Cadillac engineers and planners have done a quick study on what makes a good compact luxury coupe and the results are stunning to look at and great to drive.
Last fall we enjoyed a short drive in the Cadillac ATS Coupe during the annual Northwest Automotive Press Association?s ?Run to the Sun?, and we finally got a chance to spend a week driving it at home recently.
?The 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe is a natural step in the brand’s progression, and another distinctive fun-to-drive and technologically advanced product for a new generation of drivers extending our target groups,? said Uwe Ellinghaus, chief marketing officer, Global Cadillac. ?It is an exclusively distinctive American alternative, unique in its class, yet delivering a sporty and sophisticated driving experience rivaling the world’s best.?
We like the latest version of the CUE (Cadillac User Experience) system which controls audio, navigation, communications, climate and the General Motors OnStar connections; it responds quickly and is fairly intuitive. The system is controlled by a tablet-like eight-inch touch screen (located at the top of the center stack) or by audio commands. The system is available on base models and is standard on the three upper level models. One of the new features is a text-to-voice for smartphone users and a Sire Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users. There is also as a new built-in Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect up to seven devices at once.
These foundations combine to produce a nearly perfect 50/50–front/rear balance — and a low center of gravity. The front suspension is a sophisticated multi-link variation of the MacPherson-strut system and the rear is a five-link independent setup. Other elements of the ATS suspension come from top manufacturers including a belt-driven, electric assist variable ratio ZF steering system and front Brembo brakes. Some trim levels even come with four-wheel Brembo brakes and Cadillac?s state-of-the-art Magnetic Ride Control.
Our rear-wheel drive test car had the manual transmission, and while it wasn?t the very best transmission we?ve driven, it was very good making smooth shifts and providing excellent driver control. We haven?t had a chance to drive the optional six-speed automatic transmission, but traditionally GM Hydramatic transmissions are among the best in the business.
The 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe pricing starts at $39,985 for the 2.0-liter turbo with manual transmission and rear wheel drive. It?s also available in a Luxury, Performance and Premium trim levels and with and automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. A fully-loaded Premium model with V-6 engine, all-wheel drive, automatic transmission and all the available options will have a bottom line price of about $60,000.
The Cadillac ATS coupe is a car we?d like keep in our garage. It is great looking, exciting to drive with impressive performance and handling. If you are thinking about one of the competitor?s luxury coupes, take the time to drive the ATS Coupe, it?s a contender and it shows that Cadillac is very serious about making drivers? cars.