I missed the first run Monday of the new 5000-series, but other CTA Tattler readers gave their first reviews.
Loop Worker said the trains had "more of a modern feel" and the "floor seems softer." He doesn't mind the aisle-facing seats, and noted the plus of having space under the seat for seat hogs to place their bags.
Max T-M noted the quiet and smooth ride, but disagreed with Loop Worker about "modern feel." On his blog, Max opined:
"The exterior looks nearly identical, and so does the interior. The
problem is that it's already kind of dated looking and not very
interesting. The interior is especially disappointing. The seats look
pretty bad in their arrangement. They need to ditch the ugly beige color
on the plastic molding and seats. The passengers I saw took a while to
notice that something was even different."
Max did like the giant interior LED signs. In fact he called them "fantastic."