Editor’s note: If you’re looking for information on a newer Cadillac ATS, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Cadillac ATS Review.
Do you think it’s high time that an American car company made a real compact sport sedan? We don’t mean a sedan that just puts up impressive numbers or gives you bang for the buck; we’re talking about a truly world-class American sport sedan, a car that’ll give the Germans something to think about. Well, guess what: It’s already here, and it’s called the 2014 Cadillac ATS. Here are five reasons why this compact Caddy is one to watch.
Rather than fiddle around on the local roads in Michigan (some of which are fantastic to drive on, by the way), Cadillac developed the ATS on the Nurburgring, Germany’s world-famous road course. The bogey was the BMW 3 Series, but not the oversized model that’s on sale today. Rather, Cadillac’s benchmark was the previous 3 Series, a smaller, nimbler sedan that’s generally considered to be one of the best-handling 4-doors ever built. The engineers didn’t stop until the ATS felt even better than the BMW, and that’s why Cadillac’s smallest sedan is such a joy to drive. Body roll is minimal, and the ATS’s reflexes are racetrack-ready.
One glance at the ATS’s aggressive sheet metal, and you’ll know what we’re talking about. No other compact sedan on the road looks as angular, purposeful and downright menacing as Caddy’s entry-level model. The brand’s trademark "Art & Science" design language is on full display here, but it’s crisper than ever, with perfect proportions that make the ATS resemble a coupe more than a sedan. We love the throwback tall taillights, too. See the 2014 Cadillac ATS models for sale near you
An Engine for Everyone
Cadillac wants its entry-level sedan to be truly attainable, so there’s a base model with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that keeps costs down and easily gets over 30 miles per gallon, too. If you’re the power-hungry type, don’t worry; we’re just getting started. Next up is a turbocharged 4-cylinder that packs a formidable 272-horsepower punch without much of an efficiency compromise. There’s also a stout 321-hp V6 that’s borrowed from the CTS. With either of the latter two motors, this Caddy really scoots.
Right on CUE
The big technology news with the ATS is the Cadillac User Experience, or CUE. It’s Cadillac’s new touch-based infotainment system, and it feels like a glimpse into the future. The central 8-inch touchscreen looks like a miniature iPad. You also get a voice-command system and full smartphone integration with apps such as Pandora. Unlike the Germans with their complicated knob-based interfaces, Cadillac simply lets you touch what you want — simple as that.
Available All-Wheel Drive
You need to have all-wheel drive (AWD) to hack it in this segment, and the ATS offers it not once, but twice. The midlevel turbo engine is eligible for AWD, and so is the range-topping V6. You can take your pick in terms of power and still enjoy all-season versatility. A lot of folks are leery of rear-wheel drive when roads get slick, but an ATS with AWD makes that concern moot. When the snow melts, all-wheel drive can add to the fun on winding roads, giving you that extra layer of security at the limit.
The 2014 Cadillac ATS is a global car that makes no compromises. It’s designed to go head-to-head with the best, and the results are too close to call. You should get yourself to the nearest Cadillac dealer and judge for yourself. Find a Cadillac ATS for sale