While it's been improved since the second-generation CTS' debut, there's still a ridge running down the back of the standard bucket seats. The bottom cushions are a touch too hard and too flat, too, and with a sunroof-equipped car, there's precious little headroom for taller drivers.
Even with these shortcomings however, the overall experience in the front of the cabin is a pleasant one--and available seat upgrades remedy the issues with comfort. The materials, fit, and finish of both upholstery and dash elements are very good.
In the back seats, there's more room than you'd expect, as the CTS is a bit larger than the typical mid-size luxury sedan (i.e. the BMW 3-Series or Audi A4). It's still tight on headroom, and taller passengers won't find much leg room either, but on the whole, it's impressively packaged. Even the Coupe offers about the same rear-seat space, though getting back there is tougher with just two doors, and the lower roof cuts into head room. The Sport Wagon's rear seats are the best of the group, with slightly longer rear doors improving access.
On the cargo space front, the Sport Wagon walks away with the win among the CTS variants, with 25 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, ballooning to 53.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat--nearly crossover levels of space. A power liftgate makes accessing the cargo area a breeze, and a roof rack system lets you put bulkier items on top of the car. Hooks and tie-downs integrated into the floor ensure stable, secure transport of even delicate items.
In the Sedan and Coupe, there's less space, though the Sedan's 14 cubic feet of trunk isn't bad. In both models, the rear seats are of the split-folding type, opening more room in a pinch.
Cabin noise is low in all three models of the 2013 CTS, with neither wind, road, nor engine noise intruding unduly--though you'll hear the V-6's muted, throaty roar when you peg the throttle.