Cadillac's entry-level model is getting an update exactly where many current owners would argue it needs one: For 2018, this compact sedan gets the brand's "next-generation" Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system.
It's among a handful of changes for this year that also includes an automatic function for its heated seats and steering wheel, and Apple Watch integration.
The new version of CUE was announced in early 2017 in response to poor reviews of the first-generation system. Its performance was so negatively regarded that it was hurting the car's brand's reputation in quality rankings put together by organizations like JD Power.
Cadillac says the new CUE is more intuitive and will be easier to update over time to meet evolving customer needs and will support cloud computing, personalization and integration of downloadable Cadillac apps.
Otherwise, this sharp-looking small sedan carries over from last year with its choice of 2.0L turbo four-cylinder (272 hp/295 lb-ft of torque) and 3.6L V6 (333 hp; 285 lb-ft) engines. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but AWD is an option with both engines. Four-cylinder, RWD cars can be had with a six-speed manual transmission, but all V6-powered and all AWD versions get an eight-speed automatic.
The ATS-V is also carried over with its turbo V6, but that car is covered in a separate buyer's guide entry.
The ATS is an entertaining little car to drive, particularly with the strong V6. We think Cadillac has created a sport sedan that feels more fun by the seat of the pants than the BMW Series, a former class benchmark that has sacrificed driving feel in favour of upscale refinement.
In its standard spec, the ATS brings more performance to the table than entry-level versions of most competitors, many of which come in with less than 250 hp in their least-expensive forms.
If there's a criticism to be levelled against the ATS, it's the car's tight interior. Not that it's alone in that regard: the Lexus IS -- another mostly well-done sedan -- is also a tight fit.
But the CUE fix will address what we think is this car's most serious concern, considering how many functions are controlled through the system's touchscreen.
Fuel consumption estimates range from 10.5/7.7 L/100 km (city/highway) for a four-cylinder, RWD model with the automatic transmission to the thirstiest V6/AWD model, rated at 12.1/8.6.