Cadillac ATS Years to Avoid and The Best Years

Cadillac ATS Years to Avoid – The Cadillac ATS is a compact luxury sedan that entered the market in 2013 as Cadillac’s response to the competitive entry-level luxury segment. While the ATS offers impressive performance and style, not all model years are created equal.

Cadillac ATS Years to Avoid

This article aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the Cadillac ATS years to avoid and the best years to consider.

By examining their strengths, weaknesses, and common problems, prospective buyers can make an informed decision.

Which Cadillac ATS Years to Avoid?

The first-generation Cadillac ATS, spanning the model years 2013 to 2016, is generally regarded as the period to exercise caution.

While the ATS brought many positive aspects to the table, it faced initial reliability issues and experienced certain drawbacks. These early model years may be prone to more problems compared to later iterations.

Best Cadillac ATS Years

Best Cadillac ATS Years

2017 Cadillac ATS

The 2017 Cadillac ATS marks the beginning of the second-generation models, which addressed several concerns of its predecessor.

Best Cadillac ATS Years

It boasts improved reliability, refined interior materials, and updated technology features. With the introduction of the new generation, Cadillac made significant strides in rectifying earlier issues.

2018 Cadillac ATS

The 2018 Cadillac ATS continues the trend of enhancements introduced in the previous year. It provides a smooth and enjoyable driving experience, along with notable advancements in safety features.

Best Cadillac ATS Years

The 2018 model represents a solid choice for those seeking a well-rounded luxury compact sedan.

2019 Cadillac ATS

The 2019 Cadillac ATS is the last model year of production for this vehicle. While it may be tempting to avoid a discontinued model, the 2019 ATS received further refinements and fine-tuning.

Best Cadillac ATS Years

As a result, it benefits from the cumulative improvements made throughout its production run, offering a reliable and refined driving experience.

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Cadillac ATS Problems

Cadillac ATS Problems

1. Problems with the 2.0-liter Turbocharged Engine

Some Cadillac ATS owners have reported issues with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, particularly in the earlier model years. Problems may include oil leaks, coolant leaks, and engine misfires. It’s advisable to have a thorough pre-purchase inspection and ensure proper maintenance to mitigate these concerns.

2. Electrical System Faults

Certain Cadillac ATS models have experienced electrical system faults, leading to various issues such as malfunctioning infotainment systems, intermittent warning lights, and faulty sensors.

While not all vehicles are affected, it is important to inspect the electrical components and verify their functionality.

3. Problems with Automatic Transmission

A number of Cadillac ATS owners have reported problems with the automatic transmission, including rough shifting, hesitation, and occasional failures. It is advisable to test-drive the vehicle extensively and have a trusted mechanic evaluate the transmission’s performance during a pre-purchase inspection.

4. Loss of Power Steering

In some instances, Cadillac ATS models have encountered power steering issues, resulting in a sudden loss of power assistance.

This can make steering difficult and potentially compromise safety. Affected vehicles may require repairs or replacements to rectify the power steering problem.

How reliable is the Cadillac ATS?

Overall, the reliability of the Cadillac ATS has improved over the years. While earlier models faced some issues, the second-generation models, particularly from 2017 onwards, exhibit better reliability records. It is recommended to research specific model years and consult consumer reviews to gauge reliability accurately.

What is the longevity of a Cadillac ATS?

The longevity of a Cadillac ATS depends on various factors, including maintenance, driving conditions, and individual usage patterns. With proper care and regular maintenance, a well-maintained ATS can potentially last for many years and accumulate high mileage.

Why was the Cadillac ATS discontinued?

Cadillac made the decision to discontinue the ATS after the 2019 model year as part of its strategy to streamline its sedan lineup. The shifting market trends and increased demand for SUVs and crossovers played a significant role in this decision.

Cadillac decided to focus its resources on developing and promoting its more popular models, such as the Cadillac CT4 and CT5, which are successors of the ATS.

What’s better, Cadillac CTS, or ATS?

The choice between the Cadillac CTS and ATS depends on personal preferences and specific needs. The CTS is a midsize luxury sedan, while the ATS is a compact luxury sedan. The CTS offers more interior space and a more powerful engine lineup, making it suitable for those who prioritize size and performance.

On the other hand, the ATS provides a sportier driving experience, nimble handling, and better fuel efficiency. It is recommended to test-drive both models and consider individual requirements before making a decision.

Does the Cadillac ATS require premium gas?

Yes, Cadillac recommends using premium gasoline (91 octanes or higher) for the Cadillac ATS. The high-performance engines found in the ATS, especially the turbocharged variants, are designed to deliver optimal performance and efficiency when fueled with premium gasoline.

While the vehicle may run on lower octane fuel, using premium gas ensures maximum engine performance and longevity.

Why does my Cadillac ATS shake?

A Cadillac ATS experiencing shaking or vibrations could be attributed to various factors. Common causes include imbalanced or worn-out tires, suspension issues, wheel alignment problems, or brake system abnormalities.

It is advisable to have a professional mechanic inspect the vehicle to diagnose and address the specific source of the shaking.


In conclusion, while the Cadillac ATS faced some challenges in its earlier model years, it is essential to recognize the improvements made throughout its production run.

The first-generation ATS (2013-2016) may present a higher likelihood of encountering issues, while the second-generation models, particularly from 2017 onwards, offer better reliability and refinement.

The best years to consider when purchasing a used Cadillac ATS include the 2017, 2018, and 2019 models, which benefit from the lessons learned and improvements implemented. It is still crucial to conduct thorough research, inspect individual vehicles, and consider maintenance history to ensure a satisfactory ownership experience.

Prospective buyers should be aware of potential problems with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, electrical system faults, automatic transmission issues, and the occasional loss of power steering. Performing pre-purchase inspections, and test drives, and seeking professional advice can help identify any existing problems and make an informed decision.