The 2014 Cadillac ATS is a four door, five passenger luxury sports sedan made by General Motors. It debuted in 2013 model year to much fanfare and won the North American Car Of The Year award that same year. Having reviewed the 2013 ATS with the 2.0L turbocharged engine last year, RedlineNorth recently had the opportunity to revisit the ATS. This time with a 2014, 3.6L engine with automatic transmission. How does this year’s ATS stack up? Read on to find out.
The Cadillac ATS is available with three engine configurations, a 2.0L turbocharged, a 2.5L and a 3.6L engine. In addition, there are four trim levels depending on the chosen engine from standard, luxury, performance and premium. Our test vehicle was a white 2014 with the 3.6L engine, AWD and luxury trim. The standard ATS starts at $35,695 and reaches a base price of $51,480 at the premium trim level. The starting price of our luxury level configuration was $46,675. Additional options, destination charge and air conditioning fee brought the total price of the vehicle to $54,885 CAD.
Notable features of the 2014 vehicle with options include:
- A four year, 80,000 km new vehicle limited warranty with six years or 110,000 km of road side assistance
- 6 speed automatic transmission
- Brembo front brake calipers
- 1 year of OnStar service
- 18″ aluminium wheels
- Dual zone climate control
- Ambient LED based lighting
- 10-way power adjustable front seat
- Rear camera
- Front & rear park assist
- 8″ touch screen & 3 USB ports
- The driver awareness package adds forward collision alert, lane departure warning, auto high beam control and rain sensing wipers to name a few.
In terms of style, the ATS shows its aggressive side with sharp angles and a bold appearance. The sculpted headlights and the 18 inch polished aluminium wheels add to this look. The rear of the vehicle incorporates distinctive Cadillac chevron styling cues as well as dual chrome exhaust pipes. All in all General Motors should be applauded for their departure from the traditional Cadillac look and feel.
The interior of the ATS has the fit and finish that one would expect in a Cadillac. We particularly like the leather seats with precision stitching and embedded Cadillac chevron. The plethora of soft touch surfaces, along with the ambient lighting added to the luxury feel of the vehicle.
The dashboard is organized in a logical and ergonomically pleasing way. The haptic feedback on the CUE touchscreen is a great feature, however, we found that a number of the touchpad style buttons on the dash have to be pressed twice for them to engage. After a while we figured out the exact spot that needed pressing, but this is something that requires improvement in the future. Rounding out our likes of the interior was a frameless rear view mirror which blended into the front windscreen and looks great.
The back seat of the ATS does have somewhat limited leg room, and is best used for shorter distances, while rear headroom is acceptable. Trunk space is adequate and offers a pass through for those longer items. Although Cadillac engineers have made efficient use of space overall we found the interior of the ATS a touch on the small side.
In terms of performance, the 3.6L V6 engine provides 321 hp and 274 lbs of torque. Not surprisingly acceleration was plentiful with reported 0-60 mph times in the six second range. The ATS feels nimble and takes corners well with little body roll. Breaking is responsive thanks in part to the Brembo front calipers. Those in the market for a 6 speed manual have only one choice and that is the RWD 2.0L turbo model unfortunately. It would be nice for the manual transmission option to be available across all engine configurations.
The stated fuel efficiency of the 3.6L engine with AWD is 11.6L/100 km city and 7.6 L/100 km highway, which is based on the current two cycle test. Next year Natural Resources Canada will require reporting based on the more stringent 5 cycle test which translates into 13.1L city and 9.0L highway. Note that the 3.6L engine in the ATS only requires regular 87 octane fuel.
Key competitors to the ATS are the BMW 3 series, Audi A4/S4, and the Acura TSX and we think it does a good job stacking up against its German and Japanese rivals. Despite having a slightly tight interior feel and touch sensitive buttons that could use a rework, overall the ATS is a blast to drive. Throughout acceleration, cornering and breaking the ATS performs admirably. We loved the look and feel of both the exterior and interior of the vehicle and with a $46K base price one can enter the world of the performance luxury sedan with some nice options for under $50K. We also look forward to a new ATS stablemate, the 2015 ATS Coupe later this year.