May 21, 2013
Looking at this message one might think they had a headlight out. That's not quite the case in this Cadillac.
I was a little surprised when I saw this message in the morning darkness as the headlights appeared to be working just fine. After looking closer, the light pattern on the right side did look a little bit different than the left, but again, this was only if I stared awhile.
May 17, 2013
While driving our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS yesterday, I came upon one of its special relations.
May 16, 2013
I'm not sure how I've driven our Cadillac ATS for so many miles and have just encountered its safety alert seats, but I must admit they're a little shocking when you're not expecting them.
May 14, 2013
When I was driving our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS home on Friday evening, I got this warning message about impending weather conditions.
An Areal Flood Advisory
May 13, 2013
Our 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0 Premium recently found itself embroiled in a comparison test, pitted against the 2013 BMW 328i and the all-new 2014 Lexus IS250 F Sport.
How'd it do? Head over to the comparison test to find out.
May 10, 2013
It's somewhat important to see where your car is when you glance at the nav screen. For example, you're in an unfamiliar neighborhood and want to see how close you are to a certain street. Well, good luck with the system in the ATS as it's like playing "Where's Waldo".
April 24, 2013
No, I didn't ram our Cadillac ATS into a wall. But seriously, how awesome of a test would that be?
NHTSA awarded the Cadillac ATS five out of five stars in overall, frontal, side and rollover protection. That's pretty impressive. Loyal followers of our long-term fleet might recall that I have a particular affinity for watching destruction, especially in slow motion. So click on through to see a few Cadillacs get crushed in frame-by-frame glory. You're welcome.
April 23, 2013
There are many ways to do satellite steering wheel controls. Cadillac's latest attempt to deliver maximum functionality at your fingertips is good at some things, and merely average at others.
The volume and seek buttons are simple enough. It would be better if you could tell between them without looking, but they are easy to use with your thumb. The rocker switch is another story.
April 19, 2013
I loved using the 2013 Cadillac ATS as a dog transporter for my dog Mya. Not only because it has those seat belt fasteners that protrude from the seat which makes it super easy to buckle her in but it has rear air vents in the back of the center console so she can just stick her nose on it to get some air.
April 17, 2013
The first time I heard the CUE startup video in our 2013 Cadillac ATS I was irritated. I thought whoever drove the car before me must have left the radio on full blast, and I struggled to quickly turn down the volume but to no avail. It wouldn't respond. Suffice it to say many expletives ensued.
But the next time it happened, I realized it was just the startup video for the CUE system whenever someone got in the driver seat. The action of slipping into the seat is what sets it off, not hitting the car's "Engine Start" button. It sounds like the beginning of an action movie trailer. When you watch the video after the jump, you kinda expect someone to come on the speakers with "IN A WORLD...."
April 12, 2013
I've been doing some homework about what people have in mind when they buy American cars, and just what makes a car "American."
So it was interesting to notice this sticker on the driver's side door jamb of our 2013 Cadillac ATS. It's a bit of a mess from a design standpoint, what with the competing assembly plant, UAW and GM logos, to say nothing of the particularly ugly map of Michigan. But forget all that. The sticker is a statement of the car's American pedigree. The ATS was born in the U.S.A., dammit.
April 10, 2013
As I've stated before, my ancient iPod Touch has stopped communicating with most of our long-term cars. So, I brought some CDs with me this time. How 1990s of me.
But there was no obvious way to play them in our 2013 Cadillac ATS. I went searching for the CD player but found something else.
April 9, 2013
Our Cadillac ATS no longer sounds like a socket wrench every time you spin the steering wheel. After dropping it off at Martin Cadillac in West L.A. they got to work on diagnosing the problem. Turns out that the SIR (Steering Wheel Inflatable Restraint) coil was rubbing against the steering angle sensor.
First, the tech tried using a new SIR coil to see if that would cure the problem. It didn't. Then he tried a new steering sensor, that didn't work either. Then put in both replacement parts together and all was good. All five and a half hours of labor were covered under warranty. Whew.
April 8, 2013
I was playing music from my iPhone in our 2013 Cadillac ATS and was pleased to see the artist's album artwork displayed on the instrument panel. Because I hadn't selected a particular album, the audio system was simply playing songs in alphabetical order, providing a steady view of various album "covers."
Then it hit me: Back in the day, albums, or LPs, were sleeved in 12-inch-square cardboard covers that we actually held in our hands and could examine up close. Some of them were highly detailed with hidden "Easter Eggs" and became the stuff of music lore.
I then realized that many of today's album "covers" are merely digital files that arrive with the downloaded music, or are at best, the size of a CD jacket. There's no doubt that album artwork has changed: Bigger, bolder graphics and colors.
After the jump, I've supplied a few more examples of what I'm talking about.
April 4, 2013
Our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS has a 272-horsepower, turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. This 1979 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham de Elegance that I found last weekend, has a 7.0-liter V8 that produced 195 horsepower when it was new. There aren't too many people that are comparing these two Caddys, but I enjoy looking at the stark contrast between two automobiles that share the same badge.
In 1977 the Cadillac Fleetwood was 'downsized' and lost more than 12 inches of overall length, making it a scant 221 inches from bumper to bumper. Even at this decreased size, it's 40 inches longer than our ATS and larger than every Cadillac sedan on the road today. The only Cadillac that even comes close in the current lineup is the Escalade ESV at 222.9 inches (an inch longer).
March 21, 2013
This little issue has been driving me nuts for a while. The steering wheel in our ATS makes a clicking sound as it rotates. It's like turning a socket wrench every time you park. If you don't believe me you can hear it for yourself.
Some people have driven it and barely even noticed. I'm not sure how given how prominent it is every time you turn the wheel. It grated on my ears every time I got behind the wheel, so I finally took it to the dealer today to see if they could smooth things out.
March 20, 2013
The Cadillac ATS abounds with little stylistic flourishes and clever details. It's one of the things that truly set it apart from the staid Germans that might include some LED lights up front and perhaps a smidgen of alloy trim inside if you tick the right options box.
March 11, 2013
Our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS has passed the 5,000-mile mark. Actually, it did this a little while ago but we missed the clickover photo.
February 21, 2013
I noticed an odd little sound in our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS the last time I drove it. It's a muted chirpchirpchirp that happens briefly during moderate acceleration from a standstill. The sound only occurs immediately following the 1-2 upshift and can be reproduced fairly easily.
February 20, 2013
To put on the parking brake, you have to pull this little lever. To release, you push.
February 7, 2013
Three new black cars were parked in a row: BMW 335i, Fiat 500, and our own 2013 Cadillac ATS.
Which one would you choose?
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 4,068 miles
February 6, 2013
It's easy pick on the ATS for a couple of its concessions to Europe, such as passenger-side fuel filler. It'd be easier if this weren't prevalent on so many GM cars. I get it, global company and all. Tuned the ATS on the Norburger and hope to sell a few there as well. Fine.
February 5, 2013
I badly wanted to like the ATS. I really did. And after a few days of getting to know it, I do. But I wanted to crush hard on this car. Cadillac promised the Merican challenge to the mighty 3 Series, the Wreath versus the Roundel. But the ATS just doesn't measure up.
Others on staff can better articulate any of the ATS' dynamic deficiencies. To me, the 2.0-liter turbo has enough sauce to thread traffic pretty effortlessly, and get up to highway merge speed. It doesn't sound that happy doing it, but it's not a braying donkey. The smoother, quieter BMW 3 Series turbo-four gets the advantage here.
January 22, 2013
I've been reading a lot about self-driving cars lately and I learned that Cadillac is eager to get into the game with "super cruise control", which they say will come out soon. One component of that will be adaptive cruise control, which is part of the driver assistance package on our 2013 Cadillac ATS. So, until super cruise gets here, I thought I'd give the current adaptive cruise a test drive on the busy 405 freeway in West Los Angeles.
January 14, 2013
The 2013 Cadillac ATS sport sedan was voted North American Car of the Year by a jury of automotive journalists.
It beat out the BMW 3 Series, Chevy Malibu, Dodge Dart, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Lincoln MKZ, Nissan Altima, Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ and Toyota Avalon.
The 2103 Ram 1500 took top honors in the truck category, making 2013 a Detroit sweep. The winners were announced at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
What would you have voted for?
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
January 8, 2013
GM installed a well thought-out cruise control system in the 2013 Cadillac ATS. When you want to set the speed in one mph increments, you bump the thumb rocker to its first detent. Push it further to the second detent and your speed increases in 5 mph chunks.
BMWs in particular have had this functionality for a long, long time, but this is first time I can recall an American car with it. It's a great feature. I wish more/all cars had it. I could do without the constantly-illuminated steering wheel text as shown above, but that's picking nits.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
January 7, 2013
Seriously, what's so bad about knobs? Our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS' touch-sensitive center stack is unnecessarily fussy. You touch, it may or may not respond. When it does decide to acknowledge your touch, there's an associated muted 'thunk' that elicits from somewhere deep in the dashboard.
The thunk is supposed to provide some kind of tactile feedback to your touch, except it inevitably does so a split-second after you've released your touch, and sounds (and feels) more like something is wrong with the car. Like with all touch-sensitive center stacks, you still end up having to watch your finger land on the desired spot on the center stack in order to ensure you press the right thing. Totally silly.
In what way is this is better than a knob? Answer: it isn't.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
January 5, 2013
One nice feature of our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS' automatic transmission is its ability to match revs when your command downshifts manually. Not a big deal to the average user who probably won't use manual mode after his or her first week of ownership, but for those like me that use it for engine braking or during brisk drives, it's a welcome trait.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
January 4, 2013
After driving our 2013 Cadillac ATS a few miles on a cool afternoon, we shut 'er down, and my buddy noticed "smoke" emanating from the right exhaust tip...
January 2, 2013
Our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS has a punchy turbocharged four-cylinder, as you no doubt are already aware. It's quite a smooth little mill, save for one situation: idle. At idle it sends vibes through the cabin in a way that I don't recall happening in its primary German competition, the current four-cylinder-equipped BMW 3 Series.
It's certainly no dealbreaker, but it's there, and I wonder what customers whom are already skeptical of a four-cylinder Cadillac will think when they experience the ATS at idle.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
December 28, 2012
As if we had staged it, our 2013 Cadillac ATS drips dry in front of a Cadillac CTS. Funny thing is, the supposedly smaller ATS looks at least as large as the CTS parked behind it. In fact, overall length differs by 8.5 inches, but it's hard to see out in the real world. Do you think the new ATS is going to cannibalize the aging CTS sales?
Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 2,534 miles
December 25, 2012
I like the way the Cadillac headlights extend up over the hood. They go almost as far as the entire wheel.
When you click the unlock button on the key fob, the lights do a little dance until they level off. And, boy, are they bright. I was parked facing the window of a restaurant and when I clicked the unlock button I think I temporarily blinded everyone in the restaurant. Oops. Sorry.
There's a more detailed picture after the jump. And I'll make you a video next time I have the keys.