GM announced yesterday that the base price of the CTS-V wagon will be $62,990. Fully loaded, you’re looking at $68,000-plus. Depending on who you read in the auto press, this is “one pricey wagon” or “one heck of a bargain.”
Looking at this car rationally—Hah! as if anyone buying a 556-hp, stick-shift, rear-wheel-drive beast like this (Recaro front seats are $3,400 extra) is rational—you can make the case either way.
It’s pricey when you compare it to the competition, which comes in with better trim but less power at a lot less money. According to Inside Line, the 2011 Mercedes E-Class wagon’s base is $57,075, but you’ll get only a 268-hp V6. The Audi A6 Avant gives you 300 hp and starts at $54,185.
The CTS-V wagon is a bargain if you compare it to, of all things, its compadre the Escalade. That symbol of wretched excess comes in a confusing variety of trims, gives you around 10 mpg with V8 power, and has MSRPs ranging from $62,495 to $84,125 (for the fully fitted-out hybrid).
As with so much in the car world, it all boils down to who you want to impress and what kind of statement you want to make. The CTS-V is called a “sport wagon” and has the same drivetrain and base price as the V sedan and coupe. It will appeal to the Bob Lutz types and those who like the new Cadillac style.
It will be ideal for long-distance family trips. It will take you to 60 mph in 4 seconds, which ain’t gonna happen in your E-Class. It will offer the best answer so far to SUVs that are overweight, overpriced, and have bad handling and unnecessary off-road capability.
The Escalade is dying anyway in terms of sales. Only the celebrity clowns and drug dealers will continue to want it. Is that enough of a niche market for GM to keep producing it? Those people will end up going to Lincoln MKTs if they are smart.
Do you think the CTS-V wagon is going be a success? Is it priced right?