The 2017 Cadillac ATS Coupe is worth a look for shoppers in the market for something a bit different in a compact luxury two-door model. Built to compete with its well-known upscale German rivals, the ATS matches them in performance and features while offering its own special brand of sharply creased design. While the angular style might not appeal to everyone, those who buy into the slab-sided, muscular look will find themselves driving a car that won't be mistaken for anything else on the road.
Only mildly updated for 2017, the ATS Coupe features reconfigured trim levels and packages, as well as some new wheel and exterior color choices and a redesigned instrument cluster. The Cadillac CUE infotainment system, with Bose audio and Teen Driver, is now standard, as is the Cold Weather Package on the Luxury trim level. The new available Carbon Black package includes Recaro sport seats and blacked-out interior and exterior trim pieces.
The standard powerplant in the base model is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, while an available 3.6-liter V6 kicks up horsepower to 335 and torque to 285 lb-ft. The standard transmission for both engines is an eight-speed automatic, although a six-speed manual gearbox can be ordered with the base and Luxury models outfitted with the four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive. (All-wheel drive is optional with either engine.)
The best fuel economy comes with the rear-wheel-drive 2.0-liter turbo engine coupled to the automatic transmission, which is EPA rated at 25 mpg combined (22 city/31 highway). Opting for the V6 and all-wheel drive reduces the rating to 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway).
The 2017 Cadillac ATS Coupe boasts the comfortable, well-equipped interior buyers expect in this market segment. Premium materials abound, even in the base model, and options like leather seating, exotic woods and carbon fiber allow for a variety of incremental steps up in luxury. Standard features include dual-zone climate control, power front seats and the CUE system with an 8-inch touchscreen display. Up front, there's more than enough room for the driver and passenger to stretch out, but those in the rear compartment might find the quarters just a tad cramped.
On the road is where the ATS Coupe really shines. Shoppers hoping for the stereotypical plush Cadillac ride might be disappointed, but those looking for a modern performance coupe will appreciate the tight handling and firm ride provided by the sport suspension. Acceleration with the turbocharged four is more than adequate, although some drivers will likely prefer the smoother power delivery of the V6.
Even the entry-level ATS Coupe is extremely well equipped, while the Luxury and Premium Luxury trims offer more of pretty much everything. And the Luxury Performance model adds such goodies as adaptive suspension dampers, a limited-slip rear differential and a head-up display. Whatever your preference, Edmunds can help you find the 2017 Cadillac ATS Coupe that best meets your needs.
A recent addition to the Cadillac lineup, the ATS boasts up-to-date styling, a well-equipped interior and an engaging driving feel that allow it to compete strongly with its rivals. Smaller and less expensive than Cadillac's CTS, the ATS aims right at the heart of German-engineered titans like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series that dominate this market of sport sedans.
Historically, Cadillac has never really offered a true compact sport sedan (the old Cimarron is best forgotten). But the ATS effectively fills that gap. Sharp, agile and desirable, the ATS is helping to redefine Cadillac for a new generation.
Current Cadillac ATS
The Cadillac ATS is a compact luxury sport sedan that's offered in four trim levels: Standard, Luxury, Performance and Premium.
There are three engines to choose from, depending on the trim you select. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine makes 202 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque. Next up is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four rated at 272 hp and 260 lb-ft. The top power plant is a 3.6-liter V6 that cranks out 321 hp and 274 lb-ft. All ATS trims come standard with rear-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is optional. Most ATS models come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission; however, a six-speed manual gearbox for the turbocharged four-cylinder is available as an option.
Even the base ATS comes well equipped with 17-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats, premium vinyl upholstery, OnStar and a seven-speaker Bose audio system with an iPod/USB interface. Stepping up to the Luxury trim adds parking sensors, keyless entry and ignition, a rearview camera, leather seats, driver memory functions, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and the CUE infotainment interface. Perks of the Performance trim include xenon headlights, automatic wipers, front sport seats, an upgraded audio system and various driver warning systems. The Premium trim features 18-inch wheels, a navigation system, a color head-up display and, on rear-drive versions, adaptive suspension dampers and a limited-slip rear differential.
Inside the ATS's cabin there's an abundance of tasteful styling and quality materials. Overall comfort is fine, although the rear seats will leave taller passengers feeling cramped. When it comes to holding the driver and front passenger securely in spirited driving, the standard front seats are up to the task; the optional sport seats don't really provide any advantage here. Similar to a smartphone's screen, the CUE (Cadillac User Experience) infotainment screen responds to swipes, taps or flicks, lighting up as you touch it. We like the familiarity of its design, but it's sometimes slow to react to commands and lacks easily accessible, intuitive controls like a volume knob. As it stands, the amount of attention required to operate CUE can be distracting.
In reviews of the Cadillac ATS, we've found that the 2.5-liter engine is merely adequate and lacks the power expected from a sport sedan. Considerably more stirring performance is provided by the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and the V6. Where the ATS truly shines, however, is handling. Responsive steering and a buttoned-down attitude when pressed contribute to its competency for both daily driving and enthusiastic cornering.
While it falls marginally behind in areas like trunk space and power with the base engine, the Cadillac ATS otherwise compares very well to its rivals in terms of price, standard and optional features and handling. We feel it's a legitimate option for any entry-level luxury sport sedan shopper.
Used Cadillac ATS Models
Introduced for 2013, the Cadillac ATS has remained essentially unchanged apart from minor equipment shuffling.