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#5

in Upscale Midsize Cars

MSRP: $33,065 - $48,195
Invoice: $31,246 - $45,062
MPG: 22 City / 33 Hwy
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Cadillac ATS Review

The 2014 Cadillac ATS ranks 5 out of 22 Upscale Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Cadillac ATS, as well as reliability and safety data.

Test drivers say that the 2014 Cadillac ATS’ sporty handling and powerful engine options make it capable of hanging with the best German sport sedans. For having the best combination of factors that appeal to families in its class, we named the ATS our 2014 Best Upscale Midsize Car for Families. 

The 2014 ATS is available with a range of engine choices. The base engine is a four-cylinder engine that auto writers say provides adequate power. Most test drivers recommend stepping up to the optional turbocharged four-cylinder engine or V6 if you're seeking faster acceleration. A six-speed automatic transmission that reviewers praise is standard with all engines, while a manual transmission that reviewers say makes driving the ATS more enjoyable is available with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Fuel economy is rated up to an EPA-estimated 22/33 mpg city/highway, which is about average for the class. The ATS impresses reviewers with its agile, balanced handling and firm, but comfortable, ride quality. While some reviewers say the ATS' steering doesn't give the driver much feedback, most appreciate its precision.

The Cadillac ATS' cabin is praised for its modern design and use of high-quality materials. Critics note that the five-seat ATS has a small trunk for the class. They say the front seats are comfortable and supportive with sufficient legroom, though some say that headroom is lacking, especially on models with a sunroof. Test drivers also note that the back seats aren't particularly spacious. Much criticism of the ATS is directed at its optional CUE infotainment system, which reviewers say features touch-sensitive controls that don't work very well. Standard features include Bluetooth, two USB ports and a seven-speaker Bose stereo system. Options include CUE, a backup camera and a 10-speaker Bose stereo system. Safety features such as blind zone alert, lane departure warning, forward collision alert and adaptive cruise control, are optional.

  • "The 2014 Cadillac ATS is an enjoyable entry-level sport/luxury sedan worthy of comparison with more established German rivals. Although not a class leader, the ATS is a solid choice, especially if you want to drive something a little different from the norm." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2014 Cadillac ATS is a red-blooded American sports sedan with a distinctly Cadillac look. It stands out in the crowd, its handling characteristics were developed on some of the world's toughest tracks, it offers powerful 4-cylinder and V6 engines, and includes Cadillac's exquisite CUE infotainment system. With rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), the ATS is going after the market that's been dominated by such gems as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Infiniti G (now Q for 2014) sedans. There's a new player in town, and it's a Cadillac." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Cadillac's biggest challenge will be to get buyers of German cars to take serious notice of the ATS. Based on this experience, we think they should give the American a shot." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "The ATS's engine trio, distinctive styling, and other highlights give it the chops to be the first truly competitive compact luxury sports sedan from the U.S. It also delivers a broad range of trim and feature choices, across a price ladder that climbs from $33,900 to $42,090. Best in class? To be determined. A contender? No question." -- Popular Mechanics (2013)

Other Cars to Consider

The Audi A4 is praised by reviewers for its high-quality interior and refined driving dynamics. It also has a bit more trunk space than the ATS, and reviewers tend to like its MMI infotainment system better than Cadillac's CUE system.

The BMW 3-Series is considered one of the performance benchmarks of sport sedans by many automotive journalists for its crisp handling and powerful engine options, including a turbocharged six-cylinder that offers quick acceleration. Further, the base 320i model earns a better fuel economy estimate than the base ATS, and it offers more trunk space.

Compare the ATS, A4 and 3-Series »

Details: 2014 Cadillac ATS

The 2014 Cadillac ATS seats five and has standard rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional with all but the base, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Two optional engines are available, including a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a 3.6-liter V6. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard and a six-speed manual is available with the 2.0-liter turbo engine. The ATS is available in four trim levels: Standard, Luxury, Performance and Premium. The ATS debuted for the 2013 model year and carries over into 2014 largely unchanged. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2013 and 2014.

See full 2014 Cadillac ATS specs »

Review Last Updated: 9/17/14

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