Exclusive: 2017 Cadillac ATS-V Review

by TrackWorthy,

“…like a roller coaster: you just hold on for dear life!”Sam Fane, Producer, Seen Through Glass

We recently put Sam Fane (Seen Through Glass) in a brand new 2017 Cadillac ATS-V sedan, and he was certainly a fan.

In terms of size and power, the ATS-V compares to the BMW M3 and M4. A twin turbo V6 producing 464 base horsepower rockets the car to 100 kph (60 mph) in 3.8 seconds and keeps it accelerating to a top speed of 304 kph (189 mph). Of the experience exploring the ATS-V’s throttle Sam explains, “…it’s like a roller coaster: you just hold on for dear life!”

Listing myriad positives and very few downsides, Sam gives the Cadillac ATS-V a huge thumbs up:

The positives
  1. Power. The twin turbo doesn’t suffer from lag, but there is a noticeable boost in the upper end of the rev range;
  2. Manual gearbox.  Hitting a button on the left side of the steering wheel engages “active rev-matching,” which helps all drivers downshift like a pro without worrying about heal-and-toe. “No-lift Shift” enables drivers to up-shift without letting off the throttle;
  3. Exterior looks.  The ATS-V’s many angles, pointed body and ubiquitous carbon fiber produce an extremely aggressive, sporty impression;
  4. Interior looks and amenities. The ATS-V’s interior, including its very sporty Recaro seats, is covered in Alcantara, enhancing the car’s premium-sport feel. Further, helpful technology abounds that adds to both the luxury and sport sides of the car. There’s a heads-up display that shows speed, navigation instructions and lights that tell you when to shift; there’s a performance data recorder that lets drivers track and share their track-day performance. And let’s not forget that, when in sport mode, the ATS-V amplifies the engine’s roar through the speakers.  Although some purists might find this unnatural and fabricated, we like it.
The Critiques (there aren’t many)
  1. The brakes. They should be larger and more powerful to balance the ATS-V’s power and weight. As currently equipped, the driver must “really stomp on the pedal” to slow the car down quickly;
  2. Driving a manual transmission if you live in or around a city with lots of traffic can get old fast. Luckily, an 8-speed automatic is available.
The Stats

4,674 mm / 184 in


1,811 mm / 71.3 in


2,776 mm / 109.3 in


1,729 kgs / 3,812 lbs


The Cadillac ATS-V gets a huge thumbs up as a performance car.  It is certainly more nimble and fun to drive than its bigger brother, the CTS-V, which, although faster in a straight line, would probably not handle nearly as well through a track or cornering on curvy roads.  And for about CAD 68,000 / USD 61,000, it’s tremendous value.

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