Would Have Been Better as a Pontiac - 2013 Cadillac ATS Long-Term Road Test
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2013 Cadillac ATS Long-Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (2)
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term (275)

2013 Cadillac ATS: Would Have Been Better as a Pontiac

January 28, 2014

2013 Cadillac ATS

That's not a slam, as the 2013 Cadillac ATS is a pretty solid, sporting sedan. It's just not Cadillac material.

Color me old school, but I like my Cadillacs luxurious and quiet. Correct me if I'm wrong but they're still a luxury brand, aren't they? And leather seats do not a luxury car make.

I'd argue the ATS is just begging for a Pontiac badge. It's got, by all accounts, a fantastic chassis and a very sporting disposition, especially if you opt for rear-wheel drive and the six-speed manual transmission. But the noisy engine and the, at times, much too busy ride, undermine any attempt by GM to make this a true Cadillac.

To make it a proper Pontiac (say, "add body cladding" and I'll smack you) simplify that infotainment nonsense, give it some cloth/leather sport seats, black out the chrome trim, and chip a few grand off the price. Tune the less than luxurious four-cylinder engine to have more of a growl and the stiff-ish ride delivered by the low-pro tires would go almost unnoticed. Now you've got the makings for a good American sports sedan.

I'd call it the Tempest and Cadillac could go back to making true luxury cars.

Is GM hiring product planners?

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 20,751 miles

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (2)
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term (825)

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