2014 Cadillac ATS | road test

Posted on Mar 23, 2014 by
2014 Cadillac ATS
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent
AEDAED 130,000 - 170,000
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  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: December 10, 2014
  • Exterior
    Editor: 90%
  • Interior
    Editor: 80%
  • Quality
    Editor: 80%
  • Features
    Editor: 80%
  • Performance
    Editor: 80%
  • Value for money
    Editor: 80%

Review Summary:

A beast of an engine under the hood, and Brembo brakes to accompany. What's not to like about the 2014 ATS?


Stunning exterior that is sure to turn heads as you drive by
Quick gear shifts
Deep exhaust note


Capacitive touch switches used to control the A/C

The compact luxury sedan market is dominated by the Germans. The benchmark is set by the BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the Audi A4, and there is some competition from the Japanese, with the Lexus IS. But now there is a new player in town, the Americans are coming in strong with the Cadillac ATS. It’s a really good looking car both on the inside and outside with a heart that is strong enough to tailgate its German rivals.

Styling and Design

The 2014 Cadillac ATS showcases sleek and clean cut lines all over; this can even be seen in the LED daytime running lights which start at the front bumper and curve upwards before ending at the peak of the headlights. The hood of the ATS is protruding in the middle; giving off hints as to the performance hidden below it.

2014 Cadillac ATS front - 2

At the rear end, traditional Cadillac vertical tail lamps make the ATS instantly recognizable as a product of the American manufacturer. With an integrated brake light, and the possibility of more downforce, the lip spoiler on the trunk is more than just a fashion accessory.

2014 Cadillac ATS rear

The ATS has a neat rear diffuser, and the unique placement of the exhaust tips – where they are more towards the middle of the car rather than the outskirts – gives it a uniquely mean look.


The ATS is packed with technology. The brilliant adaptive cruise control; along with the front and rear collision prevention systems which brake at low speeds if necessary; and a driver’s seat that vibrates when there’s a hazard, are just some of the reasons we enjoyed the ATS.

2014 Cadillac ATS interior

Intellibeam also makes its way into the ATS for 2014, a feature that automatically switches the high beam lights on in poorly lit areas, and reverts to dipped lights when it senses a car is approaching in the opposite direction.

Drive and handling

The heart of this machine is a 3.6L V6 mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission which generates an impressive 321 horsepower and sends 373 Nm of torque to the rear wheels. This setup is capable of propelling the ATS from a standstill to 100 km/h in a remarkable 5.4 seconds. Stopping power is just as impressive thanks to the beefy Brembo brakes.

2014 Cadillac ATS Brembo brakes

The ATS is rather tail-happy when driven hard around corners, but on the plus side, its small size makes it very easy to weave in and out of tight areas. The thing that stood out the most about the ATS in the performance department was the gearbox; the shifts were on point and snappy, coupled with a musical exhaust that snorted at every shift point.

Comfort and practicality

The ATS is rather tight on the inside, especially for the rear seat passengers as legroom is very limited; thankfully, front seat passengers are better off. There was something a little strange about the driver’s seat though, no matter how hard I tried to adjust it, I was never able to get it into the perfect driving position, and it was as if the bottom cushion was always at a decline.

Cost and verdict

With a price of AED 130,000, which goes all the way up to AED 170,000 once all the toys are included, the Cadillac ATS is a strong competitor in the compact luxury sedan segment and I’m almost certain that we’ll be seeing many more of these on our roads.

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