2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T Performance Collection

by Dave Stall
2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T Performance Collection

I have always been a fan of Cadillac even in the tough times like the 70's (Every car manufacturer had a tough time in the 70's) but today's Cadillac will rival any European or Japanese/Korean car out there today and the 2013 Cadillac ATS is a fine example.
What stands out the most is their advancement in technology; today they are using the Ecotec 2.0-liter Turbocharged VVT DI inline 4 cylinders that produces 272 horsepower at 5500 rpm and a torque output of 260 pound foot of torque at 1700 rpm, this is helped by a 3.27 rear gear ratio. Then back up the Ecotec with a 6L45 6 speed automatic transmission and together you can expect fuel mileage of 21 city and 31 freeway.  I have been averaging 26 to 29 miles per gallon with a combination of city freeway with a heavy emphasis on freeway.
Another bit of technology I appreciated is the safety features like 8 standard air bags, including a knee airbag alone with head curtain side air bags and rear thorax air bags are available as well.  The rear view camera is tops on my list, not only a crystal clear camera, but site lines to keep you in your lane or away from the neighbors trash cans, let alone the kids running through the neighborhood!  This piece of technology is cleaver, but has its issues, and the issues are with me, not the cars, radar-camera and sensors including adaptive cruise control.  This is where I am not totally satisfied, and what happens here is the car judges how far you are away from the vehicle ahead of you, if you don't pay attention the ATS will take over the braking of the ATS and keep you from rear ending someone, I feel it is a little to sensitive (Even though the distance is adjustable) but you can turn it off if you choose to do so, but it has other features that make you second guess turning it off, you also get intelligent brake assist (same as the cruise control, looks out for your braking skills) forward collision alert (bright red LED lighting on top of the dash and the seats vibrate your butt cheeks) rear cross traffic (I used it…fantastic feature!) side blind zone alert and a lot more (see your salesman).
The ATS is the sportier of the group (Excluding CTS-V Cadillac) this is a family sedan that has paddle shifting, allow pedals and rest pedal, alloy wheels.  The exterior is painted Thunder Gray Chromflar with Light Platinum with Jet Black accents, the wood inside is beautiful and subtle.  The seats are very comfortable and adjustable for the driver that needs added attention, like a thigh cushion that slides out for added comfort. The touch screen is another feature that enhances the ATS, this may take a while to get the feel of the controls, but once you have played with it awhile you will not believe how you lived without these features. Interior lighting works well and the back seat is very comfortable and the trunk is not as big as most, but there is a pass through for longer items.
CUE the Cadillac entertainment/navigation system is projected from an 8-inch full color touch screen that is effortless and you get a 5.7-inch center screen in front of the driver.  Bluetooth was a snap to hook up (I didn't have to break out the owner's manual).
I mentioned the paddle shifter earlier and if you have read my reviews in the past I am not a paddle shifter fan, and the Cadillac ATS caused me to dislike the system more, not once, but twice at slow turning speeds, my left knee slipped the transmission from normal "D" driving to paddle shifting because my knee hit the bottom of the shifter in a turn.  OK, I adjusted the steering wheel up so my knee would clear the shifter during turns, but I prefer my steering wheel low!
Performance, wow! I can live with this car, and yes I love the CTS-V, but do I need all that performance all the time?  No, and the reason why?  Because the ATS is light, nimble, luxurious plenty of power for our city streets and freeways and it bases out at $33,095!  My tester came in at $45,775 plus tax and license.
Finally!  I have been complaining about this next topic for years, Warranty!  Check this out, a 4-year 50,000 mile Bumper To Bumper Warranty, 6-year 70,000 mile Powertrain Warranty, 4-year 50,000 mile Premium Care Maintenance, 6-year 70,000 Courtesy Transportation and 6-year 70,000 mile Road Side Assistance, now that is what I call taking care of the customer!
If you want more information on this car or any other vehicles I road test you can listen live every Sunday evening at 7 to 10 pm PST on KCBQ AM 1170, listen live on radio in San Diego or on the web. www.kcbq.com.

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