Hey, America. The Cadillac ATS is a great car and you should buy it. That said, sales are poor and Cadillac seems to recognize that it has made mistakes with the pricing and packaging of the car.
According to a report from Automotive News (subscription required), Cadillac is dropping the ATS’s 202-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine for 2017, a move that we applaud because the Chevrolet Malibu’s base engine doesn’t belong in a premium car like the ATS. That makes the turbocharged 272-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder the base engine, with the 333-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 as the higher-end choice. There is no news yet on the performance-oriented ATS-V with its 464-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6.
We reached out to Cadillac, and a company spokesman confirmed that the base engine will indeed go away and the model lineup will be more streamlined. The new trim levels will be called base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Premium Performance. That represents a slight tweak from the current standard, Luxury, Performance, and Premium trims.
Cadillac also says the trims will provide richer levels of content and technology, moving the Cadillac ATS more in line with recently launched Cadillacs such as the XT5 and CT6. Newly standard will be a rearview camera and the CUE infotainment system with Apple Car Play and Android Auto smartphone integration.
Cadillac has not yet made pricing available, but the company says it will be about the same as it is for the current cars, noting that the extra equipment adds value. Automotive News, however, says prices will be reduced between $650 and $1,100, depending on the trim level, and the new base price will be $35,590, which is about $1,500 more than the current base model with the 2.5-liter engine. With the 2.0, the current base price is $36,240.
With the 2017 changes, the Cadillac ATS will be a better buy than ever. You should put it on your shopping list.