2011 Cadillac CTS Comfort & Quality

8.0
Comfort & Quality
The interior of the 2011 Cadillac CTS models is snug—yet comfortable for most. However the front seats are the real letdown—to High Gear Media editors—in an otherwise stellar interior. The standard front buckets are flat, too hard, and with a bump midway up the back that's more annoying than uncomfortable; and front headroom is at a premium with the sunroof.

Back-seat room is generous—even the new 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe—which isn't a surprise given the CTS Coupe has the same wheelbase as the sedan. Headroom is at a bit of a premium, but as long as taller rear-seaters keep their noggins in the niche carved into the ceiling, they'll be (mostly) fine. But even in sedans—due to small door openings—getting in and out can be surprisingly tough for lanky or large adults. The CTS Sport Wagon's a different story; it's relatively easy to enter and exit, because it has longer doors and wider door openings at floor height-and that makes all the difference for those extra passengers. For Coupes, the main drawbacks inside can include the too-intrusive center tunnel that plagues all CTS models if you're cursed with the long legs of the six-footer club—and of course the long doors that make ingress and egress tough in tight parking spots.

The Sport Wagon makes even more of a difference for their carry-on stuff. The sedan isn't as useful because its trunk opening is small; the Wagon's hatch opens especially wide, has easy seatback releases, and the hatch itself can be propped in several positions. Cargo space for the sedan is 14 cubic feet; the CTS Sport Wagon adds on 25 cubic feet to the passenger space, and lets owners flip down the rear seats for a total of 53.4 cubic feet of room. It's easily accessed, with a power tailgate standard and a roof system that adds uncovered capacity to its cargo-hauling profile (but that would spoil the shape, no?). Under the flat cargo floor and built into its sides are trays and hooks and all sorts of Cirque du Soleil attachments to tie down anything you'd care to tie down back there. With its permission of course.

The 2011 Cadillac CTS can be a little tight inside as a Coupe or sedan, but CTS Sport Wagons offer excellent interior space and materials are mostly top-notch.

Otherwise, all the details are executed very well. The cabin is everything you'd expect from a $40,000-$50,000 luxury car. Panel fit isn't quite as good as you'll get in a BMW or an Audi, but it's still good. The look is original, and though a bit busy, tasteful. The cockpit of the CTS Coupe is a very nice place to be. Soft-touch materials, grippy rubber-coated steering wheel-mounted shift paddles for the six-speed auto 'box, and cut-and-sew leather give a legitimately premium feel. Ergonomics on the controls are mostly good, though you'll have to work the trip meter blind if you want to see your instant MPGs while cruising down the road. Cupholders, on the other hand, while not plentiful, are well-located to be out of the way yet accessible, and the center-console cubby has a two-level system that makes it easy to temporarily stow phones and other gadgets without losing them in a mire of cords, french fries, and darkness.

Quality mavens may also quibble over the CTS's liberal use of plastic, but the interior boasts high-quality upholstery and trim that's certainly the equal of the other vehicles in the class, if more attention-grabbing.

Another very noteworthy thing about the CTS Wagon—for anyone who's ever extensively driven or owned a wagon, hatchback, or even crossover ute—is that it's quiet. The 2011 CTS Wagon is surprisingly well isolated from road and wind noise. At 70 mpg, you hear the faint hum of the engine and on smooth surfaces very little else. Coarse surfaces bring out a little hum, but it's nothing like other wagons and the sportier crossovers.

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