The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

2013 Cadillac ATS Review - By Michael Bernstein

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2013 Cadillac ATS

Best Of All It's A Really Nice Car

By Michael Bernstein
Michigan Bureau
The Auto Channel

Cadillac has reinvented its brand and product line by leveraging its rich heritage of quality and combining it with leading edge technologies to create a new generation of vehicles for the next generation customer.

As the industry turns the corner, the 2013 ATS AWD 2.0T puts Cadillac on the road to increased sales and puts the competition on the ropes with its masterful blending of style, features and most importantly performance.

At first glance, the bold but elegant statuette is formed by the double creases that run the length of the sedans compact body. The contemporary look and lean line is extended and further enhanced by the unique geometric cutouts afforded the windows, door handles and more impressively in the front head lamp housing that encompasses the hood’s bold creases.

In the ATS, Cadillac manages to connect driver and information. The compact sedan is large on styling and it is loaded with technologies headlined by Cadillac’s QUE system that seamlessly and effortlessly orchestrates the ATS’s many convenience features into a sympathy of simplicity by replacing the large knobs and confusing matrix of options with a simple touch of the large video monitor that not only executes your command but it senses your needs by automatically displaying the control options for any of the vehicle’s options-navigation, climate, audio-on the screen and then just as remarkably, they disappear and the original display returns to the screen.

This beauty also offers many of the driver refinements, many of these truly border on safety features and include blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and collision avoidance, that are expected of a vehicle that has a base MSRP of $45,995.

To further alert the driver of impending danger, the Cadillac ATS combines a vibration to the seat cushion with the normal visual cues and audio warning tones that accompany these systems. This is all before any accident and the battery of air bags, restraints and other safety features engineered into the ATS will certainly help if needed.

Every feature, every control is straight forward, practical, efficient and attractively presented in the spacious, yet compact cabin that you would expect to find in a sports coupe or ragtop, not a compact luxury sedan. The leather wrapped steering wheel is heated with a push of a button located in one of the two control panels housed in the wheel’s core.

The interior is dominated by the multi level dash that merges with the center console to form the frame work of the comfortable interior. The video display is mounted for optimal sightlines from the driver’s seat and sits atop the center waterfall that also contains the soft touch controls for the climate and audio systems. It levels off and flows into the gear shifter, cup holders and then elevates into an arm rest and storage bin.

The driver’s main IP rises from the dash and its face is a mix of traditional gages and a LED display that is customizable. The ambient lighting throughout the vehicle is truly amazing, especially the light bar embedded in the ATS’s four exterior door handles. This feature only adds to the impressive ambience the ATS projects in terms of both appearance and stature.

Another plus was the head-up display of the vehicle‘s speed above the speed limit of the road you are on presented as an actual sign. This image was projected on the lower third of the windscreen. Raised stitching on the leather dash, door panels and seats were a nice touch and when combined with the dark hues of the interior’s color pallet created a warm and welcoming interior.

The ATS has ample room for four adults and has a usable truck. Bose audio, rear view cam, OnStar and XM complete the amenities package. Now it’s time to hit the mean streets of Suburbia and I wasn’t out of my drive way before I was impressed with the smooth acceleration and seemingly endless reservoir of power under the hood.

The 2.0L turbo, 4-CLY engine is capable of generating a whopping 272HP and is kept in check by the six speed automatic transmission. Further road handling is provided by the ATS’s excellent suspension and braking packages that ensured a firm ride under the bumpiest of road conditions. How it earned a 24 MPG combined EPA fuel economy is an impressive engineering feat because the ATS is no slouch on the road.

The real key to the ATS‘s appeal will depend on you because the 2013 ATS has no key just a slim key fob and push button ignition that starts the car. You can start the process by stopping by your local dealer and taking the ATS for spin. The 2013 Cadillac ATS AWD 2.0T Premium collection is the high end model and comes with a MSRP of over fifty grand ($51,105).