2015 Cadillac ATS

What's new for 2015? For 2015, the Cadillac ATS sedan gets a minor refresh that includes a revised front fascia and a new badge. More significant updates are under the skin, such as a more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine (torque increases from 260 pound-feet to 295 lb-ft), 4G Wi-Fi capability and wireless charging.

The Cadillac ATS sedan has become the brand's second best-selling model, and for good reason. The ATS is handsome, packs cutting-edge (if occasionally frustrating) technology and offers handling as sharp or sharper than its BMW and Audi compact luxury sport sedan rivals. The 2015 Cadillac ATS sedan comes in with a very subtle styling refresh that includes a new grille texture, a wider lower front air intake and restyled Cadillac badges. The latter grow in width and shed their wreaths for a more modern look. More notable updates are under the skin, where Wi-Fi capability and wireless charging debut and the turbocharged four-cylinder engine sees a boost in its torque output.

As such, the Cadillac ATS remains a well-regarded entry in this popular entry-level luxury brand segment. Strong points include eye-catching styling inside and out, sharp handling dynamics and, provided you avoid the base engine, spirited performance. Overall, the ATS stacks up well against its rivals from Germany and Japan. Still, Caddy's best-ever compact sedan has a few demerits that keep it from being the class leader. A big one is the CUE infotainment interface. While we like its aesthetics and large virtual buttons, it can be slow to respond to inputs and in general is difficult to use when on the move. The ATS's small backseat and trunk also make this sedan a less practical choice than others in this class.

Exterior Highlights
Five passenger, compact luxury sport sedan available in base, Luxury, Performance and Premium trim levels

The 2015 Toyota Venza is a two-row, five-passenger midsize crossover available in LE, XLE and Limited trim levels.

The 2015 Cadillac ATS is a five-passenger, compact luxury sport sedan that is offered in four trim levels: base, Luxury, Performance and Premium.

Standard features on the base trim include 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, automatic headlights, keyless ignition and entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-way power front seats with power lumbar, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, OnStar, 4G Wi-Fi capability, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a seven-speaker Bose sound system with satellite radio, an iPod/USB interface and an auxiliary audio jack.

Optional on the base ATS is the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system, bundled with a 10-speaker upgraded Bose surround-sound audio system, Bluetooth audio streaming, a rearview camera, three USB ports and HD radio.

The Luxury trim includes the CUE interface as well as front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, remote engine start (automatic-transmission models only), eight-way power front seats, driver memory functions, leather upholstery, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, auto-dimming rearview and driver side mirrors, Bluetooth audio streaming, the three USB ports, HD radio and wireless cell phone charging. The upgraded Bose sound system and a navigation system are optional on the Luxury.

The Performance trim (not available with the 2.5-liter engine) adds to the Luxury trim's equipment adaptive xenon headlights, LED running lights, the 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system, front sport seats (with manual cushion length adjustment and power driver-side bolster adjustment), aluminum-trimmed pedals, steering wheel shift paddles, and, as on the base ATS, a fixed rear seat with a pass-through. Also included is a Driver Awareness package (automatic high-beams, automatic wipers, rear-seat side airbags, lane keeping assist and forward collision, rear cross-traffic and lane departure warning systems).

Stepping up to the Premium trim (not available with the 2.5-liter engine) adds 18-inch wheels, a navigation system, a color head-up display, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and the 60/40-split-folding rear seat. Rear-wheel-drive ATS Premium models also come with run-flat summer tires, a sport-tuned suspension, adaptive suspension dampers and a limited-slip rear differential.

Many of the upper trims' standard features are optional on the lower trims. There are several option packages. The Driver Assist package (Performance and Premium only) includes the features from the Driver Awareness package and adds adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, a collision mitigation system with brake assist (which activates in both front and rear collision situations) and the color head-up display. The Cold Weather package (all but base) includes heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. Available only on rear-drive V6 Premium models, the Track Performance package adds an engine oil cooler and upgraded brake pads. Other options include different wheels, a sunroof and a trunk cargo organizer.

High-quality materials, wood and metallic accents, CUE infotainment interface, front seats provide ample support, OnStar service

Inside, the 2015 Cadillac ATS boasts a variety of high-quality materials, including tasteful wood and metallic accents.

The available CUE infotainment interface features large icons and operates by tapping, swiping or spreading your fingers -- making it vaguely familiar for smartphone users. Furthermore, "haptic" feedback lets you know when you've pressed a virtual button by pulsing when you touch it. This all results in a certain wow factor.

Up front, most drivers will find it easy to get into a comfortable driving position, and in our experience, the firm front seats provide ample support on longer drives. The backseat is smaller than those of most other entry-level luxury sport sedans. It's not necessarily a deal breaker depending on what your priorities are.

Standard safety features for the 2015 Cadillac ATS include antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, active front head restraints, front-seat side and knee airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.

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