Friday, August 10, 2012

First Impression: Cadillac ATS

The last time a Cadillac compact sedan was sold in America was the Cadillac Cimarron, which was produced from 1982 to 1988. It was a major flop. Cadillac had a compact car for the European market from 2005 to 2010 called the Cadillac BLS, which was a heavily styled Saab 9-3. In 2012, Cadillac started production on a new compact luxury sedan called the ATS. The ATS comes available with either as a four-door rear-wheel drive car or as a four-door all-wheel drive car.

I first saw the ATS at the 2012 Houston Auto Show. I love the sleek side profile. The car was on a turntable, so I was not allowed to sit in the car. The rear of the car is similar to that on a Cadillac CTS and it works for both cars. My one issue with the styling of the ATS is the front. The headlights are not flushed with the front. There is a noticeable gap between the front end of the car and where the headlights are.

The ATS is available with a few engines and comes with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The ATS is available with a base 2.5L I4, paired only with the six-speed automatic transmission,  that produces 202 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 130 mph and is only available in rear-wheel drive. Prices for the base 2.5 I4 start at $33,990. The turbocharged 2.0L I4 engine, paired with either a manual or automatic transmission, produces 270 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Prices for the 2.0L I4 turbo start at $35,795 and is available with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The 3.6L V6, paired with the automatic transmission, produces 320 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 152 mph. Prices for the 3.6L V6 ATS start at $42,090 and is available with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. For a luxury sedan, the ATS has good performance and at a reasonable price.

The ATS has been featured on Motorweek.

Final Thoughts: GM has another winner in the luxury compact sedan class. I am very impressed with the Buick Verano and I am impressed with the ATS. Compared to the BMW 3-Series, the ATS is cheaper. Cadillac has announced that there will be an ATS-V for the 2014 model year. I am very interested in seeing how the ATS-V competes against the Audi RS4, BMW M3, Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG, and Lexus ISF. As far as which engine to go with, you can skip the base 2.5 I4 engine and go with either the 2.0L turbo or the 3.6L V6.

Photo was taken by a digital camera.
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