By on January 26, 2014

atscaddy

It’s not secret that General Motors is depending on China to ensure a rosy future for its Cadillac brand. However, the imported ATS, complete with pinched-off rear seating and thirsty turbocharged engine, isn’t cutting the mustard. No surprise, then, that GM will be building the ATS locally in the future, with one very important change.

Carnewschina reports that the Cadillac ATS will be built in China with a choice of the 200-horsepower 2.5L four-banger or the 3.6 DI V6. More importantly, to suit the, ahem, unique tastes of the Chinese market, the wheelbase will be stretched four inches, making it an ATS-L.

At this point, it’s tempting to write something along the lines of “Oh, those wacky Chinese and their obsession with rear-seat comfort and K-turn-nightmare wheelbases.” But think about it for a moment. The traditional brand image of Cadillac includes spaciousness, doesn’t it? Yet every single Cadillac built since the demise of the RWD Fleetwood has been cramped in the back to some extent. The original CTS and edged-up STS were disasters in that regard; your humble author used to daily-drive an ’06 STS AWD and when I adjusted the front seat to my preference it would touch the rear lower cushion. Even the famed DTS wasn’t exactly S-Class-competitive in back, thanks to its shared platform. The ATS is pretty much a four-door 2+2, like a Mazda RX-8. Where’s the appeal in that? Why aren’t all Cadillacs spacious and comfortable in back?

For now, it looks like, as with the previous STS-L and the Buick “Park Avenue” G8, the General is saving its best ideas for its favorite market.

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90 Comments on “The ATS Goes Long In Its Target Market...”


  • avatar

    As someone who enjoys a 3-series size car for ease of parking and turnaround, I had some hopes for the ATS as well. The 3-series or current IS are not huge in back, but I can still sit in the rear when my six-foot son is driving. The rear seat of the ATS reminded me of the last generation IS – “why bother?” As to the obsession with rear seat room in China, these are truly premium cars there and often come with a driver, so they’ve got to be arranged for the rear seat passenger.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Enthusiasts have long b!tched about sedans like the 3 Series and 5 Series getting progressively larger and losing some of their sportiness/driving dynamics in the process (the 3 Series is pretty much the same size as a 5 series from a few generations ago) and Cadillac keeps the size of the ATS down and in the process keeping it sporty and people still complain.

      But the enthusiast buyer is a small segment and as the Germans have continually enlarged their offerings (and adding smaller models like the 2 Series to slot where the 3 Series once stood decades ago), Cadillac execs stumbled in benchmarking the previous 3 Series and not anticipating that the compact segment sedans would get larger the next go around.

      Cadillac is not doing anything different for the Chinese market, as BMW, Mercedes and Audi, even with more rear seat room still offer extended wheelbase 3 Series, C Class and A4 models.

      For the next gen ATS, Cadillac needs to make the ATS larger and then they could either make a slighter smaller (than the current ATS) RWD sedan to slot underneath the ATS or opt to fill that sub-entry space with a FWD model (preferably, Cadillac leaves that to Buick).

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I agree with you on people’s complaints but the ATS was always too small to be a sedan and never should have been offered as one, coupe only or possibly coupe and a hatchback model (that would have been something). Think of what it could have been, Cadillac ALPHA Coupe, for the alpha dogs of the world. Catera could have been the slightly larger sedan compliment and have offered a LWB option for those who wish to use their rear seat. Two nearly identical tiny ATS and CTS sedans, one slightly bigger than the other, is stooopiiddd.

        “Oh but sir I know ATS brought you in today if you’d like a little more room for your kids you could step up to CTS.”

        “No thanks I’ll take the same money and head over to Lexus for a CPO LS460.”

        • 0 avatar
          doctor olds

          ATS will be available in an ALPHA coupe, in terms of performance and capability, though it will not rival its big, and yet to come BIG brothers. Reuss recently said a coupe makes a statement. ElMiraj, and ELR will make statements that bracket limits.
          The ATS coupe is a wider car than the sedan and appears to have the superb lack of B pillar intrusion into a tall driver’s shoulder only possible in a coupe.

          I went to NAIAS, at least my 50th, with just a few goals this year. I wanted to sit in the ATS coupe, check the B pillar shoulder room, and check out the F-150 and Mustang. They all look great, and all were cordoned off so no one could sit in them. One of the Fords had a sign inside which read, “Prototype vehicle. Locked for your protection.”

          GM’s favorite market is NA where they make most all the money. We will be seeing some nice diverse and great products, though probably not an ATS-L!

          A parting thought- CPO LS400 is a great value, but someone has to buy new for CPO anything to be. ;-)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @DocOlds

            I’m glad Mr. Reuss not only “gets it” but is in a position to make decisions. However I stand by my statement ATS is too small to sell as a sedan and it never should have been offered as one (again hatchback or something weird to complement the coupe would have been impressive).

            “CPO LS400 is a great value, but someone has to buy new for CPO anything to be”

            True but the product is still available as a competitor. If Cadillac offered similar dimensions minus some of the price, lux, and prestige of the flasghip LS460 they’d be more on the money as “Cadillacs”.

            @Noble713

            I’m not familiar with those models (and had to look them up) but you want something small and tight driving buy a coupe. I honestly do understand the need for rear doors and seat that it barely usable, and coming from a supposedly luxurious Cadillac all passenger comfort should be a consideration, not only the driver.

            “Have Americans gotten so fat in the past decade that a good-sized car from a decade ago is anathema?”

            Yes. There is a reason SUV, CUV, and truck sales are such a large part of the market and true “sport sedans” are not.

        • 0 avatar
          Noble713

          “I agree with you on people’s complaints but the ATS was always too small to be a sedan and never should have been offered as one, coupe only or possibly coupe and a hatchback model (that would have been something).”

          The ATS has almost the exact same wheelbase (109.3in) as my daily-driven sedan (JZX110 Mark II). That’s 2 inches longer than my project car (JZX100 Chaser), and over 5 inches longer than the Evo X. I’m 31, 5’11″ @170lbs and there’s enough space in these cars for hook-ups without the girl being a contortionist.

          Who are you trying to fit in your backseat, Andre the Giant? Have Americans gotten so fat in the past decade that a good-sized car from a decade ago is anathema?

          The main reason the ATS interests me is because it’s a reasonably-lightweight RWD sedan instead of a land yacht. Just wish I could get one with fewer luxury gizmos and a small block V8. A de-contented ATS would be the perfect sports sedan, filling a role that the 600lb-heavier Chevy SS drops the ball on IMO.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            Look for a Chevrolet. Pity the Pontiac died with the brand.

          • 0 avatar
            Noble713

            @28-Days-Later:
            I’ve had a coupe in the past, a Mitsubishi 3000GT. Carrying more than 2 adults (a common occurrence for me, I DD my drinker friends) was a nightmare. I had to move my seat forward or risk amputating the back passenger’s legs, and I hate moving my seat and altering my driving position. I don’t think I’ll ever own a coupe as my sole vehicle again.

            Funny thing is, on the ft86club forums (the main website for the Scion FR-S), the rumor threads for the sedan concept are full of “If you want 4 doors, buy a Corolla!”
            “But that’s FWD….”
            “SO? This is a hachi-roku! Not a family car!”
            “I don’t need a family car, I’m not a family man. I just need to move adults in something other than a sardine can, then have a blast driving afterwards in the same car.”

            And there’s never any counter argument of substance to that. Where does this idea come from that the *ONLY* vehicles that should possess power, precision handling, and an ability to throw the ass end out should also possess a coupe body style AND NO OTHER?

            Re: fat Americans. This is why I could never run a business that caters to the whims of the masses. If I sold a compact sports sedan and some 300lb lard-ass came along and said “Can you make a bigger one? This one’s too small.” I’d probably tell him to put the fork down and do some CrossFit and he’d fit in my car just fine. Then I’d lose a bunch of business.

            As my entire social circle is ex-military men and Asian men and women, the trials and tribulations of the average American fatbody are largely unknown to me. Given these passenger parameters, combined with local driving conditions (narrow, maze-like streets like you would find in old European cities) a coupe is too small, while a modern full-size sedan is far too large. The Mark II and the ATS are at the top end of what is tolerable size-wise here. The Evo IV was nimble but the back seat was a little small. I wish I had the chance to drive an Evo X here for comparison. But drifting an AWD car is no easy feat so again, not the best option.

            My dream is to build a sedan kit car. E36/JZX100/ATS-sized, RWD, engine bay suitable for GM small block or an inline6, manual trans, very sporty interior (carbon reclining bucket seats), no luxuries beyond infotainment and digital gauges, lightweight Carbon fiber body. Clearly no automaker is inclined to produce such a vehicle, so I’m forced to take matters into my own hands. I just don’t expect to have the time, money, and infrastructure to bring this to fruition for the foreseeable future. Who knows, maybe in 10 years I’ll nab an Alpha-platform sedan chassis/drivetrain and 3D print a new carbon fiber body for it. One can dream…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Noble713

            Your analogy resonates with me, because while I don’t share a love of small cars (in general) I can see the practicality aspect you cite.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I completely agree, although it seems like the Cadillac engineers benchmarked an E46, because even the E90 seemed to have more room than the ATS does. I hear the new CTS is also a bit cramped, but not critically so. It’s interesting to note that the CTS coupe actually has as much interior space as its (departed) sedan counterpart; you just couldn’t see out of the back of the coupe without electronic aids…

        But I think this cramped-backseat thing is a problem across GM’s portfolio. The Malibu and Regal on the SWB Epsilon-II platform are also cramped (to the point where I’d almost call the Regal compact), and in no way would they have been benchmarked against a RWD German sport sedan. The Delta-II-based Cruze and Verano aren’t very spacious, either…and you can forget about the Sonic or Spark.

        And even the cramped backseats are just one of the many pieces of evidence that my favorite domestic automaker is slipping in so many ways and ceding market-share to other manufacturers. The Silverado and Sierra now have very nice powertrains, updated styling and the requisite corporate Global-A electronics package…but neither one seems as good as the RAM 1500 (with its silky-smooth 8-speed), and it doesn’t seem like they put any consideration into combating the next F-150, which is sure to be a grand-slam. Also, the Colorado and Canyon seem like a misunderstanding of the market and, aside from fleet sales, will probably be dead in the water. They completely ruined the Camaro with the 2014 refresh, so that the 2013 Mustang—to say nothing of the 2015—looks far better. I really can’t say anything positive about the Malibu (since 2/3 of the ones I see are rentals), and I think that the 2014 refresh actually looks *worse*. And the new Impala may have less-objectionable exterior styling than the Avalon, but climb inside and you will find chintzier materials and shapes that exude a very nasty “faux-luxury” feeling…although that is a characteristic of many full-sized sedans. And I won’t get into all of the rebates and discounts that are being offered just to move metal.

        I can see that GM is trying, but like I said, they’re slipping…

  • avatar
    Atum

    And then, there’s the Escalade.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Having greatly enjoyed the ATS, but being of the camp that I should be able to drive three adults around in blissful comfort in a “luxury car”, and also being of the camp that I won’t recommend something I haven’t had seat time in – Lincoln MKS AWD Ecoboost. Screw Cadillac; they want to cater to China, and keep the better cars there, then let them have them.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Until the current gen 3 Series, the 3 Series (along with the C Class) were always cramped in the rear (this was esp. true during the 1980s-1990s), and the interiors were filled with plastic.

      That’s why the models in the segment were considered to be ENTRY-level “luxury” – meaning not quite luxury.

      Even the 5 Series back in the day was a bit cramped in the rear.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    I sat in the back of an ATS and off the cuff am willing to state that I think it’s possible that the RX-8 has more rear seat leg and head room (real world figures).

    The RX-8 has a more sophisticated ride quality, too, IMO.

    It’s as if GM didn’t finish baking the ATS.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Right on the nose.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s years since I had an RX-8 press car for a week. It certainly had a serviceable back seat, unlike my sister’s FR-S, where my sister’s airedale might have trouble getting into the back seat. The RX-8 was a lovely car to drive, and (again unlike the FR-S) did not feel cramped, and I might well have bought one if it had been possible to get better gas mileage out of a rotary.

      But the RX-8 did not have sufficient headroom for me; that is, I had to lean the seat back substantially to fit my 5’10 1/2″ (long torso) frame. (The FR-S has better head room, though still not quite enough for me to sit up straight.)

      I haven’t been inside the ATS.

    • 0 avatar
      seanx37

      Except the ATS doesn’t require a quart of synthetic oil every Friday.
      OR get 11 mpg.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Synthetic is an official no-no in a rotary (yes, some use it, but the official word from Mazda is that it doesn’t burn cleanly, leaving residue behind).

        I use about 1 1/2 quarts of dino oil every 3,000 miles consistently. This is less than our 2006 VW Passat 2.0T burned (1 quart every 800 to 1,000 miles), and that WAS synthetic, which VW insisted was normal.

        I get almost exactly 20mpg in mixed driving and I flog it like a rented mule, and it likes it that way.

        I can live with that given our relationship.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    What are the odds of the long-wheelbase model becoming the US wagon? Like the Malibu Maxx and its lengthened chassis?

  • avatar
    readallover

    It is just not the ATS. Regal and Verano are just as bad with the lack of back seat leg room. It`s a GM thing.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      I find back seat comfort depends a ton on the driver. I was test driving a Verano and I had someone 6′-2″ sit in the back and they were fine. But I am only 5′-6″, so he had plenty of knee room, and his head fit comfortably into the spot where the headliner goes back up because its no longer clearing the sunroof.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        IMO, knee room is not the key to comfort. Rather, it’s being able to rest your thighs on the seat. The trend of low seats (to inflate headroom) makes it worse. Things can be improved by adding foot room under the front seats, but few car makers do.

    • 0 avatar
      Atum

      Ironically, the Captiva I’ve mentioned before had good space in both the front and rear, even more so than my mom’s RAV4. I’m 6’3″. Probably just the sedans GM needs to work on. But the new Impala provides some hope for the tall population, like me.

      • 0 avatar
        cargogh

        The local Buick dealership should readjust the front seats when they park. I showed my 5′-2″ mother a Verano, and she noted the passenger front seat back was 3″ away from the back seat cushion. Some of the church ladies she takes to lunch afterward are amazons. She was not impressed.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I’d suggest the Regal but for a review Alex did it was revealed it only had three more inches of legroom than Verano and cost something like 8-10000 more on the sticker.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I’ve heard the Verano uses much thicker front seats than the Cruze as part of the “BUICK” portion of the interior. Perhaps mom could be persuaded to look at a Cruze? Jack praised its rear seat room in his initial review.

  • avatar

    I made a video test drive of the Cadillac ELR yesterday.
    I feel that the ATS coupe is a far better deal for over $40,000 less- without the worries of range anxiety.

    The ELR is far too dark inside because there is no optional moonroof. It also lacks some of the luxury features that the ATS and CTS have – such as ventilated seats.

    Sitting and ELR next to the Chevy Volt is a sad reminder that they should’ve kept all four doors. Getting in and out of the ELR is very difficult because the backseat is horribly cramped.

    Screw the liberal, tree-hugging, “greener” nonsense and buy yourself a CTS V coupe for $8000 less.

    $82,750…

    And the sad thing is that no one who saw me driving it even knew that I didn’t have a regular CTS Coupe. Cadillac did not do enough with the exterior to make it recognizable on the road as an electric vehicle. When you drive a Tesla or even a Chevy Volt- people notice you.

  • avatar

    I actually like the look of the old CTS V coupe more than I like the new ATS coupe. For some reason I like it more when the vehicle looks like it’s been thrown together rather than it’s been refined. I still like the look of the old Chrysler 300 more than my new one- in fact I like the look of the old Jeep more than my new one.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The new CTS has a much better interior, but I agree that the exterior looked better on the last gen CTS. The new one has an oddly proportioned ass-end.

      I feel the same way about the 300 (new interior is leagues better, but exterior of last gen was more muscular).

      As far as the Jeep GC, I really like the new one, but strangely, the Durango in certain trim levels looks even better, IMO – the Durango has really grown on me (it has a stretched look that takes on a Magnum appearance), and I’m the furthest thing from a SUV/CUC “person.”

      • 0 avatar

        The Durango is a damn good-looking truck. Far superior to the Escalade navigator in appearance.

        But with no SRT badge I’m left on the fence about it.

        The CTS and 300′s interiors are superior, but their old wrapping screamed “MURICA”.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        From what I read after Chrysler drops the Dodge brand the Durango will live on as the new Jeep Wagoneer.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          If I was forced at gun point to buy a CUV/SUV, it would be a 2014 Durango. They did a really nice job upgrading the interior, and it honestly has more feedback while remaining refined than many vehicles in its class that cost 20k more.

          It’s also a useful vehicle, unlike many in its class, given the amount it can tow with either the 3.6 liter or the hemi.

          And the ZF 8 speed transmission is icing on the cake.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            It is a helluva lot cheaper than the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class with which it shares some basic underpinnings.

        • 0 avatar
          MLS

          They’re not dropping the Dodge brand.

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      Saw the new ATS coupe at NAIAS, it’s actually rather elegant in person.

  • avatar
    Zoom

    Isn’t a four inch longer ATS just a CTS?

  • avatar
    Atum

    Maybe because I was in one for under 20 seconds total, but back in March during the Atlanta Auto Show, I was only 6’2″ and didn’t find a significant problem with the ATS’ interior.

    When I go back in a couple months, I may be proven wrong.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    The Chinese will take it long and narrow.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I’m so confused. Why would you design a luxury sedan with a tiny back seat? IMO, the ATS shouldn’t have been a 3 fighter

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t believe any Caddy is a 3-series fighter. I don’t believe a BMW buyer would EVER crosshop a Cadillac.
      Have you ever seen people break their back for a used BMW rather than simply purchase a brand-new American car???

      • 0 avatar
        sportsuburbangt

        My BIL got out of his 5 series and leased a CTS 3 years ago. He just Leased a new 14 CTS and says its the best car he has had, big improvements over his old one. He had BMWs for 10 years before his first CTS.

        He is the target market for BMW, and Cadillac got him after BMW gave him a $900 a month figure to release a new 5 back in 2010. BTW in 2010 the CTS was $500 per month, same equipment. He shopped around in the fall and got another CTS. He told me it was incredible to just bring in the car for oil changes, he had zero problems with his first CTS. The BMW gave him many issues, there was always something going wrong between the oil changes.

        One funny thing, he got more respect form the parking garage guys when he had the CTS, as opposed to the BMW.

        • 0 avatar

          So basically what you’re saying is that he simply either couldn’t afford the BMW or he just wasn’t willing to pay what they expected him to pay???

          It’s no secret that every single car Cadillac makes undercuts the BMW equivalent. Problem is you got to pay to play in this market or you might as well but a Hyundai/Kia.

          My question is if he could have gotten the same equipment in the BMW for the same price…would he have gone for the BMW or the Cadillac?

          • 0 avatar
            sportsuburbangt

            He could afford the 9 beans a month, he was not going to pay it. He came out of a 5 series at about 600 a month, and when he looked at the new 5′s they said 900 for the same car. It pissed him off, it would piss me off too. He started shopping and liked the CTS and went for it.
            Now on his 2nd CTS, the price went up a little, but he was so happy not having to deal with a temperamental car he did not go with the 5. The delta was small this past fall.
            The first time with the CTS if the price and equipment was the same he would have stayed with BMW, the second time not so much.

          • 0 avatar

            I don’t feel this is “crosshopping” so much as it is “down grading”.

          • 0 avatar
            smartascii

            @ Bigtruck: That right there is why BMW can get away with screwing its customers by selling them a lower quality product at a higher price. Is the CTS smaller? Does it handle worse? Are the materials, fit/finish, engineering, etc. worse than BMWs? According to Sportsuburban’s single data point, it appears that the 5ers are not reliable where the CTS is a scheduled-service-only car. And yet because it was $500/mo instead of $900, it’s a downgrade. Why?

            In order for BMW > Cadillac logic to continue to apply, BMW has to actually make a superior product. And that latest 5er is not superior to anything.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Actually, the current ATS & CTS are within spitting range of the Germans’ prices; at least before incentives. The fact that this guy is speaking in monthly payments is suspicious, but at the end of the day a more reliable car with the same features for less money is the smart buy. Nobody worth impressing cares whether your car is German or not.

          • 0 avatar

            Neither Cadillac nor Lincoln nor Chrysler make anything that even slightly compares to a BMW 7-Series.

            There is a level of refinement in the BMW 5-series that no Cadillac has. Attention to detail that no Cadillac has. Granted, both Mercedes and BMW have made their lower end products cheaper and given you less engine, the simple fact is that their higher end vehicles are better than anything on the American market.

            I am disappointed that people would rather buy a used German vehicle then a brand-new American vehicle in many circumstances. But I understand why they do it.

          • 0 avatar
            Idemmu

            This from the rich guy that worships mopars.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        Reg; ” I don’t believe a BMW buyer would EVER crosshop a Cadillac.”

        Really! I’m one, ‘BTSR’.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Everyone offers these LWB down-market cars in China, not just Cadillac. In China the automakers across the board have failed to establish the European/American model of having to upgrade to the next series to get more space.

    If Cadillac did offer the ATS-L in the US people would say that GM is cannibalizing the CTS and failing to maintain clear model distinctions.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This is Lrrr from the planet Omicron Persei 8.

    WE DEMAND ALL SEDANS BE OFFERED WITH A LONG WHEELBASE OPTION OR WE WILL DESTROY YOU!

    End Communication.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Heh. That won’t work – we humans need to have a deadline to get anything done. We also need an attention-getter crisis to concentrate our minds. Try doing something spectacular with the IRS.

      BTW, we rarely act in our own self-interest, more often just the opposite. Better check with the Galactic Gaming Board before you do anything. There could be trillions of whatever-you-use-for-store-of-value riding on what we do next.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    As the B&B know, the ATS is targeted at BMW 3-Series, where the rear seat room has been notably tight for years. This year(2014)they have gained a little more room and is comparable, in most dimensions, with the ATS.

    Recently some friends were down from the big city and they brought a couple(BMW aficionados)down with them to see my modified 328is and Touring wagon that both have the M5 drive train. We got in the 328 for a ride out Jump Off Joe.

    The wife of the BMW couple was a person of small stature, guessing around five feet tall and maybe a hundred pounds. The first thing she remarked about was the tight dimensions of the rear seat. In the 18 years I have had the car, she may be only the second or third person ever to sit back there. I’m only 6’1″ and her husband who she sat behind, is probably 5’10″. He adjusted the seat forward, but she still sat a bit sideways for comfort. Yes, it is a coupe, but the dimensions for rear seat legroom between the coupe and 4-dr 3-series, have always been similar with maybe an inch and fractions of difference.

    I don’t care if Cadillac adds another 4″ to the 4-dr ATS, but leave the coming coupe, alone.

    And in addition, this post and comments, just seem like a another ‘beat up GM and Cadillac/Buick/etc’ post. Where is the substance? Oh! Forgot the click bait nature of some of these posts, with a certain demographic(bash GM/BMW/Ford/etc) of commentors, your guaranteed a certain number of clicks… ad nauseum

    2014 Cadillac ‘ATS’
    Front headroom (inches): 38.6
    Rear headroom (inches): 36.8
    Front hip room (inches): 53.0
    Rear hip room (inches): 52.3
    Front leg room (inches): 42.5
    Rear leg room (inches): 33.5
    Front shoulder room (inches): 55.2
    Rear shoulder room (inches): 53.9

    2014 BMW 3-Series
    Front Head Room (inches) 40.3
    Rear Head Room (in): 37.7
    Front Leg Room (in): 42
    Rear Leg Room (in): 35.1
    Front Shoulder Room (in): 55.1
    Rear Shoulder Room (in): 55.1

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Tre,

      I back-seat tested the ATS, IS350, Q50, and 335i during the R&T test.

      Q50 was the bomb diggity.

      ATS was the worst by a mile.

      Just my two cents.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        Hi! Jack,

        I don’t have a dog in this fight. Not in anyway supporting or denigrating the ATS back seat situation, it is what is, I could care less. The numbers are what they are, but worse “by a mile”, looks like, maybe, inches and fractions to me.

        My feeling is, if you need more rear seat room, buy something else, the ATS or BMW 3-series, isn’t your car, that is why they make 5-7-series and CTS/XTS etc.

        The 3-series is already too big and too heavy. All you have to do too appreciate that, is drive my 91’318is. It still has the fun component that the new demographic of 3-series BMW owners have no clue about. The new Three/Four is designed for a different market then what the traditional 3-series market wanted, so maybe you have a point, from that perspective.

        But back to the original point(?) of the post, which I’m still debating. Adding 4″, makes the ATS a different car for a different market. And Cadillac would lose my interest in it, if that were to happen.

        With due regard… Tre

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Dear GM,

    Forget the long wheelbase models that you grace other countries with but we the Americans are deemed not worthy. How about a WIDE BODY XTS so it can feel like a real Cadillac again? You know back when two pasta fed mobsters could get in the back of a Cadillac sedan with a stool pigeon between them and other than the discomfort of the transmission hump everyone had hip and shoulder room. You try that in an XTS and the stoolie will have sit on someone’s lap. Not too many mobsters will admit if they swing that way.

    Thank You,

    Vinnie “No Neck”

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Dear Vinnie,

      Thank you for your letter. Everyone at the office loves a good gangster movie as much as anyone else, but what you must understand is we here at Cadillac hate our long rich heritage. Hate it, like a boss. We looked around the industry and thought, who could we copy since we can’t look to our own storied history for inspiration? Our first copy was the Escalade, see we noticed Lincoln had come out with a luxury SUV based on a lowly Ford. We had a staff meeting and concluded in no way did it draw on our history, so we grabbed the first GMC we could find and Cimmaroned it up as the Cadillac Escalade. We noticed people kept wanting to buy it although it was clearly a rebadge, so we decided to change a few other things and continue to sell it. Then we noticed the Seville’s sales were faltering, and we just couldn’t understand why since it was equipped with our fantastic Northstar system. So we said what other sedans were out there which were not Cadillacs and spit in the general direction of our founders, and we came across a BMW 5 series. We had Ray whip one up using an Australian platform but we couldn’t figure out how to style it. Murray was trying to eat a double quarter pounder in the break room but it collapsed as he ate it and he got what was left of the sandwich all over his tie. So we all had a laugh but then thought about it, this looks ugly, disgusting, and something that makes you puke when you see it. We checked our notes and found this type of styling is very anti-Cadillac so we went with it, and voila! After the initial production run however we realized although the car was already crampt passengers could still use the rear seats. When it came time to a refresh, we realized comfortable rear seat room was a Cadillac feature in its history, so Ray did his best to push the rear seat up as to eliminate any rear passenger comfort. Murray asked if maybe it was better to make it a coupe since we took out the rear leg room, but wait I saw there was once a “Coupe de Ville” and put the brakes on that crazy idea. The one that seemed to get away was the Deville, but we eventually killed it off too and replaced it with a restyled Buick Lacrosse, phew thank the good dude for the Xerox machine, right? Ray assured us while appearing to be a similar size to the Deville, it was crampt inside since it was based on a Chevrolet Malibu, which itself came from an Opel spec. Those crazy Germans sure do understand interior discomfort, thankfully they are on our side this time, right? In closing Vinnie, we will never, ever, develop real Cadillac models again because Cadillac is dead unless our Beijing masters command us to do so.

      Sincerely,
      The Oldsmobile, er Cadillac Design Team

      P.S. What’s that boss, rear leg room for Chinese models? Sir I’m not sure, that doesn’t sound like Cadillac.

    • 0 avatar
      Zoom

      I hate the “same sausage, different lengths” mode of car design. Americans, and Europeans, are getting bigger. Interiors seem to be getting narrower.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “The traditional brand image of Cadillac includes spaciousness, doesn’t it?”

    This is the problem with Cadillac in a nutshell.

    The traditionalists want stuff that no one else cares about. Yet there aren’t too many non-traditionalists who would be caught dead in a Cadillac. The sedan side of the brand is an albatross, and turning it into a BMW fighter will not impress either side of the market.

    I do hope that GM wasn’t caught unaware by the need for longer wheelbases in China. At this point, there are acne-afflicted teenagers in Alabama trailer parks who read enough about cars on the internet to know that the Chinese care about such things. Surely, management in Detroit was planning the “L” version from the start? (Right?)

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The locally produced ATS will feature a longer wheelbase, so GM must have had stretched version in the works for some time. The real problem here is that GM rushed the North American version of the ATS to market in China, instead of waiting until the Chinese factory is ready to produce the version that most Chinese buyers will want.

  • avatar
    Ihatejalops

    Cadillac still trying to copy instead of being different, such a shame. Wake me when they actually make a car that’s what a Cadillac was always supposed to be. Don’t worry GM, everyone will buy it. I think that all of us here couldn’t get jobs at GM because I think the requirement for employment is abject incompetence with an MBA degree.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Incompetent executives with degrees from the Ivy League…who are arrogant without any justification (not that it’s ever justified to be an arrogant twat).

      I know this to be a fact as I’ve dealt with a specific department at GM for many years, regarding many projects.

      Hopefully, this will be less of a hallmark in the future as it has been in the past.

      Hopefully.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        @DW: Cadillac is doing better than they have been doing for decades. You may not agree with everything (in much the same way I’d never own an RX-8) they do but they have been making competitive products and enjoying growth for the first time in a long while.

        • 0 avatar
          Ihatejalops

          Is a two year old smarter than a new born? Yep. Is a two year old at it’s peak intelligence? Nowhere near it. This is where Cadillac is at; it’s better but far from where it should be. When you fire the guy that was doing a great job in making GM look relevant again, you’ve got more issues than promise. You think the ATS is desirable? Call me crazy, but it just seems redundant.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Cadillac division is one hundred twelve years old, not two but it certainly acts as if it were two years old.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            In chasing BMW, Cadillac is tossing out a massive portion of the attributes that made them what they once were, at the peak of their glory.

            The risk then develops that if they are unsuccessful in “conquesting” a “workable” percentage of BMW buyers as their own customers, they threw their baby out with the bath water.

            Cadillac is taking a big risk by so obsessively focusing on trying to become a carbon copy of BMW.

            Then again, it could be much worse. They could take no risk and just utterly stagnate, then decline precipitously, like The Lincoln Horseless Carriage & Motor Coach Company, PLLC, HMS.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @DeadWeight

            Oh they murdered the brand, but can you blame them? The rebadges sold well in 2013 for a total of 109877 units for all three models and the “Cadillac exclusive” models only sold 70,662 according to goodbadcar. Now the CTS *is* an Alpha which will help keep production costs lower as its sales stagnate. Why build real Cadillacs (which is expensive) when you can ape BMW with one platform and just rebadge the rest, the proles apparently don’t seem to notice.

            2013

            ATS 38,319

            CTS 32,343

            SRX 56,776

            XTS 32,559

            Escalade combined 20,542 (Escalade 12,592 / Escalade ESV 7950)

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            With the low #s of SRX I see driving around, I wouldn’t think they sold so many. WHERE are they selling them?

  • avatar
    Joss

    The modern preference for room is Escalade. Today’s chauffeured want HEIGHT & stretch. Good Lord to think a Versa has more rear room then a luxo-sedan?

    ATS is gloved towards folks with adolescents off to boarding school or empty nested.

    I spy Canada Goose jacket – brand image you never get value on.

  • avatar
    carguy

    I think most folks here seem to misunderstand the intent of the ATS. The ATS is an attempt to expand the brand beyond limos, old folks and people with a cigar aficionado subscriptions. It isn’t a family hauler – it is aimed at those who like to drive – you know those people that keep wailing in the comment section that the E46 3 series was the best car ever. If you want a family hauler then Cadillac offers plenty of other model that will do that, namely the SRX, CTS, XTS or Escalade.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    @ ‘Noble713′

    BMW already built your desired car, the M3 saloon/4-dr. And we have pristine 96′ 328i 4-dr sitting here waiting for a LS376/6-speed/C4 transplant. We could build you one. The cost of rebuilding the M52 engine(about $7,000) was just a little less then the new crate LS engine and it would still leave you with only 190hp, versus the LS376′s 530hp through dual cats. More Hp with the LS9 (638hp/604 pds torque)or (650+ hp and 680 ft.-lbs. of torque, on 91 octane pump gas) with Edelbrock’s E-Force supercharger kit.

    With a P/W of 1hp to 6.25pds, I expect the combo to post low to sub 4-second, 0-60mph times, and solid mid to low 12 second times in the quarter mile.

    The LS376 weighs less then the M52 and moves weight back in the chassis for better balance and it should provide better turn-in with less understeer.

    I’m shooting for a $25,000 install against a $30,000 budget. The most intensive part of the conversion will be the sub-frame to hang a C4 differential, suspension, brakes, and interfacing the BMW instrumentation with the LS/trans. I figure about 90-100 shop hours.

    The E-39 M5 rear gears and suspension was considered, but they are hard to locate, expensive as recycled parts, and pricey to rebuild. And there are some concerns about holding up to the LS power with the BMW M-variable LSD unit, these conditions favored the durable C4 LSD gear and its cheap and easy rebuilding and gear selections.

    If you build your dream car with an LS engine, let me know if you need experienced input or custom parts to help you with your build.

    Costs_ All new(LS3-install kit-6-speed) and used(C4 rear parts and modified driveline) parts and custom parts fabrications, will run you about $15-$17,000. All used assemblies and parts, about a third less. Unless your an experienced fabricator with a fully tooled shop, expect the project to run about 150 hours.

    We may make a complete E-36/LS install kit available in late 2014 or 2015.


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