2018 Cadillac ATS-V
- Handles like a sports car without the punishing ride discomfort
- Turbo V6 engine generates abundant power for quick acceleration
- Brakes are as impressive and strong as the power and handling
- The ATS-V is a true driver's car, built to perform on road or track
- The back seat and trunk are small compared to similar competitors
- Many interior controls and ergonomics are more clever than functional
Which ATS-V does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating3.5 / 5
America's answer to the dominance of European sport sedans, the 2018 Cadillac ATS-V offers an outstanding mix of performance, comfort and style. It's a welcome alternative to the high-performance coupes and sedans from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. You'll need to make peace with the ATS-V's few foibles, but the thrills outweigh the flaws, especially for the price.
Blessed with the inherently good bones of Cadillac's sharp-handling base ATS, the high-performance ATS-V — available as both coupe and sedan — ratchets up the car's capability several notches with a twin-turbocharged V6 engine, beefy brakes, and a trick suspension that constantly adapts in microseconds to changing road surfaces (Cadillac calls it Magnetic Ride Control). This suspension gives the ATS-V exceptional control at the racetrack, but also impressive comfort on normal roads and highways. It's easily the sharpest and most agile car in its class.
The 464-horsepower V6 engine generates absurd power for a car of this size, and it comes paired with a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. Power flows to the rear wheels only, another characteristic that will speak to the enthusiast driver's heart. In our testing, the ATS-V sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, yet it still achieves EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg combined.
Capable and fast, the ATS-V sacrifices some function with its tidy cabin dimensions, cramped back seat and small trunk. We've also found its touchscreen tech interface (called CUE) slow and awkward compared to the competition, although a new-generation system in this 2018 model may remedy that.
Of course, the competition is stiff, but we're happy to see the ATS-V hold its own against its BMW M3 and M4 and Mercedes-AMG C 63 rivals.
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Cadillac ATS-V is a high-performance luxury compact car offered as either a four-door sedan that seats five passengers or two-door coupe that accommodates four passengers. Both come in a single, well-equipped trim level. A handful of options can tailor the ATS-V to your preference, such as the Luxury package for audiophiles, the Safety and Security package for its driver assistance features, or the Track package for race enthusiasts.
Power comes from a 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine (464 horsepower, 445 pound-feet of torque) paired to a choice of a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The ATS-V is only available with rear-wheel drive.
Key standard features include a carbon-fiber hood, 18-inch alloy wheels, Brembo high-performance brakes, an adaptive sport suspension, an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery and heated front seats. Coupe models come standard with split-folding rear seatbacks; the sedan features a non-folding seatback fixed in place.
Tech features the revamped CUE interface with an 8-inch touchscreen display, OnStar services with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot (requires data plan), a Bose audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, Pandora internet radio, wireless device charging, three USB ports, an SD card slot, and an auxiliary audio input.
Cadillac's Teen Driver features are also standard. They allow owners to limit certain functions when younger drivers are behind the wheel, such as muting audio until front-seat occupants fasten seat belts or preventing drivers from disabling safety systems such as traction control. Teen Driver can also capture data, including distance driven, maximum speed, overspeed warnings, and hard braking events, and generate a "report card" for owners to review with younger drivers.
The ATS-V offers a handful of stand-alone options and packages. The Luxury package adds xenon headlights, an upgraded Bose surround-sound audio system, a navigation system, a 110-volt, household-style power outlet and, for the sedan, split-folding rear seats. Opting for the Luxury package also gives you the choice of a sunroof.
The Safety and Security package is only available in conjunction with the Luxury package. It includes anti-theft features, automatic high beams and wipers, a head-up display, a lane departure warning and intervention system, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision alert and, for the sedan, rear side airbags.
The Carbon Fiber package adds carbon-fiber exterior trim, black sill extensions and a body-color rear spoiler.
For drivers who pursue motorsports, the Track Performance package includes a race-oriented video and data recorder as well as the features from the Carbon Fiber package. This package first requires that you order the CUE system with navigation and makes certain features ineligible, among them a sunroof or the bundles in the Luxury and Safety and Security packages.
Stand-alone options include a sunroof (requires the Luxury package), red or gold brake calipers, Recaro sport seats, the performance video and data recorder, and microfiber steering wheel and shift knob trim.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe (turbo 3.6L V6 | 8-speed automatic | RWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current ATS-V has received only minor revisions. As such, our findings remain applicable to this year's model.
Noise & vibration3
Ease of use2
Getting in/getting out3
Child safety seat accommodation3
Audio & navigation
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite ATS-V safety features:
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- Alerts the driver to objects nearing or crossing the vehicle's direction of travel while in reverse.
- Lane Departure Warning/Lane Keep Assist
- Alerts the driver when the car drifts lanes without the turn signal engaged. The car can initiate assist to nudge it back into the lane.
- Forward Collision Alert
- Issues an alert if a potential collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian seems imminent, and can initiate braking if necessary.
The 2018 ATS-V is the Cadillac that many thought Cadillac would never build. It's a high-performance compact coupe or sedan with a radar lock on cars such as the Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63 and the BMW M3 and M4. It's all about power, intuitive reactions from a well-tuned chassis, and an appearance that boldly announces its ability. Introduced for the 2016 model year, the ATS-V is the Cadillac you're least likely to see wearing a vinyl "carriage roof" or wide whitewall tires. If your white shoes match your white belt or you think about restoring a 1978 Coupe de Ville, then the ATS-V might not be for you.
There aren't many big changes between the 2016 and 2018 editions of the ATS-V. The beating heart of the ATS-V is a twin-turbocharged version of GM's ubiquitous 3.6-liter V6. The ATS-V's engine is related to the similar-spec version used in its big brother, the CTS V-Sport, where it packs 420 horsepower. But thanks to, among other things, revised turbos and trick, lightweight connecting rods, the ATS-V's powerplant is engorged to the tune of 464 horsepower. That's 39 more hp than the M3's turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder puts out and 39 hp less than the AMG C 63 S' turbo 4.0-liter V8. The muscular engine offered in the ATS-V is lashed to either a six-speed manual transmission with a slick rev-matching feature or an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Acceleration of this rear-wheel-drive missile is awesome. The zero-to-60-mph time is near 4 seconds, with a quarter-mile blitz taking about 12.5 seconds. Try matching that with a 1984 Eldorado Biarritz.
Still, as wonderfully powerful as the engine is, what Cadillac has done best with this car is tune the suspension. The rear differential is super trick, the shock absorbers use GM's brilliant Magnetic Ride Control, and the tires are Michelin's gooey-soft Pilot Super Sports that are like barnacles on pavement. Throw in great steering and Brembo brakes that could stop a runaway 747, and the result is high-level automotive entertainment.
There's not much room in the ATS-V's rear seat, and some of the interior elements are aesthetically warring with one another, but the quality of the drive makes up for all of that. Still, watch what boxes you tick on the options sheet. You'll want the Recaro seats. But consider skipping the expensive carbon-fiber body pieces.
Sport sedans such as the ATS-V aren't delicate, but the balance between wicked performance and everyday comfort is difficult to sustain. So let Edmunds help you fine-tune your instincts and choose the one that's right for you.
2018 Cadillac ATS-V Overview
The 2018 Cadillac ATS-V is offered in the following submodels: ATS-V Sedan, ATS-V Coupe. Available styles include 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl Turbo 6M), and 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl Turbo 6M).
What do people think of the 2018 Cadillac ATS-V?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Cadillac ATS-V and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 ATS-V 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 ATS-V.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Cadillac ATS-V and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 ATS-V featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our 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.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Which 2018 Cadillac ATS-VS are available in my area?
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Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.