2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe | Road Test
* Brilliant visibility makes driving effortless, as you never have to guess if there are other vehicles being hidden in your blind spots.
* Practical with a large boot, decent rear space, and 3 point power outlet.
* Emergency braking feature jams brakes at unexpected intervals in peak traffic.
* Lacks the excitement the front and rear end possess.
* Price tag doesn't seem justified.
Introduction & Summary
The Michigan built Cadillac ATS is arguably the most striking vehicle in the brand’s current lineup. Following our fling with the Sedan variant in March 2014, we discovered it had the ability to leave a lasting impression (something that’s admittedly quite difficult to do in an auto journo’s mind). Unsurprisingly, when the opportunity to drive the Coupe variant cropped up a few weeks ago, we wasted no time in adding it to our calendar, but little did we know that we were in for a surprise.
Measuring 4,663 mm long, 1,392 mm tall, and 1,842 mm wide, the Coupe is evidently more than just two doors shy of its Sedan sibling. In fact, it’s a shocking 20 mm longer, 37 mm wider, and 31 kilograms heavier!
Styling & Design
Sharp, tapered creases and taut headlamps that have been flanked by LEDs come together to give birth to a truly spectacular countenance; one that is complemented by an equally exciting rear end. However, if I were to use a celebrity’s career as an analogy to describe the design of ATS Coupe, I’d pick Robert Downey Jr. With the front and rear end marking his initial and current success, the length of the vehicle would work as a reminder of the catastrophic years with movies such as the Gingerbread Man and In Dreams.
Inside, a generous serving of supple stitched leather, piano black trim and chrome piping adorn the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe. With well-padded door panels, a low seating position and a high centre console, there’s an overwhelming sensation of being cocooned inside – a feeling that steadily grew on us.
Following the brand’s design doctrine to a tee, the ATS Coupe does away with physical buttons along the centre console and opts for capacitive touch switches instead – a barter carried out to achieve a sleeker appearance. The drawback of this slightly odd deal being a) touch switches that are about as responsive as an individual in a coma, and b) the presence of a whopping eighteen buttons and switches on the steering wheel.
In addition to a fascinating umbrella of safety features such as a Head Up Display, Lane Departure Warning system, and Cross Traffic Alert, the ATS Coupe is also fitted with a Voice Control system. Allowing the driver to control the audio, set a destination on the navigation system, or dial a contact, the Voice Control system isn’t exactly innovative, but it actually works (without the need to try seventeen different accents) and that’s a miracle in itself.
Performance, Ride & Handling
Select Tour, Sport, or Snow/ Ice modes and the ATS Coupe alters its personality accordingly. Limiting power to prevent the rear from fishtailing in Snow / Ice mode, it assumes a very different persona once Sport mode is selected, channeling all 321 rowdy horses (with a guttural roar) to the rear wheels.
Mated to a fantastic six speed automatic transmission that shifts aggressively and holds gears in manual mode, it’s an engaging drive to say the least. With the traction control working to keep the tail in check, the ATS Coupe is a hoot to carve corners with as well.
For those who wish to explore its true limits, however, a simple tap of the traction control switch is all it takes, after which the American Coupe begins to slide across the tarmac like a ballerina on ice. But fret not, for the Brembos are strong enough to ripple tarmac and bring you to a grinding halt if things begin to get scary.
Paired to a performance suspension set-up, the ride in the ATS is stiff and a bounce on the slightest of undulations is inevitable. However, the bigger issue lies in the virtually non-existent gap between the tires and the body, as grazing speed breakers is almost a guarantee.
Comfort & Practicality
Outshining its sibling once again, the American Coupe offers a capacious boot that is capable of storing up to 294.5 litres of cargo, an increase of 4.5 litres over its four door sibling. With 851 mm of rear legroom, there’s enough space to accommodate two adults in the back as well, however, not the sorts who parade with seven inch spikes, as headroom is rather restricted.
Price & Verdict
The ATS Coupe is nice and if we said we didn’t enjoy driving it, we’d be lying. But after an entire weekend with it, we simply couldn’t fathom one thing – its price tag. Demanding AED 205,000, the ATS Coupe surpasses the Infiniti Q60 Coupe at AED 196,000 and is nearly as expensive as the delightful Lexus RC F Sport at AED 210,000. But it still makes us question if it’s worthy of the AED 17,000 hike over the regular ATS Sedan.
What’s even more interesting, however, is that the larger, superior, and arguably more appealing Cadillac CTS starts from just AED 185,000. So spend your money as you wish, but just make sure you aren’t being Penny wise, Pound foolish.