7 Cadillac ATS Problems, Drivers Complaints and Most Reliable, Best ATS

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

The Cadillac ATS is a popular car choice, but like any vehicle, it has its share of problems.

As an ATS owner or potential buyer, it’s important for you to be aware of these issues so you can make informed decisions about your car.

Some common problems with the ATS include electrical failures, transmission shuddering, and engine issues.

To help you understand these concerns better, we’ll discuss each problem in greater detail. This way, you can keep your Cadillac ATS running smoothly and stay safe on the road.

Cadillac ATS Issues

Common Cadillac ATS Complaints

In this section, we’ll discuss some common complaints about the Cadillac ATS, focusing on four main issues: Engine Issues, Transmission Shuddering, Battery Problems, and CUE System Glitches.

Engine Issues

For some Cadillac ATS owners, engine issues have been a major concern. Depending on the model year, you might encounter problems such as excessive oil consumption, stalling, and loss of power.

It’s important to keep an eye on your oil levels and pay attention to any odd noises or performance issues. Regular maintenance and timely checks can help keep potential problems at bay.

Transmission Shuddering

Another common complaint about the Cadillac ATS is related to transmission problems, specifically shuddering during gear shifts.

Many drivers have reported experiencing rough shifting, especially at lower RPMs. This can be frustrating and potentially dangerous if not addressed properly.

If you notice your ATS having issues with shifting or shuddering during acceleration, have it checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.

Battery Problems

While not as common, some Cadillac ATS owners have experienced issues with their batteries. This can include premature battery failure or problems with the charging system.

Be mindful of any warning lights or difficulties starting your car, as these can be signs of a failing battery or related issues.

Regular battery checks and replacements when necessary can help ensure the reliability of your Cadillac ATS.

CUE System Glitches

Finally, the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) system, which controls the infotainment and navigation features of the ATS, has had its fair share of glitches.

Some complaints include freezing, unresponsiveness, and difficulty establishing connections with mobile devices.

While not a major safety concern, these issues can be frustrating and impact your overall driving experience. Most CUE system glitches can be fixed with software updates or, in some cases, by replacing the unit itself.

By staying informed about these common Cadillac ATS complaints and addressing issues as they arise, you’ll be better prepared to enjoy a smooth and reliable driving experience with your ATS.

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Which Years of Cadillac ATS should I Avoid?


While the first year of production, 2013, is often the one to avoid, some owners have reported no issues with their 2013 ATS.

However, certain common problems emerged during the 2013-2014 production years, such as misfiring, coolant leaks in the 2.0t engines, electrical failures due to bad batteries, and transmission shuddering because of detached transmission shift cables.


The 2016-2017 models also had some recurring issues, particularly a loss of power steering. While no car is entirely free of issues and the ATS may have fewer problems than other vehicles, it’s better to be informed before making a decision.

Remember that these are only reported faults, and your experience may vary. Make sure to research specific models and consult with trusted mechanics or knowledgeable friends when deciding on a Cadillac ATS purchase.

Notable Recalls

During the early years of the Cadillac ATS, there was an official recall in 2014 related to faulty transmission cables. This issue might cause your ATS to roll away or have shuddering problems.

In a 2019 model, you might experience transmission problems, which were significant enough for a GM recall.

Please stay informed about Cadillac ATS recalls to ensure your vehicle’s safety and performance.

Carcomplaints.com and Online Research

While researching Cadillac ATS problems, it’s important to check out resources like CarComplaints. This website offers details about specific model years, worst problems, average repair costs, and more.

By reviewing the information from CarComplaints.com, you can discover that the 2013 Cadillac ATS had issues with accessories – interior, engine, and drivetrain.

You can also find the most problematic years, average mileage, and most recently reported complaints.

Being well-informed, you can make better decisions about Cadillac ATS ownership. Keep your research friendly and approachable, so you’re better equipped to tackle any issues that arise.

Maintenance and Warranty

Your Cadillac ATS may face some common problems, such as misfiring, coolant leaks, and electrical failures.

To maintain your vehicle at its best, pay attention to daily maintenance and address any technical issues.

Fortunately, your Cadillac warranty provides the coverage you need for a luxury vehicle. For more information, visit the Cadillac Ownership page.

With proper care, you can enjoy the performance and style of the Cadillac ATS.

Safety Features and Concerns

Cadillac ATS has a history of common problems like misfiring and coolant leaks in the 2.0t engine. However, your safety is still a priority as the ATS features modern safety systems.

Reliability may be compromised due to electrical failures from a faulty factory-installed battery. This can affect the car’s interior lights, power windows, and dashboard warnings.

Despite these concerns, rest assured that the ATS offers advanced safety features. When you’re driving, prioritize maintenance for better reliability and to enjoy the car’s performance and quality. Always do thorough research when evaluating vehicle safety.

The Most Reliable Cadillac ATS Models

As you explore the Cadillac ATS lineup, it’s essential to focus on the models that have proven reliability.

Based on the information available, the years that stand out as the best options are the 2018 and 2019 models.

2018 Cadillac ATS

The 2018 Cadillac ATS is known for its impressive handling capabilities and performance. The 2018 version had improved significantly upon many common problems found in previous years.

As a result, you can expect a smoother driving experience and fewer trips to the mechanic. Additionally, this model offers excellent features and safety ratings.

2019 Cadillac ATS

When looking at the 2019 Cadillac ATS, you’ll discover that the improvements made in the 2018 version have been carried over.

This model enhances the Cadillac lineup by offering a refined ride and driver-centered experience. As a forum post states, the ATS is a reliable car in all guises, and early CUE and 2.0T piston issues have been addressed.

To summarize, if you’re considering purchasing a used Cadillac ATS, the 2018 and 2019 models are your best bets for reliability.

They offer a refined and enjoyable ride, and the improvements made in those years put you in a safer and more secure position as an owner.

Cadillac ATS Competitors

When considering a luxury sedan like Cadillac ATS, it’s essential to compare it with some of its top competitors.

In this section, you’ll get a brief overview of three other luxury car models that are worth looking into.

Mercedes-Benz C Class

The Mercedes-Benz C Class offers a more refined and luxurious driving experience compared to the ATS.

While both cars provide impressive performance, the C Class has a more extensive range of engine options to suit your needs.

One key issue with the C Class is that it can be more expensive than the Cadillac ATS, making it a less budget-friendly choice. Lookup complete Benz C class worst issues and other complaints!

Infiniti Q60

On the other hand, the Infiniti Q60 provides a sportier ride than the Cadillac ATS, with a distinctive design and agile handling.

However, the Q60 has a limited number of trim and engine options, making it difficult to customize it to your liking.

Audi A5

Finally, the Audi A5 is another worthy competitor for the Cadillac ATS. The A5 offers a sleek design, premium materials, and innovative technology.

But, like the C Class, the A5 can be notably more expensive than the Cadillac ATS, especially when it comes to higher trims and additional features. See detailed A5 Audi worst versions and problems here!

In summary, when comparing the Cadillac ATS to its competitors, keep in mind the driving experience and performance, as well as the cost and customizability. Remember to choose a car that best suits your preferences and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

How reliable is the 2013 Cadillac ATS 3.6?

The 2013 Cadillac ATS 3.6 can be a reliable vehicle, but has faced some common issues, such as a faulty factory-installed battery, causing electrical problems in early model ATS. Additionally, the 2.0t engine may experience issues like misfires and coolant leaks.

How reliable is the 3.6 engine?

While the 3.6 engine is considered reliable, it’s essential to maintain proper vehicle maintenance and address any issues reported in recall notices to ensure optimal performance.

Are there any major concerns with the 2.0T engine?

The 2.0T engine in the Cadillac ATS has had some common issues, including misfires and coolant leaks. Maintaining adequate coolant levels and ensuring timely service can help mitigate potential problems.

Are there any common electrical problems in Cadillac ATS?

Yes, earlier models, specifically 2013-2014 Cadillac ATS, have faced common electrical issues resulting from a faulty factory-installed battery.

Make sure to regularly check your vehicle’s electrical components, like lights and dashboard warnings, to catch any potential issues early on.

How long do these cars typically last?

With proper care and timely maintenance, Cadillac ATS vehicles can have a long lifespan. However, their longevity can depend on factors such as driving habits, maintenance practices, and the specific model year.

Always adhere to recommended service intervals and promptly address any issues for optimal performance.

What are the pros and cons of a 2014 Cadillac ATS?

The 2014 Cadillac ATS offers a stylish design, comfortable ride, and impressive handling. However, it has also faced issues with its 2.0T engine and early model electrical problems.

Be prepared to address potential concerns and ensure proper maintenance and care for the vehicle.


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