2013 Cadillac ATS 2.5L Review

Taking the sport out of Cadillac’s sports sedan

2013 Cadillac ATS 2.5L Review

A good sports sedan is the perfect combination of handling, refinement and performance. The Cadillac ATS seems to have that trifecta in its genes especially with the turbocharged four-cylinder model, and the V6, but how important is power to the sports sedan segment?

FAST FACTS

1. The base 2.5L 4-cylinder makes 202 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque.

2. Those looking for more power can upgrade to the 2.0T engine with 272 hp or a 3.6L V6 with 321 hp.

3. Along with a base trim, an optional Luxury package costs $4,495 more and adds more standard luxury features including CUE as well as front and rear park assist.

4. Fuel economy is 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined.

5. The ATS starts at $33,990 and is among the least expensive sports sedans in its class.

To find out, we piloted the least powerful ATS available, which is equipped with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine. The ATS is Cadillac’s brand new entry into the realm of BMW 3-series, Mercedes C-Class and the Audi A4, cars which have been perfected over many years of constant development and healthy sales.

CADILLAC IN THE DETAILS

Slipping into the front seats of the Cadillac ATS, it’s nearly impossible to tell this is a GM product. Interior design is crisp, and intuitive. Little details are sprinkled all over the interior of the car to let off the idea that a bit more thought went into the making of this machine. Our tester came with the Jet Black interior, which features silver trim with unique etchings. Other, far more exciting interior colors are available on the ATS, including a sporty red leather accented with carbon fiber.

Highlighting the interior is a huge touchscreen, featuring Cadillac’s new CUE (Cadillac User Experience) operating system. CUE is reasonably responsive and features nifty tricks taken right from your smart-phone, like pinch-to-zoom on the maps and haptic feedback when making screen selections. In front of the driver an extension of CUE is present in the form of a customizable LCD screen. Both the main infotainment screen and the driver display are highly configurable and give you a wonderful sense of freedom and personalization.

2013 Cadillac ATS 25 CUE

Luckily, this ATS was equipped with a slew of safety equipment that helps when the driver is immersed in the high-tech world of CUE. Forward collision alert helps for when the car in front of you slows down, and you don’t. Instead of an obnoxious alert that tells everyone in the car how inattentive you are, the driver’s seat vibrates, making sure your gaffe isn’t broadcast for public humiliation. The same goes for a blindspot assist and rear cross-traffic alert, which make sure you don’t change lanes, or reverse into another car or object. The combination of these subtle yet effective safety alerts and CUE means that you have a bit more leeway when your mind is on something other than driving.

Interior comfort is good, with solid space for the front two passengers. However, the rear passengers will be jealous of the front seaters, with limited leg and headroom. Children should be fine in the back and while adults will fit, they will not be impressed.

2013 Cadillac ATS 25 Rear Side lowVisually, the ATS is striking with its most prominent feature being the headlight design, which flows and spills onto the hood of the car. Compared to more experienced rivals like the C-Class, 3-Series and A4, the ATS has a much more fresh and youthful look. Inside and out, it has a modern vibe.

In the 2.5L model, there is one small design hiccup. Where the sportier ATS models with the 2.0T or 3.6L V6 feature a great looking rear bumper with two exhaust exits, the 2.5 only has one exhaust exit, which is awkwardly placed off center.

ENTRY-LEVEL CADDY CUTS CALORIES

2013 Cadillac ATS 25 Front Angle Edit

As soon as the ATS gets going, the wonderful steering feel is obvious. This is a crucial test for the car to pass since driving feel is such an important part of a successful sport sedan. Sloppy steering can ruin an excellently sorted suspension and properly tuned chassis

In addition, the ATS boasts those qualities as well. The 2.5L model is the lightest vehicle in the sport sedan category at 3,315 lbs, and thankfully those weight savings are not evident in the cabin.

That weight is also well balanced. A weight distribution of 50/50 makes the ATS feel controllable at all speeds and a joy to drive. While our 2.5L ATS wasn’t blazing up and down the streets, it was equipped with the optional Brembo brakes which worked wonderfully, providing solid and consistent braking feel from the very first touch of the pedal.

A 4-CYLINDER IN A SPORTS SEDAN?

2013 Cadillac ATS 25 Engine

That joy of driving is amplified with the two more powerful engines available with the ATS. The same can’t be said of this base 4-cylinder, though it is quiet and power is adequate.

The most significant advantage for the 2.5L comes in fuel-economy with a 22 mpg city and 33 mpg highway rating. Without trying, the ATS managed 26 mpg during our driving through country back roads and into city traffic.

Overall, the 2.5L is the value choice, and is cheaper than the similarly powered Mercedes-Benz C250. Not only that, but the Cadillac is slightly better on gas with the Benz rated at 21/31 mpg. Additionally, all the other European sport sedans require premium fuel, where the Cadillac can get away with regular. Only the Audi A4 is cheaper than the 2.5L ATS, but is missing out on many of the luxury features that are expected at this level.

THE VERDICT

2013 Cadillac ATS 25 Side Angle

There is, however, one bigger issue with the 2.5L, and that’s Cadillac’s turbocharged 2.0-liter. For $1,805 more, the 2.0T puts the sport in sports sedan and offers 70 more hp and 70 more lb-ft of torque, available earlier in the rev-range, making for a far more exciting ride. It also makes just a small sacrifice in fuel economy with a 21/31 rating.

A seriously impressive new Cadillac, the ATS is a true sports sedan and deserves better. It would be a shame to put the car’s sublime chassis to waste with meager power from a budget engine.

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked