2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe Review

More Than a Two-Door ATS

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe Review

Like Rocky Balboa in the sixth installment of the iconic boxing movie series (coincidentally also titled Rocky Balboa), the once great Cadillac brand is a wiry veteran underdog that you want to pull for even if most people already gave up cheering.

FAST FACTS

Engines: The 2.0L turbo four-cylinder makes 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The 3.6-liter V6 makes 321HP and 275 lb-ft.

Transmissions: Six-speed manual for RWD 2.0T only, six-speed automatic available across the board.

Fuel economy: Four-cylinder RWD, 21 MPG city, 31 MPG highway. V6 RWD, 18 MPG city and 28 MPG highway.

Price: Base 2.0T starts at $38,990 after destination charges, base V6 starts at $46,145.

The company is slowly making progress toward being America’s world-class luxury brand once again. To continue that trend, Cadillac is bringing a compact luxury two-door to market: the ATS Coupe. Aimed at attracting a younger buyer – a familiar message from the company – the ATS Coupe promises to be more than just a two-door version of the ATS sedan. Cadillac says this is a full-fledged sports coupe bordering on sports car territory.

Wider, Lower, Meaner

This isn’t just the manufacturer waxing poetic either; it made serious strides to differentiate the coupe from the sedan even if they seem similar at first glance. For starters, the coupe rides on a wider track than the sedan by nearly one inch in the front and one and a half inches in the rear. Coupled with a roofline one inch below the sedan, the ATS coupe only shares one body panel with its more conservative sibling: the hood.

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe 05

The wider stance leads to an expanded front and rear fascia that is most noticeable in the grille and twin tailpipe surround treatment. All coupes come standard with 18-inch wheels that are unique to the two-door model to further set it apart from its sedan siblings. The difference can be seen when coupe and sedan are parked side-by-side where it does indeed look wider and more athletic. On its own, I still find it generally looks long and narrow like the sedan.

Two Powerful Choices

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe 08

Under the hood things are fairly familiar. The 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine found in the sedan is gone, underscoring that the coupe is a sportier choice. That makes the base engine a revised version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder unit that now makes 272 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque in all versions of the ATS. That’s more torque than the optional 3.6-liter V6, which produces 275 lb-ft. The six-banger does make quite a few more ponies though, with 321 hp on tap. Both engines are available with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations and a six-speed automatic transmission.

SEE ALSO: 2013 Cadillac ATS Review – Video

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe 13With two engines so close in output, it should come as no surprise that performance is similar. Official 0-60 MPH times for the two engines are separated by a tenth of a second. With power always on the ready, the 2.0-liter has no trouble motivating the ATS coupe and features specifications that embarrass the Audi A5 2.0T, BMW 428i and outgoing Mercedes-Benz C 250. In fact, torque and power from the revised turbocharged four makes the V6 now feel a little less impressive.
 
That’s not to say the six is obsolete because it still offers smoother, more linear power delivery than the inline four. Despite turbo lag being minimal in the smaller engine, power is still peaky and it can’t match the V6’s throaty and aggressive melody at full throttle either.

Manual to Prove it’s Sporty

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe 06

Unique to the rear-wheel drive four cylinder ATS is an optional six-speed manual transmission that comes equipped with a limited slip differential. When the manual was first offered with the ATS sedan, I wasn’t a fan of its clunky operation. The transmission has since been revised and is now better, but there’s still space for improvement. Gear engagement is rough and unrefined leaving the gearbox feeling cheaper than it should in something like an ATS.

That still doesn’t stop the 2.0T with the manual transmission from being an entertaining combination. With plenty of torque on tap, it exploits the turbo four-cylinder’s power band and is a blast to drive on twisting roads.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe Ditches Doors, Gains Style

Fuel economy for the four-cylinder automatic is pegged at 21 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. The heavier V6 automatic is officially rated at 18 MPG city and 28 MPG highway, but it’s important to note that the turbocharged engine needs premium gas while the V6 runs on regular fuel.

Handles Even Better Than Before

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe 01

A strong point for the ATS sedan has always been its chassis dynamics and with the coupe, things have improved. With a wider track and revised offset for the wheels, the ATS coupe is more planted than the sedan. Without a back-to-back comparison drive, it’s hard to say how much, but the 2.0T coupe I drove with the FE3 magnetic ride suspension is one of the most engaging small luxury coupes I’ve driven in a while. Yes, more responsive than even the BMW 428i.

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe 07Standard with staggered 225/40R18 tires up front and 255/35R18 tires in the rear, the ATS hugged the back roads of upstate New York during our test drive. V6 cars are noticeably heavier on the road, especially ones with all-wheel drive, as the turbo four cars really exploit their near perfect 51/49 weight distribution and light 3,418 lbs. curb weight.

All cars feature standard Brembo brakes and a sport mode that alters steering feel, throttle response and shift mapping with the transmission. Even the base FE2 suspension handles well but is tuned to offer a balance between comfort and sport whereas the FE3 magnetic ride suspension can be set in either mode. As a bonus, FE3 cars also receive a limited slip rear differential and a quicker steering ratio.

Familiar Inside

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe 17

Inside the ATS coupe is similar in layout and design to the sedan, aside from a thicker steering and a smaller, two-person rear seat.  For a small coupe though, rear seat space is livable. At 33.5-inches, legroom is not an issue, but headroom can be. Shorter adults or teenagers will fit back there, but anyone over 5’10” will probably feel cramped.  The rear seat itself is comfortable, but there is no center armrest and that seems like a strange omission.

Up front, the seats proved comfortable over long distance driving, but I find the adjustable side bolsters are too shallow and don’t provide enough support. Sightlines inside the car are very good for a coupe as the C-pillar is set in such a way that it does not impede rearward visibility or the three quarter blind spot. Of course the car is equipped with the latest technology like a wireless charging mat, Siri eyes free text to speech and 4G Internet connectivity.

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe 04

The Verdict

With a starting price of $38,990 after destination charges for 2.0T models and $46,145 for V6 models, the ATS is well-positioned power and value wise against the BMW 4 Series and Audi A5. Now it’s Cadillac’s job to convince younger drivers to cross-shop the ATS with German sport coupes.

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked