Used 2013 Cadillac ATS
- Spirited performance from 2.0 Turbo and 3.6 models
- excellent handling/ride balance
- engaging driving dynamics from both rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive platforms
- user-friendly infotainment interface.
- Lackluster base engine performance
- smallish backseat and trunk.
Used 2013 Cadillac ATS for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2013 Cadillac ATS finally gives the U.S. a medal-worthy entry in the segment of compact sport sedans.
If you can't remember any small Cadillac sedans of the past, consider yourself lucky, as neither the Opel Omega-based Catera or Chevy Cavalier-based Cimarron offer particularly fond memories. Fortunately, all that matters now is the fact that the 2013 Cadillac ATS stands as an impressive entry in a class full of overachieving sport sedans.
It's no secret that the Cadillac folks have aimed the rear-wheel-drive ATS squarely at the well-rounded BMW 3 Series, which has defined the segment for years. The ATS's exterior dimensions essentially mirror those of the 3 Series, and the ATS offers fine build quality, feisty performance and an involving drive along with a supple ride, just like the benchmark Bimmer. Cadillac's newest model also offers a logical electronic interface with which to work all the handy interior convenience gizmos, which is a crucial component in this segment of luxury cars.
The Cadillac ATS stacks up well against its rival. On the road, it delivers excellent steering feel and an agile, well-balanced ride. Contributing to the sharp dynamics is the fact that this Caddy is the lightest car in its class (by 70-150 pounds, depending on trim). Further adding to the ATS's athleticism is its ideal 50/50 weight distribution between the front and rear wheels.
With a trio of engine choices available, the ATS's performance ranges from tepid to thrilling. The base 2.5-liter four serves as the price and fuel economy leader, although its 202-horsepower output lags behind the base engines found in the competition. Meanwhile, the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 packs a solid midrange punch and is the only choice in the ATS range that can be had with a manual gearbox. With 321 hp, the energetic V6 offers a sweet soundtrack and is well-matched to a very responsive automatic transmission.
There are a few minor issues with the ATS. Enthusiasts may wish for a manual gearbox with the top engine, while the rear seats and trunk are less roomy than what some rivals offer. Of course, this segment isn't exactly bereft of talent, either. The 2013 BMW 3 Series still takes top honors by virtue of its superior base powertrain and slightly even more engaging driving dynamics, but it's also typically more expensive. We're also quite fond of the similarly well-rounded Audi A4, the refined Mercedes-Benz C-Class and value-packed -- if not as polished -- Infiniti G sedan. But overall, the 2013 Cadillac ATS is a very strong contender in the very, very competitive segment of compact sport sedans.
2013 Cadillac ATS configurations
The 2013 Cadillac ATS is a five-passenger, luxury-oriented sport sedan that is offered in four trim levels: base, Luxury, Performance and Premium.
Standard features on the base trim include 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, automatic headlights, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-way power front seats with power lumbar, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, OnStar, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a seven-speaker Bose sound system with satellite radio, an iPod/USB interface and an auxiliary audio jack.
The Luxury trim adds run-flat tires, keyless entry/ignition, remote engine start, eight-way power front seats, front and rear park assist, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather seating, driver memory functions, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat (with pass-through), HD radio, Bluetooth audio streaming and the CUE infotainment interface.
The Performance trim (not available with 2.5-liter engine) further adds dual exhaust outlets, a Driver Awareness package (forward collision alert, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, automatic wipers and rear seat side airbags), an active aero grille, xenon headlights, an upgraded 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system (with a CD player), front sport seats (with driver-side bolster adjustment) and a fixed rear seat with pass-through.
Stepping up to the Premium trim (not available with 2.5-liter engine) adds 18-inch wheels, a navigation system, a color head-up display and the 60/40 split-folding rear seat. An ATS Premium with rear-wheel drive also comes with summer tires, a sport-tuned suspension, adaptive suspension dampers and a limited-slip rear differential.
Many of the features that are standard for the upper trim levels are available as options on the lower trims. A few other optional packages are also available. The Driver Assistance package includes the features from the Awareness package and adds adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, collision preparation with brake assist, and the color head-up display. The Cold Weather package includes heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The Track Performance package adds an engine oil cooler and upgraded brake pads. Other options include different wheels, a sunroof and a trunk cargo organizer.
Performance & mpg
The 2.5 models come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 202 hp and 190 pound-feet of torque. The 2.0 Turbo models come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 272 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The 3.6 models come with a 3.6-liter V6 that cranks out 321 hp and 274 lb-ft of torque.
All ATS engines come matched to a six-speed automatic transmission except the 2.0 Turbo, which can also be had with a six-speed manual. Rear-wheel drive is standard across the board, with all-wheel drive optional for the 2.0- and 3.6-liter engines.
In Edmunds testing, a rear-drive ATS 2.0T with the manual went from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. A rear-drive ATS 3.6 Premium with an automatic accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Both times are average among similarly powered entry-level sport sedans.
EPA-estimated fuel economy for the ATS 2.5 stands at 22 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. The V6 is estimated to achieve 19/28/26 with rear-wheel drive and Cadillac claims the 2.0-liter Turbo will get the same with an automatic transmission. With all-wheel drive, the ATS V6 drops to 18/26/21.
Standard safety features for the 2013 Cadillac ATS include antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, active front head restraints, front-seat side and knee airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation. Optional are the aforementioned Driver Awareness and Driver Assistance packages.
In Edmunds brake testing, an ATS 3.6 Premium came to a stop from 60 mph in an impressively short 108 feet. A 2.0T stopped in an average distance of 113 feet.
The 2013 Cadillac ATS is an impressive all-around performer, thanks to a poised ride, sure-footed cornering capability and excellent response from the steering and brakes. The 2.5-liter engine is smooth, but it delivers tepid acceleration compared to other entry-level powertrains, notably that of the BMW 328i. Opt for one of the other ATS engines, however, and you'll have no complaint, as they provide thrust more in keeping with this Cadillac's athletic personality. Although enthusiasts may lament the lack of a manual transmission for the V6, the six-speed automatic is hard to fault. Switched to Sport mode, this automatic knows just when to hold a gear and provides smooth, rev-matched downshifts right on time, every time.
Even with its sporting calibration, the Cadillac ATS takes neglected city streets in stride, absorbing the shock of potholes and broken pavement without upsetting the car or its occupants. As a result, the compact Cadillac makes for a fine daily driver that can also provide plenty of entertainment on a Sunday morning drive.
Inside its cabin, the 2013 Cadillac ATS boasts a variety of high-quality materials, including tasteful wood and metallic accents. The available CUE infotainment interface features large icons and operates like an iPhone or iPad, which is to say you operate it by tapping, flicking, swiping or spreading your fingers -- making it familiar for many users. Furthermore, "Haptic" feedback lets you know when you've pressed a virtual button by pulsing when you touch it.
Up front, the seats do a nice job of holding one in place during spirited drives, and it's fairly easy to find a comfortable driving position. Oddly, the optional sport seats don't provide much more in the way of lateral support for the driver, despite their power-adjustable bolsters.
Rear-seat headroom is good, but knee room is tight for taller folks. Despite a wide opening, the ATS's trunk offers just 10.2 cubic feet of capacity — downright stingy for this segment. Fortunately, some trims feature a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, which helps in this regard.
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Features & Specs
More About This Model
Cadillac isn't saying that its goal with the 2013 ATS sport sedan is the equivalent of kneeing BMW's 3 Series in the stomach, putting it in a headlock and wrestling it to the ground.
But there's not a shred of doubt that Caddy's new baby is aimed squarely at the most competent compact sport sedan in the history of the world. That the small Bimmer served as the ATS's benchmark is unquestionable. Not just in Cadillac's statement: that the ATS will "challenge the world's best compact luxury cars." But the spec sheet shows, dimensionally, that the 2013 Cadillac ATS is a near carbon copy of the 3 Series: It's within 0.3 inch in overall length and within 0.2 inch in width.
Corporate posturing and marketing hype aside, a Cadillac official later admitted to us, "Honestly, we'll just be happy to be considered in the same sentence as the 3 Series."
After a day driving around Georgia and lapping the brand-new Atlanta Motorsports Park, we can say, yup, the ATS is legit. Just to be sure, we hooked up our test equipment to a pre-production model while we were there.
No More Cimarron Jokes
Make no mistake, the 2013 Cadillac ATS is a completely brand-new, from-scratch rear-wheel-drive design (all-wheel drive is optional). True, the three available direct-injected engines have been seen before in various iterations, and the fantastic CUE infotainment system debuted in the XTS. But as a whole, this is a brand-new Caddy.
And it's light. There's lots of high-strength and ultrahigh-strength steel, and the chassis is scalloped out and utilizes lightening holes to shed pounds where possible. There's also an aluminum hood, magnesium engine mount brackets and aluminum front suspension arms. End result? The base model tips the scales at 3,315 pounds, while the 3.6 V6 test car comes in at 3,461. The last BMW 328i we tested, which utilizes a 2.0-liter turbo engine, hit the scales at 3,427 pounds.
One Out of Three
The base ATS, which starts at $33,990 including destination, comes with a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder putting out 202 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque (the 2012 BMW 328i starts at $35,795 with destination, but its turbo-4 puts out 240 hp). Earning 22 city/33 highway/26 mpg EPA combined, this engine is clearly little more than the ATS's mileage and price leader — a fact that is obvious the first time you apply real pressure with your right foot. It's quiet and smooth enough, and the six-speed automatic is a worthy companion with its silky operation but, no lie, we checked to see if the parking brake was on a couple of times.
Even though it's not billed as the top engine, the 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder had us most amped up going in because it's the only power plant that's available with a manual gearbox. And we like forced induction. The numbers are there: 272 hp at 5,500 rpm, 260 lb-ft of torque from 1,700-5,500. There is minimal turbo lag but midrange is plentiful. Remarkably, when paired with the automatic, Cadillac estimates (although it's not yet official with the EPA) identical fuel economy for this engine as it does for the 2.5-liter four. Reality, we suspect, will prove otherwise.
Either way, it never stirred our soul — there's no real punch, and its completely nondescript whirring noise is uninspiring. Then there's the all-new Tremec six-speed manual, which has longish throws and is a bit clunky.
The 3.6-liter V6, on the other hand, is a fine piece. Unlike the turbo-4, it does its best work up high, churning out 321 hp at 6,800 rpm and 275 lb-ft at 4,800. Cadillac says it will earn 19 city and 28 highway mpg, however, proving that you'll pay for the additional power.
Even so, it makes genuinely sexy sounds at high revs, but it's Cadillac-quiet at low speed. The sole transmission is the six-speed auto with magnesium paddle shifters. This transmission is so "smart" that on the track we experimented with leaving it in Drive and it held revs perfectly when needed and automatically downshifted and blipped the throttle when we braked for corners. As such, we preferred the V6/auto combo over the turbo-4/manual on the track.
The Numbers Game
Acceleration testing on a pre-production ATS Premium 3.6 at an unfamiliar test venue resulted in 60 mph in 5.7 seconds (5.4 seconds with a 1-foot rollout as at a drag strip) and the quarter-mile in 13.9 seconds at 101.9 mph.
For reference, the last BMW 335i we tested, a 2010 sedan with a six-speed manual and a turbocharged inline-6, hit 60 in 5.2 seconds (4.9 with rollout). The 2012 Mercedes-Benz C350 posted a 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds (5.4 with rollout). Translation: As nice as Caddy's V6 is, it's no match — in pure numbers or in terms of refinement/usability — for BMW's turbo-6.
Cadillac factory racer Johnny O'Connell didn't mince words when he told journalists at the launch of the 2013 Cadillac ATS: "This is the best car I've driven around the proving grounds in my 12 years at General Motors."
Say what? Perhaps he already forgot a certain famous sports car. You know, the Corvette? Or the CTS-V?
O'Connell elaborated further while he gave us hot laps in an ATS: "Oh sure, the Corvette has higher limits," he explained, "but the ATS is more forgiving when it reaches the limit." In other words, when the Corvette begins to oversteer, it happens very quickly and it isn't easy to save, whereas the ATS can be driven up to and beyond its limits all day. Even by us average folk.
The balance the ATS exhibits comes via a 50/50 weight distribution and well-tuned standard FE2 suspension, including Cadillac's first-ever five-link independent rear setup. The quick and precise electric steering offers adjustable weight and has high effort in Sport mode. As a result, the ATS proved a more-than-willing dance partner on Georgia's twisty back roads. It's very tied down, with minimal body roll and minimal understeer at the limit.
Premium models, like our test car, come with the FE3 sport suspension and magnetorheological dampers. Not only is the ride quality driver-controlled, but these high-tech dampers constantly adjust to the road...in milliseconds. Summer tires helped, too. The car's balance lets you teeter on the brink of understeer/oversteer, working the throttle to eliminate push. Power-on oversteer isn't easy to achieve, even with the V6, but when it happens it's extremely controllable.
Around the skid pad at Road Atlanta, the ATS matched the 0.92g lateral grip of the 3 Series, while it stopped 1 foot shorter from 60 mph — 108 feet. Brembo brakes come standard on all ATS models above the base car. Fade was nonexistent, although pedal feel out on the road was a bit soft.
CUE It Up
Cadillac's CUE infotainment system, which debuted on the 2013 XTS, has found its way into the ATS, too. CUE, which stands for Cadillac User Experience, integrates phone, audio and navigation into an 8-inch LCD touchscreen. It can pair data for up to 10 Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices. Perhaps most important is that CUE's interface operates like an iPhone or iPad — by tapping, flicking, swiping or spreading, which gives it a welcome familiarity for many users.
"Haptic" or pulsed feedback on the fully capacitive faceplate lets you know that your finger is, in fact, changing settings on the HVAC controls — unlike in the Chevy Volt and Ford Explorer. There's a learning curve with CUE, of course, but the capability of the system is quite amazing.
The front seats do a nice job of holding you in place and it's easy to find a comfortable position. Optional sport seats don't provide the needed lateral support, but the bolsters are electrically adjustable.
Rear-seat headroom is actually pretty decent, but knee room is tight. Despite a wide aperture, the ATS's 10.2-cubic-foot trunk is small for the class — especially between the wheelwells.
Better Than the 3 Series?
Taking on the established German and Japanese players in one of the most difficult-to-infiltrate segments in the country takes guts. And it shows even bigger cojones for Cadillac to come right out and say the 2013 ATS is capable of challenging the world's best compact sedans.
But the ATS has a lot going for it. Most specifically is its genuinely capable handling. And the CUE infotainment system shows real progress in an area that's hugely significant to many buyers.
But does it knock the BMW 3 Series off its comfy perch? Not yet. Not with these powertrains. Still, the 2013 Cadillac ATS, which will begin shipping to dealers August 1, is an exciting rear-drive alternative to the compact sport sedan establishment. That it's as good as it is, and that it's American-made, should be enough to bring new, young buyers into Cadillac dealers.
Even better, Cadillac officials did everything other than confirm that an ATS-V performance model is on the way. Give it a real engine, and maybe, just maybe, it can take on the M3.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2013 Cadillac ATS Overview
The Used 2013 Cadillac ATS is offered in the following submodels: ATS Sedan. Available styles include Standard 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Luxury 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Luxury 4dr Sedan AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Luxury 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Performance 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Premium 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Performance 4dr Sedan AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Standard 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Luxury 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Performance 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Premium 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Luxury 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Standard 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Performance 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A).
What's a good price on a Used 2013 Cadillac ATS?
Save up to $300 on one of 15 Used 2013 Cadillac ATS for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, VA with prices as low as $10,700 as of12/11/2018, based on data from dealers and consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from1 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for Used 2013 Cadillac ATS trim styles:
- The Used 2013 Cadillac ATS Standard is priced between $13,963 and$16,567 with odometer readings between 27395 and76580 miles.
- The Used 2013 Cadillac ATS Luxury is priced between $10,700 and$13,995 with odometer readings between 71062 and112623 miles.
- The Used 2013 Cadillac ATS Premium is priced between $15,987 and$19,000 with odometer readings between 32211 and64812 miles.
- The Used 2013 Cadillac ATS Performance is priced between $22,998 and$22,998 with odometer readings between 8676 and8676 miles.
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Which used 2013 Cadillac ATSES are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2013 Cadillac ATS for sale near. There are currently 15 used and CPO 2013 ATSES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,700 and mileage as low as 8676 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2013 Cadillac ATS. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $300 on a used or CPO 2013 ATS available from a dealership near you.
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Should I lease or buy a 2013 Cadillac ATS?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.