The ATS sedan’s carved a singular place in a crowded Caddy segment since launching two years ago, specifically this two-door model with its classic attributes – style and comfort. Style-shmile, though. I jammed my ATS tester with the contents of my apartment and moved across town. U-Haul? A pal’s pickup truck? Forget it. It was a Cadillac or nothin’. When I was done with the sublime pleasure of changing residences, I leaned back and dug my low, wide ATS, which came equipped with a 3.6 liter V6 (a turbocharged 4-cylinder is available) that glides down the street like butter on wheels, its sound system buoying you with bass and whose interior rocks you as though you’re at a spa. Blast and roar aren’t the ATS’ strong points – your neighbors will thank you – but it does giddyap from 0 to 60 in a not-bad 5.6 seconds. It also comes in a six-speed manual, which I would have liked to have sampled, but you only get it if you opt for the 2.0 litre, rear-wheel drive trim. Mileage is a reported 18-city/28 highway with the 4-cylinder, 18/26 with the 6-cylinder. I drove 80 highway miles round trip picking up my bro at the airport on a full tank and watched with dismay as the needle plunged despite taking it easy. No one buys a Caddy for its mileage, however, so that was forgivable.
The car’s feel on the highway is steady, heavy, and quiet. Your weight is just about evenly split, 50/50, front and rear, and optional Magnetic Ride Control adaptive dampers and FE3 sport suspension assist the smooth ride. You roll. You have a nice conversation with your passenger. It feels good. $1,295 buys you semi-aniline leather upholstery and high-line trim packages, with wood accents, so you smell good things as well as enjoying the glide. The back section is small and getting there requires a severe front-seat-lean-forward action unless you’re a child, so take note of the 4-door model Cadillac offers in this trim if you plan on packing family or buddies or the contents of your crib back there.
2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe, Base price: $37,995
Where this car really gets specific is in its options, which are fun and impressive and would be something I’d include if I was buying this car for someone else, as Elvis Presley might. (The King of rock’ n’ roll was notorious for buying Cadillacs for friends and family.) Lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, forward-collision alert, Cadillac’s safety alert seat, automatic high-beam control and rain-sensing wipers are just a few of the all-ins available. A Driver Assist package, which adds front and rear auto-braking, full-range adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and cross-traffic alert, automatic collision preparation, auto seatbelt tightening and a full-color head-up display not only provides a feeling of safety, but you may have the most packed-with-tech ride on your block. The ATS is aimed at the individual, and it’s under 40K starting price tag makes it even more singular. That’s a good thing in an increasing world of same-same.