It's been decades since Cadillac was known as the standard of the world, but the Cadillac ATS Coupe shows that this American brand is capable of competing on the world stage. There's more to the ATS Coupe than its slick two-door styling, though that is certainly worthy of comment. The long, sloping roofline and relatively unadorned sheet metal give it a smooth and elegant look. We like this combination of design and restraint that gives the Cadillac ATS Coupe an air of maturity and subtlety that is well suited to a luxury car.
The Cadillac ATS Coupe's engineering is also impressive as Cadillac's engineers worked hard to pare down weight, which results in precise handling. Power is excellent, and you can even get your ATS Coupe with a manual transmission. The ATS Coupe is also comfortable, quiet and decidedly upscale, and it even has an overly complex infotainment system, just like its German rivals. Overall, the ATS Coupe is an attractive and accomplished package, and we imagine many buyers who might not consider a Cadillac will be surprised by what they find in this model.
Current Cadillac ATS Coupe
The Cadillac ATS Coupe is available in Base, Luxury, Premium Luxury and Premium Performance trims. The Base model gets the basics we see in most luxury cars — faux leather interior and a premium stereo — with the other trim levels progressively adding equipment, up to and including genuine leather, rain-sensing wipers and advanced safety-related driver aids. The Premium Performance model lives up to its name with adaptive dampers, a limited-slip rear differential, and a few other add-ons, though other rear-wheel-drive ATS Coupe models can also be fitted with the Premium Performance's sport-tuned suspension and summer tires. However, the Track package, which adds a heavy-duty cooling fan and upgraded brake pads, is exclusive to the Premium Performance model.
Cadillac offers two engine options for the ATS Coupe, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that develops 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque and a 3.6-liter V6 that serves up 335 hp and 285 lb-ft. All ATS Coupes are available with rear- or all-wheel drive. An eight-speed automatic is standard equipment, but rear-wheel-drive Base and Luxury models with the 2.0T engine can be had with a manual transmission. EPA fuel economy estimates for all variants are in the low to mid-20s.
Both engines deliver impressive acceleration, though the four-cylinder rasp of the 2.0T seems a little out of character with the Cadillac ATS Coupe's otherwise refined nature; we prefer the V6 for its added refinement, and the fuel economy penalty is minimal. We love the idea of a manual transmission, though the ATS Coupe's isn't the best so you're not missing much by going with the automatic. The ride is a bit more harsh than you might expect from a Cadillac, but the steering and brakes are top-notch, and the optional sport-tuned suspension is phenomenal on a twisty road.
The ATS Coupe's interior also comes as a pleasant surprise. Material choices are excellent, the trim is tasteful and build quality is excellent. The cabin isn't quite as impressive as that of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe or BMW 2 Series, but it comes close. We're not crazy about the CUE infotainment system as some of the touchscreen controls are just too fussy. Front-seat comfort is excellent, but both the back seat and trunk are very small, even by compact coupe standards.
Used Cadillac ATS Coupe Models
Cadillac introduced the ATS Coupe for the 2015 model year, and made several improvements for 2016: a new version of the 3.6-liter V6 with stop-start functionality, an eight-speed automatic transmission and updated CUE infotainment system. In 2017, the ATS saw some changes to its standard and optional equipment availability.