By on July 8, 2013

vwag

Hello, TTAC – I’m back! And as usual, I already know what you’re thinking. It’s either: Wait… you left? or probably the much more likely: Who the hell are you?

And the answer is: Of course I left! I haven’t posted here since mid-June, when I ranted about how MyFord Touch doesn’t need buttons if Tesla’s center-mounted Jumbotron also doesn’t need buttons. I know at least a few of you have missed me since then, as I’ve gotten occasional e-mails asking if Elon Musk ordered my assassination.

But Musk didn’t have me killed. Instead, I’ve just been busy. Busy with what? you ask. Well, the answer is twofold. For one, I’ve spent considerable time lately reading an abridged history of the Roman Empire. And number two: I purchased a Cadillac CTS-V station wagon.

So now you’re probably thinking: Tell us about it! And I will. Here’s basically what happened: Julius Caesar became dictator for life in 44 BC, after which the Roman Peace lasted for roughly 200 peaceful years, unless you were living in the areas they conquered. Eventually, there was a great crisis in the third century (this is known as the Crisis of the Third Century), although things became OK again in the fourth century (this is known as Things Became OK Again in the Fourth Century). But they weren’t OK enough, as the Empire fell about a hundred years later.

Now you’re thinking: Maybe you should leave again.

OK, OK, I’ll tell you about the station wagon. Here’s basically what happened: I decided that we, as a society, do not have enough people writing about their experiences driving station wagons with roughly the same horsepower as a Ferrari 458. So I’ve set out to change that in the same way I fixed the disturbing lack of automotive journalists who believe the Nissan Sentra and Infiniti G20 aren’t related.

Actually, some of that – for once – is true. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of “long term” test cars, because they involve journalists spending more time in a car than a few hours on a carefully-organized press drive. And I’ve been even more fascinated by a long-term used car, because let’s be honest: a car doesn’t become really cool until you can’t buy it anymore.

So I’ve purchased the CTS-V Wagon as a long-term tester, which will be beneficial to both you and me. You will learn what it’s like to own a 556-horsepower station wagon, what it’s like to live everyday with a vehicle that gets 12 miles per gallon, and what it’s like to drive a car that’s both incredibly subtle (to the average road user) and incredibly cool (to people in GTIs). I, on the other hand, get to tax-deduct my tires. Really, it’s a win-win.

So let’s cover some particulars. Namely: why the hell did I choose the CTS-V Wagon?

The main reason is that I wanted something that would appeal to both me and everyone else. (And by “everyone else” I mean “everyone else except for Derek.”) I love fast wagons. You also love fast wagons, or at least fast Cadillacs, or at least rear-wheel drive cars with a supercharged V8.

Another reason is that I wanted something that’s cool, but also fairly modern, fairly reliable, and fairly safe. “Fairly modern” eliminated a few cars (like the DeLorean), “fairly reliable” kicked out some more (sorry, Rolls-Royce Corniche fans), and “fairly safe” dropped off almost the entire remainder of my list, including the original Audi Quattro and the Buick Grand National.

After the elimination round, I solicited feedback on my website and from Jalopnik (please don’t kill me!), where people recommended everything from the 1995 Ford Contour to – this is entirely true – the late-1970s BMW M1 supercar. There was also a high volume of suggestions for the Lotus Esprit, which I believe illustrates the textbook definition of the term “moral hazard.”

When all was said and done, I had it down to the BMW M Coupe and the Dodge Ram SRT-10. But then a well-timed review sent me to the Cadillac listings on AutoTrader.com, where I noticed a CTS-V Wagon for sale locally. Now it’s sitting behind my house, thinking: Oh God, what the hell have I gotten myself into? (Of course, I am kidding. Cars cannot think. But if they could, the Porsche Panamera S Hybrid would think: When is someone going to adopt me so I don’t have to be a service loaner anymore?)

Before you ask: it’s an automatic. But despite this glaring problem, I still think it’s going to be a fun few months. I’m not sure exactly how long “a few months” will be, by the way. Maybe three. Maybe six. It all depends just how enjoyable it is, and just how many exciting things you suggest for the Cadillac and me to do. And when the wagon’s time is up, we can begin the search for another car. Start brainstorming.

@DougDeMuro operates PlaysWithCars.com. He’s owned an E63 AMG wagon, road-tripped across the US in a Lotus without air conditioning, and posted a six-minute lap time on the Circuit de Monaco in a rented Ford Fiesta. One year after becoming Porsche Cars North America’s youngest manager, he quit to become a writer. His parents are very disappointed.

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141 Comments on “I’m Back, and Now I Have a CTS-V Wagon...”


  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    I suggest it becomes the official campaign vehicle for Kristin Davis in her bid for NYC Comptroller’s office.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Oh how nice it must be to not give a crap about depreciation. Although depending on what you paid, in six months it might not be a terrible loss.

    I find that it’s at about the 6 month mark that I really start to like a car if it’s worthy. When I first take delivery of something, I’m rarely very excited or in love with it. Cars either grow on me or don’t.

  • avatar
    mrhappypants

    Roadtrip to Paul Newman’s grave. See if you can get Letterman and Bob Lutz to tag along. A box of contraband cigars would probably do it.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    If your Cadillac wagon ain’t got a diesel or a manual, nobody except one or two gives a hang… for that matter, it isn’t all that small, either!

    OK, nobody cares, but I think it is nice-looking.

  • avatar
    retrogrouch

    It’s not a diesel. Try again

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    So, um… what’s it like?

  • avatar
    NoRotor

    I want to know: Will you be modifying it? Of course I’m talking mods that won’t kill resale (those that can be removed).

  • avatar
    cpthaddock

    Can you fit a 4′x8′ sheet of plywood in the back?

    • 0 avatar

      We’ll find out…

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        Only if you cut it into 2 foot by 4 foot sections and fold the rear seats. That’s why my CTS wagon has a trailer hitch.

        By the way, on interstate 84 in Pennsylvania this Saturday, we passed ourselves. Well, not exactly. We were passed by an identical black CTS wagon with. We waved at each other. It’s that kind of car.

        Be ready for lots of compliments. And, no, they don’t really depreciate all that badly. And, for the record, we have 38K miles without any issues whatsoever, it’s a very reliable, well-made car.

        Does yours have the active headlights? They are, excuse the pun, brilliant on a winding road at night.

        I envy you. The only things mine needs are the magnetic ride shocks and 300 additional horsepower.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Fantastic car! If the regular CTS-V wagon could be had with a stick, I certainly would have looked hard at it when I bought my BMW. But I have no need for enough torque to move a small planet, so the CTS-V is not really on my radar. I still think they are wicked cool though, and next time I am down in Atlanta I may have to bribe you with your libation of choice for a ride in the beast! I have an expense account and am only modestly fearful of using it…

    So of course the next question is – how much did this puppy cost ya?

    As for what to do to it – head on over to Steve Lang’s lot and do smokey burnouts in his parking lot until he starts writing for TTAC again.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    “glaring problem”
    so true.

  • avatar
    readallover

    So you do not subscribe to the theory that: “It can`t be a Cadillac Wagon unless it has been made into a hearse“.

  • avatar
    ExplodingBrain

    I am one of those people in GTIs, and I can confirm that a CTS-V wagon is incredibly cool.

  • avatar
    Acd

    And exactly what is it that you do to support yourself? If blogging pays this well I may have to re-think my career choices.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Sorry Doug, but I personally would rather own a DeLorean than this…thing.

    The DeLorean isn’t fast or modern…but it’s the DeLorean.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      Heck, I’d rather own a Bricklin SV1.

      For what this thing cost, someone could commission a restomod ’67 Pontiac wagon (say, a Bonneville) that would, in addition to the benefits of the Caddy, offer actual cargo space and driver visibility.

      No more beautiful station wagons were ever made than the 1965-67 large Pontiacs.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        But the Bricklin SV1 was the DeLorean’s inferior older brother.

        The DeLorean had flaws, but the Bricklin’s flaws were even worse. And it was UGLY.

        • 0 avatar
          gottacook

          That’s my point. Of course the Bricklin (which I saw in my local Pontiac showroom in 1974) was inferior to the DeLorean, but I’d still rather have one than a CTS-V wagon.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Yeah…I’m with you.

            Also, funny to imagine an independent car with an AMC engine in a Pontiac showroom…

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            The Bricklin: what other car combined a strangled smog motor (your choice of Ford Windsor or AMC), looks so ugly that they were only surpassed by the awful finish, crappy build quality, and a legendary swindler who would go on to new heights of automotive skullduggery in cahoots with disaffected socialists looking to put one over on gullible Americans?

            But I agree about the big Poncho wagons from that period. They had it all, especially in Safari trim. And you have to love an automatic transmission where they renamed the first gear position “super”.

            These days, all cars have lousy visibility. With proper mirror adjustment, the CTS wagonis no worse than 90% of today’s offerings.

          • 0 avatar
            gottacook

            Bunkie, the “S” or super gear was second, not first: P R N D S L.

            Good mirror adjustment is possible, sure, but mirrors (or backup cameras) should be your secondary source of visual info, not primary, for goodness’ sake. There is no substitute for being able to quickly turn your head and actually see in any damn direction you need to, in a fraction of a second; I would never depend on mirrors alone for changing lanes on a highway, for example.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          I agree. I worked at a body shop years ago where we completely restored an SV1. Other than the fibreglass body which is a pain to restore and paint, the powertrain, frame and chassis were exceedingly crude, even for 1975. A wheezy Ford engine coupled to an outdated FMX transmssion, coupled to a leaf sprung AMC solid axle (no lateral links) with a body bolted to a C channel ladder frame.

          Not to mention the awful hydraulics that no longer operated the gullwing doors. We replaced those with pneumatics. The only thing that car had going for it was it was rare, eccentric and made in Canada, eh.

      • 0 avatar
        The Soul of Wit

        Gottacook: +1

        add: was there ever a GTO Wagon option for the mid-60′s Tempest?

        • 0 avatar
          gottacook

          The only factory “GTO wagon” was the 1972 LeMans wagon with the T-41 option, which consisted of a GTO front end (Endura bumper and fake hood scoops). In fact any 1972 LeMans could be ordered with this option, although the grille emblem was Pontiac instead of GTO. That year the GTO itself ceased to be a separate model and was instead a set of option packages. Whether the 455 and/or ram air were available in the wagon, I don’t know.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        My neighbor found the hatch was necessary for ingress/egress when the gull wing doors failed on a Bricklin. I would avoid one unless you are small and spry.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      People will think you’re Marty McFly here from 1985 in the DeLorean

  • avatar
    NotFast

    Good choice! I looked for a manual CTS-V (any body style) and discovered that they are a very rare beast. I still want one, but I’m not buying cross country with the new CTS on the way.

  • avatar
    Alexdi

    That poor Panamera! Made me laugh.

  • avatar
    ijbrekke

    Count me among the jealous.

  • avatar
    mvoss

    Lol, folks might be jealous that you’re out having fun with a 556-hp wagon while they strut around in their BRZs.

    Looking forward to reading about this!

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks!! I hope no one is actually jealous beyond a usual “Hey I’m jealous that you have a cool car” sort of thing. (Sort of like how I am jealous of people with a VehiCROSS.) I want this to be fun for both me and TTAC – I’m just as interested in the way it performs and drives as anyone else.

  • avatar
    Digdug

    Doug,

    This is Doug–the guy who bought your E63 Wagon.

    Congratulations! I love those things. I searched and searched, but I just couldn’t find one in manual that wasn’t a) brand new or b) red. I found your wagon and have been loving it ever since.

    Of course neither of us should be surprised we like your new, high-powered wagon having similar tastes in the E63.

    This line:
    But at the moment I’m thinking it’s clearly a better car than my AMG wagon was.
    has me thinking I’ll have to get a CTS-V wagon next. Perhaps in 6 months…

    Doug

    • 0 avatar

      Hah! We can swap back!

      Truth be told, you probably use the E63 for actual wagon things, and in that case you should keep the E63 (I mean, except for the fact that obviously you should sell it back to me). The CTS-V Wagon is nowhere near as practical, as I’ll surely cover over the next 6 months. But it’s much more of a sports car. Even coming off my Porsches, I’m surprised how well this thing handles/accelerates/steers. If someone said “better than Panamera” I wouldn’t correct them.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    I lived in Atlanta for a while, commuting daily on GA 400 and 85. I owned 2 manual cars at the time. Getting into 2nd gear during rush hour was an accomplishment.

    The autotragic gets a pass!

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Atlanta cured me of any desire for a transmission other then automatic too

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve lived here 7 years and had many autos and many manuals. In BOTH cases, traffic pissed me off to no end. Eventually I gave up and bought a very tall SUV. It’s stunning how sitting above everything cures you of all traffic ills… although it probably really pisses off the guy behind you. (Which in turn leads him to buy a bigger SUV. Perhaps this is why we have so many jacked-up trucks in the south.)

      • 0 avatar
        scponder

        Been here 16 years now and while it took a while to get my left leg used to the task I would still rather have a manual. Unless you are forced to commute along the the main arteries you can always find a use for a car that downshifts when you want it to.

    • 0 avatar
      cargogh

      I lived in an apartment on Northridge Road in the late 80s and drove a GLH turbo. Most days after work the exit turned into a parking lot. I always debated ditching the Dodge on the side of 400, walking home, and picking it up later.

  • avatar
    David Hester

    Lose the “V” badges, swap the front grille for a standard one, and go stalk Mustangs, Camaros, Chargers, base Corvettes, BMWs, and Porsches.

    Wagons. The ultimate stoplight sleepers.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    I suspect the GTI crowd think this wagon is cool because “they” like fast practical cars. It’s the gas milage that is the stone in the shoe but, gosh, if it’s some one elses money then that is just cool. I will be reading this review with interest.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks! Your assessment on GTI people is right. Plus – they’re the guys who enjoy cars and driving, and don’t necessarily need or want to look super cool, like a Mustang or a Camaro owner. The V Wagon is just a logical next step, I suppose.

      I will be driving it with interest, poor gas mileage and all.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    “why the hell did I choose the CTS-V Wagon?”
    Better question: Why wouldn’t you? Other than the 12 mpg, a 500+ HP Caddy truckster is all kinds of awesome.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    Congrats on the Vagon! Great choice. There is a black one here in town and the thing looks mean.

    I have a non-V CTS sedan with the 3.6 engine and I like the car quite a bit. It’s not as “tight” as a BMW but it has a unique charm of its own. I think you’ll enjoy it.

    • 0 avatar

      Honestly the 3.6 is probably all the engine you’d ever need. I’m sure it’s plenty fast, right? I agree it’s not as “tight” as the Euros but it has a LOT of charm – styling is definitely one advantage. And I happen to love the interior.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Please put a “Heritage of Ownership” medallion on the grille.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    Very nice car. Reading your articles on fast wagons has actually made wagons in general grow on me.

    On a different note, do you still have your Range Rover? Perhaps a long term update on that will be coming soon?

    • 0 avatar

      I still have my ’06 Rover. I’d looooove to write about that, and only that, but it would just be me gushing about how much I love it, no matter how much water has gotten into the tail light.

      I plan on doing a couple of tongue-in-cheek ‘Rover vs CTS V Wagon’ comparos. Maybe not off-road ability.

  • avatar
    Timothy

    Guy’s in ST’s think this is an incredibly cool and somewhat aspirational car… as in I aspire to one day be able to afford this amazing piece of automotive goodness.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    You’re back, but are you nationwide?

  • avatar
    PeteK

    Welcome to the club! Does it have the base seats or the Recaros?

    • 0 avatar

      Recaros! I didn’t even know there are base seats. I’m glad you chimed in! Question: have you ever seen another on the street? If so, what’s the protocol? Hugging and screaming, like college roommates who haven’t seen each other in years?

      • 0 avatar
        PeteK

        I’ll let you know when it happens :)

        Actually, I did see another one at the 24 Hours of Lemons race at Buttonwillow last month. I think he was with the Homer Car folks. I’d have stopped by to say hi, but I was in the middle of a frantic rebuild of Merkur engine that cracked a piston on its second(!) practice lap.

  • avatar
    elphil

    Been driving my V-Wagon for two and a half years now. It looks like the 2014 MY of the V-Wagon will be will be the last of the line. Based on information from GM only about 1200 V-Wagons have been produced since its introduction in 2011. A drop in the bucket in terms of GM production numbers. Doug, I’m sure you will enjoy your V-Wagon as much as I enjoy mine.

    [URL=http://s927.photobucket.com/user/elphil_photo/media/IMG_0169.jpg.html][IMG]http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad120/elphil_photo/IMG_0169.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

  • avatar
    miroad

    Gee, and I thought I was the ONLY one who was insane. I have a 2010 CTS wagon and ordered a 2014 CTS-V wagon two weeks ago (Sept. 30 target production week). 6-speed manual (sorry Doug). To my immense chagrin, I saw another CTS-V wagon yesterday! I’d only seen one other CTS wagon in three years and now there will be two Vagons in my area. Crap, so much for being unique! I’d get a Delorean instead but there are several of them in the D.C. environs. I haven’t seen a Pacer lately, though…..

  • avatar
    becauseCAR

    Congrats on the car! You’ll definitely enjoy it. There’s nothing like sliding around corners with Magnetic Ride Control saving you everywhere you go.

    Now, I have some bad news regarding your want to long-term test this car. Motor Trend had a CTS-V Wagon for one year with Jonny Lieberman doing the long-term write-up (but you may know this). Granted, they will be in no way as funny as your updates will be.

    Also, I’m clamoring for a write-up of your 2006 Range Rover ownership experience now that it’s probably sold.

    • 0 avatar

      Range Rover will be with me forever. (aka: until a few months before the warranty runs out.)

      MT did have one, and I think another mag did too. But hopefully this one involves a little more audience participation – and way more updates. We’ll see.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    I think you can safely assume that Elon Musk is NOT going to order your assassination. Your situation may be a lot like the experience of singer Bobby Darin.

    He once boasted to an interviewer that he was going to be bigger than Sinatra. He later thought better of that, and sent a telegram to Frank Sinatra, saying he was Frank’s “biggest fan” and didn’t mean anything by that interview quote. Sinatra sent a return telegram with the message, “Bobby who?”

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    Just how rare are these things? As in, will it be worth something years from now?
    Still, a rad wagon is always fun. It’s funny that it seems to be that I’m seeing more Magnums around now than when they were new.

  • avatar
    AMDBMan

    Awesome. These things are sweet. I wasn’t much of a Caddy fan for a long time. You can only get cut off by so many Escalades before you write off every single one of their owners as a complete dickhead. Then I got invited up to Monticello Motor Club in Monticello, NY, for a V-Series test drive “experience.” Not only was I completely stunned at the fact that they actually let us wring these things out like they were stolen, but the car blew me away. I’ll definitely be looking out for any and all updates on your experiences with it. Enjoy!

    • 0 avatar

      As an ex-GM car, mine was probably one of the ones you drove hard!!!! YOU BASTARD!

      Really though – Agree on all points, including not being a huge Caddy fan. I had an 04 CTS-V and this is a whole different world. The only “Cadillac” part is the badge on the grille – otherwise it feels like any good MB/BMW out there.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    Am so jealous. I would drive around and take it to the track/strip with child seats in it or at least a baby on board sign. A vinyl / fake convertible top would be epic.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Well, one long-term update I would suggest is a hilarious take on efforts to complete a road trip while returning 20 mpg.

    Whatever it takes (short of siphoning somebody else’s gas, and not counting that in the tally)!

    • 0 avatar

      I am STUNNED how quickly gas drains from this thing’s tank. I will put the third tank in later tonight since I bought it on June 29. Part of the problem is the tank is so damn small, but it’s also just really really thirsty.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    Wagons are very cool and I look forward to hearing more about it.

    Life has worked to keep my 57 210 wagon parked but I am determined to put it back into action. It already has the trailer hitch and I used it for a work car till gas hit $4/gal. It doesn’t get any better mileage but I am retired and no longer commute.

    Lots of luck and I enjoy your writing.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks! And definitely get yours back into action. I love seeing the 1950s Chevys at the local cars and coffee, and I’m always impressed with just how cool they are. Mine may be faster, but those have way more style and occasion.

  • avatar
    Mikein08

    Alright, so you wanted something big and fast, I get that. But did
    you have to get something so effing ugly???

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    Count me as jealous. I’ve toyed with buying one for a while. Even went so far as to get a GM EX plan code for one, then went German. The IP just didn’t do it for me and felt a bit cheap, if stylish. Surprisingly quite at full throttle too. Lovely seats though and a good tough look. Congrats

  • avatar
    markholli

    The CTS-V Wagon looks like a bald eagle wearing a U.S. flag as a cape and flipping everybody off.

    Congrats on the purchase, and on your ability to bankroll this operation.

  • avatar
    cyk

    Not a GM/Cadillac fan, but I bought one of these anyway….with a 6MT.

    I wouldn’t have necessarily opted for the Recaros, sunroof, or silly glitter paint, but it’s the only manual V wagon I could find.

    More than anything, this car is a unicorn in that it’s very likely the LAST wagon available with a manual transmission and a musclecar motor.

    I find it strange that the American car buying populace doesn’t mix driving pleasure with practicality…i.e. a wagon with a manual trans. Really a shame since it prevents things like the RS6 Avant from being sold stateside:/

    For those curious, the car drives great…certainly great at lurid drifts and smoky burnouts. Serene when you want it to be and a total hooligan when the wife and kid aren’t in the car. It also made my 911 Turbo mostly obsolete on the street and allowed me to differentiate the garage a bit to trade for a GT3 for track duty.

    I previously had a Magnum SRT-8 and would still own it if it was a manual, but the V is far superior in all ways with the exception of space.

    The only things that would make this car better would be AWD and a bit more room.

    For those on the fence…get one (in a manual)….it will likely be the last chance we all get to drive a unicorn in wagon’s clothing.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree with everything stated. I’d love it if you’d follow along as I embark on this journey and provide your input – there aren’t many of us, and it’s always interesting to hear what other wagon owners have to say.

      • 0 avatar
        cyk

        I’ll certainly be following your posts…..I’d also like to hear from other v wagon owners on their experiences…..again considering the rarity of the beast.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      When you say it’s tight on space, what are you referring to? Headroom in front or back? Leg space? Cargo room with the seats up?

      Asking because I’ve got a 3er wagon (with 3 pedals, natch), and the only dimension I wish had more space is the headroom in front and back (I’ve got a long torso).

      Hauled a couple of big mirrors with the seats down, long boxes, etc.

      Wagons are so versatile they make most SUV’s unnecessary.

      • 0 avatar
        cyk

        The car is small in comparison to an E Class…..and I say this ‘cuz we have a 98 E320 4Matic Wagon that is incredibly spacious in relation to its external dimensions.

        The v’s head/leg/ship/shoulder room for all passengers is fine, but my complaint is the hatch opening is smallish and the width and height of the cargo hold are ever so slightly less useful; I tend to haul a lot of cycling gear on the roof and in the car if this tells you anything.

        Just a side note, but I absolutely despise the electric doors and hatch….what’s wrong with mechanical latches?!!!! Extra weight, complexity, future repair costs for what? Delayed latch response and the ultra slow hatch opening….great that it’s whiz-bang, but whiz-bang gets old after 2 minutes. Such is the state of the modern “luxury” car. Off the soap box…

  • avatar

    TTAC “staff” Car = Lightly used 556hp Cadillac CTS-V Wagon

    Hooniverse “staff” car = 300k mile MB 300TD. With a dead transmission.

    Same color, though.

    Does yours have rear-facing “way back” jump seats or self-leveling rear suspension?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    When its time to unload the Caddy wagon bring it down to Australia and sell it.

    You will make your money back on it, plus some more.

    Yes, we do have a grey market that is legal.

    Make sure you let us know so your Australian readers can come and pick it apart.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    Aside from the transmission, great choice Doug. This BMW owner loves that car. Had my car been available in wagon form, I would’ve gotten it. Actually, had I been able to find a stick rwd 325i wagon I probably would have gotten that instead of my car too. Anyway, good choice. I went car shopping with a friend who ended up buying a CTS coupe. I love the glares he (and the CTS coupe owning salesman at the Caddy dealer) gave me every time I suggested he look at a CTS wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      I got lucky with timing on mine. There were 2 2007 E91′s available with sticks and rwd when I needed to get a new ride a few years ago. What did you wind up buying?

      Love the idea of the CTS-V but would despise the gas bill.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @jkross22: I bought an e46 330i zhp sedan. I had been watching a Volvo V50 T5 AWD MT but it sold before I was ready to buy a car. From what I understand, that was a pretty rare car. My friend that’s a Volvo nut did some digging and thinks less than a 1000 were imported to the US in that configuration. Still kick myself for having it get away.

  • avatar
    Livermoron

    OK, I didn’t read all 120 something posts so maybe I missed some revelation but here goes… I know its been said – but no manual equals not that interesting in my book. I know a manual could have been found so… well anyway, to those people that gripe about rush hour pushing them into an AT car – man, you never really were a manual guy to begin with. I commute from the tri-valley to Fremont CA daily and have a 540i6 and have never considered moving to an AT. Sure, often I go from 1st to 2nd to 1st, but I know that sometimes it’ll be 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th. And even the 2-3 all by itself can be a blast.

    But I will say I am all over the wagon part. I learned to drive manual in a 66 Valiant Wagon slant 6 with 3 on the tree – way funner than it sounds. And I have been fantasizing for years about doing a V8/manual swap into a Volvo wagon.

    My next car will be a 1st gen CTS-V or a Mazdaspeed3 – although my Bimmer keeps going and going – 175K so far.

    BTW – CandD did a long term on a CTS-V manual wagon a couple years ago. The suede didn’t hold up and the 18(?) gallon tank gave it terrible range. I think those were the only two major gripes.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t disagree about the no manual part, which is actually why I’m sort of happy I got the auto. I kind of want to see if the car’s OTHER strong attributes will be able to overcome the lack of a third pedal. It would be just way too easy if it was a stick shift :)

      Love the 540i6 by the way. And any stick 5-Series, up to and including today’s model. Keep it until it dies.

      • 0 avatar
        Livermoron

        Yeah – I see your point about wondering if the rest of the car can overcome its lack of a clutch. But for me that part is so integral into the overall package its almost the same as picking one without an engine to see if the rest of the experience made up for it. But I am a fanatic (at least for my DD) and a minority in the automotive world. I am a little comforted that I will probably be dead before all the manuals are gone because I dread that day. See? A fanatic!

        • 0 avatar

          Hah! I feel largely the same way, even though it’s been a while since I had a stick. I will say this: I took the car out on some back roads last night and really pounded it, and it probably would’ve been better with a stick. That doesn’t mean the automatic is bad. Just personal preference. Obviously I don’t plan on keeping it forever, so maybe it’s not a big deal. More to come no doubt…

  • avatar
    walker42

    Doug I hear from the CTS fanboys that the car is dynamically superior to the 5-series, E-class and A6. I know your V has a better chassis than those but how does it compare to the M5, AMG, S6? Or would the more fair comparison be M3, AMG, S4.

    I want to know if we Americans are better at some aspects of the sport sedan than the Germans. Steering perhaps?

    I love the CTS sedan. It’s the car that turned Cadillac around and I believe the all-new 2014 will be even better.

    BTW very cool choice for long-term test car. Look forward to reading your reports. Hopefully you can expense the gas!

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not going to expense the gas, but everything else! I, too, am eager to see how it stacks up against those cars. I’ve owned a fair bit of them so hopefully I’ll have some good insight. More to come!


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