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2018 Cadillac ATS KBB Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating 8.0 / 10
10/8.0
This Car - 2018 Cadillac ATS
How It Compares to Similar Cars
10/
Highest -
10/
Lowest -
10/
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More Details
Consumer Rating 8.8 / 10
10/8.8

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Matt Degen


The 2018 ATS is the gateway into Cadillac, representing the American luxury brand's least expensive model. Available as a sedan or coupe, the 2018 Cadillac ATS competes with popular entry-level executive cars like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and Lexus IS. While those rivals are more established and better known, the Cadillac ATS has done an admirable job of not only matching their talent, but in some instances beating them at their own game. The Cadillac's standard engine, for example, is more powerful than those of its rivals, while its sub-$36,000 starting price slots in below most. Far pricier and far more powerful is the 2018 Cadillac ATS-V, a BMW M fighter that we review separately.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for an American-luxury alternative to the more familiar German and Japanese nameplates, check out the 2018 ATS. In addition to bringing more power and features at a lower price than rivals, it does so with standout looks and impressive technology.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the Cadillac ATS can match or beat rivals in the performance and features department, its badge may not have the same appeal as that of a Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, BMW or Audi. With the exception of Lexus, those competitors also offer convertible variants of their entry-level luxury cars.

What's New for 2018

Only minor changes are in store for the 2018 Cadillac ATS lineup. Among them is an update to the Cadillac-user-experience (CUE) infotainment system that, in addition to featuring CarPlay and Android Auto, has a more intuitive layout. The ATS also receives GM's Rear Seat Reminder technology.

Driving It Driving Impressions

When ATS dropped the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder last year that formerly served as its base engine, it said adios to one of this model's weakest links. Now standard is a more invigorating turbocharged 4-cylinder that enables this small Cadillac to hit 60 mph in the mid 5-second range while still being quite efficient. Unlike more and more rivals, you can still get a manual transmission, and it's a crisp one that enthusiasts will enjoy. The V6 provides slightly smoother acceleration, but we think the 4-cylinder is the better choice, given the V6's added cost. And while you may equate Cadillac with comfort, the ATS' suspension is stiffer, befitting its sporty ambitions. The Cadillac's 8-speed automatic transmission is fluid and fast, and though its steering isn't quite as precise as that of a BMW's, its feedback is still credible. We really like the magnetic-ride-control feature, but it's offered only on top-end Premium Performance trims.

Favorite Features

VALUE FOR THE MONEY
Unlike some rivals, even the least expensive Cadillac ATS sedan 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 an impressive value.

STYLISTIC COUPE
The 2018 ATS Coupe carries its own sense of style and athleticism. It's the latest in a line of Cadillac coupes that look dazzling, and in the ATS' case, its design looks far more expensive than its sub-$40,000 price tag.


For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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