Car Report: Cadillac ATS, an entry-level luxury sedan

WTOP\'s Mike Parris takes the Cadillac ATS for a spin. (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – This week we take a quick peek at the entry- level luxury sedan, Cadillac ATS, an athletic entry to the small sports sedan market.

The ATS is against some big hitters — the BMW 3 series and the Audi A4. This time Cadillac has come to compete. With four trim levels, three engine choices and base price of under $34,000, there is an ATS for most budgets.

I spent a little time with the 2014 Cadillac ATS in performance trim with the sweet 3.6 liter V6 and came away impressed with the sporty nature of this small Cadillac.

The ATS feels light on its feet and it loves to take corners, thanks to its light weight and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is an option, as well.

The brakes seem very strong and stop the car quickly when needed. The ATS has three engine choices: a base 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine, an optional 2.0 liter 4- cylinder turbocharged engine that can be had with a manual transmission, or the top-of-the-line 321hp V6 engine.

I only sampled the V6, and was impressed with the power. The automatic transmission was smooth, but I do wish a manual transmission was an option for the V6.

The interior was really nice and very modern, not boring and drab like some of its competitors. And the front seats are comfortable sport buckets.

The back seat’s leg room is little tight for some. Also, be sure to test fit that rear-facing car seat to make sure you have enough room with the front seat in the position you want.

The fuel economy of the ATS seemed good. I saw 27 mpg on a short highway trip using regular gas. If you’re looking for even better fuel economy opt for the turbo engine. It has a cheaper entry price and drivers see 31 mpg on the highway.

However, premium fuel is recommended for that model.

After spending a day with the fun-to-drive ATS, it’s clear Cadillac is producing a very competitive small luxury sedan. You might just look for the long way home and cruise some back roads while you’re at it.

Editor’s Note: Mike Parris is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. The vehicles are provided by STI ,FMI or Event Solutions for the purpose of this review.

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