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Cadillac ATS (2013)


With its great handling, performance, and quality interior, the ATS finally delivers Cadillac into the ranks of world-class compact sport sedans. Buyers looking for an alternative to a BMW 3 Series or M-B C Class now have a great reason to visit a Cadillac store.

Powered by either a 2.5 liter four cylinder, a 2.0 liter turbo four cylinder, or a 3.6 liter V-6, the ATS has an engine for every taste. My test vehicle was the 172hp 2.0 T Premium model. The 259hp EcoTec I-4 was mated to a slick shifting 6 speed manual transmission. It was everything the ATS needed to supply a ton of excitement. I truly enjoyed driving this car.

Handling is superb courtesy of a 50/50 weight distribution and Cadillac’s next gen Magnetic Ride Control system. The new version of this active suspension is ultra sophisticated. At 60mph, it takes readings from various sensors on the chassis every inch and can adjust the shock dampening from full soft to full hard in 5 inches traveled. I tested it on a racetrack and found it amazingly accurate. It contributes to the ATS’s sports car like handling. The ATS comes with upgraded Brembo brakes and Bridgestone Potenza summer performance tires. I pushed the ATS as hard as I dared and still couldn’t get it to complain. I imagine that handling like this could make a big difference in poor conditions.

The base ATS 2.5L powertrain gives EPA economy ratings of 22/33/26 mpg city/highway/combined. However, I can’t imagine anyone buying the ATS for fuel economy.

Like all Cadillac’s, the ATS has a great interior. Fit and finish are superb and quality of materials is excellent. Interior noise is almost non existent, even with the I-4 engine package. Ride quality is confident and comfortable. Front seat legroom is great for any adult and the rear seat legroom is passable.

The ATS has received scores of five stars out of five in every category of government safety tests. There are airbags all around along with stability control, backup camera, antilock brakes, traction control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and parking sensors in the front and rear. OnStar is included with one year of free service.

When you add Cadillac’s new CUE (Cadillac User Experience) telematics system, I don’t think you can argue with the fact that the ATS is going to be a huge success for Cadillac. Anyone looking for a made in America alternative to a BMW, Audi, or Mercedes should head over to their local Cadillac dealer and check out the ATS.

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