2019 Cadillac ATS Expert Review

4 Overall Score
Performance 4.2 Comfort 3.9 Styling 4.2 Value 3.7

Editor's Overview

The 2019 Cadillac ATS lives to see another year, but in coupe form only. The sedan model, which was the American luxury brand’s attempt to rival entry-level luxury cars like the BMW 3 Series, has ceased production. While its future is murky, the ATS Coupe boasts sleek design and a lower price than rivals like the Audi A5.

You'll Like The 2019 Cadillac ATS If...

If your heart is set on a 4-passenger compact-luxury coupe made in America, this is the one. The availability of all-wheel drive makes this a sporty coupe you can enjoy in all four seasons and winter driving.

You May Not Like The 2019 Cadillac ATS If...

The end of production could be near for the ATS as Cadillac shifts its focus to SUVs, making the coupe a one-and-done model. The interior is rather cramped, and the ATS’s touch-based infotainment system can be fussy.

What's New

For 2019, Cadillac has ceased production of the ATS sedan, leaving only the coupe. It carries over with no major changes, except for dropping the manual-transmission option. The ATS-V high-performance coupe (reviewed separately) also hangs on for a final year.

Interior Features

The Cadillac ATS Coupe features a 4-passenger interior, but we’ll warn you now: The rear seats are extremely tight, even by compact-coupe standards. Best think of them as parcel shelves. In that respect, they can be somewhat practical when combined with their folding function that allows you to fit longer items in the trunk. Up front where it really matters, we found the plush seats supportive. Audio, phone and navigation info is nicely displayed via an 8-inch center touch screen that’s part of the Cadillac user experience (CUE) system, but the surrounding touch-base buttons can be fussy to use. Practice when parked before trying to adjust the volume at freeway speeds. We also suggest adding blind-spot monitoring as rear visibility is compromised.

Exterior Features

We think the ATS’s sleek look is one of its biggest draws. Following the angular form factor of the CTS Coupe that preceded it, the ATS Coupe has a shape that is athletic, luxurious, daring and tasteful all at once. Detractors are few, one of them being the streaked headlight housings that we still can’t get used to. You may have a different opinion. The 2019 ATS Coupe rides on 18-inch wheels as standard, with 19-inch options available.

Driving Impressions

With standard rear-wheel drive, a near 50/50 weight balance and your choice of a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine or strong, naturally aspirated V6, the Cadillac ATS has all the makings for a great sports coupe. And those on-paper traits do indeed translate to a nimble, fun and frisky luxury coupe in real life. The Cadillac ATS Coupe’s suspension was tuned for more performance than that of the sedan, allowing for more playful behavior in corners, though a stiffer ride overall. We like the magnetic-ride-control suspension setup, but it’s only available in the top-end V6 version. Regarding engines, while it’s easy to enjoy the more powerful V6 for its smoothness and extra power, it’s just as easy to recommend the turbocharged 4-cylinder. The turbo-4 is potent in its own right and because it makes the vehicle lighter, it allows the coupe to feel nimbler. Moreover, it’s a lot less expensive. Opt for a V6 ATS Coupe, and you’ll pay nearly $10,000 more than a base model with the 4-cylinder. The remaining manual-transmission fans out there will be sad to hear that choice has been dropped in the ATS, but the majority of drivers will be happy with the smooth 8-speed automatic.

Pricing Notes

The 2019 Cadillac ATS Coupe has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $38,995, plus a $995 destination charge. Adding all-wheel drive is $2,400. A V6 Cadillac ATS Coupe begins quite a bit higher, at $48,395. Fully loaded, an ATS Coupe can reach into the mid-$50,000 range. At its base price, the ATS Coupe is less expensive than compact-luxury-coupe rivals such as the Audi A5, BMW 4 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, Lexus RC and Infiniti Q60. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The Cadillac ATS Coupe’s resale value is expected to be poor, significantly trailing rivals like the Lexus RC.

Notable Equipment

For 2019 the ATS Coupe is available in four trims: Standard, Luxury, Premium Luxury and Premium Performance. Even a base model is surprisingly well equipped. Included are 6-way-power front seats, dual-zone climate control, Leatherette upholstery and keyless open with remote start. The Cadillac coupe’s standard infotainment system bundles an 8-inch touch screen, 12-speaker Bose audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, GM’s OnStar connected services system, wireless phone charging and subscription-based 4G LTE Wi-Fi. For less than $4,000 more, the Luxury trim is more recommendable. It adds leather seating, 12-way-adjustable driver’s seat with memory function, navigation, heated steering wheels and front seats, a 110-volt power outlet, and high-intensity headlights. Furthermore, it opens the door for the optional Safety and Security Package that bundles blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, lane-keep assist and lane-departure warning.

Notable Options

All ATS models except the top-line Premium Performance can be optioned with all-wheel drive instead of the standard rear-wheel drive. Moving up to the Premium Luxury trim adds the V6 engine, the Driver Awareness suite of safety features, and front and rear parking sensors. This trim also opens the door for more advanced driving features such as adaptive cruise control, forward and reverse automatic emergency braking, and a head-up display. The top-trim ATS Premium Performance model includes magnetic ride control as standard, semi-aniline upgraded leather upholstery, upgraded engine-cooling system and a limited-slip differential.

Favorite Features

VALUE
Unlike some rivals, even the least expensive Cadillac ATS Coupe comes out the gate filled with a strong engine and a long list of amenities. From its standard CarPlay/Android Auto integration and Bose audio system to its Brembo brakes and built-in 4G LTE with Wi-Fi, the Cadillac ATS is a good value, especially compared with its German competition.

STYLISH DESIGN
The 2019 ATS Coupe carries a strong sense of style and athleticism. Boasting interesting angles and good proportions, it looks more expensive than the price tag would have you believe.

Under the Hood

The 2019 Cadillac ATS compact-luxury coupe offers a choice of two engines. The two lower trims, called Standard and Luxury, come with an excellent 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder good for 272 horsepower and a stout 295 lb-ft of torque. The two higher trims, Premium Luxury and Premium Performance, have a standard 3.6-liter V6 good for 335 horsepower and 285 lb-ft of torque. All ATS models have rear-wheel drive (RWD) as standard, with all-wheel drive (AWD) optional on all but the Premium Performance model. All models now use a smooth 8-speed automatic. If you want a seriously high-performance ATS, you can step up to the ATS-V (reviewed separately) with its twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 good for 464 horsepower. All ATS Coupe models use an engine start/stop system that cuts power at idle to save fuel. If you don’t like the engine shutting off at stoplights, the system can be disabled by pressing a button below the gearshift.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
272 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg (RWD), 21/29 mpg (AWD)

3.6-liter V6
335 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
285 lb-ft of torque @ 5,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29 mpg (RWD), 18/26 mpg (AWD)

Editors' Notes

The 2019 Cadillac ATS lives to see another year, but in coupe form only. The sedan model, which debuted several years ago as the American luxury brand’s attempt to rival entry-level luxury cars like the BMW 3 Series, has ceased production. That leaves the 2-door ATS to carry the torch, and how much longer its own flame will burn is unknown as Cadillac focuses on building SUVs. If you can stomach all this, though, the Cadillac ATS Coupe has some appeal. First is fantastic design. Its angular shape still stands out and is a contrast to the curves of rivals like the Lexus RC, Infiniti Q60 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe. A sub-$40,000 starting price also makes the ATS a value in this class.

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