Cadillac ATS vs. Cadillac CTS vs. Cadillac XTS

Cadillac ATS vs. Cadillac CTS vs. Cadillac XTS

Suggestion No. 1 – 2014 Cadillac ATS Sedan 2.0L Standard RWD

As luxury cars go, the ATS is handsome if a touch bland. Designers seemed to focus on clean, elegant styling instead of flash-in-the-pan gimmicks employed by competitors. It may lack punch today but the trade off is longevity; this is a car that will probably look good decades from now, with its restrained bodywork and classic rear-wheel-drive proportions.

It’s the same story inside, where the ATS’s cabin features a no-nonsense layout and high-quality materials. But it’s what you don’t see that really counts. This machine is an inspiring piece of engineering; pound for pound it’s one of if not the lightest car in its segment, and what a group of peers it has. The ATS competes with sterling nameplates like the BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G37 Q50 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport Twin Turbo V6

Our favorite version of this sports sedan is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This lion-hearted powerplant delivers 272 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Those figures grace the ATS with spirited performance but that’s not the only reason we prefer it; this is the only engine Cadillac offers in the car that can be had with a manual transmission, a six-speed unit.

To date, the range-topping powerplant is a 3.6-liter V6. It cranks out 321 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. Where the turbo-four is like a scalpel this is more akin to a three-foot-long razor blade thanks to its strong top-end pull. Regrettably, the only gearbox offered with this engine is a six-speed automatic.

And then there’s the base unit, something we’d prefer to just ignore but we know you’re burning with curiosity so here are the details. Value-(un)conscious shoppers can opt for an unforgivable 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder that’s about as appropriate in the ATS as a chicken coop in the back seat or kegerator in the trunk; it’s perfectly fine in the Chevy Malibu but it has no business in a luxury car. If price is that important maybe you shouldn’t be looking at a Cadillac. Perhaps Mr. V should redirect his hatred from the Northstar to this malnourished unit.

SEE ALSO: 2013 Cadillac ATS Review

Skipping unnecessary options, an ATS with the 2.0-liter engine and a manual transmission can be had for a reasonable $36,020, including $925 in destination fees. At that price you get 17-inch wheels dressed in all-season run-flat tires, an active aero grille and projector-type headlamps. Inside, passengers are treated to a 4.2-inch information screen, Bluetooth connectivity and bovine-friendly “leatherette” seating surfaces

But best of all the ATS is blessed with a masterful chassis that makes the car a joy to drive. Overall this package can be described in one word: impressive.

  • Bill

    I now drive a 2008 Lexus es350 , thinking about trading for a Cadillac don,t know which model would compare with the es350 . I have been totally satisfied with the Lexus . Should I switch brands or not. Any info would be helpful. Thanks

  • Yannie

    Don’t be dumb…..

  • NormT

    I just picked up a used XTS VSport Platinum and whoa. This car is quite spectacular. It has all options minus massaging driver seat and rear DVD player, but includes Opus full leather seating(Lexus have this?), leather on the doors and dash, and a full Alcantra headliner. The lighting package let’s you know at night you’ve made the right choice.

    I did a 700 mile round trip with the cruise control set at 65 mph and saw a rosey 32.2 mpg all highway. Very impressive for a car this size and power level.

    Recently revising the ecu and making 525 lb-ft of torque or about 156 lb-ft than stock from the factory. Now at 50-70 mph and punchingbit the steering wheel gets light, the needles for mph and rpms jump and stutter like a seismograph picking and earthquake and then it is hang on Sally as she rips down the road.