2019 ATS New Car Test Drive
For 2019 the Cadillac ATS becomes a coupe-only nameplate; it's no longer offered as a sedan.
This cutting of two doors is just a prelude to cutting the car altogether. The rear-wheel-drive ATS, fun to drive and fairly luxurious, will be discontinued soon. It's not been a big seller. We're not sure why.
When it was introduced in 2013, it won North American Car of the Year right out of the box. It's been a worthy challenger to the best of the German sports sedans and coupes, as well as the Lexus IS and others.
The ATS is powered by two excellent engines, a turbocharged 4-cylinder or silky powerful V-6. The 2.0-turbo makes 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, with an 8-speed automatic or Tremec 6-speed manual that's more fun. The 3.6-liter V-6 makes 335 hp and 285 lb-ft, mated to an 8-speed automatic; unfortunately it costs about $10,000 more, and we don't think it's worth it. All but the Premium Performance model are available with all-wheel drive.
The 2.0 turbo with the 6-speed manual transmission is a sleeper, a serious sports sedan with more torque than the V-6 and the stimulation of changing gears with a slick gearbox and old-school shift lever. It rides on a superb chassis with stiff suspension. It's like the little brother of the ATS-V, and it's our favorite model. Like all ATS models, standard equipment includes Cadillac's responsive and colorful 8.0-inch infotainment unit with Bose sound, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
The ATS-V is the mega-high-performance model. With vigor and enthusiasm, it challenges the BMW M3 and the Mercedes C63 AMG. It uses a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6 making 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to either a 6-speed manual with rev-matching or an ultra-fast 8-speed automatic.
The turbo-4 gets about 25 miles per gallon combined, on premium fuel. The ATS-V with its twin-turbo V-6 gets about 19 mpg.
The ATS earns five stars from its federal crash tests. Features such as blind-spot monitors and forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking come standard on the upscale models. .
The ATS comes in four models: Standard, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Premium Performance.
Standard and Luxury are equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The top two trims, up around $50,000, get Cadillac's 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 335 hp and 285 lb-ft of torque.
The Standard model can feel meagerly appointed, with its synthetic leather upholstery. But that feeling can go away fast, with options like wood or carbon fiber trim and heated and cooled leather seats. Standard equipment includes a rearview camera, 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and Bluetooth.
Cadillac ATS Premium models come with forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, and a seat that vibrates to warn the driver when an accident may occur. Premium Performance models have adjustable dampers and a limited-slip rear differential..