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    Thread: My First Drive of 2013 Cadillac ATS

    1. Member
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      09-22-2012 07:47 PM #1
      My local Cadillac dealership just got about 5 new ATSes this week, so I stopped in today to check them out. Here is my disclaimer. I have been driving a relatively unrefined, noisy, and kind of slow and heavy SUV for the last 4 years. The last sedan that I owned as a daily driver was a 2001 Jetta VR6. So, I might be out of touch with what is considered state of the art or world class in sedan performance and styling.

      The dealership only had the non-turbo 2.0 auto, and the 3.6 V6 versions on-hand. I will return at a later date, when they get the turbo fours in. The lone V6 they had was out on a test drive, so I drove the base 2.0. I have to say that the 2.0 was NOT slow at all. I was expecting it to feel lethargic, but it kept pulling like a freight train. I think your average ATS customer will be more than happy with this motor. In a mix of city and open road driving, the 2.0 never failed to accelerate willingly. In the cabin, the 2.0 was normally quiet. It only made itself known when I mashed the throttle, but once the trans upshifted the engine quieted right down. It never sounded unrefined, in fact it sounded aggressively furious!

      The styling speaks for itself in photos, so I won't go into too much detail here. It is definitely a small car and plays baby brother to the CTS and XTS quite nicely. It was quite a sight to see a full Cadillac line-up in front of the dealership. I remember in the spring all they had were CTSes, SRXes, and Escalades. It is good to see the pond is getting restocked!

      The interior is very well assembled out of top notch materials. The CUE system works pretty darn good, but the screen was full of finger smudges by the end of my drive. The CUE has cool physical "buttons" that you interact with for the more frequently used functions (volume, etc...). These fixed buttons are touch sensitive just like the screen, but it allows you to find functions without taking your eyes off the road. The vibrating feedback from the CUE is very aggressive. It almost feels like something is tapping on your fingers from the inside of the dash.

      The much discussed "cheap looking" gauge cluster actually looks great in person. Admittedly, when the car is off, it does look pretty lackluster. When the car starts, the cluster illuminates in a pretty colorful display, and there is also a redundant screen in the cluster that echoes what is going on with the larger CUE screen. It was far from being cheap or boring, in actual operation.

      I look forward to going back to try out the turbocharged version. Those additional 70 HP will be amazing in this car, because the standard 202 HP was certainly a very fun drive.

      Last edited by whitejeep1989; 09-22-2012 at 07:50 PM.

    2. Member mike02467's Avatar
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      09-22-2012 07:57 PM #2
      It's a 2.5l 4cylinder, not a 2.0. 2.0 is for the turbo. The 2.5 makes 202 hp and 190 ft lb so it's still a pretty powerful engine.

      On contrary, I have personally driven the new Acura ILX with the base 2.0 engine and was appalled at how slow the thing was, it was frighteningly slow.

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      09-22-2012 08:01 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by mike02467 View Post
      It's a 2.5l 4cylinder, not a 2.0. 2.0 is for the turbo. The 2.5 makes 202 hp and 190 ft lb so it's still a pretty powerful engine.

      On contrary, I have personally driven the new Acura ILX with the base 2.0 engine and was appalled at how slow the thing was, it was frighteningly slow.
      I guess it is all about perspective. My Jeep has a 205 HP V6. I have been reasonably happy with it's acceleration. Driving a smaller and lighter vehicle, with about the same horsepower felt like a night and day difference! I guess people who are used to something more powerful or equal to the base ATS might not find it as thrilling as I did.

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      09-22-2012 08:22 PM #4
      Checked on out today as well. Same exact setup you described, though we didn't drive it.
      The interior is tight in the back for sure. However, very impressive materials, switchgear and electronics. They might have nailed this one.
      Good to hear the 2.5 liter felt decent. How was the Noise/Vibration ?

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      09-24-2012 07:20 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by lip View Post
      Checked on out today as well. Same exact setup you described, though we didn't drive it.
      The interior is tight in the back for sure. However, very impressive materials, switchgear and electronics. They might have nailed this one.
      Good to hear the 2.5 liter felt decent. How was the Noise/Vibration ?
      The N/V/H were all very well contained. The engine had none of the characteristics that you would associate with an entry-level 4 cylinder.

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      09-24-2012 08:13 AM #6
      I was at Cadillac dealer and had a demo of the V6 ATS. It was not the top model yet the sticker was $49k. Very sharp looking car, but the options list is as long as BMW. Everything is extra cost....even the black paint was an extra $995. And at $49k it lacked ventilated seats....I am 5'11" and felt the interior and trunk were cramped. There is NO spare tire nor is there a jack (ala BMW).

      Just for kicks I stopped at the Honda dealer and looked at the new Accord V6 Touring. On paper the Honda puts the Cadi (and many other cars) to shame. Everything from LED Headlamps, 4 exterior cameras, crash mitigation, and a 278 hp V6 that runs on regular and is rated at 34mpg all standard (no cooled seats either on the Accord....one oversight). It may not out handle the Cad, but damn the Accord is an engineering tour de force for $34k.

      I am afraid GM may need another bailout!

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      09-24-2012 08:26 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by CadiGTi View Post
      I was at Cadillac dealer and had a demo of the V6 ATS. It was not the top model yet the sticker was $49k. Very sharp looking car, but the options list is as long as BMW. Everything is extra cost....even the black paint was an extra $995. And at $49k it lacked ventilated seats....I am 5'11" and felt the interior and trunk were cramped. There is NO spare tire nor is there a jack (ala BMW).

      Just for kicks I stopped at the Honda dealer and looked at the new Accord V6 Touring. On paper the Honda puts the Cadi (and many other cars) to shame. Everything from LED Headlamps, 4 exterior cameras, crash mitigation, and a 278 hp V6 that runs on regular and is rated at 34mpg all standard (no cooled seats either on the Accord....one oversight). It may not out handle the Cad, but damn the Accord is an engineering tour de force for $34k.

      I am afraid GM may need another bailout!
      You do realize they are two different vehicles. 34K for an Accord is A LOT of money. I think the V6 is rated a 27 mpg hwy not 34.
      Last edited by MonsterM; 09-24-2012 at 08:32 AM.

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      09-24-2012 08:36 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by MonsterM View Post
      You do realize they are two different vehicles. 34K for an Accord is A LOT of money. I think the V6 is rated a 27 mpg hwy not 34.
      Accord V6 is rated at 34 mph HWY (city I believe is 22....27 is probably the combined MPG rating).

      Look at the std features on the 2013 Accord Touring.....it is a lot of car for the $. Cadillac appears to be building in a lot of $ margin to their stickers.

    9. Member MonsterM's Avatar
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      09-24-2012 09:17 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by CadiGTi View Post
      Accord V6 is rated at 34 mph HWY (city I believe is 22....27 is probably the combined MPG rating).

      Look at the std features on the 2013 Accord Touring.....it is a lot of car for the $. Cadillac appears to be building in a lot of $ margin to their stickers.
      I would rather buy a TSX for much less than the V6 Accord. Its a good car but so is the new Altima, Camry and Sonata. You cannot compare the Accord to the ATS, they are two different vehicles.

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      09-24-2012 09:24 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by CadiGTi View Post
      I was at Cadillac dealer and had a demo of the V6 ATS. It was not the top model yet the sticker was $49k. Very sharp looking car, but the options list is as long as BMW. Everything is extra cost....even the black paint was an extra $995. And at $49k it lacked ventilated seats....I am 5'11" and felt the interior and trunk were cramped. There is NO spare tire nor is there a jack (ala BMW).

      Just for kicks I stopped at the Honda dealer and looked at the new Accord V6 Touring. On paper the Honda puts the Cadi (and many other cars) to shame. Everything from LED Headlamps, 4 exterior cameras, crash mitigation, and a 278 hp V6 that runs on regular and is rated at 34mpg all standard (no cooled seats either on the Accord....one oversight). It may not out handle the Cad, but damn the Accord is an engineering tour de force for $34k.

      I am afraid GM may need another bailout!
      The Accord is not in the same category as an ATS just like it is not comparable to a BMW 3-series.
      Quote Originally Posted by admirallaserbeam
      Rotary engines suck, dont get the miata
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    11. 09-24-2012 09:55 AM #11
      The Accord is Honda's flagship car....Cadillac isn't making the ATS full of the same stuff the CTS has...

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      09-24-2012 09:57 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by CadiGTi View Post
      I was at Cadillac dealer and had a demo of the V6 ATS. It was not the top model yet the sticker was $49k. Very sharp looking car, but the options list is as long as BMW. Everything is extra cost....even the black paint was an extra $995. And at $49k it lacked ventilated seats....I am 5'11" and felt the interior and trunk were cramped. There is NO spare tire nor is there a jack (ala BMW).

      Just for kicks I stopped at the Honda dealer and looked at the new Accord V6 Touring. On paper the Honda puts the Cadi (and many other cars) to shame. Everything from LED Headlamps, 4 exterior cameras, crash mitigation, and a 278 hp V6 that runs on regular and is rated at 34mpg all standard (no cooled seats either on the Accord....one oversight). It may not out handle the Cad, but damn the Accord is an engineering tour de force for $34k.

      I am afraid GM may need another bailout!
      Why are you comparing the ATS to an Accord? It would make more sense to compare the Acura TSX or TL to the ATS as they are all luxury/premium cars.

      As a luxury model, GM does not rely on the ATS to be there volume selling sedan. I'm sure they want the ATS to sell well and be profitable, but GM's business case is not built around the ATS outselling the Honda Accord.

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      09-24-2012 10:02 AM #13
      Nice review. I cannot wait to drive a 2.0T and/or 3.6 ATS

      Again, comparing the ATS to an Accord is a complete
      Quote Originally Posted by admirallaserbeam
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      09-24-2012 10:26 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by CadiGTi View Post
      I was at Cadillac dealer and had a demo of the V6 ATS. It was not the top model yet the sticker was $49k. Very sharp looking car, but the options list is as long as BMW. Everything is extra cost....even the black paint was an extra $995. And at $49k it lacked ventilated seats....I am 5'11" and felt the interior and trunk were cramped. There is NO spare tire nor is there a jack (ala BMW).

      Just for kicks I stopped at the Honda dealer and looked at the new Accord V6 Touring. On paper the Honda puts the Cadi (and many other cars) to shame. Everything from LED Headlamps, 4 exterior cameras, crash mitigation, and a 278 hp V6 that runs on regular and is rated at 34mpg all standard (no cooled seats either on the Accord....one oversight). It may not out handle the Cad, but damn the Accord is an engineering tour de force for $34k.

      I am afraid GM may need another bailout!
      acceleration wise the V6 essentially matches the Type-S TCL favorite but with +6mpg overall. Plus for the people who thought the previous gen had too many buttons that was also toned down and its outward size shrunk while increasing interior space and cargo room. For the average buyer who doesn't care about fingertip precision (even the F30 is number than last gen and the one before, etc.), acceleration, mpg, and interior/safety comforts are more important.

      Back to the caddy it is trying to compete with the 3...which means it competes on the ridiculous pricing of the options. That's really all is there to say about that.
      Quote Originally Posted by konigwheels View Post
      Wow, it amazes me that we have children in here that can't read a couple paragraphs. No wonder America's doing so well in education! Can't take the time to read, but sure can find the time to post. Self indulgence at it's finest.

      TL;DR should be banned and changed to ID;CR or I'm dumb, can't read.

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      09-24-2012 10:41 AM #15
      First Cadillac to make me really stare and take notice. I can't wait to try driving one! I tried the CTS and it felt a little heavy/big.

      Didn't think the CUE system was in the base model tho.

      Quote Originally Posted by mike02467 View Post
      It's a 2.5l 4cylinder, not a 2.0. 2.0 is for the turbo. The 2.5 makes 202 hp and 190 ft lb so it's still a pretty powerful engine.

      On contrary, I have personally driven the new Acura ILX with the base 2.0 engine and was appalled at how slow the thing was, it was frighteningly slow.
      It's not fast... but it's not frighteningly slow either. It's the same as 90% of the economy cars on the road. It's based on a Civic, so it's about the same speed as a normal Civic. Won't win races obviously... but 0-60 in around mid 8's to 9 seconds is liveable.

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      09-24-2012 11:24 AM #16
      the 2.0T is a phenomenal little motor. it was fast in the Cobalt SS/TC, it was fast in the Sky Redline and Solstice GXP, and it will be faster still in the ATS. adding E85 capabilities to it just opens the door for huge power gains with engine tuning...god knows those things can take impressive boost numbers.

      i see quite a few on the road (they build them pretty close to where I work). they always create an impression while rolling down the highway, so much so that i find myself staring at one passing in the other direction. it's about time they got a smaller car right...
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

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      09-24-2012 11:35 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Crob View Post
      Still doesn't make up for the crap they still put out like the Buick Encore.
      Have you driven the Encore?
      Quote Originally Posted by admirallaserbeam
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      09-24-2012 11:38 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Crob View Post
      Why would I? It's ****ing ugly.
      Ever hear this one: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"? Also, there are plenty of cars I do not think the exterior design is appealing but that does not make them "crap".
      Quote Originally Posted by admirallaserbeam
      Rotary engines suck, dont get the miata
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      09-24-2012 11:51 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Crob View Post
      I'll vote for Romney if you find me one person that thinks the Encore has any beauty.
      Put that way, I will not be finding anyone
      Quote Originally Posted by admirallaserbeam
      Rotary engines suck, dont get the miata
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      09-24-2012 11:58 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Live-Wire View Post
      First Cadillac to make me really stare and take notice. I can't wait to try driving one! I tried the CTS and it felt a little heavy/big.

      Didn't think the CUE system was in the base model tho.



      It's not fast... but it's not frighteningly slow either. It's the same as 90% of the economy cars on the road. It's based on a Civic, so it's about the same speed as a normal Civic. Won't win races obviously... but 0-60 in around mid 8's to 9 seconds is liveable.
      Well, the salesman made me drive on this really low speed windy road, and I got basically locked into 2nd around 25mph trying to accelerate and it was off the powerband the whole time and refused to kick down into first. I just kept thinking COME ON to myself as the damn thing just like hung at 3500rpm while my foot was to the floor.

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      09-24-2012 12:03 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Crob View Post
      Still doesn't make up for the crap they still put out like the Buick Encore.
      we shouldn't instantly judge a car based upon the subjective opinion of its appearance. plenty of cars i consider unattractive are actually very capable and rewarding to drive...plus do well in their market segment. consider a car like the GT-R, Honda Fit, and Mini Cooper...all of which were never particularly loved on for some of their styling. i do find the encore a bit "tall," but otherwise has fine lines for a tiny SUV/city utility car...very few cars in that segment are particularly pretty to look at.

      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

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      09-24-2012 12:05 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by compy222 View Post
      we shouldn't instantly judge a car based upon the subjective opinion of its appearance. plenty of cars i consider unattractive are actually very capable and rewarding to drive...plus do well in their market segment. consider a car like the GT-R, Honda Fit, and Mini Cooper...all of which were never particularly loved on for some of their styling. i do find the encore a bit "tall," but otherwise has fine lines for a tiny SUV/city utility car...very few cars in that segment are particularly pretty to look at.

      Well said
      Quote Originally Posted by admirallaserbeam
      Rotary engines suck, dont get the miata
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      09-24-2012 12:10 PM #23
      MINI sells 2000+ Countrymans every month at the same or higher price point as the Encore, and most of TCL thought they were ugly as well. I think with what we know at the moment, the Encore is being unfairly ragged on.

      That said, let's shift back to the ATS. I'm glad to hear even an automatic, 2.5l model has a great driving experience!

    24. 09-24-2012 12:11 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by PlatinumGLS View Post
      Ever hear this one: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"? Also, there are plenty of cars I do not think the exterior design is appealing but that does not make them "crap".
      I agree, but the Encore is just ugly, when it comes to me and my cars the way they look counts.

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      09-24-2012 12:20 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by Crob View Post
      I can judge all I want, because this is the stupidest looking thing Detroit has the balls to even try to sell to the American public, it might do okay or even well in China, but this is just stupid looking.

      the definition of small SUV is changing dramatically. with the increasing size of cars like the Escape and Rav4, the small SUV segment is changing from what used to be b-sized pickup framed mini-trucks to FWD unibody vehicles that resemble a taller station wagon. NONE of these cars are particularly good looking. NONE, the only one to me that could look good is the Kia Soul.

      lets look at what else is in that class/type of vehicle.







      OP, sorry for derailing your thread...to make up for it, here is a nice ATS video.
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

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      09-24-2012 12:28 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by gti5dr06 View Post
      acceleration wise the V6 essentially matches the Type-S TCL favorite but with +6mpg overall. Plus for the people who thought the previous gen had too many buttons that was also toned down and its outward size shrunk while increasing interior space and cargo room. For the average buyer who doesn't care about fingertip precision (even the F30 is number than last gen and the one before, etc.), acceleration, mpg, and interior/safety comforts are more important.

      Back to the caddy it is trying to compete with the 3...which means it competes on the ridiculous pricing of the options. That's really all is there to say about that.
      The Accord V6 may match the Type S in the acceleration but not in handling department. I much prefer the TSX over the V6 Accord, better overall car for less money, unless you really need the extra space.
      Last edited by MonsterM; 09-24-2012 at 12:38 PM.

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      09-24-2012 12:28 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by Crob View Post
      Those cars look better than the Clown car version of the Murano.
      again, very little to zero cars in that segment look good. however, if that encore has a slightly hopped up version of the 1.4T in the cruze, it'll probably be very successful in its segment (and get pretty good mileage). everyone bad mouths that motor as being underpowered, but we have one in our cruze and i'll say the torks are near instant and it makes more torks then hp.

      as a related ATS note, the 2.0T is easily capable of making more torque than horsepower...as most of the tuned LNF's already do.
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

    28. 09-24-2012 12:49 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by MonsterM View Post
      I would rather buy a TSX for much less than the V6 Accord. Its a good car but so is the new Altima, Camry and Sonata. You cannot compare the Accord to the ATS, they are two different vehicles.
      I don't think he was comparing the Accord to the ATS rather showing an example of what you can get for a lot less money. I've said it from the start, i think the ATS is really nice but it is overpriced IMO. The base 2.5 4 cylinder is about $34K, right now you could get a G37 for less than that. Also to get the 3.6 V6 decently optioned (not loaded) you're looking at $50K, That's M37, GS350, A6 territory.

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      09-24-2012 12:57 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by koko12 View Post
      I don't think he was comparing the Accord to the ATS rather showing an example of what you can get for a lot less money. I've said it from the start, i think the ATS is really nice but it is overpriced IMO. The base 2.5 4 cylinder is about $34K, right now you could get a G37 for less than that. Also to get the 3.6 V6 decently optioned (not loaded) you're looking at $50K, That's M37, GS350, A6 territory.
      Cadillac expects most of the ATS volume will come from the 2.5 and 2.0 motors. I think they are only offering the V6 for the traditional customer that can't accept anything less than a V6 in a luxury sedan.

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      09-24-2012 12:59 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by PlatinumGLS View Post
      Put that way, I will not be finding anyone

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      09-24-2012 01:02 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by koko12 View Post
      I don't think he was comparing the Accord to the ATS rather showing an example of what you can get for a lot less money. I've said it from the start, i think the ATS is really nice but it is overpriced IMO. The base 2.5 4 cylinder is about $34K, right now you could get a G37 for less than that. Also to get the 3.6 V6 decently optioned (not loaded) you're looking at $50K, That's M37, GS350, A6 territory.
      it actually reinforces my view the ATS-V will be a boosted 3.6L. it's already DI and has significant aftermarket FI options in the camaro world...so why not strap a blower/turbo on it and make it very fast.
      Regarding DD'ing a tuned Evo:
      Quote Originally Posted by SchrickVR6 View Post
      It's composed at all speeds and at all times...it just feels like you're holding the leash on a 150lb pit bull and praying you don't see a squirrel.

    32. Member Dr. Woo's Avatar
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      09-24-2012 02:41 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by compy222 View Post
      Holy bajeezus! That thing is just stupid looking.

      Anyway...interesting about the base 2.5L. Much like you did, I would've expected it to be kind of wheezy.
      ├┼┤2003 S2000 | ├┼┘2012 Focus SE Sport | 2009 Pontiac G8 (2011-2011) | 2008 VW R32 (2007-2011) | 2006 VW GTI (2006-2007) | 2001 Audi A4 (2002-2006)
      SAVETHERING

    33. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      09-24-2012 03:44 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by koko12 View Post
      I don't think he was comparing the Accord to the ATS rather showing an example of what you can get for a lot less money. I've said it from the start, i think the ATS is really nice but it is overpriced IMO. The base 2.5 4 cylinder is about $34K, right now you could get a G37 for less than that. Also to get the 3.6 V6 decently optioned (not loaded) you're looking at $50K, That's M37, GS350, A6 territory.
      On the other hand, you get significantly more content for your dollar, at any trim level, than any of the German three - which hit $50k when you look at them cross-eyed. Same as with the M, GS, and A6, which all are screaming towards $65k when equipped as well as a $50k ATS.

      It's a bargain compared to them. And yes, the G37 is about the same price, depending on incentives. But frankly, the ATS is as good as any of them, and it shouldn't be expected to sell exclusively because it's the cheapest. It's not the cheapest, and it's a fully competitive choice in the segment that should be priced as such.
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    34. Member Chris_V's Avatar
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      09-24-2012 03:48 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by koko12 View Post
      I don't think he was comparing the Accord to the ATS rather showing an example of what you can get for a lot less money. I've said it from the start, i think the ATS is really nice but it is overpriced IMO. The base 2.5 4 cylinder is about $34K, right now you could get a G37 for less than that. Also to get the 3.6 V6 decently optioned (not loaded) you're looking at $50K, That's M37, GS350, A6 territory.
      It's also smack dab in the middle of BMW 3 sereis territory, when that car is optioned up similarly. Which is the point. Caddy is a premium brand, trying to get premium prices for a car that competes evenly with other premium cars of the same class. Just because it's not going out the door for Cruze money does not make it overpriced.
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

    35. Member curvedinfinity's Avatar
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      09-24-2012 03:56 PM #35
      So I happened to see the first ATS on its way to my dealer still on the truck today. It was a blue one. I like the way it looks.
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