Time will tell whether the wrath exacted on the station wagon body style is coming to an end. The story goes like this; Baby Boomers were traumatized by family vacations spent in the back of station wagons, so when they came of car buying age, a traditional Ford Country Squire, Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, or Chrysler Town & Country wagons were quickly excommunicated from millions of shopping lists. The body style nearly went extinct.
With one lone exception (the unfortunately styled Dodge Magnum), it's been decades since a Detroit automaker has brought a traditional station wagon to market. Perhaps time does heal all wounds.
Even for those who still hate station wagons, the 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon is worth giving up all vengeance. Coming out of the bigger-is-better SUV mentality, station wagons make practical sense for today's "smaller is better" environment. Furthermore, the Sport Wagon's crisp, linear style quickly dissipates any latent thoughts of wagons being dull workhorses.
The Sport Wagon its takes its styling cues from the handsome CTS sedan on which it is based. The wagon's longer body seems to enhance the chiseled style of the CTS. One clever design feature unique to the Sport Wagon is the integrated roof rack. The side rails run flush to the roofline. When the crossbars are installed, they fit trimly over the roof.
The 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon is not all show and no go. The car has the ability to supplant SUVs and crossovers because of its cargo carrying capabilities. Lift the power tailgate and you'll find a flat load floor with an adjustable in-floor cargo management system. The rear seats fold to expand cargo volume, but you may not need any extra because with the rear seats up, there's room for 25 cubic feet of gear.
Unlike the Spartan interiors of station wagons from the 1960s and 70s, the CTS Sport Wagon can include a cabin dressed in hand-cut-and-sewn materials including rich leathers. Available features also include a 40-gigabyte internal hard drive media system, pop-up navigation screen, and a panoramic rear sunroof that expands the interior's sense of openness.
Direct injection technology helps the CTS Sport Wagon deliver ample power while maintaining fuel economy and lowering emissions. Direct injection reduces hydrocarbons produced by up to 25 percent on cold starts.
The CTS Sport Wagon features Cadillacs 3.6L direct injection V-6 engine that produces 304 horsepower on regular unleaded gasoline. A smaller, 3.0L version of the direct injection V-6 engine will be added as the new standard engine for the CTS Sport Wagon in the summer of 2009, offering improved fuel economy. As is the case on the sport sedan, CTS Sport Wagon offers AWD as an option to its standard rear-drive fitment. GM has elected not to offer an efficient 2.9-liter turbo-diesel in the US as it is in Europe and Asia. Too bad, as diesels are catching on in America.
We've driven many different CTS models since its complete overhaul last year. The CTS sedan is a wholly competent road runner, and we expect the same from the CTS Sport Wagon otherwise we'll recommend they drop the "Sport" from its name, and consumers can continue to ignore wagons for generations to come.
Rex Roy is an automotive writer based in Detroit. He can be reached through his web site at www.RexRoy.net.