Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cadillac ATS Coupe

Two years ago, Cadillac launched their entry-level luxury sedan called the ATS. It was positioned below the CTS and this car was a potent threat against the Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4, and the BMW 3-Series. It was a good car for a start but it kinda doesn't live up to its world-class reputation because it's just too plain for a sports saloon to give the Germans a good rambling.

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe
Fast-forward to today and Cadillac not only offered a facelifted ATS saloon but they've added a coupe version for the very first time and the brand new ATS Coupe could be America's answer to the BMW 4-Series and the Audi A5. Does it got what it takes to be as good as the Germans?

First and foremost, it looks like the ATS saloon but for the coupe version, it only has two-doors. Yep, two doors but that's not the end of it because what made us noticed that the ATS Coupe is the first-ever Cadillac to feature the new logo as seen on the Elmiraj concept from last year's Pebble Beach. That's right, what you're looking up here is the new face of Cadillac. The laurels are gone and that new, laurel-less or wreath-less Cadillac crest logo looks a bit chubby if you ask me. Anyway, never mind about the new logo, let's talk more on the important aspect on the new ATS Coupe; the way it moves.

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

The top-of-the-line model comes with the 3.6L V6 engine with Variable Valve Timing delivers 321HP of power and 275lb-ft of torque. That's quite impressive but for those who wanted something more exciting, there's the 2.0L turbo engine that delivers 272HP of power and 295lb-ft of torque. That turbocharged engine is something I would definitely want to have because even though it has more torque than the V6 engine, that turbo makes it a lot more exciting to drive and best of all, all turbocharged models come standard with the 6-speed manual while the 6-speed auto is optional although that gearbox is standard for V6 models.

So, how does it compare against its foes from Germany? Let's look at the stats. The ATS Coupe with the 2.0L turbo engine starts at $37,995 so it's a thousand dollars less than the BMW 4-Series and the Audi A5 using the same engine. When it comes in power, that 272HP output from the ATS Coupe's 2.0L engine makes it a best-in-class. Sounds good but there's a catch; the ATS Coupe can be somewhat heavier than its German rivals so that's a downside but that's not the least of my problems.

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe interior

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe interior

One of the biggest problems is the interior and if you're in the driver's side, you will be flummoxed by the typical Cadillac interior which is like Cadillac interiors are the new BMW interiors because they kept on using the same dashboard over and over with no originality whatsoever. It was like cartoon characters kept on wearing the same clothes all the time. Gosh, all that sweat really comes out from them but there's also a bigger problem on the interior and it's the access to the back seats. Getting in is fine but getting out is a worrisome experience and it takes a broomstick to slip through like butter. If you want to get through the rear seats, best to stay slim or you won't get through the rear seats. So, bad mark for the ATS Coupe there.

What about handling? The original ATS saloon was honed on the Nurburgring to find out just how good this is and for the coupe version, it's not so bad judging by its low center of gravity, wider tracks, stiffer suspension, and the electric-assist, speed-sensitive premium steering that is well responsive when it faces a corner. It even has the Magnetic Ride Control which keeps the car more stable and more enjoyable to drive. That's not a bad car to drive for a start but that chassis isn't beyond BMW levels so calling it world-class can be somewhat a lie and a propaganda for the less knowledgable.

If I have an evaluation, the Cadillac ATS Coupe really has the best-in-class performance that will pounce its rivals on the trot as well as its value for money but its handling dynamics can be somewhat a bit mild and the interior is not what I hoped for. While the dashboard is a bit stale, access to the rear seats is nightmarish. I wouldn't want to be on that spot like what I faced when my parents had an old BMW 3-Series Coupe but for going solo, the ATS Coupe is not half bad at all. You can spend a weekend on this one and cruise to your heart's content.

Available colors: Black Diamond Tricoat, Radiant Silver Metallic, Crystal White Tricoat, Silver Coast Metallic, Phantom Gray Metallic, Majestic Plum Metallic, Red Obsession Tintcoat, Opulent Blue Metallic, Black Raven, and Dark Adriatic Blue Metallic.

Photo: General Motors

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