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2013 Cadillac ATS

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2013 Cadillac ATS Review

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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
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 36 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

I would not trade in to lease this car again

By on Sunday, July 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,424

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Suspention not what wold expect for a Cadillac"

Cons: "Don't think held good value"

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

"Many recalls for service, and don't run well after last recall for spark plugs to be changed. Seems as if timing is off. Over all Q-system is great, but would not lease again."

23 people out of 60 found this review helpful

Absolutely Love this Car

By on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

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: "Great Acceleration!"

Cons: "None"

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

"The perfect combination of luxury and sport comes together with the Cadillac ATS. I have the 3.6 ATS4 and it does perform good on snow too! Great Job Cadillac!"

26 people out of 42 found this review helpful

Love, Love my ATS

By on Thursday, June 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,028

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: "fun to drive"

Cons: "Cue is a little hard to figue out sometimes."

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

"I love the styling, comfort and driving experience. I studied many model cars and for the price this was the best. It is perfect for me."

20 people out of 52 found this review helpful

Our second Cadillac

By on Friday, April 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 250

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Agreeably priced, fun to drive, handsome styling"

Cons: "None"

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

Handsome "steed"

"I had a 1969 Fleetwood Brougham long ago and she was a fine ride! I thought we'd never own another. We looked at the Chevrolet Impala and were impressed but when our son suggested checking out Lincoln and Cadillac. I said " Your mom won't go for it". We researched both makes and we bought the ATS. We bought the Standard model with AWD and the turbo 2.0 engine. Raven Black with black interior. Very comfortable seats (leatherette) with lumbar and seats powered. She drives and rides very well. I am more of a chauffeur style driver than NASCAR. Regardless, she MOVES when desired and I love that. We live in a higher elevation so we are tired of four cylinder anemia. I realize that she's new but so far, we are quite happy with today's Cadillac!"

47 people out of 84 found this review helpful

Handsome "steed"

Fun, smooth, great-looking car

By on Sunday, March 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,300

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fast, smooth, great seats, beautiful car"

Cons: "Smaller back seat."

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

"I've had my ATS for two years. I haven't had any issues or problems. I have had to take it in for several recalls but i never experienced any problems associated with what was being fixed by the recall. I love how smooth and nimble the car feels while driving. We've driven it on several long trips and the seats are great and really help with driving fatigue. Mileage averages about 24 city/hwy. Only drawback is resale value seems low but I will probably keep for a long time because it is a fun, smooth, comfortable car. Also, it came with bumper-to-bumper coverage (including free oil changes) for four years. I would recommend to anyone wanting an affordable premium car."

26 people out of 43 found this review helpful

First American Car since 1977.

By on Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,280

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handling looks 3.6 power stereo fit and finish"

Cons: "tight back seat in the coupe rough idle 3.6 paint"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I am very surprised at the fit and finish, handling, size and style. Handling is first rate. The new 3 series is just not what it used to be and this car had the looks and lease offer for me to give it a try. The 3.6 has power but is no where as smooth as a BMW or Audi. I have owned all German Cars since 1995 and have seen them slip over the years. The only other car I would consider at this time is an Audi S4 or a Mercedes. I am happy with my ATS 3.6. I guess it is the Name Plate that bugs me, it carries a lot of Baggage. Thumbs up!"

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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