In recent years Cadillac has been moving into a sportier direction to take on its European rivals who have dominated the luxury car segment. Launched in 2013 as a compact sports sedan, the ATS was intended to take on the BMW 3 Series, the Audi A4 and Mercedes’ C class. It had impressed us with its strikingly good looks and driving performance; for 2016, Cadillac introduced a few changes to the ATS, most notably a new V6 engine, a new transmission and enhancements to its CUE entertainment system. To test it out, we spent a weekend with the new 2016 Cadillac ATS coupe.
A sleek and angular design style coupled with near perfect proportions make the ATS coupe a really handsome machine. The front end is dominated by a large grill boasting the new Cadillac logo, while vertical lights (both front and rear) and a swooping roofline give the coupe an aggressive stance. To be honest, I think it is one of the best-looking luxury coupes available today.
The cabin is nothing short of what you would expect from a premium car manufacture. There’s plenty to like here from the driving position and bulky steering wheel to the high quality materials used all-round. There are a few things though that didn’t really impress me, like the infotainment system, CUE (Cadillac User Experience), which I found to be slightly unintuitive, and since there were no buttons, it wasn’t a pleasant experience while driving. Then there are the seats: yes, they are comfortable, but since this is a performance car, I would have preferred a bit more side bolstering.
When it comes to all-round driving performance, the Cadillac ATS really thrives. It is not insanely powerful -the new V6 engine produces 335Bhp and 386 Nm of torque, but in my opinion is just the right amount of power you’d need on everyday roads. Factor in a wonderfully balanced chassis, amazing levels of grip, a perfectly weighted steering wheel that offers enough feedback from the road and what you’re left with is an incredibly fun car to drive. A great driver’s car…
With the ATS coupe, Cadillac has managed to make a luxury sports car that is arguably the best driving car in its segment; the Europeans better watch out.