With its eye-catching angular sheet metal, the 2018 Cadillac ATS sedan stands out among today's crop of small luxury sedans. These are qualities to be appreciated if you think that most other car makers utilize conservative styling and design to the point of drabness. A light curb weight, a choice of turbocharged four-cylinder and V6 engines, precision handling and even an optional manual transmission give the ATS legitimate performance chops.
The ATS sedan is respectably comfortable as well. But there are downsides. The ATS sacrifices some function with its tidy cabin dimensions, cramped back seat and small trunk. The four-cylinder sounds raspy and coarse at high rpm. We've also found the touchscreen tech interface (called CUE for Cadillac User Experience) slow and awkward compared to the competition, although a new-generation system in this 2018 model may remedy that.
Success in this crowded, competitive segment is a tall order. The ATS isn't necessarily faster or more efficient than its rivals, which include the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. But it is competitive, and that's enough to warrant consideration for your next luxury sport coupe.
trim levels & features
The 2018 Cadillac ATS sedan is offered in four trim levels: base, Luxury, Premium Luxury and Premium Performance.
The base and Luxury trims come with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine (272 horsepower, 295 pound-feet of torque) paired to an eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional, but only with the automatic transmission. The Premium Luxury and Premium Performance trims come with a 3.6-liter V6 engine (335 hp, 285 lb-ft) paired to an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional on Premium Luxury. Premium Performance trims are rear-wheel-drive only.
Key standard features for the base trim include 18-inch wheels, heated side mirrors, a rearview camera, keyless entry and ignition, power-adjustable front seats and simulated leather upholstery. Tech features include the revamped CUE interface with an 8-inch touchscreen display, OnStar services (with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot), Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, wireless device charging, three USB ports, and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with satellite radio.
The Luxury trim adds adaptive xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, additional front-seat power adjustments, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a navigation system and driver-position memory settings. The optional Safety and Security package adds driver assistance features such as forward collision alert, lane departure warning and intervention, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams and automatic wipers.
Picking the Premium Luxury gets you the Safety and Security package as standard plus a sunroof.
The Premium Performance trim includes all the previously mentioned features, plus high-performance tires, a sport-tuned suspension, adaptive suspension dampers, a limited-slip rear differential, a head-up display and a power-adjustable steering column.
Many standard features on the upper trims are optional on lower trims. The Driver Assist package, available on the Premium Luxury and Premium Performance trims, adds the head-up display, adaptive cruise control and advanced safety technologies, including forward and rearward collision mitigation and automatic emergency braking.
The Track package, available only on the Premium Performance trim, adds a heavy-duty engine cooling fan and upgraded brake pads. All rear-wheel-drive base, Luxury and Premium Luxury trims can add the V-Sport Performance Suspension Upgrade package, which adds 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and high-performance tires.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
child safety seat accomodation
audio & navigation
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.
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.