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#4

in 2009 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $15,149 - $18,360
Original MSRP: $36,560 - $40,760
MPG: 16 City / 25 Hwy
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2009 Cadillac CTS Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The passenger cabin of the 2009 CTS impresses reviewers with a level of fit and finish that exceeds what many European and Japanese rivals have to offer. Build quality is excellent, the materials are upscale and equal to the price, and the space boasts a sense of personality reviewers find missing from some competitors. It's also one of the most spacious cars available at this price point. The CTS is classified as a midsize car primarily on price -- it's actually as large as many cars we rank one class up from this -- so while most buyers compare it to a BMW 3-series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, it's nearly as large as a 5-Series or E-Class.

  • "Luxury-grade trim rivals the best in this highly competitive class. CTS-V's unique trim pieces and available suede-like upholstery inserts impart a racier ambiance." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The cabin of the Cadillac CTS is impressive both in design and in the quality of materials used. A pleasing mix of available wood accents, tasteful alloy trim and stitched soft-touch dash make the CTS interior one of the most elegant designs in its class." -- Edmunds
  • "The interior of the CTS feels completely fresh yet entirely like a Cadillac, and it looks as elegant as anything on the road." -- AutoWeek
  • "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." -- Car and Driver
  • "If you find the interiors of German machines nicely done but a bit somber, you might like the CTS." -- 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.  While Cadillac has excelled in simple, luxurious interiors for years, the new generation CTS aims for more upscale ambience with more visually stimulating ornamentation." -- Detroit News

Seating

Driver and passengers in the 2009 CTS have plenty of space, although rear-seat entry and exit can be difficult for taller passengers. But test drivers consistently say the front seats aren't supportive enough, particularly in a car that begs to be driven enthusiastically.

  • "Some have found the front seatbacks to be on the hard side, and several CTS test cars have all featured a driver seat bottom that squeaked in turns." -- Edmunds
  • "Seats are roomy and supportive, complemented by a standard tilt and telescopic steering wheel. Rakish roof line hurts visibility, however, with thick rear pillars being a particular hindrance to the outward view. Note that some testers found that one of the central-dash vents blew directly onto the driver's hand, and could not be adjusted away--a major annoyance with the air conditioning running." -- Consumer Guide
  • "We really appreciated the range of adjustment offered by the power seats and the power steering column adjustments; we've always felt that all cars should have tilt-and-telescope columns for ultimate comfort and proper driving position." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "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." -- Cars.com
  • "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." -- Detroit News
  • "During exuberant driving, we wished for more lateral support." -- Car and Driver
  • "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." -- Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
  • "The rear seat is a little short on headroom, but legroom is manageable." -- Cars.com

Interior Features

Auto writers are impressed with the build quality of the 2009 CTS's interior. Surfaces blend tastefully, and LED interior lighting provides a cool modern touch. One common complaint with cars in this class is complicated cabin electronics, but many reviewers have compliments for how Cadillac has integrated the technologies in the CTS. The available navigation system and 40-gigabyte hard-drive-based stereo also earn praise.

  • "The center stack...blends almost seamlessly with the dashboard and delineates the occupant area while maintaining a sense of airiness. The wood and brushed-metal touches mix nicely, while the interior overall strikes a perfect balance between traditional elements, such as the analog clock, and modern technologies, such as the optional navigation screen rising from the top of the stack." --  AutoWeek
  • "Splashes of LED lighting are spread throughout the cabin of the new car. The center stack is finished with a satiny metallic material or Sapele wood. The upper dash surfaces and door trim are cut, sewn and fitted by hand. The hand-finished center console flows seamlessly into the center stock for a strong, cockpit-style ambience." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "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."  -- BusinessWeek
  • "The stereo benefits from the navigation system's hard drive, in that you get some of its space for music storage. This is another feature we really like. You can load it with music from CDs or USB thumb drives." -- CNET

Cargo

The trunk of the CTS provides 13.6 cubic feet of storage space -- slightly above average for this class, and beyond what buyers get from the BMW 3-Series, but well below the Audi A4's 17 cubic feet. Some reviewers have complained that interior storage is limited.

  • "Usefulness of the boxy trunk is compromised by a small opening. The optional split folding rear seatbacks fold completely flat to accommodate longer parcels. Interior storage includes a center console and glovebox that aren't that large." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Loading bulky items into the 13.6-cubic-foot trunk is hampered by a very short deck." -- Edmunds

The passenger cabin of the 2009 CTS impresses reviewers with a level of fit and finish that exceeds what many European and Japanese rivals have to offer. Build quality is excellent, the materials are upscale and equal to the price, and the space boasts a sense of personality reviewers find missing from some competitors. It's also one of the most spacious cars available at this price point. The CTS is classified as a midsize car primarily on price -- it's actually as large as many cars we rank one class up from this -- so while most buyers compare it to a BMW 3-series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, it's nearly as large as a 5-Series or E-Class.

  • "Luxury-grade trim rivals the best in this highly competitive class. CTS-V's unique trim pieces and available suede-like upholstery inserts impart a racier ambiance." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The cabin of the Cadillac CTS is impressive both in design and in the quality of materials used. A pleasing mix of available wood accents, tasteful alloy trim and stitched soft-touch dash make the CTS interior one of the most elegant designs in its class." -- Edmunds
  • "The interior of the CTS feels completely fresh yet entirely like a Cadillac, and it looks as elegant as anything on the road." -- AutoWeek
  • "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." -- Car and Driver
  • "If you find the interiors of German machines nicely done but a bit somber, you might like the CTS." -- 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.  While Cadillac has excelled in simple, luxurious interiors for years, the new generation CTS aims for more upscale ambience with more visually stimulating ornamentation." -- Detroit News

Seating

Driver and passengers in the 2009 CTS have plenty of space, although rear-seat entry and exit can be difficult for taller passengers. But test drivers consistently say the front seats aren't supportive enough, particularly in a car that begs to be driven enthusiastically.

  • "Some have found the front seatbacks to be on the hard side, and several CTS test cars have all featured a driver seat bottom that squeaked in turns." -- Edmunds
  • "Seats are roomy and supportive, complemented by a standard tilt and telescopic steering wheel. Rakish roof line hurts visibility, however, with thick rear pillars being a particular hindrance to the outward view. Note that some testers found that one of the central-dash vents blew directly onto the driver's hand, and could not be adjusted away--a major annoyance with the air conditioning running." -- Consumer Guide
  • "We really appreciated the range of adjustment offered by the power seats and the power steering column adjustments; we've always felt that all cars should have tilt-and-telescope columns for ultimate comfort and proper driving position." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "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." -- Cars.com
  • "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." -- Detroit News
  • "During exuberant driving, we wished for more lateral support." -- Car and Driver
  • "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." -- Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
  • "The rear seat is a little short on headroom, but legroom is manageable." -- Cars.com

Interior Features

Auto writers are impressed with the build quality of the 2009 CTS's interior. Surfaces blend tastefully, and LED interior lighting provides a cool modern touch. One common complaint with cars in this class is complicated cabin electronics, but many reviewers have compliments for how Cadillac has integrated the technologies in the CTS. The available navigation system and 40-gigabyte hard-drive-based stereo also earn praise.

  • "The center stack...blends almost seamlessly with the dashboard and delineates the occupant area while maintaining a sense of airiness. The wood and brushed-metal touches mix nicely, while the interior overall strikes a perfect balance between traditional elements, such as the analog clock, and modern technologies, such as the optional navigation screen rising from the top of the stack." --  AutoWeek
  • "Splashes of LED lighting are spread throughout the cabin of the new car. The center stack is finished with a satiny metallic material or Sapele wood. The upper dash surfaces and door trim are cut, sewn and fitted by hand. The hand-finished center console flows seamlessly into the center stock for a strong, cockpit-style ambience." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "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."  -- BusinessWeek
  • "The stereo benefits from the navigation system's hard drive, in that you get some of its space for music storage. This is another feature we really like. You can load it with music from CDs or USB thumb drives." -- CNET

Cargo

The trunk of the CTS provides 13.6 cubic feet of storage space -- slightly above average for this class, and beyond what buyers get from the BMW 3-Series, but well below the Audi A4's 17 cubic feet. Some reviewers have complained that interior storage is limited.

  • "Usefulness of the boxy trunk is compromised by a small opening. The optional split folding rear seatbacks fold completely flat to accommodate longer parcels. Interior storage includes a center console and glovebox that aren't that large." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Loading bulky items into the 13.6-cubic-foot trunk is hampered by a very short deck." -- Edmunds

Next Steps: 2009 Cadillac CTS

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