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Review and photos by Peter Bleakney

Photo Gallery:
2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon

In the early days of my music career, I spent an inordinate amount of time behind the wheel of a rusting 1965 Ford Falcon Futura station wagon, ferrying band mates and equipment around the Maritimes. With three-on-the-tree, an overworked 170 cubic inch straight-six, a burned-out clutch, no radio and a busted heater, the Arctic Mobile, as we affectionately dubbed it, got us where we were going… most of the time.

Three decades later, I find myself doing essentially the same thing, although circumstances have improved considerably. Instead of high schools and hurtin’ clubs, I’m performing at a number of cushy theatres in Southern Ontario with the Canadian Tenors – a quartet of harmonizing hunks whose career is currently on a mercurial trajectory.

Playing the part of the ferrous Arctic Mobile is another American-made wagon: the new-for-2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon 3.6 AWD – with a working heater no less.

2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon 3.6 AWD
2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon 3.6 AWD. Click image to enlarge

Cadillac’s recently redone CTS wants to play in the Euro sport sedan big-leagues, and indeed, it has the goods to get the attention of those looking at BMW, Audi, and Mercedes. As those marques offer wagon versions of their mid-sized sedans, it makes sense that Caddy would follow suit.

But Wow, who woulda thought this wagon would out-sex the already handsome sedan? Expanding on Cadillac’s distinctive angular design language, the Sport Wagon looks spectacular from every angle, especially from the rear where the spiky vertical taillights recall Caddy’s legendary fins of yore. I would normally balk at a $1,295 paint treatment, but the Blue Diamond Tricoat on this specimen looked terrific.

2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon 3.6 AWD
2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon 3.6 AWD
2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon 3.6 AWD. Click image to enlarge

Guitarist Dave Gray and I popped the Sport Wagon’s powered liftgate, flipped down the 60/40 rear seats (with ski pass-through) and loaded ‘er up with amps, guitars, pedals and other musoid detritus. The cargo floor is flat and capacity a useful 1642 litres – not in the league of the Volvo V70 (2082 litres), but certainly enough for our purposes.

You can get into a base rear-wheel-drive CTS Sport Wagon fitted with a 270-hp 3.0-litre V6 for $39,998. This tester was the all singing/dancing $53,790 AWD model powered by the same 304-hp 3.6-litre direct-injection V6 found in the Camaro LT. The only transmission offered is a six-speed manumatic.

Optional equipment here, which included the $3,660 Luxury Performance Package (real wood trim, keyless entry and ignition, heated and ventilated front seats with memory, rear park sensors, powered steering column, security system), pushed the bottom line to just north of sixty grand. Navigation with rear-view camera is an additional $2,885.

The interior is suitably upscale with nicely stitched leather dash top and upper door panels, although the wood inserts are so processed it looks like plastic to me. Major gauges are clearly back-lit and the sharply sculpted centre console gives the cabin an intimate dual-cowl feel. One niggle: the interior temp control and seat heater buttons are located right where your knee grazes the side of the console.

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