Zippy Caddy chases BMW
The smallest and lightest car from Cadillac, the ATS, is a sharp-looking, smart-handling, rear- or all-wheel drive sedan whose exterior dimensions are almost spot on with BMW's top-selling 3-Series sedan.
It's no coincidence. Cadillac officials hope the ATS, introduced for 2013 as their new, entry-level car, pulls some would-be buyers away from the long-popular, German 3-Series.
Certainly, the ATS is fresh and different, even as BMW has introduced a new-generation 3-Series.
Besides the sleek, distinctive exterior, the ATS gives buyers a lot to talk about, including an iPad-like, 8-inch, touch-and-display screen on models equipped with CUE, for Cadillac User Experience.
The ATS has safety cred, too, with its across-the-board, five-out-of-five-stars safety rating in federal government crash testing.
In comparison, the 2013 BMW 3-Series tested earned four out of five stars for passenger protection in a frontal crash and five out of five stars in side crash testing.
The ATS' base engine — a naturally aspirated, 202 horsepower four cylinder that comes with standard six-speed automatic — compares with the base, 180-horsepower, twin-turbocharged four cylinder that's in the 2013 320i. The 320i base engine is available with a six-speed manual or eight-speed Steptronic automatic.
Standard equipment on both base cars includes 17-inch wheels and leather-like seat trim, but not real leather.
On the outside, the ATS has a refined quality as the chiseled edges of Cadillac's longstanding angular design have been eroded nicely.
But it doesn't look old. The careful attention to updating the styling while keeping the familiar Cadillac look was appreciated by many passersby who asked what new Cadillac this was. Also not overlooked was the compact size of the ATS. At 15.2 feet long, from bumper to bumper, it's about the same overall length as a 3-Series sedan.
The size, plus easy, variable assist, electric power steering, made for nimble turns in tight spots and effortless entry into compact-sized parking spaces.
The ATS tester rode and handled compactly, too, on twisty mountain roads, where the firmness in the sport suspension and a fine weight balance made for a poised, planted and well-controlled car.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Stocks on upswing
- IBM to pay $1.5B to shed chip division
- Streaming won’t mean the end of cable
- Fannie Mae might take 3% down
- Natrona Bottling Co. keeps soda pop operation small, putting effort into craft, taste
- PPG Industries to buy Westmoreland Supply paint store chain
- Large-scale batteries are integral in shift to renewable energy
- Hackers rip into heart of open-source software
- Open enrollment puts varied impact of health care law back in focus
- Student loan debt presents paradox
- Energy Spotlight: Steve Anthos