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2010 CTS Sport Wagon 3.6
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After watching the market for over a year now while exploring some other vehicular options, I've got my ducks in a row financially, I'm finally ready to buy a pre-owned CTS wagon.

Ideally I'd like to find a 3.6 RWD with the V43 package. I'd also prefer not to have sunroof or navigation, so that leans towards the Performance package. I'm really not big on bells and whistles. And I want one that has less than 60K miles, and priced right.

Finding one that meets those specifications has proven to be a huge challenge. The market has plenty of 3.0 Luxuries and 3.6 AWD Premiums. So far I've found a couple of higher mileage examples that come close, and others that just didn't fit the budget, or were too far away.

So I continue to hunt and am considering expanding my criteria to include AWD w/V42. Don't really need it as our winters are kind of hit or miss here in Southern Indiana. My other (i.e. wife's) car is a Subaru Outback, so I've got a winter weather back-up. Haven't had the opportunity to test drive an AWD, much less do it back to back with a RWD in order to experience the difference.

Can anyone who has driven both AWD and RWD CTSs offer a qualified opinion? Is the AWD a significant compromise in driving dynamics as well as operating cost? Will I even notice it in dry weather? What's the real world difference in MPG? Any other maintenance considerations?
 

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2010 CTS4 Premium Sport Wagon AWD 3.6L, Crystal Red Tintcoat
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28 Posts
If it doesn't snow much, skip on AWD. You can get by with a second set of winter tires on RWD. Maintenance-wise you're adding a transfer case and a front diff.

Here we have white winters so I had to go AWD for my mother.
 

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04,06,10 SRX; 2011/14 CTS Wagon
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1,803 Posts
Sorry, I have owned 2 AWD wagons, so I can not offer a qualified opinion.
 

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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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14,168 Posts
Haven't owned or driven AWD. I have read a fair amount here, though. If you don't need it, don't get it. Extra weight has to affect driving dynamics. Mileage can be poor with some models (seems random, but many have complained loudly). Sunroof can be okay, just be certain to keep those drains clean. That is the key.
 

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2010 CTS Sport Wagon 3.6
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I do want RWD for all reasons previously stated. Unfortunately being in the market for a wagon, I find two AWD wagons for every RWD.
 

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2010 Black CTS 3.6L RWD , 2010 Silver CTS 3.6L RWD
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51 Posts
theres loads of info in threads on awd vs rwd. do a search and enjoy the reading.
 

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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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14,168 Posts
Just get the RWD.
 

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2010 CTS Sport Wagon 3.6
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Just get the RWD.
I wish is were that easy. Can't find a RWD configured the way I want. If you're looking for a RWD, pickin's are pretty slim. A quick nation wide search on Cars.com shows 40+ AWD, and 14 RWD.

Going to check out an AWD tomorrow. With the exception of AWD, it's pretty much configured how I want. After driving it, is should be able to draw my own conclusion with regards to driving dynamics.
 

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2011 CTS Sport Wagon
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1,320 Posts
I was in your same spot last year looking for the same car. I wanted the Y43 package for the bigger brakes and LSD. stiffer suspension would be nice too.

I never found one, and ended up with 2011 RWD 3.6 Performance with sunroof and no performance package. It only had 18k on it and the price was good. i had been looking for months and I'd probably still be looking today if I was waiting for one with Y43.

I haven't driven an AWD model, so can't answer your question, but I would only get it if you need it. I live in south NJ - it doesn't snow much here, and when it does I can work from home. I did drive it a few times this year in light snow with the all seasons and didn't have any problems. The stability control does a good job of keeping the car straight.

Just make sure you get the 3.6. I can't imagine driving the wagon with less power. The car is HEAVY
 

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2010 CTS Sport Wagon 3.6
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Drove the AWD this morning. Definitely felt a heavier than I remember the RWD one I previously drove feeling. Credit the 3.23 gearing vs the 3.42 on the RWD. I'd definitely prefer a RWD.

That being said, I can probably live with the AWD, especially given my failure to date of finding a good RWD. Don't know that I'll buy this particular AWD though. I was a little disappointed with the condition. Private seller and the car really needed some clean-up and reconditioning, but that's a topic for another thread.
 

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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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Just hold your course and get the car you want. You will be glad you did. This applies especially to the difference between the AWD and RWD. Performance, handling, mpg and maintenance all will be better with the RWD.
 

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'11 CTS4 Coupe / SlushBox
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11 Posts
:)
Just hold your course and get the car you want. You will be glad you did. This applies especially to the difference between the AWD and RWD. Performance, handling, mpg and maintenance all will be better with the RWD.
What he said:) ...You've already been poking around for a year. Don't be afraid to travel a bit or even consider having it shipped to you. These cars while not rare, aren't common either. Chances of you finding "the one" in your back yard may be slim.

I'm in the process of buying an AWD version. I really didn't want it, I think it's a bunch of extra junk moving around under there giving me about zero benefit. I justify it in a few ways.
1.) My commute is short. Fuel economy's a smaller factor.
2.) People are brainwashed on AWD:rolleyes: ....think they have to have it (when, in my opinion most just need a bit more in the way of driving lessons to boost their confidence behind the wheel), my point being that it will retain its value better, and make the car more appealing to a wider group of buyers later.
3.) The car is gorgeous, so I saw past her shortcomings and I had to have it!
 

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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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14,168 Posts
I vote #3.
 

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2011 CTS-4 3.0 sedan black/black
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353 Posts
....if you're buying a used car, you don't have much choice, unless you have
an AWD sitting next to a RWD, same miles, same color, same options, same price.
If you have that that luxury, get the one with RWD. The only time you need AWD
is in snowy conditions and on those occasions stay home. thanks, douglas
 

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2010 CTS Sport Wagon 3.6
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97 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I think I've decided on the car I'm going to purchase. It's RWD. Mileage is just a little higher than I'd prefer. I'll post a thread with an update once the deal is finalized.

Douglas,

I don't get to stay home when it snows. Regardless, snow doesn't scare me. I've owned V8 Mustangs which served me year round, including one with an open differential. Nothing that a few sand bags, or lumps of scrap iron can't fix. The wagon has plenty of room for ballast. :)

Oh... and I've also got a Subaru Outback in the garage.
 

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SOLD - 2010 CTS4 Premium Wagon-Diamond White-Cashmere Interior
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2,930 Posts
Cool! Enjoy your CTS, AWD or RWD! I love my AWD and it works great when needed and is ALMOST invisible when you don't need it. I don't believe you mentioned what year your looking at. Don't buy a 2008-2009 due to many mechanical issues that will cost you $$.
Good Luck with your search.

Marv
 

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2011 CTS-4 3.0 sedan black/black
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353 Posts
We all drove RWD until about 1980 when Lee Iacocca invented FWD, and that took another decade
to cover most cars. AWD began but was a small segment and then a few RWD models began to appear
again. Most folks couldn't tell the difference. thanks, douglas
 

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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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14,168 Posts
GM had fwd in the Toronado in the late 60's.
 
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