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STYLING | 9 out of 10
Visually, the CTS-V stands out in a crowd more than either its lesser siblings or its predecessor
CTS puts form over function when it comes to the use of major controls
Identified by the satin-finish mesh grille, deeper front and rear fascias
Last year the CTS-V was reintroduced as a much more aggressively styled and more powerful vehicle, picking up the refinements inside and out that the CTS gained for ‘08.
Most—but not all—reviewers appreciate the bold styling of the CTS-V, which isn’t as smooth or rakish as rival sedans in this class. "Cadillac's faceted-design language has really come into its own in the second-generation CTS," says Automobile Magazine, opining that Cadillac "doesn't screw it up with a lot of gratuitous, 'sporty' add-ons." There are some visual distinctions, though, and Autoblog points out that the Cadillac CTS-V "stands out in a crowd more than either its lesser siblings or its predecessor," thanks to the fact that "the big mesh grille now has twice the open area of the previous V." Motor Trend reviewers also mention the "satin-finish mesh grille, deeper front and rear fascias, and ominously bulged hood."
Taking a closer look, there are plenty of details to appreciate, including jewel-like headlamps, meshlike upper and lower grilles, a well-sculpted front fascia, and integrated fog lamps in front; in back Cadillac’s vertical tail lamps flank the corners and the trunklid crease is lined with a spoilerlike strip of LEDs. V-Series badging and chrome side vents also help distinguish the V, and flashy 19-inch wheels, polished or painted, have V-shaped spoke segments and showcase the heavy-duty Brembo brake hardware. One of the more innovative styling touches, according to Automobile Magazine, "is the rear CHMSL (center high-mounted stop light), which is reshaped to add downforce at high speeds, eliminating the need for a rear spoiler."
Overall, the exterior is different and probably won’t appeal to everyone, but inside, the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V follows smoother yet still very fashionable design. Trim alongside the doors extends across the instrument panel from both sides and slopes downward into a V-shaped center console that contains audio and climate controls and additional vents, LED accent lighting is piped in, and an available navigation display retracts neatly into the dash when not in use. Jalopnik asks, "Know how awkward most current BMW interiors are and how cheap most current Mercedes feel? The CTS-V is better. Seriously." Compared to the standard CTS, "the gauges on the CTS-V are noticeably different," featuring "red tracers [that] follow the sweeping needles and add a technical sophistication," Road & Track points out. Automobile Magazine says that the "cabin manages to look both purposeful and classy," thanks to an interior "set off by the varying textures of its materials." ConsumerGuide is one of the few voices criticizing the interior, contending it "puts form over function when it comes to the use of major controls," since "the v-shape center console stack puts most buttons into a smallish area of the dashboard."
Not everyone will love the edgy exterior, but the warm, classy interior design of the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V outdoes most other top sports sedans.