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.
Which holds the real performance edge? It's really too close to call; 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 sedan 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.
The ATS has edged slightly ahead of the 3-Series in our Overall Rating, but you'll need to peruse the full content of our full reviews on the 2015 BMW 3-Series and 2015 Cadillac ATS in order to figure out which one suits you best -- and which is the new archenemy.
|2015 Cadillac ATS||2015 BMW 3-Series|
|The 2015 Cadillac ATS hits all the right marks in handling, performance, quality, comfort, and technology.||The 2015 BMW 3-Series lineup is a sport sedan at heart, but with Sports Wagon and Gran Turismo (hatchback) models, it's a lot more than that.|
|Read moreThe Cadillac ATS may not be pure art, or pure science, but it's an exceptionally handsome intersection of the two.||Read moreTrim and athletic, the 2015 BMW 3-Series sedans keep to classic sport-sedan form, while the Gran Turismo is a more than just a fastback 3.|
|Read more3-Series who? The ATS fashions a legit German alternative with rear-wheel drive and wow-factor handling.||Read moreConfident handling and dynamic excellence are a given, no matter which model in the 2015 BMW 3-Series lineup you're considering.|
|Read moreThe ATS has great sport seats in front and a lovely interior, but the back seats are cramped and the trunk is small.||Read moreThe wagon and Gran Turismo are the active-family material here, but the 2015 3-Series sedans are tight, comfortable, and quiet.|
|Read moreGreat crash-test scores so far couple with the latest safety tech in the Cadillac ATS.||Read moreYou can equip the 2015 BMW 3-Series with a few more active-safety features than some other models in this class.|
|Read moreCUE continues to get better; we prefer the cut-and-sewn interior, as far as luxe features go.||Read morePricing can be daunting, but the bright side is that a wide range of a la carte options means you can essentially build your own.|
|Read moreGas mileage is above average, not best in class, in the 2015 ATS.||Read moreWith hybrid and clean-diesel models in the lineup, the 2015 BMW 3-Series is one of the 'greenest' sport-sedan picks for those who don't care to flaunt frugality.|
|from N/A||from $32,950|
|from N/A||from $30,315|
|Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway|
|Front Leg Room (in)|
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