Who buys coupes anymore? Thankfully, tens of thousands who don’t mind sacrificing a bit of their comforts for the sake of adding a sporty halo for two doors less. Cadillac ATS Coupe is the good news riding their way, for it demands much less of a compromise.

Cadillac ATS Coupe drive

THE DIMENSIONS: L x W x H: 4663 x 1842 1392 mm, Wheelbase: 2775 mm, Kerb weight: 1601 kg, Boot volume: 295 L

THE SPECS: 3.6 L V6 engine, 335 hp @ 6800 rpm, 386 Nm torque @5300 rpm, Rear Wheel Drive, 8-speed automatic, 18” forged alloy wheels, Driver Awareness Package available, Android Auto, ApplePlay

SAFETY AND AUTONOMY: Safety Alert seat, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Bling Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Headlamp control, Automatic braking, Full colour head up display, Adaptive Cruise Control, up to 8 airbags

THE PERFORMANCE: 0 – 100 in 100 – 0 in 40 m, Test economy 7.9 km/L

THE PRICE: AED 176,600 onwards

Cadillac ATS Coupe pictures carbon

UPSIDE: Comprehensive assistance package, Maintains practicality, Sporty behavior, Good ride comfort

FLIPSIDE: Cabin electronics better but evolving, Some rivals handle better

Cadillac ATS Coupe

The Design

Wider doors that can bang into the car parked in the next slot; legs aching to stretch; a couple of suitcases thrown out because they don’t fit in: these are some of the ‘ownership’ hazards of a coupe. Well, in the Cadillac ATS Coupe, you will still have to squeeze in but it isn’t crammed back there. This coupe is shorter and wider than its sedan counterpart, as most coupe variants are, but is 20 mm longer too! The ATS Coupe has the same wheelbase figures while it is 30 kg heavier. What is unique about the dimensions is the boot volume of 295 L, which is the same for both. Now, you can argue that it is only because the sedan had a smaller boot to begin with – suit yourself!

Cadillac ATS Coupe rear

The Drive

In this land of thirsty petrol heads, the ATS Coupe comes fuelled by a 3.6L V6 engine, whose two striking features are the power to switch off two cylinders, and the six-cylinder spluttering roll. The ability to downsize at will is a family trait shared by the Camaro as well. The eight-speed transmission handles its 335 horsepower and 386 Nm torque rather judiciously – dig deep, and the power gushes forth all the way up to three quarters of the rev meter before rapidly easing down a few gears to a comfortable and capable cruise.

The ZF steering is right sized and nice to hold with a smooth turn feel, but it doesn’t feel as track-sharp as you would expect with those initials. The car has an excellent turning radius of under-11 m that is rather useful at U-turns. Cadillac made sure the right names rang out when they challenged the 3 series with the ATS sedan in 2013 and the coupe two years later– besides ZF, Brembo brakes are standard across the range. The braking therefore is rather effective with a 100 – 0 figure of about 40 metres and as the car leans forward, the impact seems to be absorbed smoothly. The seatbelts are always ready to respond and has one of the tightest, reassuring hug. The sponge can be felt acting on the ride too, with bumpy roads smoothed over by preemptive damping that Cadillac calls Magnetic Ride Control. It reads the road up to 1000 times per second and adjusts the dampers accordingly. It works favourably for the ATS Coupe and ticks the comfort box for the family.

The Cadillac ATS Coupe is powered by the first ever V6 that can switch off two cylinders when the conditions are easygoing – similar to what Bentley and Audi do with their V8 engines. The car does yield good miles during long-haul – close to 10 km – but overall test efficiency was 7.9 km per litre!

Cadillac ATS Coupe lights

Cabin and Controls

The ATS Coupe has a cabin that is well, Cadillac class. My test car was the luxury performance version, so the seats were semi-aniline leather in Morello red that featured a smoky, tanned look. They were cut and sewn, while the carbon fibre trim with suede microfiber seatbacks and accents defined the elite cabin. The lumbar support was underplayed but the cabin was comfortable even after having almost 200 L of passenger volume chopped off.

Cadillac ATS Coupe mirror

The ATS Coupe is a thoughtfully designed car and it shows up in the instrument panel and storage options. Discovering the secret compartment beneath the central console is a neat trick – just extend the palm under it and it slowly swings up. In the comprehensive instrument panel, a new feature is the forward distance reader in terms of time. A function of the radar cruise control, the distance from the car in front is assessed and reported in terms of time. At highway speed limits, it is an eye opener to actually see how much distance does 1.2 seconds mean and how much farther should a car be to safely fulfill the ‘2-second rule’!

Voice command is applicable to radio, telephone and navigation too. The car lowers the air-conditioning noise when voice command is activated, so that you may be heard. The music system is decent though not out of this world while navigation works well if you ignore the POIs that need to have clearer segments. The good news won’t be complete without the mention of CUE. The Cadillac User Experience seems to have come of age in the way it responds.

Cadillac ATS Coupe console

Family drive

The ATS Coupe can comfortably seat four and keep them satisfied on long trips. Now, if the children sitting behind have to strain for a peek outside, that is just how coupes are designed. The car has all imaginable safety and driver assistance packages. It covers blind spots, forward collision and cross traffic and lane departure alerts and takes corrective action if needed. Information shows up on the head up display. The ATS coupe doesn’t stop with a by-the-way silent alert. It uses flashing red lights to draw your attention to the info on the head up display and still better, a vibration alert on the seats hinting at the direction that seeks your attention!

Cadillac ATS Coupe leather seats

The essential Cadillac ATS Coupe 2017

The ATS has stuffed a lot of promise, and names, on paper that even the Germans will struggle to match. But then, the contest is far from finished. With the flowing ride comfort and the lively V6 engine, the ATS Coupe offers more practicality and sport quotient at prices starting at AED 176,000 even though the 4 series looks even better and the C-Class offers a wider range. The overall score of the ATS Coupe is more like its 51:49 weight balance. It is just short of perfect.

Cadillac ATS Coupe pictures boot

Cadillac ATS Coupe 2017 Review: Coup on compromise was last modified: August 10th, 2017 by Sudeep Koshy

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