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2013 Cadillac CTS Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: 2013 Cadillac Sportwagon base model by Hauler

Hauler

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Introduction

I ordered this wagon from the factory to get the color, interior, and lack of unneeded options that I want in a combination road car and utility vehicle.

CTS Reviews: CTS Sportwagon

The dealer installed the hitch before I took delivery. I only use it to attach the bike rack.

Reviewed: 2013 Cadillac CTS

No details available

Why the 2013 Cadillac CTS?

Exterior styling

The Sportwagon is the last USA nameplate station wagon. It has a clean sporty design that is low to the ground, with a low roofline and no excessive chrome.

Color choices

I wanted a color other than the common black, silver, and white. The Glacier blue I selected is not dark enough to require extra dark tinted windows on a car with the extra glass station wagons include. It's my fourth blue vehicle out of 28 I have owned.

Powertrain performance

The base v6 produces amazing performance through the 6 speed tap-shift automatic transmission. It moves the 4000 pound wagon as easily as my 66 Corvette that with an engine that has twice the displacement, and the corvette is 500 pounds lighter.

Interior styling

I did not upgrade the base model interior so that I could keep the full leather wrap steering whee hand the carbon fiber weave trim pieces. They are more in keeping with the sporty image of the car than the wood dash and door trim and 1/4 wood steering wheel rim. The instrument cluster has the full compliment of gauges for a sporty car and the Driver Information Center display will add everything from volts to tire pressures.

Handling

The Sportwagon has excellent road manners. It also has excellent brakes and a surprisingly tight turning circle. If pushed hard on an exit cloverleaf, it will go where you point it without complaint, but if you have passengers, they will complain.

Why Not the 2013 Cadillac CTS?

Interior styling

The look of the interior is impressive, but it lacks the attention to detail that my Chevrolet Equinox trade-in had. The biggest shortcoming is the lack of a cloth seat option, which I paid to have an upholstered correct, and to increase the padding. The next largest problem is the lack of lumbar support in the seats, which I fixed by inserting lumbar supports in the bucket seat backs. After that come the following irritants: sculpted front door panels with minuscule storage openings, rear door panels with no storage, an unneeded console top latch (I removed) that is blocked by the cup holder lid (that opens to the rear instead of to the front), and the driver's HVAC vent which roasts your foot without the shield I created to redirect the air.

Safety & braking

The outside driver's mirror lacks the blind spot segment that even earlier Chevrolet Equinox SUVs have.

Audio & nav systems

I chose the base model to abstain from the Jack-In-The-Box nav screen, and that also meant a cheaper stereo with no USB port. The base stereo will not support the newest iPods which require a USB to keep the batter charged while in use, and for which there are no adapter cables available. Cadillac used to include a cable to get around the same problem with their earlier stereos, but stopped in 2013.

Controls and instruments

The heater and air conditioner controls are too low, and the push buttons are small with tiny logos to indicate function, both contributing to driver distraction. The AUTO button erases all previouly selected functions. The vent control buttons often need on/off or defroster buttons pushed in order to select or deselect a vent setting. The air conditioning button is overridden by the defroster button, a traditional annoyance in most USA marque vehicles. With the exception of dual zone temperature selection, I much prefer the simple set of controls used in my Chevy trade-in.

Other Features of the 2013 Cadillac CTS

Towing

The hitch was dealer installed before I took delivery. I use it only to haul two mountain bikes on an easy load and unload bike rack.

Conclusion

If you need utility and want a flat rear cargo area, but don't want to be afraid you'll provoke the vehicle to roll off every expressway ramp due to SUV height and suspension, this is the wagon for you. It is almost the same length and width as the Equinox that I traded for it, but is a foot lower and handles like my Corvette, with rear wheel drive, 4 wheel independent suspension, and 4 wheel disk brakes. Combine that with the best looking exterior design of any station wagon, and you will find you get compliments from strangers on your Sportwagon. My only caveat is that the interior functionality is limited in some areas, probably due to the age of the body design dating originally from 2008.

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