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- Highs Decent power, excellent ride and handling, nicely equipped interior.
- Lows Fussy infotainment interface, tight back seat, interior falls short of rivals in luxury.
- Verdict The ATS has an awesome chassis topped by a good, but not great, design effort and a cabin that just misses the luxury mark.
When Cadillac launched its compact ATS coupe and sedan in the 2013 model year, engineers benchmarked the platform against the BMW 3 series, giving it excellent ride and handling dynamics while also managing a lower curb weight than the BMW. In 2015, the ATS was treated to a restyling in which the four-door sedan took on more of the two-door coupe’s styling cues. At this point, the design, while handsome, is not especially exciting. The 2017 Cadillac ATS is available in either body style, with the choice of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four or a 3.6-liter V-6, six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic, and rear- or all-wheel-drive.
What's New for 2017?
Cadillac has streamlined the ATS’s trim levels for 2017, with base, Luxury, Premium Luxury and Premium Performance models now available. A new Carbon Black package is optional, and the CUE infotainment screen is now standard, with Teen Driving and Cadillac Collection features. Two new exterior paint colors have been added to the pallet, bronze dune and silver moonlight metallic, and a new 17-inch wheel design is available in the choice of two finishes.
- Base: $35,590
- Luxury: $39,390
- Premium Luxury: $44,990
- Premium Performance: $47,990
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The base 272-hp 2.0-liter turbo four and available 335-hp 3.6-liter V-6 both come with auto stop/start and cylinder deactivation. Despite weighing 170 pounds more than the RWD version, a 2.0-liter AWD model we tested recorded a quicker, 5.4-second 0-60 mph time, and we found the AWD system unobtrusive “until you notice the extra traction pulling you out of a snowdrift.” The Cadillac’s tightly controlled body motions and high steering effort support a quick line through S-bends. Its Sport setting sharpens steering response further and engages more aggressive shifting, which can be done manually in the automatic with polished magnesium steering-wheel paddles.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The ATS has a front seat that's roomy and comfortable, although the back seat, perched atop a carpeted platform is a bit tight and not visibly inviting. Standard features include six-way power seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, and keyless entry. The ATS's optional stitched leather seats and mahogany-like deep-grain wood trim with a gloss-black center stack approach the German brands for quality of materials, but the Cadillac still lags behind the competition in pure luxury. Trunk space in the ATS also lags behind that of many rivals.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system has been improved since it first launched in the brand’s models, though it remains fussy in terms of the number of swipes and taps required to change radio stations or turn up the heat. The ATS comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot, and a 10-speaker stereo with satellite radio. Higher trims add navigation, a premium Bose audio system, and wireless phone charging.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.