TODAY'S PAPER
54° Good Morning
54° Good Morning
Business

Road test: 2015 Cadillac ATS coupe looks good at any speed

The 2015 Cadillac ATS coupe makes enthusiastic driving irresistibly easy. Its sharp handling, sticky tires and suspension beg you to take each corner just a little faster. A low-slung, forward-leaning body completes the picture of a luxury car built to go fast and look good at any speed.

The ATS coupe is 1.1 inches lower and 1.4 inches wider than the ATS sedan. Surprisingly, it's also slightly longer, but don't expect that to translate into additional passenger or luggage room. The ATS coupe is about style, not practicality.

The coupe shares most of its systems with the ATS sedan, but nearly every exterior panel is unique to the slick two-door. The coupe's wider track, lower center of gravity and revised steering all contribute to handling that seems to anticipate the driver's desires. Upgrades to the electric power steering help with a broader range of assist at different speeds.

Prices start at $37,995 for a rear-drive ATS coupe with a 272-hp 2.0-liter engine. I tested a top-of-the-line V6 rear-drive ATS coupe with the performance trim package. It stickered at $50,190.

My car had leather seats, Bose audio, navigation, Bluetooth audio and phone compatibility. Safety features included parking assist, backup camera, hill start assist, and unusually assertive lane-departure prevention. I was disappointed it lacked blind-spot alert, which eases the stress of changing lanes.

The 3.6-liter V6 delivers satisfying acceleration around town and on the highway. The ATS runs fine on regular fuel for significant savings versus most of its premium-burning competitors.

The front seat provides surprising head and leg room. My car featured a hand-stitched dash and beautiful high-gloss brown sapele wood with black highlights. The roof line is so low, however, that rear set passengers should wear a bicycle helmet and sign a waiver of liability before entering.

Cadillac's CUE flat-panel controls for audio, climate, navigation and other functions would benefit from a more responsive touch screen and the addition of buttons and switches for frequently used functions like volume, tuning, temperature and fan speed. GM's excellent voice recognition mitigates CUE's failings by encouraging spoken commands for the nav system and phone calls. The 4G LTE data connection was easy to use and provided a strong signal for Internet connections and new features from GM's OnStar service.

Practical considerations like that matter even in a car driven by style, but the ATS coupe's looks and handling are the reasons it's a welcome addition to Cadillac's lineup.

2015 Cadillac ATS

Base price: $39,995

Price as tested: $50,190

Engine: 3.6L 24-valve V6

Power: 321 horsepower at 6,800 rpm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Length: 183.6 inches

Width: 72.5 inches

Height: 54.8 inches

Curb weight: 3,530 pounds

Bottom line: stylish and alluring

More news