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The 2013 Cadillac ATS is GM’s affluence brand’s latest attack to attempt in the bunched action auto class. This is a aggregation whose antecedent bunched efforts included the Cimarron (the 1980s affiche car for “badge engineering”) and the Catera (a rebadged Opel that counted amid its spokes-mammals both supermodel Cindy Crawford and a animation duck). Kids, I absolutely ambition I were authoritative that up.
With its accomplished dynamics and affection interior, the new 2013 ATS assuredly drives Cadillac into the ranks of world-class bunched action sedans, active memories of its antecedent debacles into the belly of your mind.
You ability be experiencing déjà vu, because Cadillac ahead presented its CTS auto as a amateur in the chic bedeviled by BMW’s 3 Series. Well, the CTS was consistently larger, and in alertness for the ATS, which starts at $33,990 (including an $895 destination charge), Cadillac has discontinued the abject CTS sedan, which for 2012 was priced at $36,810. For 2013, the CTS auto band starts with the Affluence trim, priced at $39,990.
To use the BMW 3 Series for comparison, there’s now a 328i and a 335i, anniversary of which has a turbocharged agent (a four-cylinder and six-cylinder, respectively). Cadillac introduces the ATS 2.0L Turbo and ATS 3.6L, called for their turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and commonly aspirated 3.6-liter V-6 engines. The ATS additionally has a abject engine, a commonly aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Compare the ATS and 3 Series versions of your best here.
All ATS engines acquaintance to a six-speed automated transmission, but alone the 2.0L offers a chiral as a “delete option” that knocks $1,180 off the amount of lower trim levels, $1,280 off the Achievement and $1,475 off the Premium. All-wheel drive is alternative on the 2.0L and 3.6L. The 2.5L is rear-wheel drive only. In accession to the abject ATS, the car comes in Luxury, Achievement and Exceptional trim levels — or “collections,” as Cadillac calls them. The 3.6L starts with the Affluence trim. I collection about every combination. See the best affordable versions of anniversary compared here.
Endowed with 202 appliance and 191 pounds-feet of torque, the 2.5L accelerates from aught to 60 mph in almost 7.5 seconds. It’s a adapted clip, but it feels broken-down sometimes because the car’s abeyance can accouter abundant more. The 3 Series no best includes an agent this abundantly powered.
The ATS 2.0L makes 272 hp and 260 pounds-feet of torque, and it feels agnate to BMW’s turbo four: affluence of low-rev torque and quick sprints. Aback able with rear-wheel drive, the 2.0L hits 60 mph in 5.7 abnormal with the automated and 5.8 abnormal with the manual, according to Cadillac.
The 3.6L’s V-6 generates 321 hp but alone 275 pounds-feet of torque, so it didn’t feel abundant quicker than the 2.0L in accustomed driving. The 2.0L’s turbo agent hits its torque aiguille about 1,700 rpm and stays there through 5,500 rpm while the 3.6L’s V-6 peaks afterpiece to 5,000 rpm — in a car with a 7,200-rpm redline. Alone aback it was absolutely anguish out did the V-6 acquire its keep. Cadillac estimates its zero-to-60 time at 5.4 seconds.
If the dispatch estimates are correct, the ATS’ added able variants about bout the 328i and 335i sedans, alike admitting the ATS has appliance and weight advantages over commensurable automated BMWs: The 2.0L has 32 added hp and is 88 pounds lighter than the 328i, and the 3.6L has 21 added hp and is 133 pounds lighter than the 335i. However, the 3 Series’ eight-speed chiral is an advantage in its own right.
The abject ATS 2.5L has EPA-estimated breadth ratings of 22/33/26 mpg city/highway/combined. The 2.0L is rated 21/31/24 mpg, and the 3.6L is 19/28/22 mpg. (All breadth specs cited are for automatic, rear-drive versions. With all-wheel drive, the accumulated breadth is the aforementioned for the 2.0L and 1 mpg lower for the 3.6L, at 21 mpg.) BMW’s EPA-estimated ratings are 23/33/26 mpg for both the 328i and the 335i. Another advantage for Cadillac is that the 2.5L and 3.6L use approved gas. The 2.0L prefers exceptional for abounding achievement but can additionally run on regular, Cadillac says.
The ATS’ accepted automated chiral is a common assemblage with Touring, Action and Snow modes. You can additionally about-face manually by affective the advantageously accepted accessory selector to the larboard and again blame it avant-garde and back. (Metal steering-wheel about-face paddles appear alone on the Achievement and Exceptional trim levels.) The chiral upshifts calmly and doesn’t boondoggle aback you alarm for casual power. It’s added acknowledging than the CTS’ automatic, which I’ve criticized for boundless lag.
Although I adulation chiral transmissions, I’m blood-warm on the beheading of the 2.0L. Aback you hit the clamp and let off the gas to upshift, the agent acceleration drops so lazily that it’s not rev-matched abundant aback you let the clamp aback out. The chiral bucks aback as a aftereffect in the lower gears. I additionally begin it too accessible to bolt the Reverse gate, which is to the left, aback activity for 1st or 2nd gear. You can rev-match bigger on the downshift because the accelerator doesn’t affectation too abundant lag, abnormally aback Action approach is engaged, as it makes the burke added sensitive.
The ATS does a appealing acceptable job of damping out agent sounds — consistently a affair with the able but absonant Ecotec agent family. BMW’s turbo-four sounds faintly agent at abandoned but improves with speed. Of the three ATS engines I drove, the complete of the 3.6 stood out to me — and not in a absolute way. I bound annoyed of the engine’s dawdling complete aback canoeing on the highway. Otherwise, the ATS’ berth is admirably quiet, with the capital antecedent of babble actuality the tires, additional the casual wisp of wind noise.
The ATS’ ride affection is assured and comfortable. A aberration of 1 inch in caster bore isn’t consistently noticeable, but I begin the 2.5L with its 17-inch auto to ride a little softer than the added versions I drove, which had 18-inch wheels. The aberration was acquainted mainly over bouncing surfaces and tar patches.
All engines and trims appear with the aforementioned suspension, except for the Exceptional trim akin with rear-wheel drive, which includes Magnetic Ride Control, or MRC. This adaptive abeyance automatically adjusts shock-absorber compactness on the fly to bout alley conditions. It teams with upgraded Brembo brakes and Bridgestone Potenza summer achievement tires.
It seems childish that all-season tires aren’t offered with MRC. At minimum, all-season tires should be a no-cost option. Cadillac recommends winter tires for use in adapted climates, and dealerships should be blessed to oblige, but I don’t see why these or all-season tires aren’t an official option.
The ATS’ administration is the car’s affirmation to abeyant fame. Several Cadillac models accept been alien back the 2003 CTS auto set the company’s new accent for world-class athleticism, yet none has appear abutting — until now. With its counterbalanced weight distribution, ablaze weight (hardly a GM able suit) and anxiously acquainted suspension, the car has abundant reflexes both on the alley and on the track.
I took a few baking laps in a 2.0L chiral and a 3.6L automated at Atlanta Motorsports Park. The Bridgestone summer tires were absurd and actual well-matched to the cars, both of which had the MRC suspension.
Robbing the ATS 2.0L Turbo of its accord was like aggravating to get a acknowledgment out of a Buckingham Palace guard. I kept abacus added and added acceleration through the hairpins, aggravating to agitate it, with bound success. Alone with the added ability of the V-6 was I able to abet some under- and oversteer. Were it not for the cyberbanking adherence system’s Antagonism approach — a accouterment that comes alone with the MRC abeyance and allows added sliding — the dynamics would accept been so acceptable as to be boring.
The V-6 anon acquainted added nose-heavy to me than the four-cylinder cars. Cadillac says it accouterment the weight administration avant-garde to 51.5/48.5 percent front/rear, adjoin 50.1/49.9 with the 2.0L manual. That ability not assume like much, but it was my aboriginal consequence both on the clue and on the road.
The electric ability council is absolute and well-tuned — not the best acknowledgment I’ve experienced, but absolutely not the worst. The brakes were agnate — additionally not the best acknowledgment and pedal feel, but accomplished controllability, actual beeline on appliance and adapted on release. That captivated accurate with both the accepted and Brembo brakes.
Without a doubt, the ATS feels a lot like the afresh redesigned 3 Series sedan, with commensurable attributes central as well. The backseat has added than an inch beneath legroom than the 3 Series, activity analogously snug, and my legs were aloft added than I would like. Mostly I noticed the 0.9 inch beneath headroom, which fabricated it aloof applicable for me at 6 anxiety tall. The continued front-seat travel, however, provided legroom for bodies taller than me.
The berth is well-appointed, with aerial affection abstracts like aluminum, copse and carbon fiber. The alternative Cadillac User Experience arrangement with its avant-garde touch-screen is abiding to address to bodies alert of multifunction ambassador knobs, but I don’t anticipate history will be affectionate to the touch-sensitive “capacitive” non-buttons it additionally uses. I apperceive I won’t be.
In National Artery Traffic Assurance Administration tests, the Cadillac ATS accustomed top array of bristles stars out of bristles in every class — aboveboard and side-impact blast tests and rollover attrition — for a best all-embracing score.
As is appropriate of all new cars as of the 2012 archetypal year, the ATS has antilock brakes and an cyberbanking adherence arrangement with absorption control. Additionally accepted are frontal, knee and side-impact anatomy airbags for the avant-garde seats, as able-bodied as ancillary curtains alongside the ancillary windows. Side-impact anatomy airbags are alternative for the backseat starting with the Affluence trim level.
Alternative active-safety appearance accommodate avant-garde blow warning, lane abandonment warning, a advancement camera, and avant-garde and rear parking sensors. OnStar is included with one year of chargeless service.
Parents who ability bear accouchement in the ATS should analysis out our Car Seat Analysis here. View all the assurance appearance here.
Overall, Cadillac seems to accept done a acceptable job squaring up adjoin BMW, for bigger and for worse. For example, you can get an avant-garde head-up affectation … and you can additionally pay added for items like covering upholstery and a folding backseat. That’s absolutely affair the antagonism on its own turf.
BMW’s compact-luxury baron has been “gone after,” “gunned for” and “taken on” added than any archetypal in the market, and still his altitude charcoal on the throne, his anteroom blowzy with bones. We’ll charge added time with the ATS to apperceive whether it’s alone a bluff to the throne. So far, it looks as abutting as any amateur to date.