Used 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan
Used 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
As America's answer to Germany's dominance in the sport sedan arena, Cadillac's 2016 ATS-V provides you with the right mix of excellent performance and comfort, while offering a lower starting price than a comparable BMW. And it's a completely new car, so you'll appreciate its exclusivity in your neighborhood. Why else should you consider this hot new Cadillac? Read more below.
Think of the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V sedan and coupe as the second phase of Cadillac's attack on Germany's greatest sport sedans. The first phase started back in 2004 with the original CTS-V. Though plenty fast, the CTS-V was just too bulky to be nimble, which meant it was always playing catch-up with its compact, agile rivals like the BMW M3. But now the top-dog CTS-V has taken its rightful place as a midsize super-sedan, a gap has opened for the new, pint-sized ATS-V to fly Cadillac's flag in the face of M3 and friends.
Available as a coupe or sedan, the new ATS-V is designed to go toe to toe with BMW's M3 and M4.
The regular ATS has been out for a few years now, and we've lauded its capable handling. The ATS-V has made it even more exceptional. GM's much-lauded Magnetic Ride Control adaptive dampers come standard, providing supreme composure when you're blasting around a racetrack and impressive compliance when you're traversing uneven urban streets. And now that those dampers (along with various other sport-tuned components) are paired with a properly compact car, Cadillac has all the ingredients for a no-excuses performer in this segment.
Of course, if you want to compete with Germany's finest, you've got to pack some serious hardware under the hood, too. Those hoping for a V8 may find the ATS-V's standard twin-turbocharged V6 a bit disappointing, but only until they get behind the wheel. Borrowed from the hot-rod CTS Vsport, the 3.6-liter V6 pumps out 464 hp in this application, outpacing the M3's twin-turbo inline-6 by 39 horses (and the Vsport's version by 44). Per Cadillac's estimates, it'll get you to 60 mph in under 4 seconds. That's quick enough to get any enthusiast's heart pumping.
As rewarding as the ATS-V's diminutive dimensions can be on the road, they're less helpful when it comes to versatility. The Caddy has one of the least accommodating backseats among cars of this type, and its trunk is similarly compromised. Also, the standard touch-based CUE interface can be slow and unintuitive at times; we feel it's generally outclassed by the competition. These are real-world shortcomings that merit close review by prospective buyers.
If you're looking for ATS-V alternatives, they're mostly the usual suspects. The BMW M3 sedan and M4 coupe offer competitive performance and more interior space, while the Mercedes-AMG C63 boasts a richer cabin environment and a twin-turbo V8. A new arrival with all-natural V8 power is the Lexus RC F coupe, but it lacks both a four-door variant (for now) and the Cadillac's nimble feel. Ultimately, if you can make peace with the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V's few foibles, you're going to love the thrills you get for the price.
Trim levels & features
The 2016 Cadillac ATS-V is a high-performance compact luxury car offered as either a five-passenger sedan or a four-passenger coupe. Both come in a single well-equipped trim level.
The new 2016 Cadillac ATS-V comes in just one trim level, but various options packages are available.
Standard features include a carbon-fiber hood, 18-inch alloy wheels, Brembo performance brakes, a sport suspension with adaptive suspension dampers (Magnetic Ride Control), an electronic limited-slip differential, adjustable driving modes, heated auto-dimming mirrors, automatic headlights, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, remote ignition (automatic transmission only), keyless entry and ignition, ambient interior lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front sport seats (with power side bolsters and manual thigh extensions), a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and driver memory settings.
Note that the sedan gets a fixed (non-folding) rear seatback by default, while the coupe comes standard with split folding rear seatbacks.
Standard electronics features include OnStar (with 4G LTE connectivity and WiFi hotspot capability), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, wireless cell phone charging, a 5.7-inch color driver information display in the gauge cluster, the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system (including an 8-inch central display, voice controls and Pandora Internet radio integration) and a Bose audio system (seven speakers for the sedan, nine speakers for the coupe) with three USB ports, an SD card slot, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.
A few options packages are available. The Carbon Fiber package adds carbon-fiber exterior trim and a body-color rear spoiler. The Luxury package adds xenon headlights, an upgraded Bose surround-sound audio system (10 speakers for the sedan, 12 speakers for the coupe), a 110-volt power outlet, a navigation system and (for the sedan) split folding rear seatbacks. The Safety and Security package (requires Luxury package) adds additional anti-theft measures, automatic high beam control, automatic wipers, a head-up display, lane-departure warning, lane-departure intervention, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision alert and (for the sedan) rear side airbags.
The Track Performance package includes the Carbon Fiber package, though it cannot be ordered with the Luxury package (and therefore the Safety and Security package is out, too). It adds the navigation system, a performance data and video recorder (enabling high-resolution, shareable videos of track driving with data overlays) and a low-mass battery. It also deletes the standard carpeted floor mats, tire inflation kit and tow hooks, but these items can be added back via the Protection package.
Additional options include a sunroof (requires Luxury package), red or gold brake calipers, Recaro sport seats and microfiber steering wheel and shift knob trim.
Performance & mpg
The 2016 Cadillac ATS-V is powered by a turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 engine rated at 464 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while the transmission options are a six-speed manual (including automatic rev-matching on downshifts) and an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. According to Cadillac, the ATS-V can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds.
EPA-estimated fuel economy for the ATS-V is respectable, with 19 mpg combined (16/24) from automatic-equipped cars. Manuals earn 1 less mpg on the highway.
Standard safety features for the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V include antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, active front head restraints, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.
As noted above, the Safety and Security package adds lane-departure warning and intervention, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision alert and rear side airbags for the sedan. However, this package is not compatible with the Track Performance package.
As of this writing, the ATS-V had not been crash tested. In government tests, the regular 2016 ATS sedan came up aces with an overall score of five stars out of five, including five stars for total frontal impact safety and five stars for total side impact safety.
The 2016 Cadillac ATS-V's tidy dimensions, athletic chassis and precise steering make it feel right at home on a racetrack, but that's expected in this rarefied segment. What's surprising is the ATS-V's extraordinary compliance on the street. Thanks to its electronically adjustable Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) suspension dampers, this Caddy can cruise comfortably all day in Touring mode, with Sport and Track modes at the ready if an opportunity presents itself. That's a distinct improvement over the regular ATS with its optional sport suspension, which lacks MRC and serves up a stiff-legged ride as a result.
Finally, the 2016 ATS-V is a Cadillac that wholly matches the performance of the world's best small sport luxury sedans.
As for the turbocharged V6, it's a brute, albeit a pleasantly refined one. There's enough force on tap that you should warn your passengers before you plant your right foot, and even then, you're likely to hear some startled noises. The automatic transmission is smooth and smart, but the manual shifter adds value with its unusual "no-lift shift" feature, allowing you to keep your foot on the gas during gearchanges.
The 2016 Cadillac ATS-V's interior is trimmed with generally upscale materials, including carbon-fiber accents and exposed stitching that help set it apart from lesser ATS models. The available two-tone upholstery adds some spice, too, while the optional Recaro sport seats are a boon in spirited driving, if perhaps a bit constricting in daily use. Certain aspects are a little disappointing (the gauge cluster, for example, has an oddly basic look), but overall we think it's a suitably premium environment.
The V's interior isn't dramatically different from what you'll find in a regular ATS, but the available two-tone upholstery can spice it up.
The standard CUE infotainment interface is more of a hit-or-miss affair. It consists of a beautifully rendered central touchscreen that responds to tapping, swiping or spreading gestures, mimicking smartphones and tablets, while a bank of auxiliary buttons below the screen affords direct access to climate and audio functions. Both the screen and the physical buttons provide "haptic" feedback by pulsing to confirm your touch. There's some pretty cool technology here, but in practice, we've found that the system can be slow to respond, sometimes even failing to register the input at all. Moreover, its virtual controls can seem unintuitive, especially when you're trying to make adjustments at speed. In our experience, most rival interfaces are easier and more gratifying to use.
The ATS-V sedan's backseat is tighter than the norm for small luxury sedans, bordering on cramped for taller passengers. If you plan to use the rear quarters on a regular basis, the BMW M3 or Mercedes C63 may serve you better. The ATS-V coupe's backseat is also smaller than average, but if you're shopping for a two-door car, you may be more forgiving. Either way, trunk space will be at a premium -- 10.4 cubic feet of capacity is subpar for the class.
Features & Specs
More About This Model
That the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V deftly communicates an imminent slide at 90 mph on a racetrack belies its ability to be a perfectly reasonable daily driver.
This competitor to BMW's M3 and M4 is available in coupe and sedan body styles with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed paddle-shifted automatic transmission. The only available engine is a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6. It's good for 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque and sends its power to the rear wheels.
How Does It Drive on the Track?
Saying that the ATS-V is fast is obvious. Saying that it's enjoyable is somewhat less so. Being fast isn't hard. GM has a long history of making fast cars. Making them enjoyable, Corvette Stingray aside, has been a trouble spot — even relatively recently. It's the details, the rare mix of rewarding feedback, speed and sound that earn this dual-merit badge of honor. And the ATS-V, in most arenas, is successful.
Certainly its biggest achievement comes in balancing stunning on-track abilities with the requirements of no-compromise daily use. On track the ATS-V is an instrument of rapid precision.
Its steering redirects the machine without hesitation, provides ample feedback about front grip and is quick enough for track duty. Its engine, brakes and transmission manage the heat generated by a car this powerful and weighty. And it's got tricks up its sleeve like Performance Traction Management and no-lift shifting, which make it both faster and more clever than many of its competitors.
Which Transmission Is Right for Me?
Both transmissions work well but each serves a different buyer. The eight-speed, though highly competent (naturally, manual downshifts are rev-matched), is less involving. Leave it in Drive and the brainpower otherwise reserved for shifting is free for steering and braking, which makes the experience different but not necessarily better. It's potently effective, though. If going fast is all that matters, this is your transmission.
The manual transmission, however, isn't just your average gate rower. We're always skeptical when anyone tells us that no-lift shifting is a good idea on a road course, so we approached the advice this time with equal suspicion. Then we tried it. Careful calibration has produced a system capable of midcorner flat shifts that won't upset the chassis. It works, it's not abusive and there's no reason to avoid it. Auto rev-matching on downshifts also works remarkably well.
Though it lacks a carbon-ceramic rotor option, braking is an ATS-V strength. This, says Cadillac, is a case of wanting the car to be track-ready in base form. Competitors add carbon brake packages for about $8,000. In case repeated slowing from 145 mph to 35 mph isn't enough to convince you, consider that we never once witnessed a change in pedal feel or response over extended lapping sessions.
On track, the ATS-V works right. It's clear track use was a huge component of its development process. Only higher ambient temperatures will wring potential shortcomings from this otherwise competent package.
How Does It Drive on the Street?
Like its Magnetic Ride Control forebears, the ATS-V is strikingly serene in street use. Touring mode (one of four driver-adjustable settings — Touring, Sport, Track, Snow/Ice) produces well-controlled body motions without being jarring. It's a satisfying compromise that feels neither too soft nor too busy. Sport and Track modes increase throttle and transmission response as well as ramping up steering effort and suspension damping rates.
The eight-speed transmission makes few compromises in either environment, and on the street when demands are light, it glides seamlessly between gears in a way that makes most dual-clutch transmissions seem utterly gratuitous.
Optional 16-way-adjustable Recaro seats manage to be both supportive and comfortable. The trick is suede inserts, which hold occupants in place without the need for massive bolsters.
What Technologies Make It Work?
Standard magnetorheological dampers are the real magic in the mix. They manage to smother potholes on the street and still provide track-capable damping. This strategy, because of its latitude and rapid response, is among the most effective adjustable suspension options available today.
Another key to the ATS-V's do-it-all character is the standard electronic differential's ability to precisely control its locking rate in specific situations. A tight differential isn't what you want in the mall parking lot, and an open differential paired with this much power is worthless on the track. Accordingly, the differential's calibration changes with each driving mode.
Performance traction management, the ATS-V's configurable stability and traction control system, provides a huge range of control over the car's chassis. Its most aggressive setting, PTM 5, only intervenes when powerslides are big enough to slow the pace.
What About the Weight?
Hotshot hardware comes with a cost, however. In the ATS-V that cost is sheer heft. At about 3,750 pounds, the ATS-V is at least 200 pounds heavier than the last BMW M4 we tested. This despite a standard carbon-fiber hood.
Only a back-to-back drive with the M3/M4 brethren will discern exactly how detrimental the weight actually is. But since the M3/M4 twins were the primary benchmark in the ATS-V's development, it seems unlikely that they would wind up faster around a track, even if they are lighter.
Part of the weight over the standard ATS comes from significant chassis bracing — including a substantial aluminum shear panel that spans the gap between the front crossmember and the footwell area of the chassis. The result is a 25 percent increase in stiffness over the standard ATS body. There are also 16 new or redesigned bushings, plus two spherical bearings in the suspension.
What's the Interior Like?
Though it shares its basic design with the standard car, the ATS-V's interior is a step up in materials. Carbon-fiber trim and stitched seams give it a higher-grade feel, too.
CUE, Cadillac's infotainment and connectivity interface remains, along with the standard ATS's haptic-feedback buttons. Though the overall design is attractive, it lacks the simple, effective usability of most competitors.
On the upside, however, the optional Performance Data Recorder, which overlays the car's vitals and performance data on 720p video, is a genuinely engaging toy and a valuable learning tool for track driving.
How Much Does It Cost?
The base price for the ATS-V sedan is $61,460, with the coupe starting at $63,660. This pricing undercuts the M3/M4 twins by about $1,500 in both cases, but it's close enough to be insignificant when options are considered. Though there's no arguing with the ATS-V's comfort, luxury and track ability, it's chasing a proven competitor with a loyal constituency.
What Competing Models Should You Also Consider?
It's no secret that the 2015 BMW M3 and M4 are the ATS-V's primary targets, so to ignore them in this equation would be a massive mistake. Both BMWs combine speed, comfort and luxury in a way no other car has ever matched in this segment.
Though it's a very different sort of hot rod, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG sedan deserves an honorable mention here as the tire-smoker of the bunch. Its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 makes the most torque in the segment at 479 lb-ft. The C63 is also available in coupe form with a 451-hp 6.2-liter V8.
Lexus' 2015 RC F Coupe is available only with two doors and lacks the performance focus of the others in the group. Still, it's a strikingly smooth operator with real performance capability.
Why Should You Consider This Car?
Maybe you're a patriot, maybe you like to see the home team win or maybe you just like to be different. The ATS-V gets you all three in a no-compromise package that's every bit as capable and comfortable as the German offerings.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Used 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan Overview
The Used 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan is offered in the following styles: , and 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl Turbo 6M).
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Should I lease or buy a 2016 Cadillac ATS-V?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.