The sharply designed, silver car was delivered on Family Day, the perfect occasion for my husband and I to share a day trip to White Rock and environs, while putting the ATS through its highway and street paces.
The first thing we noticed upon entry is the key fob. As long as the fob stays on your person, there’s no need to use it to open the doors. There’s a trunk-opening button on the fob, but the rest of the time, the key stayed in my bag.
Two-way lumbar support features are available for both front seats. Windshield sensors will detect the first drops of rain to allow the wipers to come on as necessary. We own a car with heated seats, but the Cadillac ATS goes one step further with a heated steering wheel. Within a couple of minutes, the need for gloves is no longer, as your hands grip a soft (and warm!) leather wheel.
Once we settled in, we paired my iPhone with the onboard Bluetooth activation system. I was soon able to phone from the OnStar hands-free dialing option.
We also used the OnStar RemoteLink service to get directions back home. Oddly enough, by speaking “home” into the system, the car will get directions sent back from the manufacturing plant, which in our case was Ontario. It was easy enough to cancel the directive and carry on by stating our actual home address.
XM Satellite Radio is a great feature; we almost always head to our favourite Channel 33, with 1st Wave DJ Richard Blade playing the hits of the 80’s. I used to live in Los Angeles and listened to KROQ 106.7 FM, where DJ Blade queued up many of these favourites a mere 30 years ago!
Once you’re tuned into the chosen XM station, the screen keeps things minimal, showing only the station and song. If you move your hands close to the screen, the sensor will once again pick up the motion and add more of the settings. I liked the fact that the screen defaults to a less distracting amount of information while on the road.
We noticed the car’s great handling and pick up on the road!
A quality 7-speaker BOSE system comes with the standard models, while the ATS Performance and Premium models have 10-speaker BOSE 5.1 surround sound built in.
Seats and interior are made of supple leather with French-stitched seams. Models are customizable with various panelling colours and details. The storage between the front seats contains an audio jack as well as two USB ports for listening to music and charging gadgets on the go.
A few more technical features of the ATS:
– Instantaneous fuel economy L per 100 km’s
– 2.5 Litre, direct injection 202 horsepower engine (mid-level ATS Luxury Collection – the model we test drove)
– 4-wheel independent suspension
– Power, 4-wheel vented disc brakes
– Auto-dimming rear view mirror
– Heated, power remote control mirrors
The entertainment features are also impressive.
The Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system contains:
– An 8” LC touch screen with haptic feedback and proximity sensor
– Interactive gesture control
– Voice recognition
– Bluetooth audio streaming
– Enhanced USB music playback and iPod control
– 60 favourite channel presets
– Smartphone app integration
– SMS text messaging read-back (interim availability)
Radio volume buttons are not that responsive. We tried to adjust the volume above the metal buttons as well as the buttons themselves, but concluded that the experience could be made more tactile-friendly.
This car handles well, is a joy to drive in, and loves both city streets and highways. Our model is base priced at $42,165.
A big thank you to Klout and Carter GM Burnaby for arranging delivery and pick up of our ATS.