The Cadillac ATS is lightweight, it packs modern efficient engines, and has unique, instantly recognizable styling, luxurious cabin and up to date tech. It is a great choice in a very tough market segment, which includes the likes of the latest Mercedes-Benz C Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. This alone is enough to tell you that the ATS is a great car. Let’s have a closer look at it.
Design of the Cadillac ATS
If there’s one thing we can say about the ATS, it is that it definitely stands out from the crowd. Calling the ATS angular would be an understatement. The overall headlight and grille designs follow the design philosophy of some sedans from the same stable. They are unusual and complementing, working perfectly well with the similarly sharp hood lines and lower bumper details. Despite the designs aggression, the fact that all parts complement each other makes the ATS look rather elegant.
The lights are upright, following the fall of the hood and setting the borders for the bumper lights. Their shape is visible from the side as well and they add to the look of the front. From the side the front looks way more prominent than we are used to in the compact sedan segment.
The rear is similarly angular with the protruding middle line and upright taillights. The shape of the license plate clearly mimics the front grille and makes the whole car look conspicuous but harmonious at the same time.
Interior of the Cadillac ATS
Design of the interior is also vertical in the central section, with a high touchscreen placed between large air vents. Controls are close to the driver and there is no need to stretch for anything. Cup holders are available both at the front and back and there are other small storage spaces.
The seats are very supportive and comfortable. We especially love bolsters that keep the driver and the front passengers firmly in place.
The touchscreen is high up and very easy to read even on very sunny days. We also love the force of the haptic feedback from the touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, as is Wi-Fi hotspot.
Engines and Drive of the Cadillac ATS
There are two engines available. The entry level one is a 2.0 turbo with 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, while the second option is a naturally aspirated 3.6 V6 335 hp and 285 lb-ft of torque. Both engines have direct injection and are paired with an 8-speed automatic.
There are also RWD and AWD versions of the ATS, both of which have their advantages. The AWD has loads of grip that keep the car in check, while the RWD gives that familiar feel of driving a front-engine car with rear wheel drive and heaps of power – driving fun in its essence.
The 2.0 has a turbocharger that gives it a healthy boost from very low revs, while the 3.6 is naturally aspirated, which gives it a very natural, smooth and predictable power buildup.
Both engines are relaxed in town, civilized and confident, but get them to the track and they turn into raging beasts. Optional sports exhaust adds to the soundtrack. Even though the V6 is definitely a more upmarket choice, the 2.0 is good enough to make you smile in the town, while overtaking or on the track.
Both of these engines seem even better due to the lightweight chassis on the ATS. The car is very agile and balanced, so it behaves predictably even if you throw the RWD version’s rear end. The steering is a bit heavier, which is also great for sporty driving. It is also precise, so directing the car in sporty conditions is by no means a guessing game.
Suspension is obviously trimmed for sporty driving, which makes it a bit stiffer on rough roads. However, we wouldn’t want it any other way, since precise handling just makes us so happy.
Optional Magnetic Ride Control is available on the ATS. It is a system that reads road conditions and adapts the suspension to suit. It is a system used on high-end vehicles and a great addition on the sporty ATS.
Trim Levels for the Cadillac ATS
There are four trim levels – base, Luxury, Premium Luxury and Premium Performance.
The base is graced with the 2.0 turbo engine and RWD so it is already good enough to provide great driving fun. With 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque in a lightweight body it is not like the push is lacking. If you like smooth and efficient shifts, you should go for the 8-speed automatic. However, if you want a bit more old-school involvement, you can go for the 6-speed manual. AWD is optional on the base trim level and only paired with the automatic.
The base is also pretty good when it comes to equipment. You get 17” wheels, Brembo brakes for the front, active aero grille shutters, LED taillights and a stop light in the rear spoiler, Bose Centerpoint sound system with 10 speakers, 2 USB ports, Bluetooth, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, 8” touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and voice recognition, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, keyless entry, 6-way adjustable seats with lumbar adjustment, wireless charging, OnStar safety and security system with automatic crash response, stolen vehicle assistance, roadside assistance and navigation, rearview camera, StabiliTrak, traction control and tire pressure monitoring system.
The Cadillac ATS also has additional optional features including different wheels, sunroof, heated seats and more.
Step up to Luxury and you get adaptive remote start with heated steering wheel, climate control and active heated seats, auto-dimming mirrors with puddle lamps and turn signal indicators, front and rear park assist, 110V household-style power outlet, 8-way seat adjustment, 60/40 split rear seats with armrest and cup holders. Optional features for this trim include vehicle indication sensor, steering column lock, following distance indicator, forward collision alert, lane change alert, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, rain sensors, automatic high beam, additional airbags, Safety Alert Seat, improved seating materials and more adjustability options for the seats, sunroof and 18” polished forged alloy wheels.
Premium Luxury adds the 3.6 V6 as standard, but also following distance indicator, forward collision alert, lane change alert, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, rain sensors, automatic high beam, additional airbags, Safety Alert Seat, alloy sport pedals, adaptive forward lighting, illuminating door handles, sunroof, all-season run-flat tires and many more available features such as vehicle inclination sensor, adaptive cruise control, forward and reverse automatic braking, full colour HUD, electronic parking brake, power tilt and telescoping steering column and more.
Premium Performance sits at the very top of the offer and adds LSD, full-colour HUD, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, Magnetic Ride Control, dedicated 18” wheels and more optional features, including all optional safety and security perks from the lesser trim levels.
If the Cadillac ATS is just your style, come in and see our vehicle specialists at CMP Auto – 1313 36 Street NE. Give us a call at (403) 207-1000 and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions about the new Cadillac ATS or our huge selection of other vehicles including Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC models. Want to skip right to the fun part? Book a test drive online today.