Test Drive 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon: 3.0L DI V6 with 6 speed Automatic

I have a 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon from Crest Cadillac in Plano for a weekend test drive review.

The 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon comes with a choice of 2 engines, the 3.0L DI V6 with 270 hp, or the more expensive configurations with the 3.6L DI V6 with 304 hp.  Both engines come standard with the excellent 6-speed automatic gearbox.

The Cadillac I am testing is the 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon Luxury Model, with the 3.0L DI V6 and 6-speed automatic.  This is a very efficient engine, producing 270 hp from only 3L of displacement.  It uses the very latest engine technologies, including direct injection and variable valve timing to achieve this high output level.  270hp is very comparable to the outputs from high performance V8s a decade ago.

2010 CTS Sport Wagon Engine View - 3L V6

In the CTS Sport Wagon the 270 hp 3L V6 moves the Sport Wagon along very well, and offers the best fuel economy as well as the lowest price of entry.  For the best performance, the 3.6L V6 with 34 more horsepower of course will be more capable.

The 6-speed automatic in the CTS and CTS Sport Wagon offers 3 modes of operation.  First is “just put it in Drive and go”.  This is normal, quiet, smooth mode.

Next is fully manual mode which allows one to select gears and shift the car like a clutch-less manual.  This gives you the greatest level of control.  In this mode or in Sport Mode the dash changes to indicate the current gear that the automatic is in.  That alone is worth sliding the selector to the right, because it gives you much more insight into how well the transmission manages things.  Seeing a Cadillac make a quick shift from 6th to 2nd and lunge forward is very inspiring.

The ‘third’ mode which may not be obvious to many, is ‘Sport Mode’.  If you slide the automatic to the right as if you plan to shift it manually, the transmission goes into ‘Sport Mode’.  If you then don’t shift it manually, but allow the transmission to continue managing shifting, it does so with a more sporting aspect in mind, holding gears longer, shifting later, using engine braking, and generally behaving in a manner most conducive to FUN driving.  This is the mode I suggest is appropriate for most entertainment driving in the CTS Sport Wagon.

I would prefer the 3.6L, 304 hp engine in this CTS.  However, I was interested to drive the 3L especially in the CTS Sport Wagon with the extra weight to see if there was still fun to be had.  My conclusion is that this is a smooth, willing, capable power plant.  Yes the larger 3.6L has more power.  The 3L is an acceptable selection, particularly as it costs quite a bit less. If you want a capable Cadillac but are the type of Driver who is  not going to miss 13% more power the 3L is a good selection.

I tried in this photo (but I am afraid failed) to show how well the front seats in the CTS look from the side — very sculpted.

The seats are very comfortable, and are surprisingly thin from front to back.  This maximizes rear leg room, and continues the overall artful theme of the interior.

My Host for this test drive is Crest Cadillac of Plano, Texas.  They are located at 2701 North Central Expressway, Plano, Texas.  You can contact them by phone Toll-free at 1-866-697-9144 or locally at (972)578-7511, or on Twitter or Facebook

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