Lately, the General has taken quite a beating. So at the launch of the 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, GM spokespeople spent no time going over their financial woes and recovery plan, of which we are all well acquainted.

Instead, the focus was that Cadillac is now 10 years into a product renaissance, and just having updated one model and adding another, they are hoping for a brighter future in the luxury segment.

I remember the days when Cadillac ownership went along with retirement and Tilley hats. The current vehicle lineup, in sharp contrast to the land barges of yesteryear, now includes the dramatic XLR and the red-hot, 556-hp CTS V — cars which would have grandpa clutching his chest after a turn at the wheel.

And in keeping with the spirit of renaissance and revival, Cadillac has put its own stamp on a North American icon, the full-size station wagon that has all but disappeared domestically, with the departure of the Dodge Magnum.

The 2010 CTS Sport Wagon, a first for the nameplate, is no remake of the Olds Vista Cruiser, but a truly modern spin on the classic wagon design.

Sure, you get utility.

The CTS wagon, essentially the same size as the CTS sport sedan on which it is based, provides nearly double the carrying capacity with 720 litres behind the rear seats and 1,642 litres with them folded.

But there’s much more to this vehicle than its ability to haul boxes and furniture. Firstly, it’s a head-turner. I’ll admit that I wasn’t initially a fan of the CTS sedan when it launched.

The car’s sharp creases and in-your-face angularity were a bit jarring at first, but its look has since grown on me, and I find it works even better in a wagon design.

The CTS Wagon not only looks the part of a sport wagon, it is pretty much identical, mechanically and visually, to the proven CTS Sports Sedan from the rear doors forward.

It is powered by a standard 3.0-litre direct injection V6 engine with variable valve timing that delivers 270 hp and 223 lb/ft of torque at 5700 rpm. In a vehicle that weighs in the neighbourhood of two tons, this powerplant has its work cut out for it.

Fuel economy is pretty good for a full-size wagon at 11.3/7.2 L/100km (hwy/city for the 3.0 litre RWD) and 11.8/7.5 L/100km (hwy/city for the 3.6 litre RWD).

2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon
Type: Full size wagon
Price: from $44, 325
Engine: 3.0-litre direct injection V6 with variable valve timing; 3.6-litre direct injection V6

• Impressive looks
• Huge rear cargo space

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