Cadillac ATS

2017 Cadillac ATS

The Cadillac ATS is an all-American car, in coupe or sedan form, as good as the best of the German sports sedan or coupes.

The 2017 Cadillac ATS, the fourth year of this generation, is powered by two excellent engines, a turbocharged four-cylinder or silky powerful V6. The 2.0-turbo makes 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, with an 8-speed automatic or 6-speed manual. The 3.6-liter V6 makes 335 hp and 285 lb-ft, mated to an 8-speed automatic.

All-wheel drive is available.

The 2.0 turbo with the 6-speed manual is a sleeper, a real live Cadillac sports sedan, with real live changing of gears, more torque than the V6, riding on a superb chassis and stiff suspension. Its like the little brother of the ATS-V.

The vigorous and enthusiastic ATS-V is Cadillacs worthy challenger to the BMW M3 and the Mercedes C63 AMG. It uses a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 making 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. Its mated either a 6-speed manual with rev-matching or an ultra-fast 8-speed automatic.

The ATS earns five stars from the crash-testing feds, and not yet tested by the insurance people. Features such as blind-spot monitors and forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking come standard on the upscale models. The ATS four-cylinder gets about 25 miles per gallon combined, on premium fuel. The ATS-V with the eight-speed gets about 19.

2016 Cadillac ATS

The Cadillac ATS holds its own against the worlds best sports sedans and coupes. Competitors to the ATS include the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, and Infiniti G37.

The Cadillac ATS comes with four doors or two. The two-door coupe is slightly smaller than the four-door sedan, with a wider track for better cornering, and it looks the same but actually has different sheetmetal.

There are three engines: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder (sedan only); a 272-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder; and a 333-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 re-engineered for 2016 for better fuel mileage. You can further choose between a 6-speed manual gearbox or 8-speed automatic, and rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

The ATS sedan with the 2.5-liter engine gets an EPA-rated 26 miles per gallon Combined city and highway, the 2.0 turbo gets 26 mpg Combined, and the V6 is rated 24 mpg Combined.

The ATS-V is another animal altogether. Available as a coupe or sedan, its 3.6-liter V6 is turbocharged to make 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque, which blast it to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and beyond to 189 mph. It has a presence that says modern muscle car, with wide flared fenders and aggressive aerodynamics to go with the iconic wedge-shaped Cadillac grille. The interior features Recaro seats, available faux carbon trim, and touches of dark suede. The stiff chassis is aluminum and steel, the suspension uses magnetic dampers, and it comes with the excellent Performance Traction Management (PTM) system. The result is a hugely powerful car thats easy to drive either around town or on the track near the limit. ATS-V competes with BMW M3, Audi S4.

The 2016 ATS has eight airbags including front knee airbags, with rear side airbags optional. Other safety options include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and a rearview camera. The ATS earns a Superior rating for frontal crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), for cars equipped with the available Driver Awareness Package, which includes Forward Collision Alert.

2015 Cadillac ATS

The Cadillac ATS sedan gave the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class a run for the money when it came on the scene a couple of years back with distinctive design, lightweight construction and agile handling. The 2015 Cadillac ATS lineup gets updated features, a freshened look and a sleek, sporty coupe.

The Cadillac ATS coupe rides on the same platform as the sedan, though it gets its own bodywork and sits about an inch lower, with a wider track (the space between the left and right wheels). The only sheet metal the ATS coupe shares with the sedan is the hood. Everything else has been widened and elongated, from the modern take on Cadillac's signature egg carton grille to the rear bumper. Coupes also get fatter steering wheels, wider rear tires and a performance-tuned rear suspension.

Also debuting on the 2015 ATS lineup is Cadillac's new crest, a reinterpretation of the logo that was based on the family coat of arms of Detroit founder (take a deep breath) Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac. The new crest is a more modern take, ditching the laurel wreath in favor of a lower and wider shape, with a straight-edged top line and a distinct angular lower line.

A host of new or updated tech features can be added to the 2015 Cadillac ATS. Wireless 4G LTE connectivity turns the ATS into a hotspot for WiFi-enabled devices, powered by AT&T (a separate data plan is required). A wireless charging system lets users charge a compatible smartphone by simply placing it in the charging tray, as long as the phone is equipped with a special case. Cadillac's CUE infotainment system is also updated, and now includes text message alerts.

New safety features for 2015 include an optional lane keep assist, which will automatically help guide drivers back into their lanes if they drift. An automatic safety belt tightening feature will take up any slack during fast stops, or if the system calculates a collision is possible.

As before, the Cadillac ATS sedan comes with three engine choices. The base model gets a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated inline-4, good for 202 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. It's the least expensive and slowest of the bunch, with a manufacturer estimated 0-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds.

An updated version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 makes 272 hp and gets an increase in torque for 2015 to 295 lb.-ft., making for peppier acceleration. The top-of-the-line powertrain is GM's 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6, good in this application for 321 hp and 275 lb-ft. of torque, which propels the ATS from 0-60 mph in just 5.4 seconds.

Coupes are only available with the 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 or the 3.6-liter V6. Most models come standard with a 6-speed transmission, though a 6-speed manual is available on some trims with the 2.0-liter turbo. Each of these engines, whether on the sedan or coupe, can be equipped with all-wheel drive.

Fuel economy ratings for the 2015 Cadillac ATS: 21/33 mpg City/Highway for 2.5-liter base sedans with rear-wheel drive, and 18/28 mpg City/Highway for the 3.6-liter with RWD. The 2.0-liter turbo engine gets 21/30 mpg with the automatic transmission and 19/30 with the 6-speed manual. All-wheel-drive models get 20/28 mpg City/Highway with 2.0-liter engines and 18/26 mpg with the 3.6-liter V6.

The compact luxury sport segment remains a fierce battleground, with the Cadillac ATS sedan going up against the likes of the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The coupe also has big shoes to fill, with competitors like the Audi A5 and the BMW 4 Series. But the ATS can hold its own, especially against Asian luxury cars like the Infiniti Q50 and Lexus IS. And while the ATS may not rule the roost in terms of brand cachet, it's definitely in the game.

2014 Cadillac ATS

The Cadillac ATS sedan competes with the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class and while it may not rule the roost it is definitely in the game, featuring lightweight construction, agile handling and a beautifully executed interior.

Launched for 2013, the Cadillac ATS was designed and engineered from the ground-up on an all-new platform. Its relatively compact size marked a turning point for Cadillac, which bought into the same-sausage, different-lengths philosophy of the Germans and now has true compact, midsize, and full-size sedans in its lineup, with the Cadillac ATS, CTS, and XTS, respectively. (For 2015, the lineup expands further when an ATS coupe joins the ATS sedan.)

Cadillac ATS is the luxury brands small offering (as small as compact can get these days). Even though it may not be diminutive, the ATS is one of the leanest cars in the class, thanks to weight-saving technology, including the use of lightweight metals, that whittles the curb weight down to as low as 3,315 pounds. Thats less than comparably equipped models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi.

As with most cars in this class, the Cadillac ATS uses rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available on some models, but like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, they are based on a rear-wheel-drive platform as opposed to a front-wheel-drive platform, such as that of the Audi A4.

For 2014, Cadillac ATS carries over unchanged save for a few additional features. Intellibeam automatic high-beam control is added to the available Driver Awareness and Driver Assist packages for 2014. A frameless inside mirror is installed on all 2014 Cadillac ATS models. A leather-wrapped, larger-diameter steering wheel goes into models with steering-wheel paddle shift controls. A 110-volt power outlet has been added to the console of models with CUE and navigation packages.

Three engine choices are available for the Cadillac ATS, including two four-cylinder options. Each uses direct injection and variable valve timing to maximize performance and fuel efficiency. The base engine is a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated inline-4, good for 202 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. Its the least expensive and slowest of the bunch, with a manufacturer estimated 0-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds. A sprightly 2.0-liter turbo makes 272 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque and can go 0-60 mph in an estimated 5.7 seconds with automatic, or 5.8 seconds with the available manual gearbox. The top-of-the-line powertrain is GMs much-used 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6, good in this application for 321 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, which propels the ATS from 0-60 mph in just 5.4 seconds. All versions use GMs 6-speed Hydra-Matic transmission, with the exception of the 2.0-liter turbo, which also offers a 6-speed manual in some trim levels as a no-charge option.

Like its big brother, the CTS, the Cadillac ATS was tuned on the track, including Germanys famous Nurburgring, often used by European car companies during development. The result is a light but solid chassis with near 50/50 weight distribution (a la BMW), which we found performs beautifully on the road. Driving dynamics are further enhanced by a five-link independent rear suspension, plus optional Brembo brakes with a high-tech coating that keeps the rotors looking as good as they perform. Magnetic Ride Control is optional on most ATS models, ready to adjust suspension real-time for even more responsive driving.

Inside, fit and finish rivals that of any Audi or BMW, although we found some interior configuration options limiting. Upper trim levels use CUE, Cadillacs touchscreen interface. An acronym for Cadillac User Experience, the large screen uses proximity sensors, haptic feedback and voice recognition to control phone, audio and navigation functions.

Fuel economy for the Cadillac ATS 2.5-liter model with rear-wheel drive is an EPA-estimated 22/33 mpg City/Highway. Unlike its Premium-burning German rivals, Regular gasoline is recommended. The ATS with 3.6-liter V6 is rated at 18/28 mpg, also on Regular gas, or 18/26 mpg with all-wheel drive. The EPA estimate for the 2.0-liter turbo with automatic is 21/31 City/Highway (20/29 mpg with AWD).

In addition to the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4/A5, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the ATS competes with the Acura TSX and Lexus IS.

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