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2013 Cadillac ATS

Overview
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2013 Cadillac ATS Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.9

Cadillac's all-new compact luxury sport sedan, the 2013 ATS, puts its own spin on the division's sharp-edged design philosophy. The new ATS trumpets bold looks, handling dynamics tuned on Germany's famed Nürburgring circuit, the choice of 4- or 6-cylinder power, and all of Cadillac's latest technology, including the new CUE infotainment interface. This rear-drive/all-wheel-drive 4-door has its sights set on bettering the best from Europe and Japan, including the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Infiniti G sedans.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Cadillac ATS is something we haven't seen in a while: an entry-level luxury sedan with standard rear-wheel drive from an American automaker. The 2013 ATS is meant to challenge rivals like the BMW 3 Series, as well as the notion that Cadillacs must be large and piloted by drivers who "look good for their age."

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want an immediately recognizable compact luxury sedan whose purchase requires little to no explaining to friends, you might want to stick with a BMW 3 Series. As the new kid on the block, the ATS will have to prove itself against more established entries and win over the competition from Germany and Japan.

What's New for 2013

Cadillac steps back into the compact-sedan arena for the first time in 20 years with a premium-grade offering that's all-new and fully qualified to take on the world's best sport/luxury starter sedans.

Driving the ATS

Driving Impressions Three distinct personalities can be assigned to the 2013 Cadillac ATS, and each is determined by one of the three available ATS engines. At the practical level, the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder...

powerplant gets the job done with 202 horsepower and a 6-speed automatic transmission, but isn't interested in putting in overtime. At the Euro end of the ATS equation comes the 3.6-liter V6 and its 321-horsepower valentine to autobahns and boulevard cruising. The V6 power makes the 6-speed automatic's job easy, but that's not the combination we'd recommend – even if you can afford it. For you, we've picked out the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder – with the 6-speed automatic if you want it, but with the available 6-speed manual transmission if you want to give BMW's sweet, new BMW 328i sedan a run for its (or rather, your) money. The 272-horsepower 2.0-liter rewards calling your own gear-shots with bullet-feel acceleration and legit lightweight sports sedan handling, a truth aided measurably by the available FE3 suspension with "Magnetic Ride Control", a term that did not strike us in the least as an overstatement either on the road or at the track.

CUE AUDIO/PHONE/NAVIGATION SYSTEM
If you own an iPhone or an Android, you can learn the ins and outs of this in-car entertainment and communications system in seconds. Even better: If you're not living in a smartphone-centric universe, the touch-screen-based CUE system uses the same intuitive logic that's making Apple gazillions.

2.0-LITER TURBOCHARGED ENGINE
If we could convince you of only one thing in this entire review, it would be to at least try out an ATS with the 2.0-liter engine. This is an easy-to-drive engine with class-leading power and class-comparable fuel economy.

2013 Cadillac ATS Details
2013 Cadillac ATS photo Interior

Offering a well-finished assortment of real wood and supple leather/leatherette trims set off with plated-metal and carbon fiber accents, the new Cadillac ATS features a wraparound dash, driver-centric controls and LED gauges, and subtle ambient lighting. While in no danger of putting Audi out of business, the ATS cabin feels a breath or two more elegant than expected, which is a very good sign in a luxury car interior. Front-seat legroom is adult-sized, but the ceiling can get cramped if you get the sunroof. In classic compact sedan fashion, rear legroom can be precisely described as iffy, but not scandalously so.

Exterior
2013 Cadillac ATS photo

Boldly angular bodywork set off with Cadillac's signature LED-infused vertical lighting elements gives the new ATS an aggressive edge. Posed curbside, the sedan is endowed with a confident, well-planted stance. Standard 17-inch alloy wheels and optional 18-inch upgrades add even more visual intensity to the mix.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The feature set on the 2013 Cadillac ATS expands as you move from the base (Standard) model up through the Luxury, Performance and Premium grades, but even the Standard ATS comes with a full range of attractions. Want the easy life? Power-assist everything, dual-zone automatic climate control, 7-speaker Bose audio, and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity are all yours. Want peace of mind? Eight airbags and Front and Rear Automatic Braking that can prevent low-speed impacts are looking out for you. The magical Cadillac CUE infotainment interface and Bose Cabin Surround sound system adorn higher-grade ATS versions, with navigation coming standard on Premium models.

Optional Equipment

Like the standard features, available extras for the ATS are somewhat trim-grade dependent. Beyond available all-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual transmission on the rear-drive 2.0-liter turbo model, key ATS upgrades include a ton of make-me-safer features with vaguely descriptive names like Full-Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control, Adaptive Forward Lighting, Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert, and Brake Pre-Fill Automatic Collision Preparation.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Cadillac ATS offers three different engines with the Standard trim models getting a 202-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. All Turbo versions will be fitted with a 272-horsepower turbocharged four. The top-line models get a 321-horsepower V6. Save for the rear-drive ATS turbo that will be available with a 6-speed manual transmission, all other versions of the Cadillac ATS will come with a standard 6-speed automatic.

2.5-liter inline-4
202 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
191 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy (estimated): 22/33 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
272 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy (estimated): 22/32 mpg

3.6-liter V6
321 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
275 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy (estimated): 19/28 mpg

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2013 Cadillac ATS Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 22 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    10.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.5/10

Best car I've ever owned, never leaving cadillac!!

By on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Price, fun, looks, handling, everything"

Cons: "Not much storage space inside, that's it"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is amazing. I have the 2.0L turbo, 6 speed manual. Always owned 2 door sport coupes before this car, now i needed a 4 door sedan. This is the perfect mix of a 4 door family car, and super quick, great handling sports car. The only reason I gave a 9 out of 10 for quality is because I had to bring it to the dealer to fix a speaker rattling and a sunroof issue. I get compliments on this car all the time as well. This car blows away BMW, Audi, and Lexus."

23 people out of 44 found this review helpful

Awesome car

By on Sunday, August 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Turbo engine, Brembo brakes, magnetic ride control"

Cons: "Tight back seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Great power, strong brakes, and the magnetic ride control suspension is top notch. Great HID lights with LED daytimes, looks awesome. Car is so smooth at high speed. This car is begging to be tracked but I don't have time. Its my commuter, and I see a combined MPG of 22MPG. Takes a little time to get used to the CUE system and not having any push buttons, but if you have an Iphone, its pretty much like that. The quality of interior is great and the exterior has European lines, love this car....."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

New kid on the block and it lives up to the hype

By on Friday, June 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great price, good power, and insane handling"

Cons: "6 foot 2 buyer beware lol its a small sedan"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Cadillac stepped up its game with this sporty little sedan. Moves like it weighs 500 lbs less than its "curb weight" It has a generation 3 ecotech, in less words, it's overbuilt and loves to eat the boost from the little twin scroll charger it has strapped to it, but don't let the word turbo scare you off, if you feel lag let me know because I don't. As for styling, I can say it feels like a cockpit but with more "stuff" cool touch screen and very few actual buttons. Pretty good gas mileage but I came from a gas guzzler so opinions may vary. Overall a great car and I'm happy to see Cadillac throw its hat back in the ring."

30 people out of 50 found this review helpful

STAND OUT CAR

By on Friday, June 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"FIRST NORTH AMERICAN CAR FOR ME SINCE 1998 I RESEARCHED THIS CAR TO DEATH BEFORE MAKING MY FINAL DECISION. THE CLOSEST CAR TO THIS IN MY OPINION IS THE AUDI A4. AWESOME LEASE RATES AND GM INCENTIVES WAS ICING ON THE CAKE. THE FIT IN FINISH IS EXCELLENT, AND MY LEATHER SEATS IN THE PERFORMANCE PACKAGE ARE AMAZING OFFERING COMFORT AND STYLE. PUSH THIS CAR INTO ANY CORNER OR TAKE OFF FROM A TRAFFIC LIGHT IT MOVES YOU! I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER CAR WITHOUT AWD. MY 2L TURBO IS GIVING ME CITY/HIGHWAY COMBINED DRIVING OF 8.2L/100KM."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Glad I came back to an American brand

By on Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Stellar quality & a true drivers car!"

Cons: "Gas mileage, CUE"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I haven't purchased an American car since 1996 and during that time I have owned two BMWs, two Acuras, an Audi and a Lexus. I was hesitant about going with the Cadillac but I always said 'when America can build one that truly competes I will buy it'. After seeing the ATS beat the all time champ of sports sedans the 335i I knew I had to at least give it a look. After driving it I was hooked. It truly is a drivers car that equals or exceeds anything from Germany or Japan and that is something as an American I am proud of. Quality so far has been stellar. The only negative I can comment on is the gas mileage is not great and the CUE system is just a little cumbersome but other than that it is a fantastic car!"

11 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Great sports sedan that beats a 3 series!

By on Friday, May 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, manual transmission, build quality"

Cons: "Small trunk, engine note"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned my ATS for approximately 6 months. During that time the car has proven itself as a capable performer in all areas. This car really succeeds in the handling department with firm, but not stiff, suspension and steering that is on par or better than class leaders. I have not seen any reviews that do the interior of this car justice. Cadillac has emphasized the hand sewn look of its interiors and every friend or family member compliments the modern look and material quality of the interior. Hard plastics are hard to come by on the inside of this car. My car is a base 2.0T with the manual transmission and that combination really offers one of the best driving experiences available and at a price lower than most competitors."

10 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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