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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 44 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

2013 Cad ATS

By on Sunday, July 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Styling, handling, comfortable."

Cons: "Do not care for the tall door short window"

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

"I have had this 2.0 standard car for 3 years and 32K miles now. Had a few recalls for minor issues but it never gave me any problems. Read the reviews of this car by JD power and it appeared as bunch of armatures doing the review. Because I quite enjoyed driving it and sad to see it go. Good handling and still comfortable ride. Engine had adequate power with quite good response. It can be argued that the BMW version of the same engine has slight refinement edge but not by much that would be noticeable to the average buyer. Overall very pleased with it."

Design flaws hinder operator

By on Friday, June 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,950

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
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fun to drive and economical with the 4 cylinder."

Cons: "No CD player - No spare tire - No jack"

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

"This is absolutely a great car unless you are a big or tall person. Not easy to enter or exit. The radio dash cover shows excessive amount of fingerprints and not easy to clean and keep clean. Very little back seat room and hard to exit and enter.You can not access the trunk from the interior nor access the interior from the trunk. No folding rear seat."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

A car that compete BMW, Mercedes, Audi

By on Saturday, April 2, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, nice performance and handling"

Cons: "CUE is a little annoying, small rear compartments"

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

"I searched a lot about ATS 2.0T. I viewed about 15 youtube videos, and drove ATS, Merc, BMW, Audi. ATS really competes with its sisters. Great performance, great brakes (Brembo), great acceleration. Mileage is not that great, 20mpg. The drawbacks are: small trunk, small rear compartment, but doesn't bother me as I use the car for commuting. Cue is a little annoying. I wish it was like other sisters, a control next to the gear to be handy. Chair is comfortable. There are few settings that don't work even I talked with the dealers. Passive door unlocked and remote heated seat. I turned them on and they do nothing. I like passive door lock, you just get out and walk away from the car and it locks itself. Moon roof is designed in stupid way. There is a small lid pops out when moon roof is open which has a filter that cause loud noise when driving above 35MPH. Pricing is very good, just search for deals. I got mine about $100 monthly less than BMW, Audi, Merc."

12 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Love my ATS 2.0 turbo coupe

By on Thursday, January 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfort, gas mileage"

Cons: "back seat very tight"

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

"This is the first Cadillac I have owned. I love it! Quiet, comfortable and sporty...plus I am averaging 40 mpg on the highway..unbelievable, would have been hybrid numbers a few years back. Plenty of performance when you need and I love all the features, everything works perfectly from the Cue system."

14 people out of 19 found this review helpful

My ATS has been a great reliable car

By on Thursday, December 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

My 2014 ATS with black chrome wheels and the ground effects package

"This is the first American made car I have purchased in more than 15 years. Between my partner and I, we have owned two BMWs, two Acuras, two Audis and a Lexus. I can say from experience that Cadillac is building a world class car with equal or better reliability. The ATS has had no mechanical problems whatsoever and has required far fewer trips to the dealer than any of the German cars we've owned. The car has over 30k miles and is still as tight as the day we bought it. Im truly impressed with this car and proud that its American made."

18 people out of 22 found this review helpful

My 2014 ATS with black chrome wheels and the ground effects package

Incredible Vehicle

By on Monday, December 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

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

Pros: "Comfort, features, great price, fun to drive!"

Cons: "Tiny bit too small."

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

"I've owned 14 cars, trucks, SUVs over the last 30 years and this one tops all in comfort, speed for the size, and electronics. Incredible that you can go from Automatic to Manual on the fly at any time. Cadillac truly is top of the line!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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