Lousy Rear-View Camera - 2013 Cadillac ATS Long-Term Road Test

2013 Cadillac ATS Long-Term Road Test

2013 Cadillac ATS: Lousy Rear-View Camera

March 15, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

Our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS is loaded with cool tech features like CUE with a wonderfully hi-res screen, a configurable IP and adaptive cruise control. It's also got some handy, but pretty basic features like parking sensors and a rear-view camera.

And that's where things go wrong.

2013 Cadillac ATS

2013 Cadillac ATS

2013 Cadillac ATS

When you activate the rear-view camera, the nice, big, clear display screen gets shockingly low-res. Beyond that, the camera is aimed poorly and the colors are all wrong with blown-out bright spots. And at night, it's grainier and even more blown out. (Careful if you're backing up towards something reflective, like a car, the brake/backup lights wash out half the center of the screen.)

It seems trivial. After all, this feature is designed to augment the backing up experience. But that's the difference between a nice car and an okay car. A cheap camera is a shortcut unbefitting of a Cadillac. I can't think of a single car, luxury marque or not, that handles images this poorly. Even our old Mazda 3 with its postage-stamp display was clearer.

It works and is bolstered by proximity sensors so you likely won't crash or run over your kids when using the system, but it's a downer in a car that's trying hard to prove its competitiveness.

(Note: None of the photos have been retouched. That's how it looks in real life. )

Mike Magrath, Features Editor


  • legacygt legacygt Posts:

    Image quality is awful. But I'm torn on the graphics. The lines indicating where the car is going are much thinner than I've seen on other cars. This is nice because it obscures less of the image than thicker lines do. But it also looks a little dated. Like they borrowed the graphics from Battlezone http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a6/Atari_BattleZone_Screenshot.png

  • gloss gloss Posts:

    Yikes. That color balance is awful. There's no excuse for this on a car of this caliber.

  • greg128 greg128 Posts:

    The last 2 images were obviously taken when it was dark, with only the Back-up lights providing lighting. How about a comparison with another car under the same circumstances. I have seen the back-up camera in a Chevy Equinox during the day and it seemed fine to me. I doubt that Cadillac would have an inferior system compared to a Chevy. I hope this isn't a case of anti-GM bias.

  • se_riously se_riously Posts:

    greg128 - The last 2 images were obviously taken in an ILLUMINATED parking garage, making the poor quality images all the more unacceptable.

  • eclogite eclogite Posts:

    "Cool tech features like CUE". Haven't some of the editors unfavorably compared it to MFT, but worse? How is that cool?

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