2018 Cadillac ATS Review
Pros & Cons
- Fun to drive, thanks to sharp handling and steering
- Optional manual transmission is rare in this class
- The back seat and trunk are small compared to competitors
- Turbo four-cylinder engine is noisy and not that fuel-efficient
- Many interior controls and ergonomics are more clever than functional
Which ATS does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
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.
2018 Cadillac ATS models
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.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts like the ATS models:
- Full-Color Head-Up Display
- Informs the driver of valuable information such as current speed, navigation prompts, entertainment information and status of driver aids.
- Teen Driver
- Helps owners set restrictions on vehicle functions and speed for younger drivers to help reduce distraction.
- Side Blind Zone Alert
- Warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot by flashing a light in the sideview mirror.