By on July 25, 2012

HEY! Remember when I said the Cadillac ATS was going to be a miserable failure? Guess what? It still IS going to be a miserable failure! But you’d never know it from the glowing reviews on the Web right now, many of which are filled with self-described on-track driving heroics that sound utterly Schumacher-esque until you realize they were done with mandatory save-the-brakes stops every lap and with careful supervision.

Motor Trend’s Scott Evans managed to slip the surly bonds of that supervision long enough to touch his Cadillac’s face to a couple of trees. We challenged GM and Motor Trend to release the black box data and share with the public what really happened.

Well, I’m pleased to announce that Mr. Evans completely fessed-up to the real reasons behind the accident in the full-length MT feature on the car, which was just released. Just kidding! He didn’t even mention it! He who controls the past, controls the future! It never happened! Love ya, Scott! For the amusement of TTAC’s readers, I have, ah, slightly edited Mr. Evans’ review to reflect what he perhaps should have written.

(Note: It appears that after some complaints from MT online readers, a section about the crash was added at the bottom of the page, after the advertising. In that section, Mr. Evans again claims to be like, totally going slow and responsible and stuff.) Here… we… go! Note that I’ve edited out the most boring parts and also some of the parts where it looks like Mr. Evans is figuratively trying to service the Cadillac PR team with the most intimate parts of his larynx. My changes are in bold type and-or strikethrough. Naturally, they will be extremely juvenile, because that’s the most fun way to do it.

Ever since its “Art and Science” rebirth, Cadillac has made it clear it’s gunning for BMW. The CTS, and particularly the big-stick CTS-V, which we had for a whole year, totes free, is the opening salvo. For too long, though, the CTS has been the only product in Cadillac’s portfolio worthy of taking on the Germans being driven for free by people whose real-world earning potential wouldn’t put them in a Accent sedan… Now, with its all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS, the new Standard of the World finally appears ready to take on the Ultimate Driving Machines. And I’m ready to take on a tree with it.

The ATS was presented as a true BMW 3 Series competitor, and was benchmarked against what Cadillac says is the best 3 Series ever, the E46. Them’s fightin’ words, right there. The crash made me talk like a hick. My doctors are working on that. Since then, Cadillac’s been running its mouth with Super Bowl commercials, Nurburgring test videos, and more. It also made me talk like a tough guy.

The singular question, then, is whether Cadillac can back it up. Given Cadillac’s boasting and GM’s general long-standing but finally fading habit of overpromising and under-delivering free cars to our office I was skeptical. That new 3 Series is damn good, and I should know — I’m assigned to MT’s long-term 328i. Has Cadillac really done it?

The answer is yes. The Cadillac ATS is shockingly good. I mean, I was really fuckin’ shocked when I hit that tree. I think the shifter penetrated my rectum. In fact, here are the four things I don’t like about the ATS: the instrument cluster is boring and uninspired; the shift paddles on the steering wheel are too far away from your fingertips; the back seat is too cramped; and the 2.5-liter base engine has no business being in a car aimed at dethroning the 3 Series. Fifth thing I forgot to mention: it’s easy to crash. That’s it. But does that make it better at crashing than the 3 Series?

…The ATS offers everything from optional magnetic shocks to its CUE infotainment system and more to match BMW’s adjustable shocks and iDrive and the rest. But does that mean anything on the trees approximately fifty feet from the road?

It does. I drove all three engine variants on beautiful and treacherous back roads north of Atlanta, and I was more than surprised when I put that bitch upside-down into the sticks. The ATS is smooth and composed on rough pavement and through turns. It is, however, just a touch unrefined when bouncing on its roof towards Deliverance country while the driver is urinating in his pants so hard it drips into his open mouth. The ride is appropriately stiff for a car with sporting intentions, but never harsh or brittle. I was most surprised by the standard, non-adjustable suspension, because frankly, I couldn’t feel much of a difference between how it and the optional Magnetic Ride Control suspension rode or handled. This was because I was upside-down in some trees at the time.

…Cadillac claims the ATS weighs as much as 160 pounds less than the last 3 Series we tested, but it retains a solid, weighty feel on the road. Off the road, it feels weightless, as it one were suspended upside-down from a great height by a safety belt. It comes off planted and confident, ready to glide through corners with ease rather than attack them with unbridled fury. It will, however, attack the shit out of some oaks. I can’t recall how many times we’ve declared that the CTS “ain’t your father’s Caddy,” but the moniker applies equally to the ATS. My dad never crashed his Caddy. It’s good enough to make you overconfident. If you’re an idiot. Should that become the case, the ATS defaults to progressive understeer, unwilling to put its tail out unless you really do something wrong, like put a tire off the road into some nice, soft dirt. OMGLOLHAHA THIS IS AN IRONIC WINK TO ALL MY FRIENDS WHO KNOW I SHITCANNED A $45K CAR AND HAVE TO WRITE THIS FAWNING PIECE OF JUNK AS PENANCE BEFORE BEING PERMITTED TO ONCE AGAIN STAY AT THE RITZ-CARLTON!

On the road or the track, the ATS imparted a sense of balance — the engine never overdrove the suspension or tires. I did that all by myself. Steering feel is very good for an electric unit and the car turns in quickly with a nice bit of weight to it. The Brembo brakes, standard on turbocharged and V-6 models, provide excellent, linear stopping power and resist fade very well. You know, as long as you stop after every lap. Because that’s all they trusted us with doing.

…While I drove all three variants on the road, I was only able to test the top-shelf V-6. crash one of them. Without a proper dragstrip on hand, I used the front straight at Road Atlanta where our trusty VBox recorded a 0-to-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 14.1 seconds at 101.6 mph. That’s actually a bit slower than Cadillac predicted. It said the V-6 should do a 5.4 to 60 and 14 flat in the quarter. Aside from the test location, unusual atmospheric conditions on the test day may have contributed to the poor result. We’ll retest the car when one becomes available in California to verify the result. DO YOU UNDERSTAND, CADILLAC? IT ISN’T ENOUGH TO GET A FREE TRIP TO ATLANTA. WE EXPECT A FREEBIE IN OUR HANDS STAT. PAY UP, BITCHEZZZ! WOO-HAA! WOO-HAA! I GOT YOU ALL IN CHECK! AND YOU KNOW I GOT THE CAR UPSIDE DOWN TO BREAK YA NECK!….

The V-6 emits a decent rasp as you lay into it it on the doorhandle. It’s one of the better 60-degree V-6 sounds out there, considering how hard it is to make that type of engine sound good…

In the meantime, CUE is very good. It’s like having an iPad in your dash, and anyone comfortable with an iPhone or Droid will find it familiar. You know how you can work an iPhone upside down? CUE doesn’t do that. The controls are touch-sensitive and generally quick to react, especially on the screen. Controls on the faceplate, like the temperature, require a more deliberate poke to avoid picking up every accidental brush or leaf, but delays and missed commands can be frustrating. To avoid glitches, push and hold, or train yourself to slow down and wait half a tick for the slight vibration of the haptic feedback, signaling that your touch has been recognized. Also, you need to touch the black above the little metal accents, not the accents themselves, as that’s where the sensor actually is… Not only has Cadillac finally upgraded its HUD as I’ve been begging it too, but it’s actually outdone BMW by making it more adjustable and offering more information.

…The front seats offer a good compromise of comfort and sportiness, though I could do with more side bolstering. It would have done a better job of keeping me in the car when I had that thang UPSIDE DOWN, YO.

..In all, then, the new Cadillac ATS is a very, very good car. But is it better than the 3 Series? The honest answer is…I don’t know yet. We’ll need to have our perinea tickled by PR reps from both companies, complete with some extra hotel stays and another free car for Jonny Lieberman to passive-aggressively moan about being forced to drive for free. Despite driving them less than 24 hours apart, I just can’t say without driving them directly back-to-back. FACE TO FACE, AND BACK TO BACK, THE TREES WILL FEEL, MY CRASH ATTACK! Both cars ride, drive, and handle exceptionally well, offer a deluge of technology and sport top-notch materials and build quality. To say that the ATS is as good as 3 Series is a grand compliment by itself, but determining which car is better will have to wait for the inevitable comparison test. It’s gonna be a nail-biter. Especially if you’re the hapless GM functionary assigned to tossing my salad while I decide what kind of damage I’m going to inflict on your property.

I hope you’ve found this annotated review slightly easier to swallow than the original one. By boosting the truth content while reducing the amount of press-release regurgitation, we’ve come up with a creamy smooth mix that rides like the Cadillac ATS’s Nurburgring-tuned suspension! See you next time!

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82 Comments on “The Motor Trend Test Of The Cadillac ATS Which Fails To Mention They Crashed It For No Good Reason, Suitably And Mean-Spiritedly Annotated For Your Reading Pleasure...”

  • avatar

    Enough already. An autojourno crashed a Caddy. We got it the first time around.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree. It seems like the story could be reported without being so virulent. On a related note, here is the commenting policy:

      Does this one, “When commenting, picture yourself being invited to a dinner party” apply to us but not to article authors?

      Although I don’t see comments by Scott Evans here, I guess he is sort of a commenter elsewhere. Does “No personal attacks on other commenters or TTAC authors” apply to people that don’t post here?

      To his credit, Jack didn’t use the m word but he does imply the original author is the i word. They mean pretty much the same thing.

      • 0 avatar

        Although he isn’t part of the site anymore, Ed and Bertel seem to have kept the same basic rules that Farago laid out several years ago.

        Farago covered the editorial tone versus commenting content issue back in 2007. And again in 2009. Basically, the commenting policy does not extend to the authors that post articles.

        Generally, the “no personal attacks on other commenters” rule has only applied to other TTAC commenters. Although I’m sure if you wrote a totally crazy rant about someone from another site it might catch the eyes of a moderator.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think the issue is somebody flipped an ATS. It’s that they wrote a scathing review of said ATS in what can be described as being potentially bias, and failed to mention how stupid they were when they drove the ATS.

      If we can’t trust a publication to be open and honest, if not actually be intelligent enough to drive a car, and if they profess their love in such an annoying and near obviously biased way (like C&D’s b*ner for the Honda Accord despite pretty much every competitor being BETTER th an it, for example) then why not make fun of how stupid they are?

      Motor Trend is garbage. I haven’t read an issue in years, and after reading about this type of sh*t I’m reminded why.

      Paper is a dead art form. When MT goes under, and they WILL go under, I will throw a party in celebration.

      • 0 avatar

        “It’s that they wrote a scathing review of said ATS in what can be described as being potentially bias[sic]”

        “..In all, then, the new Cadillac ATS is a very, very good car. But is it better than the 3 Series? The honest answer is…I don’t know yet.”

        That’s some scathing stuff right there!

      • 0 avatar


        It’s MIND BLOWING that any rational person could NOT- at the very least- recognize and admit that leaving out mention of the fact that the auto “journalist” who drove the ATS and wrote this review of it happened to end up inside down in it in the woods is at least somewhat relevant and noteworthy.

        As far as Jack’s angle in terms of writing his rant, people are free to enjoy it, dislike it, laugh at it or laugh along with it, but it neatly fits into a general theme and under a more general point that Jack has been hammering home for a while now (and that I happen to agree with):

        The business model of purporting to provide objective reviews of motor vehicles that depends on the generosity and/or control of the manufacturers of the same motor vehicles being “reviewed” (who also happen to provide another core source of revenue by way of advertisement) is inherently flawed if the goal is to give the end consumers and buyers of the vehicles being reviewed full and complete objective information upon which they can or should base their purchase decision.

      • 0 avatar


        I agree.

        If Audi wants to fly me to Germany and have me “review” a loaded Q5 while staying in a nice hotel and drinking free booze, I’ll be sure to be impartial, honest!!

      • 0 avatar

        I appreciate the feedback, even that which disagrees with some or even all the points I tried to clearly make.

        I’m really not picking on GM or the Cadillac ATS in this particular case (although I made my dislike of the ATS- which is similar to my dislike for the new BMW 3 series- strongly known in Michael Karesh’s review).

        This is the fault of the driver, and not the car, based on the admittedly scant information provided regarding the accident- it appears that almost any vehicle would have pretty much reacted the same way or even worse when driven off a hill into a steep drop off).

        I’m picking on what I perceive to be the sickening nepotism between the mainstream auto rags and the industry whose products that they pretend to objectively critique, which has been reduced to a sick joke of a formula guaranteed to churn out boilerplate praise for just about any vehicle reviewed, no matter how awful.

        To be fair, I need to do a better job restraining by impulsive snark regarding new cars I’ve not yet had the chance to drive or even see in the flesh.

      • 0 avatar


        MT is pure crap anymore. Automobile is marginally better. Now if we can only get them all to stop screaming and throwing their panties everytime someone says, “Hybrid drivetrain,” we’d be getting somewhere.

        Let me know when the party starts. I’ll bring the strippers.

    • 0 avatar
      Saintly Brees

      I agree with Giddyhitch. This is now boring. Lets move on to something more interesting…

      • 0 avatar

        Deadweight has it right. I recently saw a “Top Gear” episode where the comparison was a CTS-V, a ZR vette, and Chrysler wouldn’t give them a Charger because of “the way we complained about their cars in the past”. They bought one, so they claim, and the test continued.

        When the going got twisty, the Chevy products where right there, whereas the Chrysler was a “classic musclecar”……

        We all know the score. Want to know what is wrong with a car ? Wait till it is replaced and then “the shifter, rubbery, was fixed, and the awful lack of lumbar support is addressed in the new sport seats”, along with the “agricultural engine”…..all of which existed from the first test. Check out what was said about the Mercedes four cylinder engine….but only in later tests…Expect to see complaints about the 328i 4 cylinder in a few years, but not today….I want to go to Germany and drive the autobahn on BMW’s euro……

    • 0 avatar

      Thank you for citing those articles ajla, I was not familiar with them. I suppose the editorial content vs. comment policy explains things — certainly the answers to my questions, but I’m not wholly convinced it excuses them.

  • avatar

    Very amusing and I understand why you (or us) don’t trust most auto reviews. Do you trust TTAC’s own Michael Karesh who had a review that could have been classed as “glowing”?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I trust my own impressions of the car, which I’ll have to obtain at the rental counter. TTAC is a diverse, broad-based spectrum of capabilities, loyalties, and opinions. That’s one of the things that makes the site useful: we don’t speak with a single voice.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed – I look forward to your review (and comparison with other cars if possible).

      • 0 avatar

        An MT writer had the guts to test the rollover performance of a car by driving it into a ditch (at a totally controlled speed) on purpose – now that’s real auto journalism! He did it for us, the humble reader, but you just made fun of him. Of course he left the crash out of the original article – he didn’t want to come across as a braggadocio. You could learn something from him.

        Jack, go hit up the boys at Hertz, pay the loss and damage waiver and let us know how the car holds up in 40 mph head on collision with a wall. Cadillac claims the car offers “occupant protection” but let’s not take their word for it. It’s all in the name of journalism, so nobody will accuse you of trying to outdo Cole Trickle over there at MT.

      • 0 avatar

        Trust nobody.
        Read reviews…but verify!
        Get off your ass and test drive…then test drive again.

        Take your time.
        Test driving is FUN. So do your own research and decide what car is good for YOU.

        Besides…after a year, all those reviewers that said nice things suddenly are memory dead and saying less positive things about a car they talked some poor idiots into buying when it was first reviewed.

        One week the cr is on top of a best in class list..then suddenly it sits at number 8!

        Put your rear into the seat and test it. And bring along others to get rear seat remarks.

      • 0 avatar

        Test driving is generally not “fun” at least from my experience. Most salesmen insist on riding along blabbering about the features the whole time and get nervous when you try to let the car stretch it’s legs. Anything that involves having to talk to a car salesmen automatically disqualifies it from being fun.

  • avatar

    Tumblr, Jack. Or Facebook.

    But not TTAC.

  • avatar

    ummm, actually, there is a whole write-up about his ‘moment’… after the specs, of course:

    Maybe Bertel needs to have a Great Lies of Autoblogs segment for you, too…

    that being said, this is hilarious…

  • avatar

    LMFAO!! Classic!!

  • avatar

    If you define “miserable failure” as “not beating the venerable 3-Series in sales in its first year of existence”, then everything model in the compact sport/luxury sedan segment is a miserable failure.

    If you define “miserable failure” as “not being a 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special Talisman”, I offer this quote from the hippie junkyard guy on The Simpsons: “Sounds like…someone’s livin’ in the past! CONTEMPORIZE, MAAAAAN!”

    Still, loved the annotations!

  • avatar

    Sometimes when I get up of a morn, I feel the need to diss the world, due to my superior intellect and understanding, and everyone else’s lack of insight into what truly matters. I try to stave off the impulse to write a 21 page essay to the prime minister of my country, pointing out his intellectual and managerial shortcomings, and so far have succeeded.

    Instead, I therefore shuffle-steered to work, and when the noon-hour break came, decided to not read another TTAC prose assassination of the competition, yet leave these digital token wordsthat I indeed pulled up the page to gaze upon its contents in an overall way, before deciding other more urgent and pressing affairs needed my full attention.

  • avatar

    As I got into the annotated article, I expected it to be juvenile, mean spirited and humorless. Instead it was juvenile, mean spirited and hilarious.

    • 0 avatar

      Funny, my impressions were exactly the opposite.

      Well, that’s actually a lie.

      I wasn’t expecting it to be funny in the first place.

      To each his own, I suppose. But honestly, is this really TTAC-caliber writing? I believe it was misplaced from the YouTube comments section.

      I do agree with one point: the original Motor Trend “review” was absolutely the most pointless bit of “professional” writing I believe I’ve ever read. It was literally a template with BRAND-X and MODEL-X Cntrl-F auto-replaced. Anyone could have written it without even seeing the car or knowing what brand, year, or model it was. There wasn’t a single letter of actual insight in the whole lot.

      • 0 avatar

        To be fair, cars are becoming so alike I can imagine writing a fresh review for everything being a challenge.

        Back in the day cars were actually distinct. E30 M3? 1st gen Taurus SHO? B13 Sentra SE-R? Integra Type-R? What preceded these kinds of cars? The journalism was obviously better, but the stories kind of wrote themselves.

        Now here you have a Caddy that’s literally built in the image of the 3 series. There’s nothing wrong with it, but on the flip side while I’m sure it’s incredibly competent there’s nothing that seems too distinctive about it either. Take away the A&S styling and this could have come from anybody… Hyundai even (albeit at a much lower price point). So the ATS flipper is still a douchebag, and auto journalists def aren’t what they used to be (case in point… Jack Baruth!!!!), but I would def have rather been a journo 20 years ago than today. Seems like its a whole different ballgame, w/cars and companies not really making for good copy.

  • avatar

    I found a top secret article where Scott Evans admits flipping the ATS! Link is pretty hard to find, but if you click on the top result, its about 2/3 down the page:

    • 0 avatar

      He even admits it as a side to the very article that Jack mentions. (Scroll past the specs, it’s hard to miss).

      • 0 avatar

        Jack probably saw that part of the article, and I was just unable to grasp the sarcasm of his article.

        EDIT: It also just occurred to me that Scott may have edited and added his confession after Jack read the article

    • 0 avatar

      To be filed under the heading – “blame it on the roadway”.

      Scott Evans must be a city boy from West Los Angeles, with no clue to stay off the Georgia clay – which would mean keeping the tires on the road.

    • 0 avatar

      erikgrad, I might have agreed that Jack may have read the ATS review prior to MT posting the “flip” article. But since the flip article has been up for 2 days, Jack’s story should have either been posted first thing Monday morning (when possibly there was no MT story about the flip) or tossed into the trash bin. Because for 2 days, at least since Monday afternoon, MT has had the story posted IMMEDIATELY after the review.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        There’s all sorts of back and forth going on about this right now. I didn’t see it when I read the story. A few MT commenters noted that there was nothing about the crash. A sidebar appeared at some point. We will see if that sidebar makes it into print.

      • 0 avatar

        Always get a screenshot Jack. Short of getting the web page source and modifying it yourself, the screenshot would have shown whether it was there or not.

        Google cache shows the text at the bottom for a date of
        Jul 23, 2012 08:43:00 GMT

  • avatar

    I laughed out loud literally 4 times in my office. Thanks for the article Jack.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Now that you’ve got that out of your system, Jack, we hope you’ll get back to some real writing….

    We agree: Motor Trend is a worthless rag. Scott Evans is a hack writer who has sold what’s left of his soul to GM. And the ATS is incapable of being favorably compared to Herr Dreier. We get it.

    Now that you’ve indulged in your little snark-fest, can we get back to something informative? Thanks.

  • avatar

    “The ATS was presented as a true BMW 3 Series competitor, and was benchmarked against what Cadillac says is the best 3 Series ever, the E46.”

    Do they want to simply develop a 3-series competitor, or something that beats the 3 at its own game? The real win comes when your car becomes the benchmark. You don’t get there by copying and pasting, nor through cheesy, empty advertising like “the new Standard of the World”. Using something else as the benchmark automatically puts you in 2nd place. Though I suppose if you fund enough magazine reviews over a long period, you might eventually gain the “benchmark” standard.

    • 0 avatar

      exactly! i read that and thought they benchmarked a 13 year old car, Ok. that’s what we are going for? granted, it is a great 12 year old car but still it’s an old car. how about a fresher car hell try to be an audi

  • avatar

    Maybe when Motor Trend finally went under, Scott Evans can join Mr. Assad of Syria and his cadre of spin doctors. Better hurry, though, that opportunity is closing fast.

  • avatar

    Maybe Motor Trend should simply publish Jack’s revised version. i’m sure their dying readership numbers (or perhaps dying readership) would certainly increase. (^_^).


  • avatar

    It’s interesting how much you have invested in Cadillac, Jack. I just read the “miserable failure” article you linked to, and you have quite a lot to say about the direction the company is taking. I remember you being amusingly dismissive of Jalopnik’s fire and brimstone take on Lotus’ recent direction, but I guess that is what cars do to us. We all have our more passionate areas.

  • avatar

    LOL! That was harsh!

  • avatar

    YAWN! …another story about how great we (i) am and how everyone else sucks. It’s really getting tiresome.

  • avatar

    Yeah, this is dumb. I didn’t laugh even a single time. The guy flipped a car and didn’t tell. So? I dislike biased car reviews as much as the next person, so I do agree with all the hate directed at MT. I HATED MotorTrend myself, and for that reason stopped subscribing. Fine.

    However, this just took it a bit too far. How many times can you point to the fact that he flipped the car and still expect to get a laugh? I usually like Baruth’s writing, because usually it DOES make me laugh. Oh well, I guess you can’t win ’em all.

  • avatar

    Here we go again…..

    “Note: It appears that after some complaints from MT online readers, a section about the crash was added at the bottom of the page, after the advertising.”

    I read the article Monday afternoon. Perhaps I need to spend more time in my mom’s basement on Sunday midnights anxiously clicking until a new article pops up, just so i can complain about it. Instead I read the article about the crash immediately following the review, and i thought nothing of it. Why would the review of the car include the info of the flip? The author stated the ACCIDENT had nothing to do with the car.

    I always thought when you don’t like an article, you comment on it (much as we used to write letters to the editor). I didn’t know that concerns about magazine stories required a beatdown on an entirely different site. But that seems to be the TTAC way these days.

    Honestly, this is such a non story. But it’s sure another chance for the snarks at TMZ…err….TTAC to come out.

  • avatar

    Is there really even a need for this post beyond self satisfaction? There was a lovely post a few day back about proper discourse in the comments and what would get posters banned. You’d wonder why the site would even need a post like that… until you read posts like this one that are part of the problem, if not the source.

    Jack, your track day review posts are perfect and brilliant. your miscellaneous vitriol like this is childish and pedantic. Your good posts would carry far more weight if not for ones like these.

    • 0 avatar

      Long live childish and pedantic! Hilarious article. Great job Jack.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, there is a serious need for this post.

      An unchecked media becomes a propaganda machine. In the auto world, this is fairly harmless except when people might buy unsafe or poor quality cars. But in the real world, just look at the media output of the old Soviet Union (Tass, Pravda), or today’s China and North Korea. The hapless North Korean people believe an attack by the West is always imminent, thanks to an unchecked media there.

      So slanted, deceptive journalism needs to be called out, and satire is an effective way to do it. Such writing has been a mainstay in the US since the 1700’s, when writers and politicians made fun of each other all the time, sometimes viciously. Jack’s piece here is harmless.

      If someone is going to drop $45k on a car, they at least should know that the MT review on the vehicle is slanted, and why (due to the intertwined media/mfr complex). As a result, I’d say that while it may have been ‘self-servingly’ entertaining to write, it really serves the consumer and the higher value of ethical journalism even more.

  • avatar

    This would be a good place to consider the beatdown of mainstream autojournalism DONE. Mission accomplished.

    Back to the task of creating something better.

  • avatar

    Is this the forum where I can self-righteously cry because someone made a funny?

  • avatar

    I suppose your post would be good if it was actually funny. I wish I could say I at least got a chuckle, but no, not even that.

  • avatar
    Oren Weizman

    I laughed hard !

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Big thumbs up for the Billy Idol allusion–
    Crash for Fantasy!

  • avatar

    The twelve-year-old in my laughed its ass off.

    The critical thinker in me agreed with every serious point Jack made.

    The (nascent) old curmudgeon in me wished Jack had stated all of this is a slightly more mature fashion. A number of people will dismiss everything Jack typed simply because he said it in such a puerile way.

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel


    Just hilarious and living in a world where you risk getting shot in a movie theater, much appreciated! As evidenced by the negative posts there are A LOT of stiffs on this site. If I could figure out how to fart on a message board, I would.

  • avatar
    Mark in Maine

    I enjoyed the article very much, Jack – I think your “edits” made it a lot more readable (as well as entertaining). I also liked the shout-out to “High Flight”, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to go read up on “haptic feedback” . . .

  • avatar
    George B

    I hope lots of people lease the ATS. I’d be interested in a used one. Imagine a competent sports sedan priced like a used Cadillac with cheap parts available at GM dealers everywhere. Just remember to check the Carfax for signs of press fleet damage.

  • avatar

    Jack Baruth promised extremely juvenile changes (to Scott Evans’ piece), and he delivered.

    I love a good rant, and this was a very good rant. To each his own.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Can we get an editor here?

    I read the MT article, and the sidebar about the crash, on Monday, on-line. I have no idea what’s in the print magazine.

    In fact, because apparently a bunch of auto journos were invited to drive this car, there is a batch of reviews that popped up on the magazine websites on Monday. Interestingly, their comments were pretty much in line with each other: the 2.5 liter base engine is a throwaway that should not have been offered on this car, the 2 liter turbocharged engine and the V-6 are not paragons of smoothness in the higher rpm ranges. The steering is good but not great. The back seat is usable, but not comfortable; and the front seats could stand to have more side bolstering.

    As an aside, I think it’s unreasonable to expect that a car sold in the U.S. for street use — where the maximum speed limit is 80 mph — have brakes that will stand up to track use for more than a few hard laps. That’s really asking someone to pay for a capability that they will never use. If someone offers a “track package” as is available for some models of the Mustang, then fine — it should work on a track.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      ” Interestingly, their comments were pretty much in line with each other: ”

      There’s a reason for that… the comments are based on the “real scoop” the PR people feed them at dinner. And it goes a little something like this.

      “Bob, we can’t fool you. You’re too good a journalist. We both know that four-cylinder has canine testicles bouncing on its lips. But the turbo, hey, that’s a winner, right? Nod along with me! Hey! Let’s get another round of the Macallan over here!”

    • 0 avatar

      +1 re: brakes.

      Furthermore, is it really true that the 2.5 is such a throwaway? I drive a car that does 0-60 in the high 9s or low 10s; it’s more than fast enough to keep up with traffic. The only area I feel it’s lacking is if I’m passing someone on a two-lane state or county road. The cars I’ve owned that do 0-60 in the 7s and 8s didn’t have that problem. (The 0-60 figure I’ve been reading for the ATS with the 2.5 is mid 7s.) I’ve owned one car that could do 0-60 in the 6s. It was fun to have that power in reserve, but I certainly didn’t *need* it. Were I looking at the ATS, the 2.5 likely would be my engine of choice based on cost and adequate straight line performance.

      If there’s a NVH issue, that’s another problem, but a problem probably shared by the entire market sub-segment save for the IS 250 and G25.

      I don’t mean to argue specifically for the 2.5 in the ATS so much as to complain generally that most journalists focus on one trim level and powertrain for a given car, usually ignoring real world conditions and operating costs.

      What is disappointing to me about this car is that the 2.0 turbo and 3.6 V6 only come with run-flat tires. A friend has a 3-series, and the run-flats are his biggest gripe about the car.

  • avatar


    How DARE you write this article, then POST IT, then FORCE US ALL TO READ IT! And to do it without even the slightest indication that it is anything other than the hard-nosed, no nonsense journalism you’re known for! Heck, I didn’t even know it was a Jack Baruth article before you forced me to read it. Based on the title, the preview on the main page, and Byline, I thought for sure it was a Bertel piece regarding inventory levels of faulty fuel lines at striking manufacturing plants in Outer Mongolia. Only when my mouse moved itself over the jump link, and clicked itself, I knew for sure this was some kind of underhanded trick to increase your clicks.

    This underhanded click-whoring is not worthy of you Jack, or this site. You owe me the dollars my employer spent on me reading the article and writing a response, notwithstanding the cost of data transmission and electricity to power the computer.

    • 0 avatar

      Gee, Feds. You pretty much summed up the complainers’ issues. Why they all so hissed off? They have orders in or what?

      • 0 avatar

        It genuinely makes me wonder if they’re paid shills from MT. It’s ridiculous. It’s like saying “I consistently do not like your articles but I continue to come back and read them and complain!” I mean, hell if you don’t want in depth behind the scenes stuff autoblog is right around the corner.

  • avatar

    The ATS will hardly be a miserable failure.

    Let’s hope Baruth doesn’t make a major mistake like flipping a car, or getting a story completely wrong, lest other publications react in this same “can’t let it go” type of way.

    I much preferred Road & Track’s subtle acknowledgement of the flipping incident that was just as funny but much more classy:

    “Our drive route took us from Atlanta to the hilly base of the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlanta Motorsports Park, a private road course designed by Hermann Tilke. Naturally we cooled it on the way there, as it would be silly to stuff one of these new Cadillacs on a public road.”

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Of course I will eventually make a mistake somewhere. The difference is I won’t lie to TTAC readers about it.

      As you’ll see next week, I was recently a full four seconds off the pace in a CTCC race, most of it being my fault. Going that slowly is the equivalent of crashing for me, humiliation-wise, and I will lay it all out plainly and honestly.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryan Paradis

        I can’t decide if Evans’ piece is a sin of omission, or a sin of commission.

      • 0 avatar

        The difference being that you’re a nobody writing for what is effectively an overgrown blog. No one is going to bother talking shit about you.

      • 0 avatar

        smokingclutch, I may be misunderstanding your message, but if not, I think you’re behind the curve in terms of how the far flung and entropic iNterWebz has given birth to a healthy child of alternate media, some (not all – it runs the gamut) of which actually does a consistently superior job of conveying far more accurate and less biased/skewed/warped information to its readership base than any Main Stream or Popular Media has ever done.

        I see a surge in this trend. We’ve only just begun to see the popular press called to the carpet for being pathetic and lazy proxy puppets of whomever is fueling the payroll.

        We’re in the top of the 1st inning and massive damage to the (dis)repute of the Main and Quite Lame Stream Media is accruing fast and heavy.

  • avatar
    LBJs Love Child

    So, in between writing articles full of praise for GM’s (well, Chinese Delco’s) magnetic suspension, just how many GM cars equipped with it have auto journalists crashed now? Four? Five? More?

  • avatar

    I noticed a Busta Rhymes reference… That made my day.

  • avatar

    Awesome. The Motor Trend Piece is ridiculous, and deserves it.

    Jack, what do you think is really stopping him from fessing up and apologizing? Wouldn’t that make the magazine, and a glowing review, better?

    Or are they too myopic to see that?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      It’s simple: they believe they are above having to apologize.

      The reason I’m harping on this crash so much is because there were NO consequences for anyone. Not for Evans, not for MT, not even for Cadillac, which received a glowing review in exchange for adding a $10,000 repair bill to the several thousand dollars it already takes to bring a journo to an event.

      The only loser — the only individual to receive a penalty — is the buyer, who is deprived of honest information on the car.

  • avatar

    “Cadillac says is the best 3 Series ever, the E46”

    OK, so some autojourno wrecked a car. Since I’ve never read anything by “The Stig”, I’ll assume that driving and writing don’t go together in any required form.

    I want to know more about why/how Caddy used the E46 as the target car, not the E90, or the numb-steer F30.

  • avatar

    So did the MT “review” go into detail about the air-bag deployment in the ATS? The “reviewer” is uber qualified on that issue. Jack, that was a super piece, roaringly funny, and well written. This is why I never in my life subscribed to MT – and why I am a born-again TTAC reader. Thanks!

  • avatar

    There always has to be a watchdog. A counteracting force that keeps the rest in line or at least mindful that there are consequences. While the case may be that the MT scribe was being a hoon, had he not been called out then what incentive would there have been to fess up? An incident like this surely needed to be disclosed in any writeup of the car.

    Has JB latched onto Evan’s ball sac a bit too aggressively? Maybe, but I’d rather have more of this Fight Club attitude in the auto biz even if it lends itself to some uncomfortable moments in the manufacturer provided shuttle bus.

    As a former auto writer, I always enjoyed these junkets. Who wouldn’t like a chance to get away, hobnob with fellow car lovers, drink excessively and drive nice, new shiny cars. My number one goal when driving on public roads was ALWAYS to keep well within my abilities. If I felt a given speed was 10/10ths for the situation, I’d go 8/10ths. I owed it to my family, the guy or gal in the car with me and the manufacturer not to do anything more in that car. If I got the car for a week’s evaluation, I could then drive it more aggressively on roads I know well.

    Full disclosure: I know JB in passing from past automotive adventures but would not be able to pick out Evan’s from a lineup of zombie apocalypse face eaters.

  • avatar

    “There is unrest in the forest; there is trouble with the trees!”

    Nice Rush quote there in the floating photo caption.

  • avatar

    Hah, TTAC – Mad Libs edition!

  • avatar

    people commenting that jack went too far probably have tons of their own embarrassing accidents.

    thou doth protest too much, methinks

  • avatar

    Stuff like this will end up causing restrictions to be put on auto Journalists.

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