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STYLING | 9 out of 10
cheerfully luxurious design
Kelley Blue Book
the front end can come off as a bit busy
unique, vertical light pipes that will easily identify the car at night
BMW and Mercedes seem cold and austere in comparison
The 2010 Cadillac CTS is General Motors' entry-level luxury sedan in the U.S. market. Redesigned in 2008, the CTS lineup gets a new Sport Wagon model for 2010 (and a CTS Coupe is coming in 2011).
The 2010 CTS is, in some eyes, the most distinctive of all the vehicles in this set.
Sharply folded edges, a chunky stance, and lots of chrome details give the sedan a stubby, sporting look. The huge Cadillac wreath-and-crest logo in front isn't subtle, but then, not much about the CTS is. This latest version is less tall and awkward than the prior version, and it projects a uniquely American look that's appealing from most angles. ForbesAutos says the CTS could be "the center of positive attention wherever the affluent gather," though Cars.com remarks "the front end can come off as a bit busy." Motor Trend thinks the CTS sedan could be "the best-looking modern luxury sedan," and with the addition of the Sport Wagon, the CTS becomes "the best-looking shooting brake."
The 2010 CTS Sport Wagon is a little visually kinkier than the sedan; the rear end intentionally rises out of skew to the rear side windows, and the V-shaped tailgate narrows cargo room a little for a brand-underscoring styling moment. There's a subtle motion along the body that emphasizes, rather than subdues, the big rear end. If you're no fan of Cadillac's "Art & Science" styling theme, it doesn't get any softer with the added wagon back, but as Car and Driver agrees, the "crease-intensive sheetmetal gives it an air of sportiness," and "it's more attractive than the sedan." Edmunds simply calls it "gorgeous," while Automobile observes the Sport Wagon is "the fashion equivalent of wearing a baseball cap with the bill swung rakishly back."
The 2010 CTS' interior design is attractive, but it might not suit everyone's tastes, especially those who are used to Teutonic design approach of less is more. It's smooth and flowing in its contours-""elegant," Edmunds says-but far glitzier than any Audi you may have sampled, and some plastic pieces seem to stand front and center for attention. Edmunds adds there's "a pleasing mix of available wood accents, tasteful alloy trim and a stitched soft-touch dash." Kelley Blue Book calls it a "cheerfully luxurious design" and thinks "every control was easy to see, find and operate." ConsumerGuide singles out the center console, and criticizes how "the v-shape center console stack puts most buttons into a smallish area of the dashboard." ForbesAutos feels the interior's "harmony is broken by too many textures, accents, and distracting elements." There's little change with the Sport Wagon; "the majestically rising navigation screen, the cut and stitched leather trim, the real tree wood accents, and the highly detailed instrument panel carry over into the Sport Wagon with a few improvements," Automobile asserts.
With a few dissenters, most reviewers agree with TheCarConnection.com: The 2010 Cadillac CTS is as handsome and stylish as entry-luxury cars come.