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    Thread: Inside Line Full Test: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T

    1. Senior Member Mazda 3s's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 02:31 AM #1
      What Works (pros):
      Capable, predictable chassis; rewarding to drive hard; well-finished interior.

      What Needs Work (cons):
      Questionable fuel economy; uninspiring engine sounds; CUE needs knobs.

      Bottom Line:
      Proof that a great sport sedan is more than just a great chassis.


      There's little point in building a sport sedan to compete against the BMW 3 Series if the car isn't capable of measuring up to the German car's handling standards. The Cadillac has the hardware to do so, as it features a MacPherson strut front suspension and a five-link rear suspension. GM's magnetorheological dampers are also part of the package when the car is fitted with the FE3 suspension package like this test car, and there are two damping modes: Sport and Tour.

      With our test car, we found the Tour damping setting to be adequate in nearly every situation, even hard driving on imperfect roads. Sport mode is tuned for surfaces so smooth that they must exist only in the dreams of enthusiasts (or perhaps freshly paved racetracks). You'll be punished with ride harshness when you select Sport mode on most roads, and we found that the Tour setting provides adequate body control without the awfulness. The ATS's best slalom speed of 69.1 mph — better than the speed set by the 328i — was achieved in Tour, which also delivered better stability during rapid transitions.
      http://www.insideline.com/cadillac/a...full-test.html
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    2. 10-01-2012 02:46 AM #2
      According to Edmunds this was a full test of the ATS, but it sounded more like a comparison. I hate when manufacturers do this especially when the car they are comparing it to is not there and they are just pulling information from their database. If you're going to do a full test on a car do it and tell us how it does on its own right then and there. If you are going to compare cars make sure both are there at the same time, otherwise there are too many variables like driver, weather, altitude, roads, tracks, etc... to be able to make a fair and honest comparison.

    3. 10-01-2012 03:22 AM #3
      the voice commands on the cue system make knobs unneeded for the most part. looks like a good car and a seriously strong entry from anything american. should be interesting to see how it drives.

    4. Member czykvw's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 04:33 AM #4
      Love everything but the headlights..

    5. Member overst33r's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 09:50 AM #5
      23mpg all highway? That's terrible.


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      10-01-2012 10:15 AM #6
      I'm pretty sure I'd be happy with an ATS.
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    7. 10-01-2012 10:25 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by mariok2006 View Post
      23mpg all highway? That's terrible.
      Agreed, but I still want it!

    8. Member Dr. Woo's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 11:08 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by AudiVwMeister View Post
      the voice commands on the cue system make knobs unneeded for the most part. looks like a good car and a seriously strong entry from anything american. should be interesting to see how it drives.
      People complain about the busy-ness of the 2012 Focus' dash, but I hardly ever use the buttons when I can flick a switch on the steering wheel and say "Call Charlie at work" or "Play artist Kasabian."
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      10-01-2012 11:21 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by AudiVwMeister View Post
      the voice commands on the cue system make knobs unneeded for the most part. looks like a good car and a seriously strong entry from anything american. should be interesting to see how it drives.
      I still don't think this is an excuse for a non-intuitive interface.The MyFord Touch people say the same thing. Some of us don't like using voice commands, especially if there's other people in the car having a conversation.
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      10-01-2012 11:27 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by mariok2006 View Post
      23mpg all highway? That's terrible.
      I honestly have a very hard time believing that figure, my Maxima(2002) which has a much bigger engine, older technology and a 4 speed auto gets 30mpg all highway....how would this car get 23?

    11. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 11:30 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by TangoRed View Post
      I still don't think this is an excuse for a non-intuitive interface.The MyFord Touch people say the same thing. Some of us don't like using voice commands, especially if there's other people in the car having a conversation.
      Having the Sync package in my Focus, I agree. Even though there is voice command, it never works 100% of the time. You need knobs and such for any system like this because it will never work perfectly for everybody. I feel bad for the people with the MyTouch system. It really is crap.


      I like this car though. Looking like it could be a good move from Cadillac. My question though is what the buyers will think. Could this be the next Cimarron?
      Last edited by MCTB; 10-01-2012 at 11:44 AM.

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      10-01-2012 11:35 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by mariok2006 View Post
      23mpg all highway? That's terrible.
      I'm really, really skeptical that it returns that kind of fuel economy. Really.
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      10-01-2012 11:44 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      I'm really, really skeptical that it returns that kind of fuel economy. Really.
      THey must have been doing 100+mph on all of their highway drives.

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      10-01-2012 11:49 AM #14
      This engine is just another incarnation of the LNF/LDK, isn't it?

      Edmunds observed 19.3mpg in the Buick Regal GS which has basically identical engine specs (but weighs 300lb more). They saw 25.0 in the 328i.
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      10-01-2012 12:16 PM #15
      Within a year of having the Regal 2.0T, we saw our average fuel economy increase by about 3 MPG with the same type of driving. Wonder if other owners of GM 2.0T vehicles have noticed the same...
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      10-01-2012 12:24 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by mariok2006 View Post
      23mpg all highway? That's terrible.
      Hammer time.

      Seriously. You know they had to be pounding that thing.
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    17. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:33 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by JustinCSVT View Post
      THey must have been doing 100+mph on all of their highway drives.
      Yep. But "We flogged the bitch like a rented mule and it only returned 23mpg omgwtflol" doesn't really make for good copy.
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      10-01-2012 01:26 PM #18


      Seems like there's plenty of redundant buttons on the steering wheel.

      Besides navigation stuff, the only thing I change multiple times in typical driving is the volume/radio station, which is on the right hand side of the wheel and cruise control when I'm on the highway, which is on the left. Maybe I'll adjust the climate control when I first get in, but usually that's a set and forget sort of situation.

      If the cue system has good enough voice recognition, you probably don't need to physically interact with the touch screen or center stack all that much.
      Last edited by c615586; 10-01-2012 at 01:33 PM.

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      10-01-2012 01:36 PM #19
      In The Wall Street Journal, Dan Neil reviewed the ATS 3.6. He gave it a largely glowing review, but at the end bitched about how loud the 3.6 is and its lack of refined sound. He said the sound was so awful that it was a "black hole" that basically ruins the entire car. I've been in and around CTSes with this engine, and have never been bothered by it's sound. One just drove past me at lunch and sounded fine. Anyone here ever been bothered by the sound of it, or is this Ole' Dan making a GM-hating mountain out of a mole hill?

      From WSJ:
      http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f...-close-113661/

      So the ATS is a little more venturesome in design than the BMW 3-series and, surprisingly, a little more fun to helm. Does that make it a better car? Well, no.

      The ATS's major flaw—and it's practically a black hole that devours the rest of the car—is the 3.6-liter's low-speed, low-rpm powertrain noise. Wow. That sounds terrible! The injectors rattle like a sewing machine that's lost a cog. As soon as you pick up the throttle and the revs rise above around four grand, the induction, valve-train and exhaust notes come together in a rising, melodic chirr, and at full throttle, shuffling up through the gears, the powertrain sounds amazing (0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds). But in a parking lot, it sounds like my old Chevette. Ai.

      So, not perfect, but again, compelling, daring and, here and there, outrageous. I like those words better than the musty old "Standard of the World" anyway. Cadillac is not the standard anymore. It's the challenger. And the ATS is, well, challenging.
      Last edited by whitejeep1989; 10-01-2012 at 01:42 PM.

    20. 10-01-2012 01:40 PM #20
      Nice car, but it won't be the benchmark of the segment. Not the best transmission, not the best engine, not the best economy and by far not the best price.

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      10-01-2012 01:45 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by koko12 View Post
      Nice car, but it won't be the benchmark of the segment. Not the best transmission, not the best engine, not the best economy and by far not the best price.
      Most reviewers have placed the ATS as being slightly better than or on par with the 3-Series. That's pretty darned close for Caddy's first real attempt! They certainly have done better than Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes, Acura, or Audi have done with several generations of development. In this case, being a disputed number 2 is far better than not even being on medal podium.

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      10-01-2012 01:47 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by AKADriver View Post
      They saw 25.0 in the 328i.


      But it only has 240hp.

    23. Member compy222's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 02:03 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      I'm really, really skeptical that it returns that kind of fuel economy. Really.
      see below.

      Quote Originally Posted by JustinCSVT View Post
      THey must have been doing 100+mph on all of their highway drives.
      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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      10-01-2012 03:26 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by FlashRedGLS1.8T View Post


      But it only has 240hp.
      240 BMWpower, which is like 270 by anyone else's numbers.
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    25. 10-01-2012 03:44 PM #25
      Most review have done exactly what Inside Line is doing which is test the car alone then compare it to cars they have tested on other instances which is to say it's not really a comparison at all. There hasn't been any back to back comparison with any of those cars you mentioned. What's more they are all aging designs with new, improved models just around the corner.

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      10-01-2012 04:24 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by koko12 View Post
      Most review have done exactly what Inside Line is doing which is test the car alone then compare it to cars they have tested on other instances which is to say it's not really a comparison at all. There hasn't been any back to back comparison with any of those cars you mentioned. What's more they are all aging designs with new, improved models just around the corner.
      The BMW is NEW this year. It is allegedly the class standard, so all the others really aren't worth talking about, in relation to how close the ATS has come to the top spot.

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      10-01-2012 05:01 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by AKADriver View Post
      This engine is just another incarnation of the LNF/LDK, isn't it?

      Edmunds observed 19.3mpg in the Buick Regal GS which has basically identical engine specs (but weighs 300lb more).
      that's about what i'm getting in my GS -- albeit in stop & go houston traffic with the a/c cranking.

      here's what wikipedia says about the 2.0T (LTG) in the ATS:
      A 2.0 L (1998 cc) turbocharged direct injection version of the gen III Ecotec will be available in 2013 Cadillac ATS and Chevrolet Malibu. Bore and stroke are both 86.0 millimetres (3.39 in), compression is 9.5:1. The engine uses twin-scroll turbocharger with electronically controlled wastegate/bypass valve, air-to-air intercooler, stainless steel dual-scroll (1-4, 2-3) exhaust manifold designed to withstand 980 °C (1,800 °F) turbine temperature, and A356T6 rotocast aluminum cylinder head with sodium-filled exhaust valves.
      Last edited by jay3737; 10-01-2012 at 05:06 PM.
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      10-01-2012 10:18 PM #28
      "Our best tank, recorded exclusively from highway driving, was 23.9 mpg"

      to compare this to some oranges, I just drove the GTI to San Diego and Back (~300 miles RT). I left at 9:00 a.m., and left for home around 4:00 p.m. and got 33.2 mpg according to the trip computer.
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      10-01-2012 10:26 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by whitejeep1989 View Post
      Anyone here ever been bothered by the sound of it, or is this Ole' Dan making a GM-hating mountain out of a mole hill?
      GM engines seem to always sound like sewing machines. The 3.6 sounds terrible at idle.

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      10-01-2012 10:37 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by whitejeep1989 View Post
      Most reviewers have placed the ATS as being slightly better than or on par with the 3-Series. That's pretty darned close for Caddy's first real attempt! They certainly have done better than Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes, Acura, or Audi have done with several generations of development. In this case, being a disputed number 2 is far better than not even being on medal podium.
      Agreed. Kudos to Cadillac for even trying.
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    31. Member curvedinfinity's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 10:49 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by Ubryaj View Post
      GM engines seem to always sound like sewing machines. The 3.6 sounds terrible at idle.
      Tick tick tick tick tick....

      Never bothered me, but I have noticed it on my Cruze. Not on our 3.6 Outlook though (not DI like the ATS). My old MKV GTI had it even louder though. I guess German injectors add to the flavor.
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      10-02-2012 07:38 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by Ubryaj View Post
      GM engines seem to always sound like sewing machines. The 3.6 sounds terrible at idle.
      But, is the sound so bad (at idle) that it makes an otherwise very good car almost impossible to enjoy, as Dan Neil suggests?

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      10-02-2012 08:36 AM #33
      The newer acadia/outlook/traverse all have direct injection, reason they said so odd at idle. The turbo cobalt, sky, and gxp solstice sounded the same because of the hpfp and the inline fuel pressure dampener.

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      10-02-2012 10:24 AM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by curvedinfinity View Post
      Tick tick tick tick tick....

      Never bothered me, but I have noticed it on my Cruze. Not on our 3.6 Outlook though (not DI like the ATS). My old MKV GTI had it even louder though. I guess German injectors add to the flavor.
      the Cruze isn't DI.
      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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      10-02-2012 10:30 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by whitejeep1989 View Post
      Most reviewers have placed the ATS as being slightly better than or on par with the 3-Series. That's pretty darned close for Caddy's first real attempt! They certainly have done better than Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes, Acura, or Audi have done with several generations of development. In this case, being a disputed number 2 is far better than not even being on medal podium.
      To say this is GM's 'first attempt' is a little off-base, IMO.

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