Nuts & Bolts: The 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon and SRX4

Sunday, February 28, 2010; F01

Complaint: I understand that car companies compete in every niche -- for example, the Cadillac SRX4 crossover against the Mercedes-Benz GLK and now the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon against the BMW 5 and Mercedes E-Series wagons. But aren't we getting a little silly here? It seems that a lot of money is being wasted to turn out stuff other than wagons meant to do the same work as wagons.

Ride, acceleration and handling: It's all excellent in the CTS Sport Wagon. The SRX4 2.8T is adequate but not outstanding in any area.

Head-turning quotient: The SRX4 2.8T wins here, especially among younger voters. But the CTS Sport Wagon gets a strong older vote.

Body styles/layouts: Both the CTS Sport Wagon and SRX4 2.8T are based on car platforms--rear-wheel drive for the CTS Sport Wagon and front-wheel drive for the SRX4 2.8T. Both are available with optional all-wheel drive. Both come with four doors and a rear hatch.

Engines/transmissions: The CTS Sport wagon gets a standard, direct-injection, 3-liter V-6 (270 horsepower/223 foot-pounds of torque). An optional, direct injection 3.6-liter V-6 is available (304 hp/273 ft-lbs).

The SRX crossover gets the same standard engine as the CTS Sport Wagon -- with five fewer horsepower and the same amount of torque. The premium SRX4 2.8T gets the turbocharged 2.8 liter V-6 (300 hp/295 ft-lbs).

Six-speed automatic transmissions that can be shifted manually are available for both the CTS Sport Wagon and the SRX.

Capacities: Both the wagon and crossover have seats for five. The crossover has marginally more cargo space: 61 cubic feet vs. 58. Fuel capacity in the wagon is 18 gallons of regular unleaded. All SRX models have 21-gallon fuel tanks. Non-turbocharged models take regular unleaded. Turbocharged models, such as the SRX4 2.8T driven for this column, require premium.

Safety: Standard in both models are front and rear ventilated disc brakes, stability and traction control and side and head air bags.

Prices: Base prices for the 2010 CTS Sport Wagon are from $38,265 to $50,565 for the all-wheel-drive 3.6 version. Base prices for the 2010 SRX are from $33,330 to $51,360 for the SRX4 2.8T driven for this column.

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