Despite a generally favorable reception, the Cadillac ATS has historically suffered from mediocre sales. It returns in coupe-only form for this year, but expect the 2019 Cadillac ATS to be the last of the badge – the CT3 will take over in 2020.
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2019 Cadillac ATS Overview
What's New for 2019
Though it manages to disprove the rumors of its demise, the Cadillac ATS still suffers some losses for 2019. The most notable of these are the rear two doors and the manual transmission, leaving only coupes and automatics.
Choosing Your Cadillac ATS
The Cadillac ATS begins with a choice of two engines. The first, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, produces 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The second is a 3.6-liter V6 with 335 hp and 285 lb-ft of torque. Both are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
All-wheel drive is available on all except the top trim, usually for a $2,000 price bump. Fuel economy starts at an EPA-estimated 22 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 combined for the base engine, with the V6 managing a respectable 19/29/23 mpg (city/highway/combined) thanks to cylinder-deactivation technology.
The interior offers seating for four, although the back seat is compact. Luxury is what you’d expect in a Cadillac, with Bose sound systems, a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, keyless entry, push-button start, and a rearview camera as standard features across the board. The ATS also places an emphasis on performance, with an independent sport suspension and brakes courtesy of Brembo.
Other features are distributed across four trims: Standard, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Premium Performance.
If you’re on a budget, the 2019 Cadillac ATS Luxury trim gets the features you need without pushing the price too high, and the base engine is still an excellent performer. If you have the cash, the Premium Luxury’s magnetic ride control will unlock the best performance short of the thunderous ATS-V.
2019 Cadillac ATS Review
As the Cadillac ATS heads toward retirement, it's being released only as a coupe for what will likely be its final model year. That being said, it's still a great American competitor to the BMW 4-Series, Audi A5, Lexus RC, and INFINITI Q60. The 2019 Cadillac ATS is refined, handles great, and is full of features while also remaining price competitive.
The best value of the 2019 ATS Coupe lies with the Luxury trim, which gets luxury car necessities like leather seating, adaptive HID headlights, heated front seats and steering wheel, navigation, and front and rear park assist. You also get the ability to add a couple more options and packages than the base trim, while keeping the starting price at less than $45,000.
We'd outfit our ATS Luxury with the Safety and Security Package and the nicer semi-aniline leather seats in Morello Red and then leave it there with no additional options.
- Model: 2019 Cadillac ATS Luxury
- Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
- Output: 272 hp / 295 lb-ft
- Transmission:Eight-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
- MPG: 21 City / 29 Hwy
- Options: All-wheel drive ($2,000), Safety and Security Package ($1,500, Safety Alert Seat, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, following distance indicator, automatic wipers, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic high-beams, enhanced security system, locking wheel lugs, locking fuel door, steering column lock, inclination sensor), Morello Red Semi-Aniline Leather Seats ($1,295)
- Base Price:$43,790 (including the $995 destination charge)
- Best Value Price:$48,585
The Cadillac ATS is actually a really fun car to drive in every trim, as it shares the same underpinnings of the latest Camaro and both engine choices give great life to the car. The first engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out a solid 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to make the ATS feel fast. Fuel economy comes in at an EPA-estimated 22 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 combined.
Higher trim levels get a 3.6-liter V6 that gives 335 hp, making it capable of hitting 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. This engine is also surprisingly efficient, as its use of cylinder deactivation allows it to be EPA-rated at 19/29/23 mpg (city/highway/combined)
The ATS comes standard with all-wheel drive with the exception of the rear-wheel-drive-only Premium Performance top trim, and the only transmission is an slick-shifting eight-speed automatic.
The real joy of the ATS lies in the corners, as it offers tons of grip. This is especially true at top trims that come equipped with stickier tires and GM's excellent magnetic-ride suspension adapted from the Corvette that can automatically change firmness almost instantaneously as the car moves over the road. Brakes are sourced from Brembo, and will scrub off speed with enthusiasm. It really is a shame not enough people bought this car, warranting its cancellation.
While the style of the ATS has aged since its introduction, it still looks modern and upscale. The exterior is very similar to that of the CTS, but in a tighter, smaller package, especially now that it's only being offered as a two-door. The look may have been around for several years, but it's still about on par with offerings from other luxury car companies.
Inside, the ATS has a choice of several interior colors, which run the gambit between black and boring to sporty red leather with the potential for real wood and carbon fiber trims. Entry-level ATS models get a lot of technology features compared to competitors, but the faux-leather isn't the most convincing in the world. Move up to the next trim level and you get much better seats with real leather, and premium leather is also available. The seats are more inclined for sport as opposed to cushy luxury, with firm bolstering to keep you put in the corners. On the other hand, the rear seat is pretty cramped and the advanced safety features are only available if you spend a lot of money.
The Best and Worst Things
The best thing about the ATS is the handing. It grips tightly in the corner, making it really fun to drive. It also has two great engines on hand that both work well with the chassis.
The worst thing about the ATS is that it's only available as a coupe this year. Sedans may be getting slaughtered while SUVs are flying off of dealer lots, but a couple of extra doors add quite a bit of flexibility to the car.
Right For? Wrong For?
The ATS is perfect for a mid-level manager who doesn't need to haul kids and wants something that's comfortable, stylish, and sporty. It's a great alternative to the BMW 4-Series and Mercedes C-Class Coupe that stands out easily.
On the other hand, the ATS isn't for those who need a back seat. Even though you can fit people back there, the lack of rear doors makes it really awkward to ingress and egress.
The Bottom Line
ATS, we hardly knew you. It's a pity that the wonderful 2019 Cadillac ATS is being cancelled, but hopefully the coupe will ride into the sunset gracefully. However, don't worry about the amazingly fast ATS-V, as it's still slated to stick around.