2013 Cadillac ATS Safety

9.0
Safety

Cadillac is pitching the new ATS at driving enthusiasts and techno geeks, so it's only fitting that the safety gear on the new sedan has few rivals, even above its price point.

All ATS sedans come with a strong core, girded by eight airbags--including dual front knee airbags--and traction and stability control, as well as active headrests. Bluetooth is standard, but a rearview camera isn't offered on the base car, unless the CUE package is optioned.

The ATS earns a five-star NHTSA rating, and has all kinds of high-tech safety options for gadgeteers and fretters alike.

CUE itself is a larger discussion in our Features section. In terms of safety, it's the price of futurism. No doubt, using an infotainment interface, period, is a distraction, but CUE is a neater integration of smartphones and voice controls than we've yet seen. And maybe, in the long run, that's safer than a poorly integrated system.

Other more assuredly safety-boosting options include adaptive cruise control; front and rear automatic braking that can prevent or mitigate impacts at low speeds; a lane-departure warning system paired with a haptic seat that vibrates a bottom cushion when the car crosses into the opposite lane; and blind-spot monitors with cross-traffic alerts. The ATS also can be fitted with a head-up display, configurable for the driver's favorite settings, whether they include posted speed limits, a tachometer, or navigation. Rear side airbags are a major option not usually seen in domestic luxury sedans, but often found on German luxury four-doors.

The ATS has standard OnStar. With its GPS and cellular connection, it can dial emergency services in the event of an accident. It also can be linked to a myCadillac mobile app that performs all sorts of functions, from reminding you where you've parked, to setting a service appointment.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn't yet rated the ATS, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded it five stars overall.

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