New & Used Cadillac ATS: In Depth
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The Cadillac ATS is the entry-level car in the Cadillac lineup that came out earlier this year. It competes with the Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The ATS rides on a new platform that will eventually spin off other body styles for Cadillac, and may also lead to a replacement for the Chevy Camaro. In its first iteration, the 2013 ATS sedan comes in rear- or all-wheel-drive form. The base powerplant is a 2.5-liter direct-injection four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque; a turbocharged version of this engine is rated at 270 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The top engine choice is GM's 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6, rated at 318 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque.
Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are available. Cadillac estimates the base model will deliver fuel economy of 22/32 mpg, and 0-60 mph times of 7.5 seconds. It's pegging the same fuel economy for its turbo four, while 0-60 mph times drop to 5.7 seconds; for the 321-hp V-6, 60 mph arrives in 5.4 seconds, and gas mileage should check in at 19/28 mpg. In part, the strong fuel economy and acceleration figures are due to the ATS' relatively light curb weight of 3,400 pounds. The suspension is fully independent, and the ATS' weight is balanced at 50:50, and handling is not just on par with its primary German competition--we think it's superior in many ways.
Like the large XTS sedan also being introduced for the 2013 model year, the ATS will feature Cadillac's new CUE infotainment system. CUE uses an 8-inch capacitive touchscreen on the dash and a 5.7-inch reconfigurable screen on the gauge cluster to control everything from navigation and audio, to climate control and vehicle settings. Like Ford's MyFord Touch, CUE can be operated by voice commands as well. The instrument panel also has touch-sensitive buttons that can control main audio and climate control functions quickly. It's a controversial setup that has its glaring flaws and technical hiccups.
The ATS backs up the in-cabin tech with a myriad of safety features including eight standard airbags and StabiliTrak. The IIHS hasn't yet rated the ATS--but the NHTSA gives the new luxury sedan five stars overall, an excellent score for a compact sedan. Optional technology includes full-speed, range-adaptive cruise control, Intelligent brake assist, brake pre-fill automatic collision preparation, and much more. With all this optional technology available, Cadillac is not only looking towards the technology and driving-enthusiast crowd, but the safety-conscious crowd as well.
The ATS has a base price of just under $34,000. Fully trimmed out, an AWD V-6 ATS clocks in at more than $56,000.
A coupe version and a high-powered ATS-V are expected to join the lineup within the next two model years.