The 2010 CTS is a snugly fitting machine, especially in sedan form.
In front, firm sport seats give good support, with a little skimping of knee room where the elaborate center console flares. "The driving position is awkward for many, thanks to uneven pedal depth and the knee-room-robbing (though quite attractive) swoop of the center stack," Edmunds points out, also observing the central issue with the CTS: backseat room. "The sedan's shorter rear door openings and slighted leg room make it difficult to enter and exit." Kelley Blue Book notes, "The heated and ventilated front seats use 'thin-seat' technology for improved rear leg, knee and foot room," and while Car and Driver feels "even with a steeply raked rear window, the CTS offers a much larger and usable back seat" than other cars in the class, most reviewers have trouble with the tight-fitting rear seat. Edmunds puts those seats among the "ergonomic casualties" of the CTS, and explains it's because of awkward access through the rear's "triangular door." ForbesAutos gripes, "the rear seats are ill-suited for any occupant who has graduated from middle school if the trip is longer than, say, 20 miles." ConsumerGuide says the "marginal headroom is further reduced by the available sunroof."
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. It makes even more of a difference for their carry-on stuff. The sedan isn't as useful because its trunk opening is small, Edmunds says: "Loading bulky items into the sedan's 13.6-cubic-foot trunk is hampered by a narrow opening." The big hatch on the Sport Wagon opens up more room and access. "The Sport Wagon's great advantage over the sedan's 14-cubic-foot trunk is its beautifully lined, 25 cubic feet of cargo space (53 with the rear seats folded)," Car and Driver reports. "In back, the seat-back releases can easily be reached from both the passenger compartment and through an open lift gate," Automobile explains, and notes the "folding cargo floor can be propped up in two different locations to contain bags of groceries."
Under the flat cargo floor and built into its sides are trays, hooks, and a little basement-style storage area, all of which give the Sport Wagon a definite advan-tage over the CTS Sport Sedan's decently roomy trunk and its relatively smaller cargo opening.
Quality mavens may quibble over the CTS' liberal use of plastic, but the interior boasts high-quality upholstery and trim that's certainly the equal of the other ve-hicles in the class, if more attention-grabbing. ForbesAutos says, "The instru-ment panel, steering wheel, portions of the console and door surfaces are cov-ered with leather and vinyl materials that are all cut, sewn and wrapped by hand and neatly eliminate most gaps and seams." Car and Driver mentions the "classy materials and top-notch fit and finish." However, Edmunds reports "a CTS sedan we had in our long-term test fleet displayed inconsistent build qual-ity." Noise and vibration aren't much of an issue. Car and Driver notes the smaller engine is "smooth and quite muted." Motor Trend calls the vibrations from the larger engine "the CTS's weakest link," though. "It's not overbearing, but you notice it because the rest of the car is so quiet."