The designated athlete of Cadillac's feisty compact line, the ATS-V sets a new standard of performance for the brand. It belongs to an exclusive group of otherwise European luxury cars with track-ready ability.

Pricing and Equipment

  • The ATS-V is available as a sedan ($60,465) or coupe ($62,665) in a single trim level. The base prices include features like leather seating, Bluetooth, performance gauges, and Cadillac's CUE infotainment system. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and an eight-speed automatic is available for $2,000.
  • The $2,500 Luxury package adds navigation, a Bose surround-sound system, and handful of convenience upgrades. A sunroof can be added to the package for $1,050. Luxury-equipped models are eligible for a Safety and Security package, which adds the latest in active safety technology for $1,850.
  • You can take the ATS-V in another direction with the $6,195 Track Performance package (not available with Luxury package), which gets you carbon fiber body trim, a low-mass battery, and a performance data recorder with audio/video capability.

Performance Pros

Cadillac ATS-VZoom

The rear-drive ATS-V packs a 3.6-liter turbocharged V6 that lays down 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. As expected with that kind of thrust, it's one fast Caddy, capable of hitting 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and going right up to 189 mph.

Performance highlights include:

  • Transmissions: The six-speed manual is a natural fit for a car like this, and we certainly won't quibble with drivers who insist on it. That said, the eight-speed automatic does a remarkably effective job of distributing the engine's power. Contrary to what you might expect, the automatic makes the ATS-V a tad quicker.
  • Handling/Steering: The adaptive suspension system is fully capable of the keeping the Caddy in line, even under fierce acceleration. An electronic limited-slip differential and extensive body bracing contribute to a feeling of utter control at high speeds.
  • Fuel Efficiency: You can expect about 19 mpg in combined driving, virtually the same as its six-cylinder competitors. Like those cars, the Cadillac requires premium fuel.

Performance Cons

  • At the end of the day, the ATS-V is still a 3,700-pound luxury car, so you shouldn't expect the light, nimble feel that some drivers prize in dedicated sports cars.
  • The Track Performance package makes sense only if you're going to drive your ATS-V competitively. For the rest of us, it's a rather expensive novelty with no impact on actual performance.

Interior Pros

Cadillac ATS-V InteriorZoom
  • The fine finishes and workmanship found in the regular ATS cabin carry over to the V, albeit with some sportier touches.
  • The front sport seats do their job of holding you in place when things get wild. What we didn't expect is for them to be so comfortable in daily driving.

Interior Cons

  • As nice as the cabin is, we found that some materials are of only average quality for this price class.
  • The coupe's shorter roofline and narrower backseat make it hard for adults to get comfortable—or even enter the space. Although it isn't as sexy, we consider the sedan is a far more practical choice.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

There's no need to be intimidated by the ATS-V's ferocious performance potential. In our experience, it's quite tame enough for cruising the neighborhood or running errands without accidentally laying a patch of rubber.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Almost all of the $25,000 premium over the standard ATS goes toward performance. Not-so-exotic features like a sunroof and an integrated garage door opener still cost extra.

The Bottom Line

You can now get undiluted Cadillac style and comfort in a car that's capable of a first-place finish.