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2015 Cadillac ATS

$13,689 — $30,577 USED
Sedan
4-5 Seats
21-25 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 9 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Excellent handling
  • Smoother power with turbo four-cylinder
  • Respectable gas mileage
  • Inventive cabin materials
  • Sharp styling

The Bad

  • Disappointing manual transmission
  • Snug interior
  • Some poorly fitted cabin materials
  • Tiny trunk
  • Unintuitive multimedia system
2015 Cadillac ATS exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2015 Cadillac ATS
  • New coupe body style available
  • Available OnStar with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot capability
  • Rear- or all-wheel drive
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • Choice of four-cylinder, turbo four-cylinder or V-6
  • Improved torque for turbo four-cylinder

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

From the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe.

by Aaron Bragman -

Featuring top-notch driving dynamics, a comfortable ride and classy styling, the Cadillac ATS coupe is almost ready to out-German the Germans; terrible touch-sensitive controls and cheap gauges are holding it back, though.

Cadillac is looking to up its game versus the German luxury brands, taking the fight to BMW and Mercedes-Benz with products designed to go toe-to-toe with their best. Rear-wheel-drive platforms, lightweight designs, sharp handling — and now, a compact coupe based on the ATS sedan to match up with the BMW 4 Series, Audi A5 and Lexus RC 350 (the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe hasn't been updated to match its new sedan yet).

Debuting for 2015, the new ATS coupe is arriving two years after the sedan was introduced and provides an alternative for the admittedly limited number of buyers shopping for a personal luxury coupe. Featuring two of the sedan's three engines, revised two-door bodywork and some suspension changes, the coupe isn't all that different from the sedan on paper. Is it good enough, then, to bring legions of BMW coupe buyers out of their repetitive buying habits and into something American?

Exterior & Styling
When the car was unveiled, I initially lamented the fact that the ATS coupe didn't look all that different from the sedan on which it's based. The previous generation of the bigger CTS sedan and coupe were very different-looking animals, with the CTS coupe taking on a wildly futuristic, angular look that I absol...

by Aaron Bragman -

Featuring top-notch driving dynamics, a comfortable ride and classy styling, the Cadillac ATS coupe is almost ready to out-German the Germans; terrible touch-sensitive controls and cheap gauges are holding it back, though.

Cadillac is looking to up its game versus the German luxury brands, taking the fight to BMW and Mercedes-Benz with products designed to go toe-to-toe with their best. Rear-wheel-drive platforms, lightweight designs, sharp handling — and now, a compact coupe based on the ATS sedan to match up with the BMW 4 Series, Audi A5 and Lexus RC 350 (the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe hasn't been updated to match its new sedan yet).

Debuting for 2015, the new ATS coupe is arriving two years after the sedan was introduced and provides an alternative for the admittedly limited number of buyers shopping for a personal luxury coupe. Featuring two of the sedan's three engines, revised two-door bodywork and some suspension changes, the coupe isn't all that different from the sedan on paper. Is it good enough, then, to bring legions of BMW coupe buyers out of their repetitive buying habits and into something American?

Exterior & Styling
When the car was unveiled, I initially lamented the fact that the ATS coupe didn't look all that different from the sedan on which it's based. The previous generation of the bigger CTS sedan and coupe were very different-looking animals, with the CTS coupe taking on a wildly futuristic, angular look that I absolutely loved — but apparently nobody else did, given Cadillac barely sold any.

The brand played it safer with the ATS coupe; the car looked good as a four-door, and the changes to create the two-door are definitely on the conservative side. There's a slightly revised front bumper and grille, and of course there are only two longer doors instead of four. The roof is slightly lower, as well. The front track is wider than the sedan's, so the front fenders are slightly different to accommodate the additional width between the wheels. Yet the overall effect after you gaze at the car for a few days is really quite classy — more elegant than aggressive. I'm onboard with the styling now.

How It Drives
The Cadillac ATS was already a stellar performer, and the coupe is just that much better. The highlight of the car, without a doubt, is its handling abilities. While my test car, a 2.0T Premium with all-wheel drive and an automatic transmission, did not have the high-end Magnetic Ride Control suspension, it still performed beautifully. Its sport suspension tuning was well-balanced between sporty feel and compliant ride, and the 18-inch wheels handled cratered streets in Ann Arbor, Mich., with surprising aplomb.

Steering feel is outstanding, with effort and feedback that recalls how BMWs used to feel. Body motions are equally well-controlled, with no bobbing or bucking on broken pavement and no odd sensations that make you feel like the car is struggling to maintain its composure. It's easily a match for the BMW 4 Series, feels a little more communicative than the latest Audi A5 and pretty much blows the Lexus RC 350's handling out of the water.

The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which is the midrange engine offering in the sedan, serves as the base engine in the coupe, making 272 horsepower and sending it to either the rear wheels or all four wheels. The optional all-wheel drive means you get a standard six-speed automatic transmission with three selectable drive modes: Touring, Sport and Ice/Snow. Putting the car in the spectacular Ice/Snow mode employs the all-wheel-drive system in bad weather, which made the ATS nigh unstoppable when Ann Arbor got smacked with a winter storm during my test drive.

The turbo-four provides adequate power to get the ATS up and moving quickly, but you'll want to keep it in Sport mode if you like frequent brisk acceleration. While not as torquey as the optional V-6, it's easily competitive with the turbo four-cylinder motors in the 428 and A5. The Lexus RC comes only with a V-6, but it doesn't feel appreciably faster than the turbocharged Cadillac, likely due to the extra weight it's lugging around.

The ATS coupe's lightness plays a part in its outstanding performance. As tested, my car weighed just more than 3,570 pounds — about 65 pounds lighter than a 428i and almost dead even with the Audi A5. It weighs a significant 320 pounds less than a Lexus RC 350 AWD, but again that car features a bigger, more powerful engine. The four-cylinder ATS coupe can easily keep up with four-cylinder versions of the BMW and Audi as long as its Sport mode is engaged, but you may encounter some situations where you'll wish you'd popped for the bigger, more expensive V-6.

Where you won't make that wish is at the pump, thanks to the ATS coupe's EPA rating of 20/28/23 mpg city/highway/combined with all-wheel drive. I averaged only about 20 mpg combined, but with my aggressive driving it's no mystery as to why. The all-wheel-drive BMW and Audi are both rated considerably higher than the Cadillac, however, with the 428i garnering a 22/33/26 mpg rating thanks to its eight-speed automatic, while the A5 snags a more comparable 22/31/25 mpg rating. The all-wheel-drive Lexus RC 350 gets a 19/26/21 mpg rating with its standard V-6.

Interior
Things are a bit cramped in the ATS coupe. It feels a little narrower than some of its competitors, but headroom is ample despite being lower than the four-door. Backseat hip room is considerably less than the sedan; this is a four-seater, as opposed to the sedan's five-occupant accommodations. Visibility to the front and sides is acceptable, but seeing into your rear blind spots is difficult due to the thicker C-pillars. That's the price one pays for coupe style.

The front seats are very comfortable, with an optional leather trim that looks fantastic. My car was done up in optional deep Kona Brown leather that complemented the Black Raven exterior paint beautifully. Most interior materials are also quite good, with high-grade, soft-touch leather and plastic for most surfaces. Compared with the 428i and A5, the ATS coupe feels completely up to par, and it surpasses the substandard dash plastics in the Lexus RC 350.

Ergonomics & Electronics
Where the ATS falls short of its German competition is in its controls, displays and multimedia systems, which do not feel as sophisticated or as high-quality. Two areas in particular are woefully inadequate: the center console control panel, which is made up completely of capacitive touch-sensitive buttons, and the standard gauges. For a luxury car to feel luxurious there must be tactile feedback in the controls and switches, and the muted "bump" provided by the Cadillac touch-panel system doesn't provide this. One has to focus too much on where on the panel to touch, and oftentimes more than one touch is required to activate a function, be it climate control, radio volume, etc. It's not a pleasant control system, and combined with the still-problematic Cadillac User Experience multimedia system, it nearly ruins the entire experience of driving the ATS. For many prospective buyers, I'm sure it will be a deal-killer.

The other area that feels cheap is the set of standard gauges behind the steering wheel. It's a three-dial affair that looks ridiculously plain in an otherwise upscale luxury coupe. The display looks like something from General Motors' cheapo 1980s days, when budgets and bean counters outranked stylists and engineers. A more sophisticated, all-electronic display available on the larger CTS would remedy this issue, but it's not available on the ATS. For a coupe that costs more than $50,000, this is just unacceptable.

An available head-up display projects limited information onto the windshield (and remarkably does not disappear when one puts on sunglasses, as it does in BMWs), but this isn't enough to overlook these two glaring flaws in an otherwise well-done cabin.

Cargo & Storage
The ATS coupe features as much cargo room as the sedan version, with 10.4 cubic feet. A split, folding backseat is standard. All that is exactly on par with the Lexus RC 350 coupe, which also features exactly 10.4 cubic feet of room and standard split, folding seats. But the 428i and A5 feature more cargo room in back, with 15.7 and 12.2 cubic feet, respectively.

Safety
In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the Cadillac ATS coupe earned five stars across the board — an excellent result. You can see the crash test results here. As for standard safety equipment, the ATS coupe features eight airbags and a backup camera system, but if you're willing to spend a little extra there are some interesting options available: A Driver Awareness Package includes a vibrating safety alert seat, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, rain sensing wipers and more. Taking it to the next level involves opting for the Driver Assist Package, which adds adaptive cruise control with stop-start, electronic parking brake, automatic front and rear collision avoidance braking (to prevent you from hitting a pole as you're backing up, for instance), rear cross-traffic alert and the full color head-up display. See all the ATS' standard and available safety features here.

Value in Its Class
The Cadillac ATS coupe starts at $38,990 with rear-wheel drive and the 2.0-liter turbo engine; the 2.5-liter non-turbo engine in the base sedan cannot be had in the coupe. The coupe's price bumps up to $41,440 when all-wheel drive is selected. Four trim levels are available: Base, Luxury, Performance and Premium.

My test car was a Premium model, which starts at $49,200 but includes a lot of standard equipment, such as a sport suspension, 18-inch wheels, performance seats, navigation, remote keyless entry with remote start, the head-up display, front and rear park assist, the Driver Awareness Package and more. Only two separate options were specified on my car: the $1,295 Kona Brown leather interior and $850 polished 18-inch wheels, for a total sticker price of $51,345, including destination.

Stick with a rear-wheel-drive turbo model and forgo the fancy multimedia systems and leather interior, and you can get into an ATS coupe for less than $40,000. Spec out an all-wheel-drive V-6 model with all the options, and you can top $60,000.

This pricing is perfectly in competition with the major players. The BMW 428i starts at $41,700, a bit more than the ATS coupe, and rises to $43,700 when all-wheel drive is specified. As with most BMWs, however, you'll start paying through the nose on options. Every paint color except non-metallic white or black costs $550; any leather interior requires the addition of both the Luxury Line and the Premium Package, adding $3,800 right off the bat.

With options similar to what I had on my ATS coupe test car, the 428i would cost more than $57,000 — quite a premium over the Cadillac. The Audi A5 comes only with quattro all-wheel drive, so the base version costs $40,925. Optioning one up to match my test car brought the A5 to $52,325, quite comparable to the Cadillac. Unlike the Cadillac, both the 428i and A5 have several trim and color combinations for sportier equipment and appearance packages, giving them more versatility and personalization options. The Lexus RC 350 starts at $43,715 for a rear-wheel-drive coupe and $45,950 for the all-wheel-drive version, but as mentioned before it comes with a much larger, more powerful standard engine than its competitors. Optioning the RC 350 up to the same level of features as the others brings it to just more than $52,000, as well. See how these four luxury coupes stack up against each other here.

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Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.5
30 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.6)
Comfort
(4.4)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Gorgeous car that gets the right kind of attention

by Srueg from SHAKOPEE on October 19, 2018

I love all the extra features in this vehicle. The HD radio and Bose sound system are phenomenal. The temperature control works wonderfully. It is a beautiful car inside and out. Read full review

(5.0)

Most comfortable reliable car I?ve owned

by theyngclassic from Orlando, FL on October 1, 2018

Plenty of leg room very smooth and comfortable for long drives. This car is very luxurious and reliable with a lot of great positive feedback from people who?ve seen me drive it Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2015 Cadillac ATS currently has 3 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2015 Cadillac ATS 2.5L

NHTSA rates vehicles using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Overall
5 Star
Overall Front
5 Star
Overall Side
5 Star
Overall Rollover Rating
5 Star
Driver's
5 Star
Passenger's
5 Star
Side Barrier
5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Driver
5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
5 Star
Side Pole
5 Star
Side Pole Barrier combined (Front)
5 Star
Side Pole Barrier combined (Rear)
5 Star
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Cadillac

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    72 months / 70,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    72 months / 70,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    Less than 75,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    12 months/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper (2012-2017 models)

  • Powertrain

    6 years/100,000 miles (2012-2017 models)

  • Dealer Certification Required

    172-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2015 ATS Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The ATS received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Third-row access

N/A

Infant seat

B

Booster

(second row)

B

Booster

(third row)

N/A

Latch or Latch system

C

Forward-facing convertible

(third row)

N/A

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

B
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker