2019 Cadillac ATS Introduction

For 2019 the Cadillac ATS becomes a coupe-only nameplate; it’s no longer offered as a sedan.

This cutting of two doors is just a prelude to cutting the car altogether. The rear-wheel-drive ATS, fun to drive and fairly luxurious, will be discontinued soon. It’s not been a big seller. We’re not sure why.

When it was introduced in 2013, it won North American Car of the Year right out of the box. It’s been a worthy challenger to the best of the German sports sedans and coupes, as well as the Lexus IS and others.

The ATS is powered by two excellent engines, a turbocharged 4-cylinder or silky powerful V-6. The 2.0-turbo makes 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, with an 8-speed automatic or Tremec 6-speed manual that’s more fun. The 3.6-liter V-6 makes 335 hp and 285 lb-ft, mated to an 8-speed automatic; unfortunately it costs about $10,000 more, and we don’t think it’s worth it. All but the Premium Performance model are available with all-wheel drive.

The 2.0 turbo with the 6-speed manual transmission is a sleeper, a serious sports sedan with more torque than the V-6 and the stimulation of changing gears with a slick gearbox and old-school shift lever. It rides on a superb chassis with stiff suspension. It’s like the little brother of the ATS-V, and it’s our favorite model. Like all ATS models, standard equipment includes Cadillac’s responsive and colorful 8.0-inch infotainment unit with Bose sound, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

The ATS-V is the mega-high-performance model. With vigor and enthusiasm, it challenges the BMW M3 and the Mercedes C63 AMG. It uses a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6 making 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to either a 6-speed manual with rev-matching or an ultra-fast 8-speed automatic.

The turbo-4 gets about 25 miles per gallon combined, on premium fuel. The ATS-V with its twin-turbo V-6 gets about 19 mpg.

The ATS earns five stars from its federal crash tests. Features such as blind-spot monitors and forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking come standard on the upscale models.

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