It borrows heavily from the standard CTS’s stunning interior, and that’s great; it already felt a class above thanks to stitched materials, very attractive surfaces, and a sweeping, aggressive look that breaks away from the sport-sedan status quo. Along with subtle badging and trim differences, more standard equipment, and an electric parking brake, here are some noteworthy points after spending a day inside the car, fiddling, fussing, oohing, and aahing:
The CTS-V’s instrument panel, like that in the CTS, is a stunner, with a visually unified design, classy trim and materials, and a standout tapered center console design. The only thing that still leaves us wishing is the bank of gray buttons in the middle, and climate control temperature controls and displays that require too much of a glance downward and get obscured by the right knee for tall drivers.
Hooded, deep-dish gauges with chrome rings feel a bit overdone, styling-wise, but they don’t have a hint of glare. The tachometer includes an arc of red lights that follows the needle and flashes quickly when approaching redline.
The top of the navigation screen functions as a sound-system display when the nav functions aren’t in use; controls are somewhat cluttered elsewhere, but this is a feature we love.
The navigation-system screen itself is one of the best offered in any vehicle, with excellent brightness and contrast, even with the moonroof’s sunshade completely opened; what’s more the system has simple menus and clear, easy-to-use touch-screen controls.
The hand-stitched door panels, well-matched trim pieces, and fine wood veneers that we loved in the CTS are also here in the CTS-V.
The CTS-V has plenty of smartly designed cubbies throughout, including these felt-lined center-console compartments that include a place to put the fob for the EZ Key keyless entry system.
The standard leather sport seats in the CTS-V feature grippy yet breathable suedelike inserts.
You might as well keep this backseat armrest folded down, as the middle seating position isn’t nearly as comfortable as the outboard ones. The backseat doesn’t fold forward in the CTS-V but it does include a ski pass-through, accessed here.