The 2015 Cadillac ATS coupe (I give it three out of four stars) makes enthusiastic driving irresistibly easy. Its sharp handling, sticky tires and suspension beg you to take each corner just a little faster. A low-slung, forward-leaning body completes the picture of a luxury car built to go fast and look good at any speed.
The ATS coupe is 1.1 inches lower and 1.4 inches wider than the ATS sedan. Surprisingly, it?s also 0.6 inch longer, but don?t expect that to translate into addition passenger or luggage room. The ATS coupe is about style, not practicality.
The coupe shares most of its systems with the ATS sedan, but nearly every exterior panel is unique to the slick two-door. The coupe?s wider track, lower center of gravity and revised steering all contribute to handling that seems to anticipate the driver?s desires. Upgrades to the electric power steering help with a broader range of assist at different speeds.
Prices start at $37,995 for a rear-drive ATS coupe with a 272-hp 2.0-liter engine. All-wheel-drive raises the starting price to $40,445. A 321-hp 3.6-liter V6 is available for $45,145 in RWD and $47,750 with AWD. All ATS coupes have a six-speed automatic transmission.
I tested a top-of-the-line V6 rear-drive ATS coupe with the performance trim package. It stickered at $50,190. All prices exclude destination charges.
My test car had leather seats, Bose audio, navigation, Bluetooth audio and phone compatibility. Safety features included parking assist, backup camera, hill start assist, and unusually assertive lane-departure prevention. I was disappointed it lacked blind-spot alert, which eases the stress of changing lanes.
The ATS coupe competes with such cars as the Audi S5, BMW 435i, Infiniti Q60, Lexus RC 350 and Mercedes-Benz E400. The ATS? price, features and accommodations compare favorably to those cars.
The 3.6-liter V6 delivers satisfying acceleration around town and on the highway. The ATS? 5.5-second 0-60 mph time trails the Audi and BMW. It beats the new Lexus RC. Infiniti and Mercedes don?t report 0-60 times for the Q60 and E400.
The ATS compensates by running fine on regular fuel for significant savings versus most of its premium-burning competitors. The EPA rated the 3.6-liter rear-drive ATS at 18 mpg in the city, 28 on the highway and 22 in combined driving. The combined figure beats the S5, the only all-wheel-drive car in the set. The ATS? combined rating trails the Q60 and RC 350, but EPA predicts its annual fuel bill will be lower. The BMW?s 25 mpg combined rating is high enough that owners should save money in spite of using premium fuel. The EPA hasn?t rated the E400?s fuel consumption yet.
The ATS? fuel economy and acceleration should improve when it gets GM?s new eight-speed automatic transmission, but that won?t be for awhile.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
2015 Cadillac ATS 3.6L Prestige
Four-passenger luxury coupe
Price as tested: $50,190 (excluding destination charge)
Rating: 3 (Out of four stars)
Reasons to buy: Looks; performance; voice recognition; built-in 4G hot spot
Shortcomings: Cramped rear seat; controls; no blind spot alert; glitch in audio display
COMPETITIVE EPA FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS
(Automatic transmission, rear-drive unless otherwise noted)
2015 Cadillac ATS coupe 3.6L Performance: 18 mpg city/28 highway/22 combined. Regular gasoline.
Audi S5 Quattro AWD: 18/28/21. Premium gasoline.
BMW 435i: 22/32/25. Premium gasoline.
Infiniti Q60 IPL: 19/27/22. Premium gasoline.
Lexus RC 350: 19/28/22. Premium gasoline.
COMPARATIVE BASE PRICES (EXCLUDING DESTINATION CHARGES)
(Automatic transmission models, rear-drive unless otherwise noted)
2015 Cadillac ATS coupe 3.6L Performance: $48,165
Audi S5 Quattro AWD: $53,900
BMW 435i: $46,100
Infiniti Q60 IPL: $53,650
Lexus RC 350: $42,790
Mercedes-Benz E400: $53,350
SPECIFICATIONS AS TESTED
Engine: 3.6L 24-valve V6
Power: 321 hp @ 6,800 rpm; 275 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 109.3 inches
Length: 183.6 inches
Width: 72.5 inches
Height: 54.8 inches
Curb weight: 3,530 lbs.
Where assembled: Lansing, Mich.
Key features on vehicle tested:
Standard equipment: Antilock brakes; stability control; driver and front passenger knee and side air bags; curtain air bags; auto-drying Brembo brakes; hill-hold and -start assist; lane departure alert and assist; automatic high beams; HID headlights; LED running lights; one-year OnStar directions and connections; five years OnStar basic service; three months 4G LTE hot spot; magnesium paddle shifters; performance seats; heated front seats; 12-way power adjustable front seats; memory for driver?s settings; power windows, locks and mirrors; leather seats and steering wheel; heated steering wheel; split folding rear seat; dual zone climate control; pushbutton start; 8-inch touch screen; voice recognition; Bluetooth phone and audio compatible; Bose audio; AM/FM/SiriusXM radio; USB port; sport alloy pedals; illuminating exterior door handles; noise cancellation and electronic sound enhancement; universal home remote; remote start; wireless charging for phones; front and rear park assist; backup camera; capless fuel filler; 18-inch aluminum wheels; run flat tires.
Source: MCT Information Services