- Sharp, distinctive styling. It’s got its own look, and like it or not, you won’t mistake it for a Hyundai Genesis in the Whole Foods parking lot.
- Really nice interior. It’s cozy, but very high end feeling. Comfortable seats, classy dashboard materials, thick steering wheel. Suggests quality.
- Sporty handling. This is more of a sports car than a traditional Cadillac. It corners really well, and has tight, firm steering. It’s actually more enjoyable to drive when you drive it harder. It seems tuned for that kind of driving, more than “around town,” where it just seems kind of stiff. But handling and suspension are impressive.
- Four- cylinder turbo-charged engine has plenty of power. Excellent (if very necessary), backup camera. Stiff ride in normal, day to day, around town driving.
- Stiff ride in normal, day-to-day, around town driving.
- Four- cylinder engine sounds a little “diesel-y.” It’s a bit noisy at start up, and sounds somewhat harsh under acceleration. The power is there, but it sounds a little unrefined, for a car that aspires to be refined in every other way.
- Six- speed automatic transmission is not as smooth as, say BMW’s eight-speed automatic. Lower gear shifts are detectable.
- Forget the back seat. Getting in there is ugly. The ATS Coupe has two, relatively short doors, and you basically have to position yourself, turn around, and “fall” into the back seat and hope for the best. And once you get there, you’ll find it’s cramped. Oh, and good luck clawing your way out.
- Audio and temperature controls are awful. The touch-screen system is awkward to use, and rather than using practical volume and temperature knobs, Cadillac went for high style and used metallic rocker touch buttons. They are difficult to use, don’t always seem to respond, and provide no tactile feedback. They should be ditched.
- The whole CUE system (“Cadillac User Experience”), which is Caddy’s version of BMW’s iDrive, is confusing, difficult to use, and sometimes slow to respond. There are volume controls on the steering wheel, but even those are not perfectly laid out, with another, raised button in between the volume up and volume down controls.
- Visibility is poor. The ATS has “slit” windows for styling, especially in the back. But even front and side, visibility is not as good as in some of this car’s competitors.
- Small side mirrors, also for style, we presume, limit their usefulness.