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2017 Cadillac ATS Review

The 2017 Cadillac ATS ranks in the middle of the luxury small car class. It has agile handling, a lineup of powerful engines, and a long list of standard features. However, this Cadillac's cramped back seat, small trunk, and clunky infotainment system keep it from ranking higher.

Pros & Cons

  • Muscular engine lineup
  • Agile handling
  • Elegant interior
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Small trunk
  • Clunky infotainment system




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 6.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.2
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Cadillac ATS Overview

Is the 2017 Cadillac ATS a Good Used Car?

The 2017 ATS is a decent luxury small car. It boasts a long list of standard features, a lineup of powerful engine options, and sports-car-like handling. However, it has a smaller cargo hold and lower fuel economy estimates than some rivals, and its infotainment system is difficult to use. Before you buy, consider higher-rated alternatives like the BMW 2 Series.

Compare the ATS and 2 Series »

Why You Can Trust Us

Our Cadillac ATS review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 60 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2017 Cadillac ATS?

Based on more than 230 listings on our site, you can expect to pay between $22,000 and $35,000 for this car. The average list price is $27,200. The price you pay can vary based on the vehicle’s mileage, condition, location, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Cadillac ATS Cost to Own?

Expenses for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs on the 2017 ATS are estimated to be around $30,250 over five years, or about $6,050 per year. By comparison, those costs for the 2017 BMW 2-Series are estimated to be around $30,800, while the 2017 Audi A4’s are expected to be just north of $28,700.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New ATS?

The only major change Cadillac made to the 2018 ATS was updating its infotainment system, though it still suffers from some of same distracting controls as the 2017 model. The 2018 ATS also has a base price of $35,495, which is higher than the used 2017 ATS’ average price of $27,200. You can likely save thousands of dollars by sticking with a used model.

Read about the new Cadillac ATS »

You won’t find a new luxury small car for less than the average price of the 2017 ATS. However, there are plenty of options among nonluxury compact cars or even midsize cars. For example, you could choose a midlevel 2017 Honda Accord EX trim and stay within a few hundred dollars of the average list price for the 2017 Cadillac ATS. The Accord boasts more passenger and trunk space, as well as higher fuel economy.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Cadillac ATS Is Best?

Cadillac made their CUE infotainment system standard on every ATS model for 2017. Another addition is the Teen Driver management system, which lets you set speed and audio volume limits for other drivers.

If none of those features are important to you, consider saving money and shop for an older model. The 2016 ATS gained an eight-speed automatic transmission, a new V6 engine, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The high-performance ATS-V also debuted for 2016.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 ATS»

How Reliable Is the 2017 Cadillac ATS?

The 2017 ATS has an above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about ATS reliability »

2017 Cadillac ATS Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are no recalls for the 2017 ATS.

See more information on Cadillac ATS safety recalls »

Which Used Cadillac ATS Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 ATS comes in four trim levels (ATS, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Premium Performance) and two body styles (a two-door coupe that seats four, and a four-door sedan that seats five).

Both the ATS sedan and ATS coupe come with a generous list of standard features, making either a good value. Standard features include leatherette seats, remote start, a rearview camera, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, HD radio, satellite radio, three USB ports, Bluetooth, OnStar with a Wi-Fi hot spot, alloy wheels, and Brembo performance brakes. The standard Cadillac CUE infotainment system comes with an 8-inch touch screen, and smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Luxury trim adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, navigation, and front and rear parking sensors. While that should satisfy most shoppers, those looking for the stronger V6 engine or Cadillac’s suite of advanced safety features will need to step up to the Premium Luxury or Premium Performance trim. For ATS coupes, however, the Luxury trim offers a Safety and Security package that bundles together many advanced safety features.

See 2017 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 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2017 ATS sedan an overall rating of five out of five stars. It also earned five stars in the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests. ATS-V models received an overall rating of four stars, with the same score in the frontal crash test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the ATS sedan the lowest rating of Poor for how well its headlights illuminate the road ahead. Models with the optional forward collision warning system earned the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention.

Standard safety features include a rearview camera and the Teen Driver management, which allows you to do things like view driving reports and set limits for speed and volume. The Cadillac ATS bundles its available safety features into two packages. The Driver Awareness package includes forward collision warning, lane change assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, a following distance indicator, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and automatic high beams. The Driver Assist package adds front and rear automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display. Many of these features are standard in higher trims or available as standalone option in lower trims.

See ATS safety scores »

2017 Cadillac ATS Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Cadillac ATS or 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

Like the Cadillac, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is available as a sedan and coupe. However, the Mercedes adds a convertible to the mix. The C-Class has a little more trunk space and better fuel economy estimates than the ATS. Both cars offer an array of powerful engines as well as high-performance models. The C-Class also offers one of the nicest and most upscale cabins in its class. However, the ATS is the superior choice. It earns a higher predicted reliability rating than the Mercedes. As an added bonus, you’ll likely save money with the ATS. It costs $8,000 less than the C-Class on average.

Which Is Better: 2017 Cadillac ATS or 2017 BMW 3 Series?

While the ATS is a good car, the 2017 BMW 3 Series is one of the best luxury small cars you can buy. Its infotainment system is intuitive, and front-seat occupants have plenty of room to enjoy the car’s handsome, luxurious cabin. The fun-to-drive BMW is one of the top performers in its class, thanks in part to its lineup of powerful engines. The 3 Series has more trunk and rear seat space than the ATS, as well as slightly better fuel economy estimates. However, the Cadillac has a few allures of its own, including a higher predicted reliability rating. It also costs $7,200 less on average. Still, the 3 Series is the better choice if you have some room in your budget.

Compare the ATS, C-Class, and 3 Series »

2017 ATS Performance

How Does the 2017 Cadillac ATS Drive?

The 2017 Cadillac ATS has a lineup of powerful engines. The base power plant is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 272 horsepower. A punchier 335-horsepower V6 making is available. Performance enthusiasts will likely enjoy the ATS-V’s exhilarating twin-turbocharged V6, which is rated at a blistering 464 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission and eight-speed automatic are available with the base engine and the ATS-V, while the midrange V6 only offers the eight-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard across the lineup. All-wheel drive is available, but not for the ATS-V.

Even with its base turbo engine, the ATS delivers a little more punch than the four-cylinder engines of most rivals. This sedan accelerates quickly in the city and on the highway. But it’s the ATS-V that takes the cake, with its zero-to-60 time of 3.8 seconds. The manual transmission helps the ATS feel sportier, but its shifter engagement is not particularly smooth. The eight-speed automatic, with its paddle shifters, feels more refined.

Despite being a luxury car, the ATS’ sharp steering, powerful brakes, and deft handling help it feel like a sports car. The ATS can handle twisty roads with ease, though riders may feel some bumps in the pavement. Cadillac’s available Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension (standard on the ATS-V) helps mitigate this by allowing drivers to select different drive modes based on road type, and the suspension automatically makes real-time changes based on road conditions to optimize the ride and handling.

Does the 2017 Cadillac ATS Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2017 ATS gets up to 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with the base 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. V6-equipped ATS models return 20/30 mpg city/highway (19/27 mpg for AWD models). Those estimates are about average for the class. The high-performance ATS-V fares even worse with its rating of 17/25 mpg.

Read more about ATS performance »

2017 ATS Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 ATS Seat?

The Cadillac ATS comes in two body styles: a four-seat coupe and a five-seat sedan. Leatherette upholstery and six-way power-adjustable front seats are standard. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

Regardless of the body style, the front seats are spacious and supportive, but it’s a different story in the back. Adults will feel cramped in back of the sedan and even more confined in the coupe. The cabin looks and feels upscale, with its quality materials. Metallic and wood trim pieces line the interior, and the lack of conventional buttons gives the dashboard a sleek, elegant appearance.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Cadillac ATS?

The Cadillac ATS has two complete sets of LATCH connections in the second-row outboard seats, as well as an additional upper tether anchor for the middle seat. Some of the lower anchors may be hard to access, but on the bright side, child car seats can be set up without moving the front seats.

2017 Cadillac ATS Features

The sedan and coupe offer many of the same standard features, including remote start, proximity keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, wireless phone charging, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Available features include navigation, front and rear parking sensors, a sunroof, a rear 110-volt power outlet, and a suite of advanced safety features.

The standard CUE infotainment system is distracting and hard to use. It features an 8-inch touch screen, a Bose audio system, HD radio, satellite radio, three USB ports, voice recognition, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The ATS also employs touch sensitive dashboard buttons, which are not as easy to use as real buttons.

See 2017 Cadillac ATS specs »

Read more about ATS interior »

2017 Cadillac ATS Dimensions

Cadillac ATS Cargo Space

Regardless of body style, the 2017 ATS has 10.4 cubic feet of trunk space. That’s small compared to other luxury small cars. Split-folding rear seats are available.

2017 ATS Length and Weight

Depending on the body style, the 2017 Cadillac ATS is between 15.2 and 15.3 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,373 pounds for the rear-wheel-drive sedan with the base engine, up to 3,812 pounds for the ATS-V sedan.

Where Was the 2017 Cadillac ATS Built?

Cadillac manufactured the 2017 ATS in Michigan.

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