2017 Cadillac ATS-V Review
With a rewarding, athletic chassis and precise steering, the 2017 Cadillac ATS-V feels right at home on a racetrack or on your favorite back road. Yet the ATS-V also manages to deliver surprisingly good ride compliance on the street. A big share of the credit goes to its adjustable Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) suspension dampers, which allow all-day driving comfort in Touring mode and sharp reflexes in Sport and Track modes. 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.
Some might pine for a V8, but the ATS-V's turbocharged V6 delivers big-time thrust with no bad manners. The only thing missing is a rousing soundtrack. Indeed, there's enough potency 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.
Setting it apart from lesser ATS models, the 2017 Cadillac ATS-V receives a host of cosmetic upgrades including carbon-fiber accents and stitched surfaces in keeping with its elevated price tag. The available two-tone upholstery adds some spice, too, if that's your jam. Optional Recaro sport seats can feel a bit confining in daily use, though their support in fast-road shenanigans is undeniable. Certain aspects of the cabin are a little disappointing (the instrument cluster, for example, has a decidedly downmarket look), but it's not enough to ruin the vibe.
Less successful is the standard CUE infotainment interface. It consists of a beautifully rendered central touchscreen that mimics the interface of a smartphones and tablets, while a bank of buttons below the screen commands climate and audio functions. Both the screen and the physical buttons provide so-called haptic feedback by pulsing to confirm your touch, which isn't to everyone's liking. Plus, we've found that the system can be slow to respond, sometimes even failing to register the input entirely. 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.
Taller passengers will find the ATS-V sedan's backseat on the cramped side, more so than in other small luxury sedans. The BMW M3 or Mercedes C63 are better choices if you plan to use the rear quarters on a regular basis. Likewise, the ATS-V coupe's backseat is also smaller than average, but shoppers of two-door cars are generally more forgiving in this regard. There's no ignoring that the ATS-V's 10.4 cubic feet of trunk space is less than that of its rivals.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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