The ATS Coupe is Cadillac’s foray into the sexy little luxury coupe niche, and while the ATS-V is weaponized and armoured to take on M3s and AMGs, the example we tested is fit for casual civilian duty at your local mall.

To that effect, it is a gorgeous piece of metal, the chrome wheels, pearl paint, satin metallic grille sparkling in sunlight and lighting elements glowing brightly in the dark. Day or night, this is a captivating design. Sure I love the naked aggression and exposed aero of the ATS-V, but this is all class and modern design at its finest, elegant without being conservative, and avant garde without being angry.

What Cadillac Coupes used to look like:Final Drive: 1973 Cadillac Eldorado and 1976 Coupe de Ville

The interior is equally appealing to my eyes. And hands and tush for that matter. The deep “Morello” (rhymes with bordello!) red leather seats and door panels are as dramatic as they come without being garish (okay, some of you may differ on this point). They are power adjustable in 12 directions for driver and 10 for passenger, with two memory settings for different drivers.

Beyond being comfortable, the leather feels superb on the seats and door panels, though I find the dash top and steering wheels a less convincing grade of leather. It’s especially skimpy where the stitching shows what a thin layer it actually is. The alcantara and carbon-fibre trim (real open-pore wood is an alternative interior trim option, as are other colours for the leather) are a redeeming touch, and the glossy black plastic is a look I quite like, mixed in with some well-placed metallic accents.

The design, while appealing, may stray to form over function. Icons for vehicle functions are small and well integrated into the flowing waterfall console, but the climate controls are hard to decipher at a glance out of the corner of one’s eye. Perhaps familiarity over time would mean a visual reference is not necessary, but Cadillac has yet to set us up for a long-term test, so the jury is out on CUE’s touch panel controls.

Personally, I find the main touchscreen, gauge display and steering wheel controls effective, not quite as effective as the knob controllers in Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz products, but still easy to use, with rich, clear information, and large on-screen favourite and function ‘buttons’ that appear at the bottom as your hand approaches the screen. Plus, the central panel with the HVAC controls hides a secret storage compartment. Trés cool. Plus, in the tech race, GM trumps everyone with onboard 4G LTE wifi, and although not equipped on this model, magnetic suspension is available, and advanced driver aids like a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, lane departure and forward collision warnings, and an active lane-keeping system.

This car supposedly has rear seats, but all I discovered behind the front seats was a small torture chamber. Avoid at all costs. Seriously, they should just drop the pretense and convert that space for parcels and pets or something. Unless you’re Willy Wonka or Dorothy, you’re not squeezing in any more than one of your friends.

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