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None yet... (01 Cobra Vert, Lotus Exige S with Tesla dash.)
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Discussion Starter #1
(Reposted from General area)

Hey guys, potential buyer and new member here. I'm looking for a '12 or '13 CTS wagon 3.6 to replace my 2001 Mustang Cobra convertible. With a new baby in the family and now a long-ish commute, I'm looking for something that is easier to drive day to day and lots of trunk space. There is really no reason for me to have 2 impractical cars (I also have a Lotus Exige that make my highly modded Mustang feel like a UPS truck). My Cobra's heavy clutch is also not really traffic friendly. I've always liked the look of the CTS wagons, and based on my research, its got a pretty good balance of performance, handling, and practicality (and the gas mileage is also pretty decent).

I'm not in a huge hurry but I'm the kind of person to obsess and research over all my large purchases. So far, the major thing I notice is CTS wagons, especially 3.6, are RARE!

Any pointers, advice, and leads are greatly appreciated!
 

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SOLD - 2010 CTS4 Premium Wagon-Diamond White-Cashmere Interior
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You didn't state whether you wanted a V, or a CTS with AWD, but my car was found on Autotrader.com. You might have to fly to/drive home but you'll have a better selection than you will have just looking locally.

Love my 2010 and it's been dependable too. Look for a 3.6 and depending on your tastes, Performance, Touring or Premium packages.

Good Luck with your search, Marv
 

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None yet... (01 Cobra Vert, Lotus Exige S with Tesla dash.)
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Discussion Starter #3
Hey Marv, I know I want a 3.6, probably the premium but don't really care either way. I haven't decided if I wanted awd. Probably not, being in CA where it hardly rains, and I learned to drive in the snow in a rwd car back East where I grew up. From what I read AWD dosn't really impact gas mileage but slows down the car quite a bit.

I've been looking on Autotrader, CL and Cars.com. The same spec car in the Bay Area seems to be 3k more then other areas.
 

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Bat,

I lived for many years in Pleasant Hill, Danville and Alamo. Commuting from there to Burlingame. What type of commute will you be doing?

If you can find one, go for the Recaro bucket seats, people here seem to think they are a lot more comfortable than the std. seats. For me, the std.seats are fine (5'9" and not too fat) once you find your sweet spot adjustments. The AWD is nice here in CO, but it adds complexity you don't need unless you make frequent trips to the Sierras.

Certainly you could fly a day or so drive away and still save some $$. I bought a motorhome in Reno and drove it back to CO, saving BIG bucks! It also gave me the ability to get to know it's road manners, etc. in short time.

Marv
 

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None yet... (01 Cobra Vert, Lotus Exige S with Tesla dash.)
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Discussion Starter #5
Marv, I'll be commuting Sunnyvale to Hayward. Not as long as your previous commutes to Burlingame but I've been spoiled by 10 minute local commutes the last 12 years. Pushing the heavy clutch in my Mustang tend to knock my lower spine out of alignment after 30+ mins of stop and go traffic. Good point on the Recaros and flying out to by a car. A pet peeve of mine with American cars are the lack of lateral seat support and I think the Recaros do a much better job. I think with the wagons in short supply, I'll probably have to fly just to find the car I want with the right features and price.
 

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2010 CTS Sport Wagon 3.6
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RWD 3.6 wagons are rare as hens' teeth. Be prepared for a long search, and be ready to pull the trigger when the right one turns up.
Finding one with the Recaros ? You might as well be hunting unicorns. And I don't think the alcantara is baby puke friendly.
As far as using one for a family car, you can certainly make it work, but it's probably not the best vehicle suited for the job. Stroller and pack n play will likely overwhelm the cargo area. And today's monstrous rear facing child seats won't leave much room to move the front seats back.
Mine serves as our secondary family car. I've got two kids, and the youngest has graduated to a booster seat. CTS works fine around town, but for the weekends away, we go with the Outback that has room for luggage and the dogs. Cargo bars and a roof top carrier would be a necessary add on the CTS for vacation.
 

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None yet... (01 Cobra Vert, Lotus Exige S with Tesla dash.)
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Discussion Starter #8
so far we've made it work with the wife's Prius and my Cobra (which also has Alcantera by the way). The Prius was fine for a long weekend roadtrip to the central coast so a wagon with larger cargo should be fine. We do road trips often and pack relatively light. I actually did look at the Outback, but I just can't bring myself to drive the newer ones. The first few generations are a decent size and actually handle pretty well, but it seems like they've gotten fatter, more beige, and have number handling each generation.

I get your point about the rarity. Not having Recaro's isn't a deal breaker.. I'm not going to doing any 1G turns in the wagon.:)
 

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2010 CTS Sport Wagon 3.6
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Certainly not trying to steer you away from the CTS (or towards an Outback for that matter). Just know that they are deceptively small. Coming from the Cobra or Exige though, it will feel huge.
Back when we just had one child, we made due with an IS300 and a Sport Trac. Used the IS for most of the weekend trips, and even a trip to Disney World (from Indiana). It was tight, but we learned not to pack a bunch of extra crap. Sport Trac was required for the holidays though.
Prior to buying the Outback, I considered a CTS wagon as the primary family hauler (i.e. Wife's car), but she vetoed it as being too small (at this point we had two kids). Fast forward a few years, I got one for myself.
I'm actually contemplating using the CTS wagon for our annual trip to Florida this year. It would definitely require the purchase of roof bars and putting my Yakima Load Warrior on top. Probably not worth the expense and hassle over just driving the Outback.
 

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None yet... (01 Cobra Vert, Lotus Exige S with Tesla dash.)
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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I think these days people buy more car/SUV they they actually need, so they can bring a bunch of extra stuff that they don't need. (I do like your roof rack idea though) If I really need need something big for that rare road trip with other families. I'll rent a big van and still come way ahead just on annual fuel costs. Some people enjoy driving a big imposing car around, I prefer something more nimble and easier to park. (come to think of it, I still have a bunch of rental car points so renting a van would be free)
 

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2010 CTS Sport Wagon 3.6
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We seem to share a similar philosophy on vehicles. I don't want any more vehicle around me than I need to get the job done (I'd kill for your Exige BTW... but I can't afford the resulting divorce). Other than my old muscle cars, the CTS is the biggest car I've ever owned for my personal use.

The wife likes SUVs though. Getting her to downsize to the Outback (from a Sport Trac and then a Pacifica) was a big step.

One other argument for the SUV is the back seat load in height. Both my kids have hard heads from years of cracking them getting loaded into my cars. Eventually they learn to duck. The oldest is getting straight A's currently, so apparently no permanent damage. LOL.

I looked for a 2005-2009 Outback XT / Legacy GT wagon for while before narrowing my search to a CTS wagon. Too hard to find a nice Suby of that vintage with low miles.

Back to the CTS wagon, I test drove a RWD one in the snow. Couldn't get it stuck, but it wasn't deep either. Test drove a CTS-4 as well, and they definitely feel slower, although neither will lay down a 50 ft patch of rubber. The AWD run 3.23 gears versus 3.42. That probably accounts for much of the difference along with the weight and drag of the front diff. Following my no more than needed philosophy (and well... I've got the Outback already), I passed on the AWD. The one I got was a 3.6 RWD with the V43 summer tire package. Currently getting right at 20 mpg around town in very light traffic. 24 mpg on relatively flat interstate cruising 75 plus. Probably will struggle to get 20 if/when I strap on the roof top basket and bag.
 
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Welcome to the site and please post pics of the Exige..
I have driven quite a few Exige, Elise and Evora's, Still tempted with the Evora if my town would give me a permit to change the slope of my driveway apron.
 

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None yet... (01 Cobra Vert, Lotus Exige S with Tesla dash.)
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Discussion Starter #13
Marv, haha yes very similar in philosophy. I also looked at the same vintage Outback XT and Legacy GT. They are probably even harder to find now then when you were looking. Good point about the seat height. I'll keep that in mind if the wife decide to upgrade..

Speaking of the Exige. One selling point to your wife is that so far the financial aspect is very minimal. The insurance and maintenance costs are very low, and its actually slightly appreciated since I got it in '08. Its about slightly worse (but way more fun) then having the money in a checking account. I got the car before I met my wife and I'm lucky that the wife wants me to keep it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
CTSCHICK: thanks! see attached pics. BTW, I have a friend with a similar driveway problem in San Franciso. He built a removable plywood ramp to get his car (Exige) in the garage without scraping.
 

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Ah cool an S more cool points to you. We have wood ramps for the apron when my b.f. does head/cam, superchargers,turbos on vette's but the last thing I want to do at 5am before driving to work is getting them out and putting them up..
I loved the Evora S I drove but it failed the apron test..
 

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'14 CTS-V LongRoof; '16 ATS-V Sedan,' 04 Trailblazer 4x4; '10 CTS LongRoof gone but never forgotten
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Welcome to the site and please post pics of the Exige..
I have driven quite a few Exige, Elise and Evora's, Still tempted with the Evora if my town would give me a permit to change the slope of my driveway apron.
I can make an apron for your apron. I do metal work, and you can use a 1/4" thick aluminum treadbrite (diamond plate) to scoot up your curb.

I was looking at a new house last week, and my first question after I asked if it had a three car garage was whether or not I could curb cut a brand new street/driveway apron.
 

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None yet... (01 Cobra Vert, Lotus Exige S with Tesla dash.)
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
My friend just left his plywood ramp there semi-permanently. Its not really attached to anything but its pretty heavy and painted with truckbed liner black, so it looked like it kinda belonged there.
 

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My friend just left his plywood ramp there semi-permanently. Its not really attached to anything but its pretty heaving and painted with truckbed liner black, so it looked like it kinda belonged there.
Guess you don't have snow plows to worry about! LOL
 
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I can make an apron for your apron. I do metal work, and you can use a 1/4" thick aluminum treadbrite (diamond plate) to scoot up your curb.

I was looking at a new house last week, and my first question after I asked if it had a three car garage was whether or not I could curb cut a brand new street/driveway apron.

Thanks Tinman but that is exactly what I have and I dont want to get dirty setting it up and or putting it away
 

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Who said anything about ever removing it?
 
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