With turbo-four engines the easiest to compare, and multi-link independent suspensions teamed with electric power steering and optional adaptive ride controls, the mass-market editions duke it out, the ATS pulling up as evenly as any sedan ever has with the Bimmer. It's the 272-horsepower ATS turbo four that takes on BMW's 240-hp turbo four, with nearly identical acceleration times, and a choice of manual and automatic transmissions, as well as rear- or all-wheel drive. From our recent drive of the BMW and the press-launch drive of the Cadillac, it's unclear if either holds a real performance edge--even in straight-ahead stability and cornering transitions, Cadillac's dialed in the cornering magic that used to be the province of BMW's MacPherson struts and links. Neither car requires the expensive upgrade suspensions, though Cadillac's magnetically-controlled shocks seem to have more sublime control than BMW's adjustable setup.
With even fuel economy nearly identical, the BMW 3-Series and Cadillac ATS still offer a clear choice. The BMW fans we know wouldn't consider looking elsewhere. Now that Cadillac's in the business of selling phenomenally balanced handling in a compact package, with superior looks and a tech interface second to nothing in the class, it puts that long-standing loyalty to a severe stress test.
Although at last check the ATS had edged slightly ahead of the 3-Series in our Overall Rating, you'll need to peruse the full content of our full reviews on the 2014 BMW 3-Series and 2014 Cadillac ATS in order to figure out which one suits you best--and which one's your next foe.
|2014 Cadillac ATS||2013 BMW 3-Series|
|The 2014 Cadillac ATS puts the Germans on notice in handling and performance, while hitting high marks in quality and comfort, too.||The 2013 BMW 3-Series is safe, fuel-efficient, and well-connected, yet it delivers the class-leading performance and handling that enthusiasts have come to expect.|
|Read moreThe sexy ATS bathes in the afterglow of Cadillac's Art & Science ethos.||Read moreBusy interiors aside, the BMW 3-Series sedan and wagon have a trim, athletic look.|
|Read moreThe 2014 ATS is as nimble as the BMW 3-Series, serving up Teutonic overcompetence with rear-drive and six manual gears.||Read moreConfident handling and a choice of strong turbo-six or turbo-four engines give the 3-Series its traditional dynamic excellence.|
|Read moreThe back seat in the 2014 ATS is tight and the trunk is small, but the sport seats in front are fantastic.||Read moreThe 3-Series is bigger than most of its rivals this time around, and with a wagon on the way, it's a flexible family option, too.|
|Read moreA five-star NHTSA rating, as well as all kinds of high-tech safety options, add up to the stuff to satisfy techies and worriers.||Read moreBMW's outfitted the latest 3-Series with lots of advanced safety features, and it earns a five-star safety rating.|
|Read moreCadillac's CUE interface highlights a very tech-forward, luxuriously equipped cabin.||Read moreThe 3-Series has a vast range of options, but prices can hit breathtaking levels--even without some key features.|
|Read moreYou won't find best-in-class mileage in the 2014 Cadillac ATS, but with the turbo four it's pretty frugal for a sport sedan.||Read moreGreat fuel economy, even in six-cylinder form, makes the 3-Series an unheralded green option for sport-sedan buyers, and a hybrid version is on the way.|
|from $33,065||from $32,550|
|from $31,246||from $29,945|
|Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway|
|Front Leg Room (in)|
|Second Leg Room (in)|
Read Full Specs
Read Full Specs