Last month, my family went on vacation in northern California and ever-generous General Motors loaned us the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon for a few days. We tested it out with a trip from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe. But it was our first introduction to the car that really summarized our entire experience with it. “Do you like to drive?” eagerly asked the man who delivered the car to us. “Umm, yes,” we responded. “Then you are going to LOVE this car,” he practically purred.
practically melted into the seat and the leather wrapped steering wheel was like a cherry on top. As we drove through beautiful Tahoe City, people would honk, wave and give us the thumbs up, they would stop and stare, they would smile. Everyone loved this car. When we pulled into the hotel, there was a Maserati behind us, yet the valets were literally swooning over our vehicle, peppering us with questions and jockeying over who would park it for us. Honestly, I’ve never received so much attention driving a vehicle before, and I’ve been lucky enough to have test driven a wide range of fancy cars.
What made us love the Cadillac, beyond it’s unusual styling and luxurious interior, was how fun it was to drive a wagon: traditionally a stale family vehicle. Instead, sitting behind the wheel of the CTS-V, it felt like driving a sports car. Sure, with two kids strapped in the back seat, we weren’t tearing up I-80 at 100 mph but it was fun to know that we could and to feel the powerful engine smoothly accelerate up the mountains en route to Tahoe. We also had an extraordinary amount of baggage and all of it fit in the trunk space without any trouble.
Also noteworthy was how quiet the interior of the vehicle was despite the exterior noise – another mark of true luxury. The car did not come equipped with a video entertainment system but the satellite radio complete with the kids channel kept all of us entertained on our several hour treks. Because of the vehicle’s tremendous horsepower (my husband noted it went from 0-60 in about 3 seconds), the CTS is not very fuel-efficient (12 mpg city/ 18 mpg highway) but you aren’t buying this car if you are in the market for fuel-efficiency. With a starting price well above $50k, this is definitely a sports luxury wagon that appeals only to high-end buyers. For families with young kids, I couldn’t help but wonder how many actually purchase this vehicle just because I’d hate to have my 2-year-old tossing her goldfish and crackers around the interior of my luxurious back seat but maybe I am too practical. I think if our kids were a little older, and we were willing to splurge, this car would be at the top of my husband’s list.
If you are looking for a high-end, luxury wagon that will turn heads, cause every valet to swarm your vehicle, draw happy attention from complete strangers on the street, and never get old driving, then the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon is the car for you.