ATS Offers Comfort, Latest Tech and Slammin’ Sound System
Base price: $37,995
The ATS sedan’s carved a singular place in a crowded Caddy segment since launching two years ago, specifically this two-door model with its classic attributes – style and comfort.
Style-shmile, though. I jammed my ATS tester with the contents of my apartment and moved across town. U-Haul? A pal’s pickup truck? Forget it. It was a Cadillac or nothin’. When I was done with the sublime pleasure of changing residences, I leaned back and dug my low, wide ATS, which came equipped with a 3.6 liter V6 (a turbocharged 4-cylinder is available) that glides down the street like butter on wheels, its sound system buoying you with bass and whose interior rocks you as though you’re at a spa. Blast and roar aren’t the ATS’ strong points – your neighbors will thank you – but it does giddyap from 0 to 60 in a not-bad 5.6 seconds. It also comes in a six-speed manual, which I would have liked to have sampled, but you only get it if you opt for the 2.0 litre, rear-wheel drive trim.
Mileage is a reported 18-city/28 highway with the 4-cylinder, 18/26 with the 6-cylinder. I drove 80 highway miles round trip picking up my bro at the airport on a full tank and watched with dismay as the needle plunged despite taking it easy. No one buys a Caddy for its mileage, however, so that was forgivable.
The car’s feel on the highway is steady, heavy, and quiet. Your weight is just about evenly split, 50/50, front and rear, and optional Magnetic Ride Control adaptive dampers and FE3 sport suspension assist the smooth ride. You roll. You have a nice conversation with your passenger. It feels good. $1,295 buys you semi-aniline leather upholstery and high-line trim packages, with wood accents, so you smell good things as well as enjoying the glide. The back section is small and getting there requires a severe front-seat-lean-forward action unless you’re a child, so take note of the 4-door model Cadillac offers in this trim if you plan on packing family or buddies or the contents of your crib back there.
Where this car really gets specific is in its options, which are fun and impressive and would be something I’d include if I was buying this car for someone else, as Elvis Presley might. (The King of rock’ n’ roll was notorious for buying Cadillacs for friends and family.) Lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, forward-collision alert, Cadillac’s safety alert seat, automatic high-beam control and rain-sensing wipers are just a few of the all-ins available. A Driver Assist package, which adds front and rear auto-braking, full-range adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and cross-traffic alert, automatic collision preparation, auto seatbelt tightening and a full-color head-up display not only provides a feeling of safety, but you may have the most packed-with-tech ride on your block.
The ATS is aimed at the individual, and it’s under 40K starting price tag makes it even more singular. That’s a good thing in an increasing world of same-same.