New for 2015The 2015 Cadillac ATS received a number of changes, the largest being the addition of the ATS Coupe. Other changes to the model include a new Cadillac crest on the front grille, Cadillac DockSpot wireless phone charging (late availability), the latest CUE system with text message alerts and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot that requires a subscription, 14-percent more torque from the 2.0-liter turbo engine, lane keep assist has been added to the Driver Awareness Package, automatic safety belt tightening and lane change alert have been added to the Driver Assist Package, and several new exterior colors in addition to revised interior color/trim combinations.
Vehicle OverviewThe Cadillac ATS is a rear- or all-wheel-drive luxury sports car that fits below the CTS as the automaker’s smallest offering. The ATS is available as a sedan or coupe and aims to compete with the German Trio that has dominated the sports-luxury segment: Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.
SummaryThe 2015 Cadillac ATS is available in coupe or sedan, rear- or all-wheel drive, automatic or manual (2.0-liter only), and with four- or six-cylinder engines. The standard engine on the Sedan is a 2.5-liter I-4 that makes 202 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, gets RWD and a six-speed automatic, and is rated at an EPA-estimated 21/33 mpg city/highway. The base 2.5-liter is noticeably absent from the Coupe, but we don’t miss it. The first optional engine for the Sedan, and base engine on the Coupe, is a turbocharged 272-hp 2.0-liter I-4 that makes 295 lb-ft of torque, which can be paired with a six-speed manual or the same six-speed automatic, but must get the automatic to be paired with AWD over the standard RWD. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19-21/30 mpg in RWD form (manual is less efficient around town), and 20/28 mpg in AWD form. The most powerful available engine is a 321-hp 3.6-liter V-6, which makes 275 lb-ft of torque, gets paired exclusively with the automatic, but can be coupled to RWD or AWD. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18/26-28 mpg, with a slight penalty for AWD.
Some of the most noteworthy features on the 2015 ATS include Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo performance brakes, a 50/50 weight balance, an 8-inch infotainment screen, an inductive charging system for wireless phones (you can place your phone on the mat behind the CUE screen to charge without having to plug it in), the safety alert seat (warnings from the various systems will vibrate in the seat to alert drivers of danger), full-speed range adaptive cruise control, full-color head-up display, side blind zone and rear cross-traffic alerts, and the Intellibeam high-beam control (automatic dimming of the high-beams when oncoming traffic is detected).
The 2015 Cadillac ATS Sedan received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), but the Coupe has not yet been evaluated.
What We ThinkThe 2015 ATS is a competent contender in the German-dominated luxury sports car segment. Skip the base engine and consider only the turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 or the 3.6-liter V-6. Comments in our logbook for our Four Seasons test car (a 2013 Cadillac ATS with the V-6 and RWD) have been piling up. We called our ATS "really satisfying to hustle" and noted that "the ride is surprisingly sweet on crappy roads."”
The ATS Coupe takes all of the good things about the Sedan but does away with the back doors; although we wonder if the styling effort will be too muted to attract the folks who would buy it. We noted that the ride often verged on harsh and the back seat was cramped (in terms of ingress/egress passengers of all heights often hit their heads). The CUE infotainment system's lack of knobs and use of copious small touch points was a source of frustration. That being said, it’s something you can get used to. But getting used to something hardly means loving it.
- Turbo I-4 power
- Exhaust note of V-6
- Great handling
You Won’t Like
- CUE infotainment system
- Harsh ride over rough roads
- Getting the base 2.5-liter
- BMW 3 Series
- Mercedes Benz C-Class
- Audi A4
- Infiniti Q60