Exclusive: 2017 Cadillac ATS-V Review



“…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.
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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

0-100 kph (0-60 mph):

3.8 seconds, as tested


Top Speed:

304 kph / 189 mph

Position & Transmission:

Front-engine, rear-wheel drive, 6-speed manual with active rev-matching (as reviewed); 8-speed automatic available.



3.6L V6 Twin Turbo, Direct Injection



3.56L/217 cu. in.



464 hp @ 5850 rpm



445lb-ft @ 3500 rpm


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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