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2014 Cadillac ATS

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2014 Cadillac ATS Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

The 2014 Cadillac ATS is a red-blooded American sports sedan with a distinctly Cadillac look. It stands out in the crowd, its handling characteristics were developed on some of the world's toughest tracks, it offers powerful 4-cylinder and V6 engines, and includes Cadillac's exquisite CUE infotainment system. With rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), the ATS is going after the market that's been dominated by such gems as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Infiniti G (now Q for 2014) sedans. There's a new player in town, and it's a Cadillac. That's why we named the ATS one of the 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000 for 2014.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Cadillac ATS is a first: an entry-luxury sports sedan with rear-wheel drive and great performance from an American manufacturer. If that appeals to you, head down to the local Cadillac store and give it a try.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Here's a reason not to at least give the 2014 ATS some consideration: It lacks a BMW emblem. It's the newest entrant in the field, and you may want one of the recognizable standards.

What's New for 2014

Introduced just last year, the Cadillac ATS has few changes for 2014: Intellibeam automatic high-beam control is added to a couple of packages, some models get a 110-volt outlet, a larger-diameter leather-wrapped steering wheel is included with paddle shifters, plus a few new colors and a new assortment of dealer-available accessories.

Driving the ATS

Driving Impressions Three distinct personalities can be assigned to the 2014 Cadillac ATS, and each is determined by one of the three available ATS engines. At the practical level, the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder...

powerplant gets the job done with 202 horsepower and a 6-speed automatic transmission, but isn't for the enthusiastic driver. At the high-performance end is the 3.6-liter V6 and its 321-horsepower contribution to autobahns and boulevard cruising. The V6 power makes the 6-speed automatic's job easy, but that's not the combination we'd recommend – even if you can afford it. For the enthusiast that lurks in many of us, we recommend the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder – with the 6-speed automatic if you must, but with the available 6-speed manual transmission if you want to give BMW's 328i sedan a run for pavement glory. The 272-horsepower 2.0-liter delivers determined acceleration and legitimate lightweight sports-sedan handling, aided in no small measure by the available FE3 suspension with "Magnetic Ride Control," a term that did not strike us in the least as an overstatement either on the road or at the track. We bet you've never driven an American production 4-door sedan that worked as sweet as this.

FIRST-CLASS HANDLING DYNAMICS
This is the entire premise behind the ATS: Can an American manufacturer build a sports sedan that matches up to the best of the fabled European and ascending Japanese models? The answer is yes. The ATS is proof. That's why it exists. Point made.

2.0-LITER TURBOCHARGED ENGINE
If we could convince you of only one thing in this entire review, it would be to at least try out an ATS with the 2.0-liter engine. This is an easy-to-drive engine with class-leading power and class-comparable fuel economy.

2014 Cadillac ATS Details
2014 Cadillac ATS photo Interior

Offering a well-finished assortment of real wood and supple leather and leatherette trims set off with plated-metal and carbon-fiber accents, the Cadillac ATS features a wraparound dash, driver-centric controls, LED gauges and subtle ambient lighting. While in no danger of putting Audi out of business, the ATS cabin is much more elegant than might be expected, which is a very good sign in a luxury-car interior. Front-seat legroom is adult-sized, but headroom can get cramped with the sunroof. In classic compact-sedan fashion, rear legroom can be described as iffy, but not excruciatingly so.

Exterior
2014 Cadillac ATS photo

Boldly angular bodywork set off with Cadillac's signature LED-infused vertical lighting elements gives the ATS an aggressive edge. Posed curbside, the sedan shows a confident, well-planted stance. Standard 17-inch alloy wheels and optional 18-inch upgrades add even more visual intensity to the mix. It looks pretty snappy from any angle.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The standard equipment content on the 2014 Cadillac ATS expands as you move from the base (Standard) model up through the Luxury, Performance and Premium grades, but even the Standard ATS comes with a full range of attractions. Want the easy life? Power-assist everything, dual-zone automatic climate control, 7-speaker Bose audio and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity are all yours. Want peace of mind? Eight airbags and Front and Rear Automatic Braking that can prevent low-speed impacts are looking out for you. The magical Cadillac CUE infotainment interface and Bose Cabin Surround Sound system adorn higher-grade ATS versions, with navigation included as standard on Premium models.

Optional Equipment

As with the standard features, available extras for the ATS are somewhat trim-grade dependent. Beyond available all-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual transmission on the rear-drive 2.0-liter turbo model, key ATS upgrades include a comprehensive array of safety-oriented features, including Full-Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control, Adaptive Forward Lighting, Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert and Brake Pre-Fill Automatic Collision Preparation.

Under the Hood

The 2014 Cadillac ATS offers three different engines, with the Standard trim models getting a 202-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. The Turbo versions have the impressive 272-horsepower turbocharged four. The top-line models get a 321-horsepower V6. Except for the rear-drive ATS turbo that will be available with a 6-speed manual transmission, all other versions of the Cadillac ATS will come with a standard 6-speed automatic.

2.5-liter inline-4
202 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
191 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/33 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
272 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/31 mpg (automatic, RWD), 20/29 (AWD, automatic), 19/30 (RWD, manual)

3.6-liter V6
321 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
275 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 mpg (RWD), 18/26 (AWD)

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2014 Cadillac ATS Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 40 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Love my ATS 2.0 turbo coupe

By on Thursday, January 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfort, gas mileage"

Cons: "back seat very tight"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is the first Cadillac I have owned. I love it! Quiet, comfortable and sporty...plus I am averaging 40 mpg on the highway..unbelievable, would have been hybrid numbers a few years back. Plenty of performance when you need and I love all the features, everything works perfectly from the Cue system."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

My ATS has been a great reliable car

By on Thursday, December 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

My 2014 ATS with black chrome wheels and the ground effects package

"This is the first American made car I have purchased in more than 15 years. Between my partner and I, we have owned two BMWs, two Acuras, two Audis and a Lexus. I can say from experience that Cadillac is building a world class car with equal or better reliability. The ATS has had no mechanical problems whatsoever and has required far fewer trips to the dealer than any of the German cars we've owned. The car has over 30k miles and is still as tight as the day we bought it. Im truly impressed with this car and proud that its American made."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

My 2014 ATS with black chrome wheels and the ground effects package

Incredible Vehicle

By on Monday, December 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfort, features, great price, fun to drive!"

Cons: "Tiny bit too small."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned 14 cars, trucks, SUVs over the last 30 years and this one tops all in comfort, speed for the size, and electronics. Incredible that you can go from Automatic to Manual on the fly at any time. Cadillac truly is top of the line!"

Great car - for a lot of reasons

By on Thursday, September 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great looks and handling; beautiful interior"

Cons: "A little pricey; firmer ride than in the ATS Sedan"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"1. The car is a joy to drive - incredible handling, responsive engine, firm ride 2. To my eye, the coupe is absolutely beautiful. What I especially like is that it is distinctive - American, in a good way - and not a wanna-be German. 3. The cars are not ubiquitous; I like the fact that you don't see them everywhere 4. The Brown leather interior is beautiful. I expected to hate CUE, but find it's fine, and the voice response and steering wheel controls are great. 5. I love shocking the heck out of my friends when they ride in it or drive it. One guy added it to his shopping list. 6. I like driving an American car; this is the first one that met my standards."

24 people out of 49 found this review helpful

I would not trade in to lease this car again

By on Sunday, July 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,424

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Suspention not what wold expect for a Cadillac"

Cons: "Don't think held good value"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Many recalls for service, and don't run well after last recall for spark plugs to be changed. Seems as if timing is off. Over all Q-system is great, but would not lease again."

36 people out of 82 found this review helpful

Absolutely Love this Car

By on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Acceleration!"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The perfect combination of luxury and sport comes together with the Cadillac ATS. I have the 3.6 ATS4 and it does perform good on snow too! Great Job Cadillac!"

35 people out of 55 found this review helpful

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