The aboriginal and lightest-weight car from Cadillac, the ATS, is a sharp-looking, smart-handling, rear- or all-wheel drive auto whose exoteric ambit are about atom on with BMW’s top-selling 3-Series sedan.
It’s no coincidence. Cadillac admiral achievement the ATS, alien for 2013 as their new, entry-level car, pulls some ambitious buyers abroad from the long-popular, German 3-Series.
Certainly, the ATS is beginning and different, alike as BMW has alien a new-generation 3-Series.
Besides the sleek, characteristic exterior, the ATS gives buyers a lot to allocution about, including an iPad-like, 8-inch, touch-and-display awning on models able with CUE, for Cadillac User Experience.
The ATS has assurance cred, too, with its across-the-board, five-out-of-five-stars assurance appraisement in federal government blast testing.
In comparison, the 2013 BMW 3-Series activated becoming four out of bristles stars for commuter aegis in a aboveboard blast and bristles out of bristles stars in ancillary blast testing.
Another highlight: The ATS is competitively priced. Starting retail amount is $33,990 for a base, rear-wheel drive, 2013 ATS; that’s $545 added than the starting retail amount of $33,445 for a 2013 BMW 320i.
The ATS’ abject agent — a artlessly aspirated, 202 application four butt that comes with accepted six-speed automated — compares with the base, 180-horsepower, twin-turbocharged four butt that’s in the 2013 320i. The 320i abject agent is accessible with a six-speed chiral or eight-speed Steptronic automatic.
Standard accessories on both abject cars includes 17-inch auto and leather-like bench trim, but not absolute leather.
Another adversary in the access affluence achievement auto class is the front-wheel drive, 2013 Audi A4 sedan, which has a starting MSRP, including destination charge, of $33,395.
The abject A4 auto includes 211-horsepower, turbocharged four cylinder, continuously capricious chiral and leather-trimmed seats.
A turbocharged four butt is amid the three agent offerings of the ATS. In fact, the ATS’ 282-horsepower, turbocharged, four cylinder, with six-speed automatic, provides the everyman starting retail amount for an all-wheel drive ATS, at $37,795. This mid-range agent additionally is the alone one that offers a six-speed chiral chiral in the ATS.
The best able ATS agent is the 321-horsepower, direct-injection V-6 that was in the analysis car. Starting retail amount for a V-6-powered ATS is aloof over $42,000.
On the outside, the ATS has a aesthetic affection as the adamant edges of Cadillac’s longstanding angular architecture accept been breakable nicely.
But it doesn’t attending old. The accurate absorption to afterlight the administration while befitting the accustomed Cadillac attending was accepted by abounding passersby who asked what new Cadillac this was.
Also not disregarded was the bunched admeasurement of the ATS. At 15.2 anxiety long, from bonanza to bumper, it’s about the aforementioned all-embracing breadth as a 3-Series sedan.
The size, additional easy, capricious assist, electric ability steering, fabricated for active turns in bound spots and effortless access into compact-sized parking spaces.
The ATS tester rode and handled compactly, too, on arced abundance roads, area the compactness in the action abeyance and a accomplished weight antithesis fabricated for a poised, buried and well-controlled car.
Note the ATS is congenital on a new anatomy from Cadillac’s antecedent aboriginal car, the CTS. The anatomy is lighter weight and on the analysis 3.6-liter Achievement archetypal included MacPherson-type advanced abeyance and a multi-link rear but not Cadillac’s high-tech Magnetic Ride Control.
Front brakes on all ATS models are Brembo achievement units and formed abundant on the analysis car to apathetic and absolutely stop the car, with no fade. Alike the feel of the anchor pedal and the calmly accelerating anchor force were absorbing in this Cadillac.
Power came on acerb from the 3.6-liter, bifold aerial cam, absolute bang V-6, and agent sounds during dispatch came up in aggregate and angle perfectly. This is the aforementioned agent that’s in the CTS, by the way.
Shifts from the adapted six-speed automated in the ATS were apparent but not obtrusive, and while paddle shifters were on the council wheel, the automated formed quick accouterment calmly on its own.
Torque peaks at 275 foot-pounds at a aerial 4,800 rpm, so dispatch isn’t as bull as it can be in the A4 with 211 foot-pounds advancing on at a low 1,500 rpm.
Still, the ATS weight, which ranges from a slight 3,300 pounds to aloof over 3,600 pounds, depending on powertrain and whether the car is rear- or all-wheel drive, makes for a active performance.
In comparison, the starting weight for an A4 is 3,500 pounds, while the abject 3-Series weighs in at beneath than 3,300 pounds.
The ATS isn’t a ammunition miser. The tester with V-6 averaged a blah 20 afar per gallon in absolutely active driving. The federal government appraisal for this archetypal was 18 mpg in the burghal and 26 mpg on the highway.
But alike ATS models with smaller, added fuel-efficient engines — such as the turbocharged 2-liter four — don’t beat the 3-Series and A4 competitors.
As an example, the ATS turbo four is rated at 21/31 mpg by the federal government, while the 3-Series’ turbo four auto is rated at 23/36 mpg.
So, with the ATS tester’s boilerplate mileage, a single, 16-gallon catchbasin could aftermost for aloof 320 miles. At least, this ATS with V-6 alone bare approved unleaded gasoline. Premium is recommended for the turbo four.
The ATS’ shortcomings are few. The Cue arrangement can be arresting to learn, and sometimes the touch-sensitive controls are baffling.
Plus, aback the affectation awning goes dark, fingerprints become arresting and unsightly.
The aback bench can feel awkward for alpine passengers, with alone 33.5 inches of legroom.
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