The Cadillac ATS has found itself on Consumer Reports‘ list of popular used luxury cars to avoid purchasing.
The consumer advice website says the Cadillac ATS has “capable handling” that outperforms many of its European rivals and says the vehicle is fun to drive thanks to its refined Alpha platform and powerful turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine (production code LTG). That’s just about all CR has nice to say about the ATS, however.
While the platform is well engineered and the 2.0L engine produces plenty of power, CR says the four-cylinder “sounds wheezy and power delivery is uneven.” Additionally, the four-cylinder engine has a poor fuel economy rating of 23 mpg – in part due to the six-speed automatic transmission, which the article says is “a step behind the seven- and eight-speeds of most competitors.”
That’s just the start, though. CR says the touch-only Cadillac CUE interface found in the Cadillac ATS is “very convoluted and frustrating to use,” while the small rear seat and trunk aren’t winning it any points, either. The publication also says the ATS has below-average reliability and poor owner satisfaction based on its records, giving used car shoppers even more reason to avoid the compact luxury car.
CR says the previous-generation BMW 3 Series is a superior used choice to the Cadillac ATS due to its higher owner satisfaction and above-average reliability. The publication also complimented the 3 Series for its strong fuel economy rating of 28 mpg combined when equipped with the available turbocharged 2.0L engine. Additionally, CR the Lincoln MKZ may be a decent “under the radar” alternative to either of these vehicles due to its low price, decent reliability and good owner satisfaction.
The compact Cadillac ATS and mid-size Cadillac CTS were discontinued to make way for their indirect replacements: the Cadillac CT4 and Cadillac CT5. The CT5 began arriving at U.S. Cadillac dealerships late last year and was joined by the CT4 in early 2020.
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Is consumer reports only refer to the ’15 model? The six speed transmission on the coupe was available only for ’15 model year while post ’15 coupe and sedan went to the eight speed transmission.
Goes to show that consumer reports needs to do better research if they are diluted to think that all the models only come with six speed from ’15-’19.
I love my 2019 ATS coupe with the V-6., but the car is definitely a 2 person car.
When you buy a car that small I am sure you know what you are buying. Do not believe everything these car mags say. Some are just one sided.I have had Cadillac Escalades for many years and never any problems. I now have a GMC Yukon and love it. I only have it because the dealers are greedy and putting prices above list on the Escalades.
We have an 2015 Cadillac ATS and it has been a flawless experience. Great looks, fun to drive and no problems
Happy I don’t have CR subscription anymore, they’re just an advertisement for German cars. I have a ‘14 ATS 3.6 and happy to report its flawless
CR reportScBMW as better. The story is when you buy a BMW, only go with a lease, As soon as the warranty runs out, look out. My son couldn’t wait to unload his 3 Series. It broke while sitting in the garage since he worked from home. At 60,000 miles the electric water pump went bad. Nearly an impossible job to do your self.
After driving for 50 years, I’ve learn most ” foreign manufactured” buyer will not admit if there vehicle was a bad choice since they do not want to embarrass themselves and overpaying on the price.
I have a 2014 CTS 4 turbo and out race ford v8. BMW. 4 have not had any problems . It is fun to drive. Nothing nagative so far
‘8L45 8 SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION’ would be the reason…General Motors finished 3rd from last in Consumer Reports with their Cadillac Division dead last!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Leonard Constance Jr
Comments above from John, Phil, Glenn and George are right on!
I couldn’t agree with you guys more!
Coming from a Cadillac DTS, I bought a ’14 ATS last month with the 2.0 engine. Love the handling and suspension. Passenger room in the back seat is fine given the car is a smaller luxury sedan.
Been driving and enjoying my ’16 ATS 2.0T premium coupe since March of ’17 with nary a hint of a problem. It’s fun, good looking and powerful. CR and its readers live in a bubble somewhere.
I have a 2016 ATS-V. There is some truth to CR’s comments. CUE is an unmitigated disaster, period. Need proof – GM completely changed it going forward (i.e., real buttons). Also, the 8-speed has been problematic for most owners. Need proof – class-action lawsuits and for the most part, been replaced by the 10-speed.
Everyone’s personal experience and impression of the car is just that-personal.
While I’ve never given much credibility to CR, there is something to be said for the multiple ATS fan and enthusiast groups on Facebook and the reliability issues of the ATS the members expose and discuss.
But they still love their ATSs. It was a solid effort from Cadillac despite its shortcomings. Solid enough to still make it a desirable vehicle.
But typical of GM, instead looking long term and building upon a product’s strengths, they take the cheapo route. ATS sales waned and instead of returning with a solid follow up we get the CT4 which didn’t keep pace with the D segment. So now it’s a C segment vehicle. That approach is a**-backwards.
I dropped Consumer Reports a long time ago…back when if it wasn’t a boring sedan, it was considered poor.
I have a 2013 ATS sedan w/6 speed manual and the 2.0 turbo. Amazingly, I knew the rear seat was unuseable for humans before I bought the car. It’s a really nice package area that is easily accessable though. Wheezy engine? I disagree..mine pulls very strong through the gears, just keep the revs up a little. Handling is superb, even on the touring setting. I raced a 1965 Corvette many years ago and I believe this little Cadillac handles better than the ‘Vette. I’m tall and the car is a little hard to get in and out of, but I knew that too. But, what fun to drive once I’m settled in! Fuel economy is normally 25+ around town and as much as 35 on the highway. Fast, smooth, economical and FUN. What more can I ask….
I have owned 2 Mercedes and 2 BMW I now own a 2015 ATS I bought with 15k miles 3.6 motor with all the goodies Ride Handling and Performance are awesome. After owning 96 cars in my life the ATS is a great car. So keep buying your German crap and I will laugh all the way to the bank
My 2016 ATS 2.0T AWD Coupe is one of the most satisfying cars I’ve ever owned. Other than maintenance, I’ve had zero issues with the car. If I have any complaints, it’s with the tires. The sidewalls, or what passes for sidewalls are too stiff. The balance between ride and handling has gone too far to the handling side. A freeway expansion joint at 75 mph will knock your fillings out and you can’t believe the rim hasn’t cracked. My 1981 Fleetwood Brougham Coupe was the smoothest riding car, but I know those days are gone, mostly for the best.
I assume you have the run flats. Maybe you should look into getting a set of Michelin Pilot sports, which are considerably softer.