Reviews

2016 Cadillac CTS Walk Around


Cadillac calls its design theme Art & Science, and the CTS is its best execution so far. We would say it looks like a Mercedes E-Class from the side, but the roofline and C pillar that slopes toward the trunk is better executed.

Elsewhere it’s unmistakably Cadillac, especially in the dark trapezoidal grille with vertical headlamps that blend into the fenders and visually lower the nose. The LED daytime running lamps add to the coolness, as much a signature as the Audi headlamps or Dodge taillamps.

Interior

It would not be going too far to call the CTS interior glamorous. The cabin is bathed in a soft and futuristic glow from two screens, a big 8-inch touchscreen and a 5.7-inch monitor between the gauges. On the higher models there’s a 12.3-inch panel that replaces the gauges. It’s more interesting than the Jaguar XF and more radical than the cool-touch German cabins.

Sewn upholstery on the centerstack combines with wood trim on the higher models, and two-tone choices are available. The front seats are highly adjustable and supremely comfortable and supportive. In the rear, there’s less room and seat support than with some of the other cars in the exclusive class, as well as less trunk space.

We’re not too crazy about the driver’s seat that vibrates to warn you of what it thinks is an upcoming lane departure. On one ride in the CTS it downright scared us, and every time it went off, it was a false alarm.

Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system rules the cabin, dramatically and fascinatingly, but not always efficiently. The haptic feedback is inconsistent, and the voice recognition fails half the time, often enough that we resorted to our smartphone for Google Maps for navigation. At least it’s an option, so it can be skipped. For 2016, CUE adds Google Android Auto and Apple Car Play smartphone integration.

It’s Cadillac quiet inside, thanks to a noise cancellation system, although the I4 can sometimes be gruff, and the V6 gets a real exhaust note pumped in through the Bose sound system.

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