The family hauler has come a long way since the days of the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser and the Ford Country Squire. In fact, big station wagons are all but relics of the past, replaced in popularity by SUVs and crossovers.

That’s not to say the wagon is dead, and those with the need to get their family from coast to coast in a hurry have a very intriguing option: the 556 horsepower Cadillac CTS-V wagon, which Big Muscle’s Mike Musto points out is really just a muscle car in a family car disguise.

Even that’s not a fair analogy, since the CTS-V wagon handles better than any muscle car or 1970s station wagon we can name, thanks to the Delphi-developed Magnetic Ride Control suspension and the miracle of electronic stability control. Push too hard in a corner, and the CTS-V’s electro-nannies are there to save your bacon.

As good as the CTS-V wagon is, there may be a better choice for families living in snow belt states. BMW’s X5 M offers a similar amount of thrust, with the added stability of all-wheel-drive, in a market-friendly SUV wrapper. Sure, it costs significantly more money than the CTS-V wagon, but it’s quite a bit less costly than a Cayenne Turbo.

For those of us who grew up taking cross-country trips at 55 miles per hour, either choice is a winner when you want to get where you’re going with all due haste.