01 Feb 2016 Cadillac ATS 2dr Coupe
By Lacey Elliott
This 2016 refreshed ATS makes my heart pound just on its looks alone. The design is edgy and incredibly unique no matter what angle you are looking at it. The front light treatment is like nothing else on the road; there is no question in your mind when you see this new Cadillac approaching you in your rear view mirror. This car shares the same platform as the sedan but the roof, doors, trunk lid and rear fenders are all distinctive for the coupe.
The interior is nothing short of luxurious. The materials used are lavish and incredibly well put together. Real wood, carbon fiber and aluminum all work together to create an interior that provides a high level of refinement. It’s evident that the design team that put this car together spent a lot of time ensuring that even the smallest detail had been looked at.
My favorite design aspect is the center stack that almost seems to float. It flows into the dash and creates a finished appearance that is completely seamless to look at. The interior has a generous amount of space and a good-sized trunk but rear seat is a bit limited for 4 adults. If hauling grown-ups is something that you do frequently; the sedan would be a more sensible choice.
The BMW 3 series is the major competition for this car. The unique look of the Cadillac wins my vote. However, the 3 series does have a bit more interior volume in both the trunk and the passenger area.
ON THE ROAD
The ATS was always available with a base 2.5L 4-cylinder, a 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder and a 3.6L V6 but for 2016 the 3.6 is all new, even though it is the same size as last years model. Nothing has been carried over from the old engine and with 333hp it has 13 more than the previous model.
This is an incredibly dynamic car to drive because of its near perfect 50/50 weight distribution. The 5-link rear suspension does a fantastic job of keeping it planted on the road even when doing hard cornering. Driving on wet roads I feel confident. The steering is dialed in and responsive.
Cadillac has introduced start/ stop technology and an 8-speed transmission that both help to improve fuel consumption. The smooth shifting transmission can also be shifted manually. Over the years, BMW has proved itself with the very popular 3 series. On the road; it’s a close call between these 2 cars. Both have comfortable suspensions and similar cornering abilities.
SAFETY & TECHNOLGY
All speed traction control is standard across the board. Forward Collision Alert, Lane Change Alert and Lane Departure Warning are not available on the base model. They are an option on the Luxury Trim and are standard features on the Performance and Premium.
Don’t forget the CUE System also known as the Cadillac User Experience. It comes to life when it senses your hand is close or by using voice recognition. It also lets you access your music and contacts with just a touch or flick of the screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available for 2016 and they seamlessly connect through CUE.
BMW has iDrive that shares many of the same functions but it feels out of date compared to CUE.
The ATS starts at close to $36,000 for the base 2.5L 4-cylinder, $38,000 for the 2.0L turbo and $45,000 for the new 3.6L V6. There are a lot of good reasons that this car won the North American Car of the year just 3 years ago. With a refresh and some changes, that great car got even better. The ATS has a more unique styling, the interior is more up to date and it’s a gem on the roads. It really is a close call with the 3-series but the ATS gets my vote overall.