicles because they aren’t being offered any wagons — and wouldn’t it increase customer loyalty to give them what the really want, rather than what they are willing to make do with?

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        That’s the conundrum of producing a station wagon. Manufacturers abandoned the market years ago, first because of the overwhelming success of the minivan, and then the SUV. They won’t bring them back in any significant way because they’re too afraid that rather than achieving sales thru conquests of other makes, any station wagon sales will more likely be the result of cannibalization of SUV owners within the same brand.

        They’re probably right. It’s too bad, though, because station wagons definitely still fill a need and have a market. I don’t know what sales are like lately but the Subaru Outback was very popular and used to sell quite well. I suspect it was because it was one of the last places left to be able to buy a good sized, affordable station wagon.

  • avatar
    iganpo

    I love wagons but I hate the trend of wagon and crossover designs with tons of rear sheet metal and enormous blind spots. When I drive I want to see as much of the outside world as possible, not be in a cave. When I change lanes I want to be confident it’s all clear at 4 or 8 o’clock. I just picked up a 3-series wagon, and with the massive sunroof it’s like being outside without the wind!

  • avatar
    bunkie

    As an actual owner of a 2010 CTS Wagon, I have a few comments. First, I’m happy that GM is committed to a Cadillac wagon, and I believe that they have a good point about the demographics of upscale wagon buyers.

    As for a Cruze wagon, I’m not sure the market is really there. The CTS wagon sells at a premium price so it takes fewer units sold to amortize costs. Small crossovers are always going to seem like “more for the money” at that level of the market.

    Regarding the manual transmission question, all reports I’ve read say that the 6-speed manual is poorly matched to the engine and is a disappointment. And, yes, the V6 is low on torque. So drive it like a small European car! Once the tach swings to 12 o’clock, there’s plenty of power and a feeling of being connected.

    Finally, my wife agreed to installing a tow hitch, which she would never agree to on a sedan. I just got finished installing it and assembling the utility trailer kit I bought this weekend. Now I won’t feel so envious any time I see a Ranger go by.

    While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, I really do love this car and am glad that GM is willing to make guys like me happy.

  • avatar
    onyxtape

    Caddy wagon looks nice, though if it’s in black I couldn’t help but think it’s a hearse.

  • avatar
    Bryce

    CTS wagon is a restyle of the Holden wagon which still sells so its a cheap build for GM it was amortized centuries ago

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      They have different platforms, different front suspensions, and different wheelbases. As far as modern cars from one corporation go, they’re barely related and Holden’s VE Commodore isn’t amortizing the tooling for the CTS.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    I find it interesting how the majority of the comments here aren’t about the Cadillac but instead about Audi/MB/BMW.

    I for one am happy to see that Cadillac is keeping a wagon. I’d really like to see an ATS version and a CTS version of the Cadillac in the future.

    But talking to the average buyer who knows little about cars all they say is “what if I’m (insert random place) and get stuck? With a CUV/SUV I feel I won’t get stuck.

    They are always playing what if games and never really thinking about how they truly use their vehicle. If people would take a more honest assessment of how they use their vehicle, we’d see many more wagons and much fewer CUV/SUV on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      It’s the same with people thinking they need AWD/4WD. I would say that fewer than 5% of the population actually NEEDS AWD. Most would make do with some good winter tires.

  • avatar
    rjones

    Now if they’d just fix that D pillar.

  • avatar

    I was pleased to see that America would again be making wagons, after finally getting the taste of the unsightly Dodge Magnum out of my mouth. And I would love to have one of these CTS wagons–were it not for one glaring design flaw. Unlike any other wagon in production that I can think of, this one’s C-pillars exhibit an extreme mismatch in the heights of the rear-door windowlettes and the quarter-panel window, an obvious result of Cadillac merely extending the profile backward while using the same door assembly as on the sedan. It recalls a time where flagrant and hideous iterations of such were produced (such as on the second-gen Saturn SW and fourth-gen Honda Accord wagon). With this division’s angular styling and strong motifs, an implementation of a wagon that wasn’t originally designed into the model line in question is a tricky feat to tackle, but in all honesty, I’d rather they scrapped the windowlette design and put plastic separators between the rear-doors and quarter-panel windows, a la the current-gen Cadillac SRX crossover.

    Cadillac would probably call it character.

    Meh…


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