Cabin Luxury

The redesigned 2008 CTS was one of the prime examples of GM's renewed commitment to interior quality, and the design has held up well over the past few years; it still looks modern and inviting in the 2011 CTS coupe. Contributing to the premium look are top-notch materials like a padded dashboard, stellar fit and finish, and attractive design details, like an optional pop-up navigation screen. All in all, it's a job well done.

Unfortunately, the CTS-V's front-seat comfort isn't as praiseworthy as the rest of the interior. I'm fine with most bucket seats, but this is one of the few cars Ч another being the Buick LaCrosse Ч with seats that just don't do it for me. Our test CTS-V had the $3,400 Recaro high-performance seats. They're firm, which I don't mind, but the backrest cushioning prevented me from fully enjoying them.

The regular CTS coupe's front bucket seats are even more disappointing. The seats have a contour problem; they feel like they're made of 2-by-4s Ч particularly the backrest, which doesn't attempt to mold to your back. The seats don't have enough side bolstering, either; I had to fight to stay in place during fast turns.

There's also a two-person backseat. I climbed back there, and the first thing I noticed was that the front seat belts are attached to the base of the front seat. That means the belt is in your way when you move the front seat forward to crawl in back.

Once you're seated, backseat comfort and legroom seem passable for a short trip (I'm 6-foot-1), but headroom is decidedly not; I couldn't sit upright without the top of my head pressed against the roof or the rear window Ч not enjoyable.

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