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Are luxury wagons setting up a comeback? Cadillac seems to think so, and they're jumping into the fray with the handsome new 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon. The CTS Sport Wagon shares its mechanical bits with the CTS Sedan, including two direct-injection V6 engines and three different degrees of suspension tuning, ranging from soft to sporting. How does all of it come together? Read on.

Larger photos: Front - rear - interior - cargo bay - all photos

Pros

Good looking

Good fun to drive

Well-thought-out cargo area

Cons

Cargo bay isn't exactly huge

Front seats lack thigh support

High price

Description

All-new wagon version of Caddy's entry-level CTS

Trim levels: 3.. 3. Luxury, 3. Performance, 3.6 Performance, 3.6 Premium

Budget range (including options): $40,655 - $61,490

Powertrain: 3. liter V6, 270 hp/223 lb-ft; 3.6 liter V6, 304 hp/273 lb-ft; 6-speed automatic; rear- or all-wheel-drive

EPA MPG estimates: 18 MPG city, 26-27 MPG highway

Best rivals: Audi A4 Avant, BMW 328i wagon, Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen

This test drive was conducted at a manufacturer-sponsored press event. Vehicles and fuel were offered by General Motors.

Guide Review - 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon

I've been dreaming of a vehicle like the CTS Sport Wagon -- a low-slung cargo-hauler that's attractive and good to drive. I approached my test drive with apprehension, but it turns out that the CTS Sport Wagon is every bit as talented because i dreamed it would be.

Some colors are kinder to it than others, however the CTS Sport Wagon looks just as sharp in person as it does in pictures. The CTS Sport Wagon I tested had the firmest suspension, the FE3, which comes with the 304 hp 3.6 liter engine, 19"" wheels with good-performance "summer" tires, and rear-wheel-drive. It was the perfect match for your curvy roads I love, using a ride that was firm but tolerable. Caddy also offers the CTS Sport Wagon having a 270 hp 3-liter V6 -- which, much like the 3.6, runs on regular 87-octane gas -- and all-wheel-drive.

It ain't bad either, as a wagon. The cargo bay has adjustable track-mounted tie-downs and a power tailgate that can be set to start to any position, perfect for garages with low ceilings. The steeply-sloped roofline eats up lots of space (and blocks visibility), but the CTS Sport Wagon still carries a respectable 25 cubic feet. That's about 3/4ths the capacity in the VW Jetta SportWagen -- and only 4.4 cubes more than a Honda Fit -- but with the brand new Audi A4 Avant as a result of 17.8 cubic feet and the upcoming Acura TSX wagon at around 14.5, the CTS may well end up being the best of the luxo-bunch.

In the beginning, the CTS Sport Wagon has all the Caddy cues I like (pop-up nav screen, individual driver and passenger climate controls) plus the ones I don't (button-happy center stack, front seats that lack thigh support). No big problems... except the price. The CTS Sport Wagon starts well over $40k -- $5k a lot more than an Audi A4 wagon -- and it can be optioned up to almost $61,500. Yowch! At that price, I'm not sure I can afford to even dream about it.

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Before heading out for the New York Auto Show. You'll recall which i had a quick preview drive a few months ago; this time around, I got to spend a full week with the car and I drove a 2014 Ford Fiesta with the 1. liter EcoBoost engine.

We now have EPA fuel economy figures, and they are generally pretty remarkable,. That's what's changed because the preview drive: 32 MPG city and 45 MPG highway, and 37 MPG combined. For comparison, the Mitsubishi Mirage is rated at 37 MPG city/44 MPG highway/40 MPG combined. (This opens up Mitsu's report that the Mirage is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid non-diesel car to debate.) We have a price: $995 to the SE EcoBoost package, which brings the cost of the car (including destination) to $17,240 for the sedan and $17,840 for the hatchback. As announced, there is no automatic version.

Though both the Fiesta as well as the Mirage have three-cylinder engines, the driving experience is extremely different. The EcoBoost engine's secret is its turbocharger: Give it the beans and the turbo boosts output to 123 horsepower, and it certainly pulls similar to a 1.6 liter four-cylinder engine -- additionally it uses fuel accordingly. Despite incredibly tall gearing (the Fiesta is certain to get to 60 MPH in 2nd gear), it's very hard to stay out of the boost, and the engine is quite anemic at low RPMs.

It's a different experience compared to normally-aspirated Mirage, which doesn't give you a range of boost or non-boost; it's simply slow all the time -- though not as slow as the Fiesta at low RPMs. Credit goes to the Mirage's featherlight weight and slightly larger engine.

So, have you considered real-world fuel economy? That'd be mean, so here you go, even though i was going to get you to wait until the full review: 38.2 MPG, slightly superior to the EPA combined figure. That was a mix of roughly 50% in-town and 50% highway driving, and it's a couple of MPG below we're averaging in our long-term Mirage. However the Fiesta helped me work harder. I had to make a conscious effort to upshift early (and as smooth as the engine is, it's easy to forget and leave it in a lower gear) while keeping my foot out of it. The Mirage will give you no choice; you have to be aggressive with the pedal just to keep up with traffic, plus it still gets 40 MPG.

I'll follow-up with a full review and my assessment of the 1. EcoBoost engine in a few days -- meanwhile you should check out my first preview drive and my review of the 2014 Ford Fiesta 1.6.

Summer in Southern California is a sweltering, crowded place. Sometimes the temperatures exceed a hundred degrees, and no matter where we live in the area, most of us are cowering from that oppressive heat and trying to stay hydrated. Though it’s not easy, there are a number of ways to get away and beat the heat, and you won’t have to go far.

The obvious escape is the beach. Southern California is world famous for its beautiful beaches that stretch from San Diego all the way through Big Sur. Many of them are partially blocked from the open ocean, and this really minimizes dangerous currents and makes it safer for kids and inexperienced swimmers. There are also countless stretches of scenic beaches with picturesque waves that offer the occasional dolphin sighting. When it’s time for my friends and me to go to the beach, I tend to head up to Malibu. To me, Malibu is the best because the beaches are less crowded, there are fewer tourists and the water is cleaner for swimming. If you’re looking for a great family beach destination, go up to Zuma Beach. There is food right on the beach and you’ll never search long for a place to lay down your blankets.

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Hurricane Harbor is among the best water parks in the world. Located just north of Los Angeles in Valencia, CA, this escape offers dizzying water rides that will exhaust your kids and keep all of you cool. Right next door is Six Flags, Magic Mountain, the premier roller coaster provider on the west coast. Here, in this hub of hedonism, you and your family will make unforgettable memories of shouts, scream and laughter that will stay with you forever. As a self-proclaimed roller coaster freak, I think that Six Flags is the best theme park I’ve ever been to. For either one of these gems, you might have the best luck going on a weekday so you don’t have to deal with such long lines. Goliath is the flagship ride at these parks. It offers a 270 foot drop that will flush all of your blood to your head and make you seeing stars. Remember, wherever you go, make sure you wear plenty of sunblock and drink tons of water.

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To get anywhere in southern California, you’ll need a reliable car. The new, 2014 fleet of beautiful Dodge cars and trucks is guaranteed to offer anyone a vehicle perfect for his or her needs. Obviously they all have air conditioning, but they all offer state of the art safety features and elegant conveniences that will turn your commute into an escape of its own! My personal favorite is the Dodge Challenger. It is a modern day muscle car designed for power and fun. If you’re in the market for a new car, or you need something to help you escape the oppressive heat, look no further than either used cars downey or McPeek Dodge to help you find what you’re looking for.

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The modern motor car might be a million miles away from the cars which first hit the roads a couple of hundred years ago, they look different and they certainly perform differently but one thing has remained in almost every car on the roads today, everything from the budget hatch to the top of the range executive sedan – the glove compartment rules supreme.
No prizes for guessing what the glove compartment / glove box was originally designed for – yep, carrying gloves, but you’ll be hard pushed to find a pair of gloves in any modern glove compartment, these days they are used for a whole collection of different things.

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• Insurance Documents – the majority of drivers are pretty sensible types who want everything to hand in case they are involved in some sort of accident, and what easier place to choose than the glove compartment?
• Drivers License – apparently more than 90% of drivers carry their license in the glove compartment just in case they get pulled over by the traffic police. Great plan unless you get your car stolen I suppose.
• Maps – yes, the good old fashioned map can still be found lurking in many a glove box . . . even though the majority of people have been introduced to Sat Nav systems over the last few years they still have a map in the glove compartment for just in case. Unfortunately many of them are probably well out of date and have been there for years.

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• A torch – now we’re back to being just plain sensible. A torch is carried in more than 50% of the glove compartments across the States (apparently, I haven’t actually counted them myself). These are not only invaluable if you run into trouble after dark but also for seeing into the darkest corners under the hood. Unfortunately there are no figures to suggest how many of the torches have actual working batteries.
• A pair of sunglasses – the essential accessory for the majority of drivers, and when the driver is not working on “looking cool” they store their sunglasses in the glove box until the next time.

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• Car documents – again this is a good idea . . . and a bad idea all rolled into one. If your motor is stolen or broken into and these documents fall into the wrong hands – ouch, doesn’t bear thinking about.
• First aid kit – yep, we’re back at “Captain Sensible”. These are actually an essential item which ought to be carried in the car at all times – either a larger kit in the trunk or a small one in the glove compartment. Even a very small amount of equipment can make a huge difference in case of emergency.
• Snacks – these are regularly carried in the glove compartment of family cars, something to keep the kids quiet when you’re stuck in a traffic jam. Unfortunately there are no figures about how many of these snacks are complete . . . and how many of them have had a nibble taken out of them.
So where do you fit with all of this? Some people also carry things like a notepad and pen, spare batteries; spare bulbs etc . . . families with young babies might even carry a spare diaper or two. Check out the glove compartments in the cars at fiat downey to see how much stuff you can fit . . . and while you’re at it check out the motors too, there are some great deals to be had. Go on, OC Fiat has got a great choice waiting for you.

HondaÕs Marysville Plant Produces 10-Millionth Vehicle

Honda and Mazda have now joined Ford in the industry's most recent bid to trim costs by offering buyout packages to company employees.

This approach, which offers large lump sum payments to incentivize early retirement, is nothing new. Ford, along with General Motors and Chrysler, used this tool if the market took a nosedive in 2008 and 2009, enticing tens of thousands of workers to cash out.

Fast forward to 2011, and Ford yet again opened up its coffers, pitching $50,000-$100,000 checks to 41,000 production and skilled workers; 1,700 people accepted the offer, and you will be off the payroll by June 1. Some of those jobs will disappear, but some slots will likely be refilled by previously laid-off Ford employees or new hires earning a much lower wage.

Mazda, which can be suffering from significant financial losses, has also jumped onto the buyout bandwagon. The company is offering a 1-time payment to employees who voluntarily leave their jobs; those who opt not to accept the buyout may be reassigned or fired, according to Automotive News.

And, just this week, Honda announced its Voluntary Retirement Program. Automotive News reports that, unlike others, this plan is aimed at employees age 59 and older, and who definitely have been using the company for at least 15 years. Individuals who apply and are accepted by the program will leave with one year's salary, a bonus commensurate with years served, and medical benefits.

Unless you're one who wants to do the 9-5 gig until they put you in the ground, these propositions could be too tempting to pass up.

What do you think? Would you take Mazda's buyout or risk being laid-off later? Will Honda suffer from retiring a number of experienced, likely knowledgeable employees? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Choosing a new car is one of the most important decisions you can make. Every day when you get in your car, you are trusting your safety and your family’s safety to the manufacturer and trusting that whoever you brought your vehicle from is being honest with you about its’ condition. When you really think about the importance of buying a new car, it can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you trust the dealer from whom you get your new vehicle.

Finding a dealership that you really feel good about can be hard. From pushy salespeople to distance, there are lots of things to take into consideration when you decide where you want to get your new car. But it’s critical that you find a place where you feel comfortable and where you feel you can trust what your salesperson tells you. Like in so many decisions, it’s best to trust your gut instinct with this. If you don’t feel good about what you’re being told, then you shouldn’t believe it.

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The good news is that there are lots of trustworthy dealerships out there. Most of the large dealerships, especially those affiliated with a particular manufacturer, have brand new cars, that are almost always in perfect condition, or used cars that have undergone tests to make sure they are in the best shape possible. If you’re searching for costa mesa dodge you might try OC Auto, for new and used cars in great condition. Vehicles at these types of dealerships are the most likely to be in a condition that will last you for years and ensure your safety when you’re driving. Many smaller lots and cars being sold by their owners haven’t undergone the kind of rigorous testing that cars on bigger lots do.

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At this year's Geneva Auto Show, audio entertainment giant Harman is announcing the introduction of its hardware and technology in multiple upcoming automotive makes and models.

Their systems will come to Volvo the first time, with audio equipment striking the V40, V/S60, V/XC60 and XC70 lines, as outlined by Harman.

Moving from Sweden to Germany, the BMW i8, X4, 4 and X3M-Series Grand Coupé will join other of the German automaker's models with Harman infotainment systems. BMW sister company MINI and its F56 will have that line's first HUD via Harman tech.

The new Audi TT roadster will get the Harman treatment, alongside the Porsche Macan and 911 Targa.

For anyone shopping even higher on the scale, the new Lamborghini Huracan will be the first of the Bologna HQ'd super cars to obtain Harman systems.

Finally, back on Earth, the Jeep Cherokee debuting in Geneva is definitely the first of its kind to become Harman-ized by using a Uconnect infotainment system.

Earlier this year, Harman introduced its new MP3-restoring Clari-Fi system (formerly Signal Doctor) at CES 2014. The plan is to include the tech in 2015 autos.