2017 Cadillac ATS-V Review: Achieving Oversized Ambitions

– Cleveland, Ohio

Take a big engine and put it in a small car. What used to be the recipe for yesteryear’s muscle cars is now the formula for small super sedans like the Cadillac ATS-V. It requires a deft hand, though, to marry something the size of a Honda Civic with an engine that outguns a Corvette. Fortunately, Cadillac has a lot of experience building high-horsepower V cars, as well as many years experience of successful racing on the track. On the street, the brand has gone from nipping at the heels of BMW M and Mercedes AMG models to beating them at their own game with cars like the ATS-V. It’s at once both a better track weapon and a more tractable daily driver than either the M3 or C63. In fact, the only way in which it still trails either is status, which is something every Cadillac contends with.

 

 

Pros

Incredible suspension. The ATS-V uses parent company General Motors’ Magnetic Ride Control suspension, which monitors the road up to 1,000 times per second and changes the damping characteristics of the suspension accordingly. It’s a marvel of engineering that can make the ATS-V feel as comfortable to drive as your couch is to nap on, or as firm and precise as a Pirelli World Challenge race car. The four driving modes – Tour, Sport, Snow/Ice, and Track – all drive like completely different cars wearing the same ATS-V suit.

Tour de force engine. A 3.6-liter V6 with two turbos beats out 464 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque within the chest of the ATS-V, which...