Scott Bonato, 32, a senior client partner with Oracle from Franklin, Mich., on his 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon, as told to A.J. Baime.
My wife knew she’d married a car guy. I have a 1979 Trans Am, a 1957 Ford Fairlane, a 1982 DeLorean. We had a kid coming, and we needed a family car. I convinced her that, even though this car I wanted was out of our budget, it made sense. A station wagon with a five-star safety rating! What could be more family-friendly? I promised if we got it, I wouldn’t talk about getting another car for at least two years. That was the deal.
What I didn’t tell her: The Cadillac CTS-V Wagon was the most powerful, high-performance American made station wagon money could buy—maybe ever. Not many were built, especially manuals like the one I wanted.
In January 2013, I took home the CTS-V. (MSRP was north of $60,000, but there was some discounting and attractive financing.) Soon after, we brought our daughter home from the hospital in the wagon. There’s so much refinement engineered into this vehicle. My wife would drive it and have no idea what it was capable of. She wasn’t sold on the looks, but she liked the heated seats and how smooth and quiet it was.
Then my buddies came over, and they were, like, “We can’t believe you let him have this nearly 200-mph car with a 556-horsepower, 6.2-liter, supercharged V8.” She realized she’d been completely fleeced.
Now I keep my daughter’s baby seat in the wagon, and there’s room in the back for a pack ’n play. My only complaint: These wagons are hard to find, and if someone rear-ends me, how will I find another one? I guess that’s not really a complaint.
I do occasionally drive the car spiritedly with my wife in it. She’s not a big fan of the acceleration capabilities. But she rolls with it pretty well.