Welcome to 2014, and my first drive of the year; Cadillac ATS. Last May, I wrote about the technical advances of this world sized sedan (http://www.examiner.com/article/the-american-ats-the-teutons?cid=db_articles), and now my first drive of the year.
All too often, driving reports include tire smoking burnouts and extended hyperbole. Not here, the Nurburgring is a great test track, but to a large degree, the Metrodetroitring is even more grueling, especially during the freeze/thaw cycles. It is here the driver must dodge random pot holes, fallen parts and cell phone dwelling, road raging incompetent drivers while retaining some semblance of sanity.
The metallic Red Obsession four door sedan is a very pleasing shape with softened lines compared to prior models. The interior is pleasingly minimalistic considering how much technology is offered. Seating is a (very) soft Caramel colored vinyl with contrasting charcoal dash and door trim. Dashboard trim is finished in piano black. Oddly, the door panels are finished with a dark oiled bronze color piece. I rather like the color, but it is different.
The keyless start brings the 272 HP- 2.0L turbocharged four cylinder engine to life. Personally, I am not a big fan of luxury cars with only four cylinders, but this free revving engine has incredible throttle response. Coupled with the AWD package, traction is excellent in our Michigan snow. The best part, are the brakes. In my book, there is no such thing as ‘too good of brakes’. I have been outspoken on this for decades, yet I love the ATS brakes. The firm (no mush) offers direct braking with no sign of overworking whatsoever.
Make no mistake, this is a performance sedan. The suspension might be a bit stiff for some, but I found it compliant, and suited for the perfect steering which is not too fast and direct.
Remember, this is a real world road test. On a car starting with only 35.6 miles on it, I respect equipment. I know what the car’s capabilities are, and not interested in proving anything. The 2014 Cadillac ATS has been a delightful experience.