2008 Cadillac CTS Interior
This interior review was written when the 2008 Cadillac CTS was new.
Our analysis shows that nowhere is the redesign of the CTS as apparent or appreciated as inside the impressive new cabin. AutoWeek says, "The interior of the '08 CTS feels completely fresh yet entirely like a Cadillac, and it looks as elegant as anything on the road."
A host of features and a reworked aesthetic combine to provide refined accommodations for up to five passengers. Car and Driver writes, "Possibly the most dramatic improvement to the CTS is the upscale and coherently flowing interior, complete with classy materials and top-notch fit and finish."
The interior of the CTS isn't just luxurious -- it has style. "If you find the interiors of German machines nicely done but a bit somber, you might like the CTS," counsels Road and Track. "There's nice form to the dash and center console, intelligently grouped controls and gauges, plus just enough brightwork to add style without gaudiness." The Detroit News reports, "While Cadillac has excelled in simple, luxurious interiors for years, the new generation CTS aims for more upscale ambience with more visually stimulating ornamentation."
The CTS seats five, and feels more spacious than its dimensions seem to warrant. Cars.com writes: "As small sport sedans go, the CTS doesn't lack space. Much of that is due to efficient design. The front seats have 'thin-seat' technology to enhance backseat legroom, the doors have sculpted cutouts for elbows, and the center armrest is low and narrow." Compared to last year's model, says AutoWeek, "it feels roomier inside," though "it's not really." The "new telescopic steering wheel improves the impression of spaciousness for the driver," explains Edmunds, "while thinner front seatbacks improve legroom for rear-seat passengers."
In the front, "seats are roomy and supportive," says Consumer Guide. They "wrap you in leather," says a reviewer for the Detroit News, though the "bolsters were a little too far away to keep me firmly in the seat, especially on the track. But that's only because I was able to take corners at 60 mph, so I was more likely to be tossed around the seat." Car and Driver has the same reaction, complaining, "During exuberant driving, we wished for more lateral support" -- though praising the seats for their "surprising thigh and upper-back support -- especially considering the limited 10-way adjustability."
In the backseat, says the Cars.com finds, "The rear seat is a little short on headroom, but legroom is manageable." Motor Trend attributes this to "new slimline front seats." Consumer Guide calls rear seat space "adequate," but argues, "Larger adults will feel crowded.", "the seats are nicely coved and provide supportive comfort for two. There's a seatbelt for a third passenger in the middle, but forget it. A prominent hump in the floor eliminates foot space, and the seat is a hard perch."
Reviewers like the layout of the CTS cabin. AutoWeek says the "hand-assembled center console" that "leads to a center stack" helps impart "a cockpit-like feel." New Car Test Drive reports, "Splashes of LED lighting are spread throughout the cabin of the new car," and the "center stack is finished with a satiny metallic material or Sapele wood," lending the cabin "a strong, cockpit-style ambience." Despite a wealth of features, the CTS dash manages to look clean. Consumer Guide says, "Major gauges are large and easy to read." BusinessWeek writes, "Even with Bluetooth hands-free cellphone and navigation -- which displays on a pop-up LCD screen that tucks away from turned off -- the automaker has found a way to avoid button-and-knob proliferation." Features include a rear parking-assist system, a heated windshield washer system and heated seats.
Stereo and Entertainment
According to Edmunds, "Infotainment options abound" in the CTS. An eight-speaker stereo system is standard, while a 10-speaker system is optional. The Detroit News explains, "The sophisticated audio system includes iPod and USB connections, plus a 40-gigabyte hard drive which can be used to record radio programs for later play back." CNET reports: "This is the biggest hard drive we've seen in a car to date. You can rip commercial CDs directly to it, or transfer MP3 tracks from a disc or through the car's USB port. We ripped a CD to one of the cars, and found the operation seamless."
The optional navigation system, says Edmunds, "has a screen that retracts into the dash, but the top inch of the screen always remains visible as the primary display for audio and climate control, a real breakthrough in function for nav systems." Cars.com explains: "When lowered, the top inch or so remains exposed as a touch-screen display for audio presets and other basic functions. If you don't need to see the full map, leave the screen down and keep track of essentials on the smaller display." CNET calls the system "first-rate," noting that it incorporates "a complete points-of-interest database with just about any destination you could think of," while also providing "XM live traffic reporting, showing traffic flow and incidents for most U.S. metropolises. Live traffic reporting is integrated with the navigation, and will advise you of slow traffic along your route."
The trunk of the CTS provides 13.6 cubic feet of cargo room, a storage space that Cars.com claims "marginally beats most competitors." However, Consumer Guide points out that the "usefulness of [the] biggish, boxy trunk" is "compromised" by a small opening. Rear seats fold down to further enhance cargo capacity.