2013 Cadillac ATS: Lousy Rear-View Camera
March 15, 2013
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.
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