2013 Cadillac ATS Long Term Road Test

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Drives Smaller Than It Is

December 27, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

To my eye, the 2013 Cadillac ATS doesn't look like it would be particularly light on its feet. But turn hard into the first corner you come to and this entry-level luxury sedan feels considerably smaller than it really is.

The Caddy turns in like...right now. The smallish-diameter wheel only serves to heighten the sensation. There's also fantastic grip from the tires.

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Enjoying It More This Time Around

September 25, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

The last time I drove our 2013 Cadillac ATS was a couple months ago. The car hasn't changed other than more miles on its odometer, but I'm enjoying the ATS more this time around.

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2013 Cadillac ATS: The V6 Option

September 6, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

On a recent trip to Michigan, I spent a good, long stint in a 2013 Cadillac ATS. Sound familiar? There's a wrinkle here. This Michigan car was equipped with the optional V6 as opposed to the 2.0-liter turbo-four in our long-term ATS.

Here are my observations.

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Fuel Economy Update for August

September 5, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

Our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS saw quite a bit of action in August, adding nearly 3,000 miles to its odometer. After all those miles, lifetime fuel economy on our four-cylinder ATS stands at 22 mpg. This is, of course, 2 mpg short of the ATS 2.0T's combined EPA estimate. And if you've read Dan Edmunds' piece, "MPG Is Stupid," you know we're actually 8.3 percent off the pace.

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Which Engine for the ATS-V?

August 28, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

It's no secret that a hotter version of the Cadillac ATS is headed our way soon. We've seen prototypes lurking around Detroit for some time now and with the standard sedan firmly established in the marketplace it's getting time to generate a little new interest.

The big question now is which engine it will get. We've been told that the engine bay in the ATS can accommodate one of GM's latest V8s, but now that there's a twin-turbo V6 in GM's parts bin, which form of motivation would you prefer?

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2013 Cadillac ATS: The Road to Monterey

August 27, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

I love getting to know our long-term cars on the open road. After driving to Monterey, California, and back in our 2013 Cadillac ATS Premium 2.0T, though, I'm convinced it's not quite up to par in the entry-level luxury sedan class.

One issue for me is the ride quality. If I lived on California's Central Coast, I could totally deal with our ATS's firm ride. (You'll recall that choosing a rear-wheel-drive Premium model locks in summer tires and a sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers.) The roads are smooth up here, especially U.S. 101, and the default Tour mode for the adaptive dampers is livable.

But I wouldn't buy an ATS Premium if I continued to live in Southern California. It rides too harshly over worn sections of freeway. I've driven rival sedans with sport package upgrades over these same roads, and most of them offered more compliance.

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Mountain Car

August 9, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

Sure it looks out of place at the trailhead, next to mud-caked Jeeps and dusty Subarus, but our 2013 Cadillac ATS handled the high country like a mountain goat. Of course, we're not talking about anything off the pavement. However, we did make the climb from Lone Pine to the Whitney Portal, elevation 8,430 feet. The paddle shifters helped hold the lower gears to keep our speed down without heating up the brakes. And then there was another feature we really enjoyed.

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Automatic Brakes

August 1, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

Our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS has this automatic braking system that, um, automatically engages the brakes in certain situations, namely ones that have the ingredients for crashing. No matter the manufacturer, these systems aren't perfect. They can't possibly assess every situation accurately. I say this not to excuse them, rather to recognize that this aspect is not unique to GM's system.

With that said, over the weekend the ATS went to full ABS braking for a split second while the car was in no way in any kind of perilous situation whatsoever. The car dropped the anchors as hard as they would go, if only for an instant. I'd just made a left onto a street with a slight curve in it, and the system misinterpreted the cars in the opposing lane as an impending oncoming disaster, and acted accordingly.

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Thoughts After Two Weeks

July 30, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

Recently, I got a lot of seat time in our 2013 Cadillac ATS. It was a good opportunity to see how the car's traits (both good and bad) affected me over a longer duration.

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Sharp Handling

July 23, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

One thing that really stood out when we used our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS in a three-way comparison test was the car's handling abilities. As author Mike Magrath wrote: "Whereas the [Lexus] IS 250 turned in decent handling results and then got walked on the road, the Cadillac took everything we dared to throw at it regardless of the venue."

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Nevada City Road Trip, Part 2

July 16, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

On day two of my holiday weekend road trip to Nevada City, California in our 2013 Cadillac ATS, it sat parked while we climbed into a Toyota Highlander Hybrid instead. The Caddy likely would've faced a few issues towing my father's boat.

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Manual Shift Effort

June 19, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

Here's something I've never experienced before: When manually toggling gears in our long-term 2013 Cadillac ATS there's distinctly different effort required for up- and downshifts. Downshifts, executed by pulling the lever back, require far more effort than upshifts.

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Shifters Are Good, Could Be Better

May 23, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

The paddle shifters in the Cadillac ATS are beautifully finished and stand in sharp contrast to the chintzy plastic things that reside in other luxury cars. However, I still wish there was more effort in their action to make you feel that pulling them actually engaged some sort of mechanism as opposed to just pressing a tiny electronic button beyond.

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2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0 Premium: Versus the Competition

May 13, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

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.

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2013 Cadillac ATS: It's No Brougham

April 4, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

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).

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Made My Commute Feel Special

February 12, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

I took my first drive ever in the 2013 Cadillac ATS this week, and this car put a smile on my face. I really like the way it rides. It's firm, controlled, even sporty, yet there's an underlying compliance to it. It reminds me a lot of the last two generations of the BMW 3 Series (E90 and F10). That's a good thing, of course, especially since our long-term ATS is priced in 328i territory.

The steering is very good, too. It's precise with good feel. Again, like a 3 Series. I can totally see taking this sedan on a back road someday. But in that case, I'll definitely have to shift the six-speed automatic manually to make sure I stay in the power. Often during my commute, the engine rpm would fall enough that there wasn't much turbo boost to work with and the ATS felt slow. Usually, I'm all for getting the turbocharged engine, but in this instance, I'd probably get the 3.6-liter V6 if I was buying an ATS of my own.

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2013 Cadillac ATS: A Good Start

February 5, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

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.

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Rev-Matched Downshifts

January 5, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

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

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2013 Cadillac ATS: Track Test

December 24, 2012

2013 Cadillac ATS

Our 2013 Cadillac ATS has a 272-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder driving the rear-wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.

It's that last part that's of particular interest with our long-termer. You see, we've already tested the 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0, but that car - a press vehicle - had the six-speed manual transmission which costs $1,180. During that test we said, "Impossible to select a consistent engine speed for launch with wildly erratic electronic throttle calibration...Shifter rejects quick gear changes at high engine speeds...Sounds like a mess, but it drives well until you ask for 10/10ths acceleration."

Still, that car managed to get from 0-60 in 6.3 seconds and cross the quarter-mile mark in 14.5 seconds at 95.9 mph.

Will the automatic fare any better? We take our long termer to the track to find out.

2013 Cadillac ATS Track Tested

Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 1,692 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Cadillac ATS in WA is:

$199 per month*
* Explanation
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