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Before crossover SUVs gripped America, Cadillac unveiled the high-performance CTS-V. The company produced the car for only a few years, making it one of the most highly sought-after models once production ended. Recently, a Cadillac CTS-V wagon stick shift sold for $90,000 at auction, and it wasn’t an outlier. Why is this used car in such high demand?

Behold the Cadillac CTS-V legacy vehicle

The Cadillac CTS-V family: sedan, coupe, and wagon
The Cadillac CTS-V family: sedan, coupe, and wagon | Cadillac

No longer in production, the second-generation Cadillac CTS-V boasted high performance and three body styles: four-door sedan, two-door coupe, and five-door wagon. Cadillac also made a limited number of models with manual transmissions.

Designed to compete against the Mercedes E63 AMG Wagon, the CTS-V wagon debuted in 2011, piquing auto enthusiasts’ interest. It’s now considered one of the rarest Cadillac models.

A 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon cockpit
2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon cockpit | Cadillac

The car’s 6.2-liter supercharged V8 — the same engine in the Corvette ZR1 and Camaro ZL1 — harnessed 556 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. Zooming from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 3.9 seconds, the rear-wheel-drive CTS-V could hit speeds similar to a Porsche 911. The CTS-V sedan, discontinued in 2019, “was the most powerful production vehicle Cadillac had ever produced,” generating 640 hp and achieving a top track speed of 200 mph, the automaker touts.

The CTS-V Sport Wagon “represented perhaps the most audacious branch of the V-Series family tree.” The dynamic model featured a cargo management system with 58 cubic feet of space, dual-mode magnetic ride control suspension, and race-bred Brembo disc brakes.

Cadillac CTS-V wagons are selling for upward of $90,000

Gear Patrol calls the CTS-V wagon “one of the most desirable family cars ever to land on American soil.” During the car’s four years of production, Cadillac produced only 1,767 wagons, and only half had the six-speed manual transmission. Even rarer are 42 models with Opulent Blue metallic paint.

After the CTS-V wagon retired in 2014, auction houses began seeing a growing interest among collectors. When a used wagon in pristine condition with low mileage sold for $90,000 two years ago, some observers thought it was an outlier. But that high pricing has become more common.

According to Bring a Trailer, a 2012 Cadillac CTS-V wagon six-speed with 12,000 miles sold last year for an astonishing $111,000. A similar 2014 model with 19,000 miles went for $108,000 in 2022. In 2021, an older 2011 CTS-V wagon six-speed with only 7,400 miles sold for $96,500. And this year, a 2011 model with 22,000 miles went for $93,500, and a 2013 model with 35,000 miles sold for $93,000.

Why did the company kill its high-performance wagon?

After Cadillac discontinued the CTS-V sport wagon in 2014, other body styles followed, with the coupe retiring in 2015.

Compared to the Buick Regal Tour X, V8 Dodge Magnum, and Ford Flex wagon, “the Caddy clearly stood atop this pile of high-performance American muscle wagons,” MotorTrend says. But as U.S. consumers’ tastes changed, wagons took a back seat to the emerging crossover SUV segment. Wagons slowly faded, and only a few foreign automakers still manufacture these cars.

The last CTS-V sedan rolled off the production line in 2019, making way for the Cadillac CT5. Today, the best-selling Cadillac model is the XT5, a midsize SUV.


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