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2016 Cadillac ATS Review

The 2016 Cadillac ATS sits in the bottom half of our luxury small car rankings. Its top-flight engines and perfect safety score are offset by a low reliability rating and an interior that, while good, is bested by rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Lively available engines
  • Sharp handling
  • Poor reliability rating
  • Small rear seats and trunk
  • Frustrating infotainment system
  • Subpar fuel economy

New for 2016

  • Updated CUE infotainment system
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission made standard
  • ATS-V model introduced




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 6.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.3
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Cadillac ATS Overview

Is the 2016 Cadillac ATS a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Cadillac ATS is available as a coupe or a sedan, and it’s a good pick if your favorite activities include carving corners and accelerating quickly. This is especially true with its available engines. However, many luxury small car rivals boast higher reliability ratings, better fuel economy estimates, easier-to-use technology, and more seating space.

Why You Can Trust Us

We analyzed 57 Cadillac ATS reviews and included information on safety, reliability, fuel economy, and more to give you a comprehensive overview of the 2016 ATS. U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure our impartiality, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers or dealers, and an outside team handles our site’s advertising. 

How Much Is the 2016 Cadillac ATS?

Based on the 428 listings for this vehicle on our site, a used 2016 Cadillac ATS should cost you between $20,000 and $34,000. The average list price is $26,000. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Cadillac ATS Cost to Own?

A vehicle’s cost extends far beyond its purchase price. Estimated five-year costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2016 ATS come out to about $26,500, which is below average for 2016 luxury small cars. Competitors like the 2016 Audi A4 cost considerably more ($31,200), as does the 2016 BMW 2 Series ($28,200).

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New ATS?

The 2018 Cadillac ATS starts at $35,495 – about $9,500 more than the 2016 CTS' average price of $26,000. The 2018 model received only minor upgrades, like a slight exterior styling change and a standard CUE infotainment system. You’re better off saving your money and buying the 2016 ATS.

Read about the new Cadillac ATS »

If you’re looking for a new car that’s about the same price as a used ATS, you won’t have much luck. Still, you may want to consider the 2018 Kia Stinger. It has a much stronger base engine than the ATS, as well as leather seats, more rear legroom, and more than double the cargo space. Just note: its starting price is nearly $7,000 more than an average-priced 2016 ATS. If you have the money, go for it. Otherwise, stick with the used ATS.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Cadillac ATS?

The 2016 ATS has a reliability rating of 2.5 out of five, which is below average for the industry. Other luxury small cars with better reliability ratings include the 2016 Lexus IS, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA, and the 2016 Buick Cascada.

Read more about ATS reliability »

2016 Cadillac ATS Recalls

As of this writing, the 2016 Cadillac ATS has two open recalls. One deals with a rear defogger coil antenna overheating, and the other concerns a design flaw in the roof panel switch that can cause the roof to close and injure someone. If these recalls affect the 2016 ATS model you are considering, make sure the issues are resolved before you buy.

See more information on Cadillac ATS safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Cadillac ATS Is Best?

The Cadillac ATS debuted with the 2013 model year, and it hasn’t changed much since then. The 2015 model received a front-end style refresh and a coupe body style. For 2016, the track-ready ATS-V joined the lineup. Each model year from 2013 to 2016 earned good overall scores in our rankings, but the 2017 model’s score is even higher. Additionally, the 2017 ATS comes standard with the CUE infotainment system.

Still, you won’t sacrifice many features by choosing an older model, and you can save a great deal of money. The 2015 ATS, in particular, will suit the needs of many shoppers.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 ATS »

Which Used Cadillac ATS Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Cadillac ATS comes in five trims: Standard, Luxury, Performance, Premium, and the ATS-V. It is available as either a sedan or a coupe. If you want a feature-packed ATS without breaking the bank, go for the Luxury trim. It comes with leather upholstery, remote start, wireless device charging, the CUE system, and a rearview camera with front and rear parking sensors. Some Luxury models have the turbo-four or the naturally-aspirated V6 engine, giving you the extra power you may crave.

See 2016 Cadillac ATS trims and specs »

What Does Cadillac's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Cadillac offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles four years old or less and with fewer than 50,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Qualifying vehicles see the original new-car limited warranty extended to six years or 100,000 miles. Cadillac CPO models must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read Cadillac’s warranty page carefully.

Cadillac’s CPO program is OK, according to our analysis, but several luxury carmakers offer better programs. These include Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, and Acura.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the ATS?

The ATS has top-notch safety ratings. It received five out of five stars in all National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests.

A rearview camera with front and rear parking sensors come with the all but the base trim. The available Driver Awareness package adds advanced safety features like forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and lane keep assist. Performance and Premium models with the Driver Assist package also come with adaptive cruise control.

See ATS safety scores »

2016 Cadillac ATS Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Cadillac ATS or 2016 BMW 3 Series?

Like the ATS, the 2016 BMW 3 Series is a luxury small car with robust available engines and sharp handling. While the ATS offers tantalizing features like wireless device charging and a Wi-Fi hot spot, the 3 Series answers with amenities like automatic parking assist and a 360-degree parking camera. The 3 Series is also more practical as a daily driver. It has roomier rear seats, a larger trunk, and outstanding fuel economy, particularly with electric and diesel models. The 3 Series also has a higher reliability rating.

Which Is Better: 2016 Cadillac ATS or 2016 Cadillac CTS?

The major differences between the ATS and the 2016 Cadillac CTS are size and price. As a luxury midsize car, the CTS is a better choice if you need plenty of rear-seat and trunk space. Its cabin is also more refined. However, if you’re looking for a coupe or the nimble handling of a smaller car, you’re better off with the ATS.

Compare the ATS, 3 Series, and CTS »

2016 ATS Performance

How Does the 2016 Cadillac ATS Drive?

The 2016 ATS has athletic handling and excellent body control, and the available Magnetic Ride Control actively regulates the suspension to improve ride quality and handling. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

The ATS offers four power plants: an adequate 202-horsepower four-cylinder engine (standard in the ATS sedan), a capable 272-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder (standard in the coupe), a muscular 321-horsepower V6, and an exhilarating 464-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 (exclusive to the Cadillac ATS-V). An eight-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly and quickly comes standard, and turbocharged models are available with a six-speed manual. The Cadillac ATS' base engine provides a good amount of power, but it may not satisfy drivers who want quick acceleration.

Does the 2016 Cadillac ATS Get Good Gas Mileage?

The EPA estimates that the base 2016 Cadillac ATS earns 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, which is low for the class. The turbocharged engine has a 22/31 mpg city/highway rating, the V6 gets 20/29 mpg, and the powerful ATS-V makes 16/24 mpg.

Read more about ATS performance »

2016 ATS Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 ATS Seat?

The 2016 Cadillac ATS sedan seats five, while the coupe seats four. Leatherette upholstery and power-adjustable front seats are standard. Leather upholstery, heated front seats and a heated and power-adjustable steering wheel are available. The 2016 ATS' front seats have a good amount of legroom, though headroom is limited. Taller drivers should avoid buying a used model equipped with the available sunroof, as it cuts into front-seat headroom. The back seats are small for the class in both models.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Cadillac ATS?

The 2016 ATS has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats and a tether-only connection in the middle seat.

2016 Cadillac ATS Features

Standard features in the ATS include a proximity key, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and two USB ports. Like many GM vehicles, the Cadillac ATS has a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot – rarely a standard feature among rivals. The ATS’ standard interface works smoothly, but the available Cadillac CUE system relies on an 8-inch touch screen and touch-sensitive buttons that often misinterpret user inputs. Available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto let you sync your iPhone or Android to use various apps, like navigation and Internet radio. Wireless device charging ensures your smartphone never dies.

See 2016 Cadillac ATS specs »

Read more about ATS interior »

2016 Cadillac ATS Dimensions

Cadillac ATS Cargo Space

At 10.4 cubic feet, the 2016 Cadillac ATS’ trunk is one of the smallest in the class.

2016 ATS Length and Weight

The 2016 Cadillac ATS is 15.3 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,319 pounds (four-door sedan with base engine) to 3,693 pounds (ATS-V with all-wheel drive).

Where Was the 2016 Cadillac ATS Built?

Cadillac built the 2016 ATS in Michigan.

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