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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.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.9
  • 8.6
  • 8.0
  • 7.8
  • 7.3
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#16

out of 35

Fuel Economy

#26

out of 35

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.2 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 Cadillac ATS Low/wide front photo 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
2013 Cadillac ATS Front angle view photo

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.
Favorite Features

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 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view 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
2013 Cadillac ATS Engine photo

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

Pricing Notes

The 2013 Cadillac ATS goes on sale later this summer with the 2.5-liter Standard model starting at $33,990. Opt for a fully loaded V6 Premium variant with all-wheel drive and that figure can top-out at over $50,000, but you really have to push it. If you're budgeteer insists that you keep your Caddy under $50K, that won't be a problem. When it comes to resale value, Kelley Blue Book expects the ATS to hold its own against Audi and Mercedes-Benz – less so compared to the always strong BMW 3 Series and the Japanese luxury juggernaut. To help make your smartest deal on a new Cadillac ATS and see what others in your area are paying, always check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price.

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2013 Cadillac ATS Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 16 Ratings for the 2013 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    10.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Love my ATS!

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,900

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

Pros: "Lots of nice features for the money,"

Cons: "Nothing so far.."

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

"I love the car. It's beautiful and fun to drive. My first Cadillac and it hasn't disappointed. The CUE infotainment system is absolutely awesome! A great alternative to the cookie cutter, dime-a-dozen BMWs."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Love my ATS!

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,900

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

Pros: "Lots of nice features for the money,"

Cons: "Nothing so far.."

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

"I love the car. It's beautiful and fun to drive. My first Cadillac and it hasn't disappointed. The CUE infotainment system is absolutely awesome! A great alternative to the cookie cutter, dime-a-dozen BMWs."

Fun to drive

By on Monday, March 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Looks, performance, handling"

Cons: "CUE, back seat and trunk space"

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

"The ATS is a great handling car. The 3.6 engine provide plenty of power. We have the performance model so the ride is a little too stiff for my wife's liking but it is not all that bad. The only negative on the car is the back seat and trunk are rather cramped. Unless you travel with adults in the back frequently it shouldn't be a huge problem. One thing I didn't consider when purchasing was how tight the back seat would be with a baby seat installed for the grandkids. We have had zero problems with the ATS. If you drive the car frequently you will get used to the CUE however the occasional driver may have to retrain themselves each time in the car. If you like performance at a modest cost you should like the ATS."

11 people out of 20 found this review helpful

ATS better than the rest!

By on Sunday, February 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Design. Cost, Quailty, Horsepower, Ride, Gadgets."

Cons: "Small backseats (same with all in class)."

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

"I owned a used CTS for years and loved it. Looked at BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus etc. The ATS is the clear winner. Better ride. Better engine (V-6 in mine). Better design. Better quality Less cost. The 321 Horsepower V-6 is almost scary off the line but the AWD and traction control keep it under control. The only negatives on this car are the smaller backseat, but that is true for all the other similar cars. The trunk is smaller but very functional."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Amazing car!

By on Thursday, February 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,800

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: "A blast to drive!"

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

"This is my first Cadillac but it won't be my last. The handling is supreme and the 2.0 Turbo is lightening fast off the line. This car corners like it's on rails and the Brembo brakes are simply the best. I feel spoiled every time I get in....this is simply a beautiful car. The CUE system is the easiest and most user friendly system I have ever seen. Anyone who doesn't think so just doesn't know how to use it. And, last but not least, the price is excellent. Buy this one with no regrets!"

10 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Minus CUE and racetrack tires, this is a great car

By on Thursday, January 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "handling, power, finish, braking"

Cons: "stiff ride; CUE, tires"

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

"quiet, plush interior. with 18" wheels (standard with premium trim) there's not much rubber between the chassis and road--expect to feel every little bump. handling is sublime. looking forward to hitting the pacific coast highway! it's a low-rider...good exercise for me (6'4") getting in and out of the vehicle. once in, somewhat snug sideways but very comfortable--plenty of head (without sunroof) and legroom for tall folks. fitting things in the glove compartment can be tricky if the (optional with lower trim) CD player is installed. it doesn't consume that much (of the already limited) volume but projects into space needed for arranging items. I have only a handgun and two cases for eyeglasses and I frequently have to rearrange them to get the door to close. I'm going to have the CD player removed. rear seats are suitable only for two short adults. fit and finish are superb. CUE cannot deal with even simple directory structures when reading solid-state media (unlike my $7 mp3 player!) or CD's. While this is no big deal per se, figuring it out has taken months of experimenting and working with the dealer...ridiculous! Caddy should at least inform owners (and dealers) of these kinds of limitations. This issue is not addressed in 2014 CUE. For music files on SD, USB, or CD, to be safe put individual files in the root directory, no subdirectories (folders). CUE does a fine--although slow--job of organizing the files if the mp3 tag data are present. The resource-intensive user interface plus so much unutilized potential puts CUE years behind today's standards. It's baffling and annoying, for another example, that date and time have to be manually set on a GPS-equipped vehicle. Cue on the whole is a little scary for me. It's distracting to do even simple things--I have to meticulously discipline myself to keep my attention on traffic while fiddling with it. After a few close calls I now just pull over to do most things rather than risk an accident. As of today I wouldn't buy another vehicle that is (2013-14) CUE equipped. I have not yet learned to fully utilize the voice capabilities of CUE (they are good except a little slow, and spotty when road-noise levels are high) and this could mitigate some of my issues. The rear tires that came on the vehicle--Bridgestone POTENZA RE050A 255/35RF18--were almost bald at 12K miles. I understand the ATS is intended to be sporty but...crikey! front and rear tires are different size--no full rotations. of course, no spare tire (a worrisome item for me). rain sensing wipers are a waste of effort. they frequently activate when it's bone dry and sometimes fail to activate when it's sprinkling. the ride is so low that the front end often doesn't clear the concrete stops in parking lots. one learns to stop a little short of them. I routinely get 28+ mpg at 75-80 mph and 24-25 overall mpg (rear-wheel drive). the few flaws in this vehicle have simple solutions. hopefully caddy will step up. overall, the more I drive the car, the more I like it. it is a very civilized ride while fast and sporty enough when needed."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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