$30,097 - $71,511

2017 Cadillac CTS Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Cadillac CTS was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 7.9

The 2017 Cadillac CTS features plenty of high-end materials throughout a well-designed cabin, but some test drivers still think the upholstery could be nicer. The front seats are supportive and spacious, and they don't get uncomfortable on longer drives. The rear seats don’t have as much room and offer less legroom than many midsize rivals. Trunk space is about average for the class.

There's plenty of technology in the CTS. The CUE infotainment system may not be the easiest to use, but it has plenty of connectivity options, including a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot. There are a lot of driver assistance features as well, headlined by Cadillac's Rear Camera Mirror system, which is a one-of-a-kind technology that provides exceptional rearward visibility.

  • "As with the smaller ATS, the CTS' back seat and trunk aren't especially well-packaged relative to its overall footprint. Hand-me-down Chevy switchgear lends that enduring whiff of GM-ness to the enterprise. And the seats' rubbery hides recall a middle-aged dad rocking a leather jacket from Men's Wearhouse." -- Automobile Magazine (2016)
  • "The interior of the 2016 Cadillac CTS is sophisticated, luxurious and rendered in rich materials, with a high level of craftsmanship and thorough technology integration." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "From an interior point of view, the CTS is stunning, more opulent and more colorful than an E-Class or 5 Series model, and it's easily on par with the Audi A6." -- AutoTrader (2015)

Seating

The five-seat CTS comes standard with leatherette upholstery and power-adjustable front seats. The front seats afford you plenty of room to get comfortable, but the cabin design and dash layout still make you feel like you're sitting snugly in a driver's car. You can take the comfort level up a notch by going with the available Recaro sport seats, which offer extra bolstering and 20-way adjustability. Heated and cooled front seats are also available, letting you stay comfortable no matter the weather.

The rear seats tell a different story than those up front. Compared to other midsize sedans, the CTS' rear seats feel a bit undersized, and most will agree they're short on legroom. Heated rear seats, however, are available, as well as leather upholstery and a heated steering wheel.

A full set of LATCH connectors are in the rear outboard seats of the CTS, and the middle seat has a tether anchor. While the tether anchors are easy to locate, the lower anchors in the outboard seats are difficult to reach and require a lot of strength to secure the car seat.

  • Front passengers in the 2016 CTS enjoy ample personal space, yet the enveloping dashboard and door panels make for an intimate cockpit that meshes nicely with the car's sporting mission. Rear passengers will be less pleased, however, as there's only modest space back there by midsize standards." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "The base seats are indeed comfortable, and I drove extensively with no complaints from my finicky back. Usually I'm not a fan of Recaros because they sacrifice too much comfort for the ‘performance’ of hugging your body, often too tightly for my taste. These Recaros, however, I do recommend. Not only do they hug in a Goldilocks, just-right way, but because after hours of pushing the limits around Road America, I felt not a scant bit of soreness in my back.” -- Cars.com (2016)
  • The standard 8-way power front bucket seats are comfortable, but rear-seat legroom is on the tight side." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)

Interior Features

The CTS comes standard with Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, hands-free text messaging, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, wireless phone charging, and OnStar 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hot spot. The myCadillac mobile app is also standard.

Optional features include a power sunroof, a 110-volt three-prong outlet, tri-zone automatic climate control, a 13-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system, navigation, adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, front and rear automatic braking, lane departure warning, active-lane keep assist, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, parallel and perpendicular parking assist, a safety alert seat (which vibrates to warn the driver that the car is about to hit an obstacle), a head-up display, and a Surround Vision camera system, which provides a bird’s-eye view of the car. Cadillac's Rear Camera Mirror system and Teen Driver technology are newly available in the CTS for 2017.

The CTS comes standard with a lot of features that are common among luxury sedans, but its most notable standard feature is the CUE infotainment system. The 8-inch touch screen has excellent graphics and is fairly reactive, but you may not love the interface. It can be tiresome to use because it requires several steps for even routine adjustments. There are redundant audio controls on the steering wheel to make it easier to adjust volume, however.

Usability issues aside, CUE has a lot going for it. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included, making it easy to connect your smartphone to the CTS. OnStar 4G LTE with a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot is also included on a trial basis, so you and your fellow riders can connect all manner of devices, no matter where you're headed. And if you like to keep track of your car remotely, you'll enjoy the myCadillac mobile app, which lets you monitor vehicle diagnostics, set parking reminders, and reference your owner's manual, all from your phone.

Available features include some nice luxury amenities like a three-prong power outlet that makes it easy to keep your devices powered up. But most of the available features are focused on one thing: your safety. There are plenty of highway assistance features like adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and blind spot monitoring, and there are also low-speed driving aids like automatic front and rear emergency braking and parallel and perpendicular park assist.

A standard rearview camera is nice, but the CTS is available with Cadillac's new Rear Camera Mirror system, which is like a rearview camera on steroids. It takes a wide-angle view of what's behind your car, and it uses imaging software to "remove" visual obstacles like roof pillars and even rear passengers. The resulting image is displayed on your rearview mirror, providing an unobstructed view while you're backing up.

Parents will love the Teen Driver technology, which allows you to set volume and speed limits for the vehicle that remain in place even when you're not in it, thus preventing your kids from driving too fast or getting distracted by blaring music.

See 2017 Cadillac CTS specs and trims »

  • The Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system pairs a graphically rich 8-inch touchscreen with touch-panel inputs. Outfitted with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, CUE is more capable than ever when it comes to smartphone integration. The constant poking and swiping at the touch panel, especially for routine functions like adjusting fan speed or stereo volume, gets tiresome, however (although you can also control volume on the steering wheel). It's one of the few drawbacks to an otherwise advanced and impressive interface." -- Edmunds
  • "The system still sits amid a center console adorned with touch-sensitive control panels for stereo and environmental systems. Many on our staff are not fans of those panels. While executed about as well as possible, it still feels somewhat odd to use these controls, which align with raised pieces of metal trim. You have to place your finger just right to get the desired reaction." -- Cars.com (2016)
  • The reviled CUE infotainment system gets a tad more livable with a faster processor. A 4G LTE wireless connection is standard, and options range from a head-up display to a neat curbview camera that helps drivers avoid scraping the car's low-slung chin." -- Automobile Magazine (2016)

Cargo

The Cadillac CTS' trunk is slightly smaller than the class average, coming in at 13.7 cubic feet. That's still enough space to fit your golf clubs for your weekend round or luggage for a short getaway. There's a rear-seat pass-through that gives you a little flexibility for longer items. Folding rear seats are available. Not only is the trunk on the small side, but it’s also poorly designed for efficiency. It gets significantly narrower between the wheel wells, and the floor isn't uniformly flat, both of which can make it difficult to use all of the trunk space efficiently.

  • "The trunk is also on the small side at 13.7 cubic feet. Most other sedans in the class offer 15 cubic feet of space or more." -- Edmunds
  • Cargo space could be larger and better utilized. The trunk is wide at the back end (where golf clubs would go) but narrows considerably between the wheel wells, and the floor has raised edges." -- Consumer Guide (2014) 

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