As some of you know, the dealership I patronize also sells Cadillacs and Subarus. Thus, when the wagon is being serviced, I have to check out the Cadillac showroom across the lot and see what’s new. During the summer of 2012 while the wagon was getting an oil change, I checked out a silver-over-black ATS that had just come in. “What’s an ATS?” I asked. Scott, the salesman, threw me the key to check it out.
While I didn’t drive it, I sat in it, and really liked it, though my favorite current Cadillac would be the XTS. The ATS was a nice size, and the styling was clearly Cadillac. A normally aspirated four cylinder is standard, but a turbo four and the 3.6 V6 are available. I especially liked the chrome trim around the windows. One of the things I don’t like about my V50 wagon is the blacked-out window surrounds. I wish they were chrome instead, as the black just looks cheap to me. But I digress.
I had no intention of trading off the Volvo at the time, but I am one of those people who are always looking for “the next one,” even if it is years off. However, I am not a big fan of either silver paint or black upholstery. But then last April I saw this one. Black paint always looks good, but this one went one step above that in my desirability scale.
It had the dark red leather interior. Today, most manufacturers with non-gray or non-tan interiors take the cheap way out, with black carpeting and door panels instead of color-keying them to the seats. But the black-and-red combo on this Caddy was rather attractive. There is enough red on the doors and instrument panel to keep it from looking like someone put red seats in a black interior.
My camera’s flash make the seats look brighter than they really are, it is more of a medium red than fire-engine red. It didn’t help that the bright sunlight coming through the showroom’s glass front were throwing off my camera’s focus. It all looked suitably upscale, although I would have preferred some burled wood trim to the faux carbon fiber on the dash and door panels.
Since the ATS’s debut, other nice interior colors have become available on Cadillacs. The new 2014 CTS can be had with Twilight Blue leather, for instance. A navy blue CTS with blue leather would be extremely sharp in your author’s opinion, high on his must-have scale. I daresay I prefer the blue to the red!
The ATS has been on the market since late summer of 2012, and I have seen several around my area, despite there being only one Cadillac dealer in the Quad Cities. I am sure the folks at McLaughlin were pleased when the Cadillac dealer in Rock Island dropped their GM franchises several years ago to concentrate on Honda, and the other one in Davenport became a Buick/GMC-only dealer. As a customer of McLaughlin, I have to say they stand behind their work–and the cars they sell. Rare–and valued–considering all the dealership horror stories we’ve heard.
This is a nice car, and appropriately Cadillac. It is the smallest, and least expensive Cadillac, but it doesn’t shout “I’m the cheapskate version!” at all. Not even close to the ill-fated and ill-advised Cimarron. But I’m a hopeless Cadillac lover, and I wouldn’t even mind a 1987 or ’88 Cimarron, as long as it didn’t have the fake convertible top or fake Rolls-Royce grille on it.
And the new 2015 ATS coupe (essentially replacing the fastback CTS coupe) is sharp. That red-on-red version is calling my name! And I’m sure the ’15 Escalade will find plenty of suburbanites signing on the bottom line to own one. Cadillac, it seems, is back. In a year or two, the reliable old Volvo just might have to make way for a White Diamond XTS sedan…or that previously-mentioned blue-on-blue CTS…or the red-on-red ATS coupe–all certified pre-owned, of course. Oh man, I may wind up owning both a Cadillac and a Lincoln. Then I’ll feel as rich as Carmine!