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Review: 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon

Friday October 11th, 2013 at 8:1010 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Pavement Ripper, Stealth Looks, Bargain Price
Gripes: No Shift Paddles, Hard & Flat Seats

This is one bad rad Cad. It’s the bad boy of all station wagons thanks to a supercharged V-8 making 556hp and 551lb.-ft. of torque. It’s rad because it resembles nothing else on this planet, a black banana that looks wilder than any Kustom Kruiser George Barris ever conceived. But because it’s a Cad, you can pretend that you’re driving the darling car of the senior set. After all, it’s practical, luxurious, ultra comfy, and big enough to carry everyone’s golf bag. Only your right foot and your insurance agent will know better.

If any car ever made an open and shut case for traction control, it’s this CTS-V. The factory delivers the wagon with a bevy of handling nannies including Stabilitrak Directional Control with Traction Control (TC). In keeping with General Motors’ thoughtful high performance philosophy, you can delete these aids by pressing the steering wheel mounted TC button for about 8 seconds. Do this at your peril. Although the CTS-V is equipped with commendably wide Michelin Pilot Sport tires (255/40ZR-19 f., 285/35ZR-19 r.), they are no match for the awesome torque of this motor when you tromp the throttle with TC disabled. Do so and you can burn rubber from a standstill through an entire quarter mile. If you sensibly leave TC engaged for your acceleration test, the Wagon will bullet through the standing start quarter mile in 12.7 seconds at 111mph without so much as a squeal of protest from the Michelins.

The $63,215 base price of the CTS-V Wagon makes it a sensational bargain. For comparable performance in a rear wheel drive luxury ride, you’d be spending $89,900 for a BMW M5 sedan, $138,650 for a Porsche Panamera Turbo, or $140,000 for a Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG sedan. None of these companies offer wagon versions of their musclecars. A handful of reasonably priced options enhance the V Wagon’s other worldly looks. Black Diamond Tricoat paint is a spectacular addition to the invoice at just $995 extra. Confetti-sized, clear-coated metallic particles juice up the looks of a Caddy that would otherwise look at home leading a funeral procession. Black-out grill trim ($870) and Satin Graphite alloys ($800) augment the V’s Punk Goth visage. Yellow painted Brembo brake calipers ($595) add just the right note of visual relief and levity to the otherwise monochromatic exterior.

If you can work past the exorbitant, $2,600 Gas Guzzler Tax appended to the sticker, and cope with the onus of a 14 MPG overall fuel consumption rating, the V Wagon is otherwise a most practical conveyance for large families. The interior space is well arranged to transport 5 adults in comfort, with enough wagon space left in back to store baggage for an overnight trip for the group. The leather-bolstered front seats feature “sueded” inserts on the seating surfaces, and include standard 3-temp level heating. But the seats don’t offer enough lateral support to retain you when the road gets twisty. Another chink in the armor is the lack of true paddleshifts to control the V’s 6-speed automatic gearbox. Cadillac simply provides a pair of small buttons on the backside of the steering wheel spokes to effect upshifts and downshifts. You can circumvent the lack of paddles by using the console-mounted bump stick to effect gear changes.

The CTS-V Wagon is unquestionably the most brilliant version of the CTS range Cadillac has yet devised. Capable of functioning as an under-the radar family bus, this sleek stealth missile also stands ready to perform the most heroic musclecar feats without batting a wiper. Since this unique package will never become a mass market commodity, there’s added incentive in buying one now for long term investment potential.

2013 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon

  • Engine: All Aluminum Supercharged OHV V-8
  • Horsepower: 556 @ 6,100rpm
  • Torque: 551lb.-ft. @ 3,800rpm
  • Fuel Consumption: 12 MPG City/ 18 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $71,120
  • Star Rating: 10 out of 10 Stars

Posted in Cadillac, Expert Reviews, Feature Articles |Tags:, , || No Comments »


2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Review

Tuesday August 9th, 2011 at 9:88 AM
Posted by: Derek

2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon
By Derek Mau

Likes:

  • Adept handling for a wagon
  • Powertrain provides nice balance of power and economy
  • Comfortable cabin
  • A luxury car with lots of cargo room
  • Optional Acura/ELS surround sound system

Dislikes:

  • 5-speed transmission automatic transmission
  • No V6 or 6-speed manual option for North American market
  • Navigation system needs to catch up to the competition
  • Backseat legroom is tight for taller passengers

Since the SUV started dominating car sales, the station wagon has fallen in status somewhere between the microcar (e.g. Smart car) and the minivan. In the era of the Ford Country Squire your parents appreciated them. Nowadays, auto journalists and Europeans are the select few who fully appreciate their form and function, but nobody buys them here. It’s that last trait that’s led to the near extinction of the family wagon.

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Posted in Acura, Expert Reviews |Tags:, , , || 4 Comments »


Toyota Prius Wagon to Hit U.S. in 2012

Monday March 14th, 2011 at 5:33 PM
Posted by: aquadog

Toyota Prius WagonToyota is expanding their Prius family with a new larger and heavier wagon-like Prius V — that’s the letter V for “versatility,” Toyota says, not the Roman numeral five.

The new Toyota Prius V, will go on sale in the United States in late summer or early fall. Toyota announced production has begun on the new gasoline-electric hybrid Prius wagon, that is set to hit Japan in April, followed by the U.S. and Europe. Although, those dates might slip as Japan begins clean up after its latest tsunami disaster.

Some major differences between the Prius hatchback and the new wagon-style Prius are improved visibility due to the driver being situated 1.2 inches higher, an extended rear cargo which will eliminate the hatchback’s split rear window, a 220 pound weight difference, and the option of a new polycarbonate panoramic moonroof that weighs 40 percent less than glass. The new Prius wagon is wider, taller and about five inches longer, and shares the same engine, platform, and hybrid drivetrain as the Prius hatchback, giving it approximately 42 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway. New inside features include a computer mouse-inspired one-dial climate control button and a high-capacity lithium ion battery.

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Posted in hybrid, Press and News, Toyota |Tags:, , , || 1 Comment »


2011 Nissan Versa Hatchback 1.8 SL Review – Economy with Benefits

Wednesday December 22nd, 2010 at 2:1212 PM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2011 Nissan Versa HB
By Danny Chang

Pros

  • Plenty of head room
  • Decent acceleration if you keep your foot down
  • Decent trunk space for a hatch
  • Easy access

Cons

  • Could use more power
  • Quirky Gallic styling
  • Better MPG would be nice

My first car that I drove in high school was a dark blue 1986 Nissan Sentra coupe. It had a 1.6 L engine that probably put out just over 84 HP. It was a pretty base model with an aftermarket radio that had a push button auto reverse cassette deck. It had no side view mirror on the right hand side, but hey, who needs that. It had no AC, which was a bit problematic in the SoCal summers where temperatures routinely shoot up to the high 90s and low 100s in the valleys. To kick a man when he’s down, the Sentra used to overheat regularly and I had to pump the hot air into the cabin in order to cool the engine down. What the Sentra did have, though, was a five-speed manual transmission and a smooth clutch. So I was pretty interested to see what the new econobox from Nissan is like, almost a quarter of a century later.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Nissan |Tags:, , , || 2 Comments »


2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon Review – Yes, wagons can be cool again

Tuesday April 6th, 2010 at 2:44 PM
Posted by: twain

By Twain Mein

Pros:

  • Smooth and powerful 304 hp V6
  • Excellent road feel that is smooth, communicative, and refined
  • Handling performance that rivals the European sedans
  • Unique styling

Cons:

  • Uncomfortably hard front seats
  • Rear seat access is limited
  • Time lag with full throttle acceleration
  • Steering wheel shifters don’t automatically override into manual mode

Ruling: If you’re going to get a 4-door, skip the sedan and just get a wagon!

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Posted in Cadillac, Expert Reviews |Tags:, , || 4 Comments »




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