By on February 11, 2015

ATS_FS_sml

User carguy gives his take on the Cadillac ATS

Few cars have been the subject of so much lively debate among TTAC readers than those made by Cadillac – and no more has been more polarizing than the ATS. As it happens, I have been driving one of these controversial machines for the past 15,000 miles and thought I’d pen an objective, non-hyperbolic retrospective about owning this car before I bid farewell to it next month. While it would be easy to argue that the Internet doesn’t need another ATS review (and it really doesn’t) my words here are not really intended to be a traditional review. I promise you that I will not to expose you to my views about the latest iteration of the art and science design school or any musings about track performance numbers. No, today I will break all the automotive press rules and share with you what it was like to actually own this car: what was good, what was OK and what was infuriating. Sounds exciting, right? No? OK I’ll promise to keep it light so hear me out and then feel free to throw rotten tomatoes at my views in the comments section.

So what made a middle age car freak and 4 times BMW owner like me buy an ATS to begin with? Was it the petite 10 cu ft trunk or just the realization that I am now old enough to own one? Neither really. Having found the current F30 3 series to be dead from the waist down and the IS350 with the non-F suspension not much better, I headed to my local Cadillac dealer in the hope of finding a daily driver that was fun in the curves and with an engine slightly more reliable than the N54 in my previous 335. I found a nice-priced Luxury trim ATS with Nav and sunroof to be just the ticket. Fast forward 14 months, here is the good, the OK and the ugly.

The Good
You will not be surprised to hear that the ATS’s party trick is its chassis. In luxury trim it is a delightful blend of responsiveness and comfort that is currently unmatched in this segment. It dances in ways that most German manufacturers can only reminisce about and the steering complements this with precision, feedback and an eager turn in that provides for smiles even during slow speed grocery runs. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the “Brembo” markings on the brakes are any indication of track readiness (it is more of a co-branding exercise) but they are fantastic for street use, providing linear and progressive feel and none of the overly grabby bite that many BMWs exhibit. I will spare you further “this car drives really well” clichés with a note that the sports suspension in the “Performance” trim was too firm for me and that the magnetic suspension in the Premium trim was fabulous but also ridiculously priced.

To my eyes the interior is also better than anything you will get at the high 30s price range that most ATS’s sell for. No materials are fake and, to me, it feels special and luxurious in ways that Acura will never quite understand. No rattles developed in my car nor did I notice any in the abused ATS rentals that I have also driven. Even the controversial retro cluster gauges grew on me. It may lack visual wow factor but it makes up for it with no-BS day and night clarify and an easy to configure 3-part LCD panel. Configure the large center LCD to show the speed and you wonder why heads-up displays are even an option.

Likewise, the outward visibility is a pleasant surprise. When adjusted correctly, the large side mirrors offer an excellent view either side of the car that makes for confident lane changes even in crowded traffic. That may not seem like such a big deal to you but after having to deal with the postage stamp size aerodynamic sports mirrors on my previous BMW it seemed like a magnificent feature. The high trunk line does limit the rear view but it is adequately augmented by a clear wide angle backup camera.

The OK
Out of the three engine choices you’ll find the V6 simply too heavy for the front end and the 2.5 liter entry level mill wheezy and less refined than most agricultural machinery. The 2.0T was the clear choice for me delivering smooth acceleration while maintaining the car’s light feel. It delivers great low RPM torque and makes the car feel quick in town but becomes a little disappointing nearer the top of the rev gauge. The engine is not as good as BMW’s N20 but on par with what Audi is offering in the A3 and A4 much better than the dreadful 1.8T Mercedes used to put in the C250. Fuel economy is average with about 32 MPG at 75 MPH highway speeds and 20 MPG in town (my 15K mile average was 25 MPG). A driveline quirk is the complete absence of any engine braking but a real downer, for anyone with a short commute, is engine efficiency after a cold start. All cars struggle when they are cold but there seems to be no excuse for the 2.0T seems to drink like a V8 for about 5-7 miles of the morning commute.

There is also nothing remarkable about the GM 6-speed auto. It can’t match the ZF 8-speed in the BMW for shift speed and smoothness but it is eager to downshift and never had me really wishing for anything better. It may not be the newest piece of technology but I would choose it over the Mercedes dual clutch setup in the CLA every day of the week. It will also most likely still work well when most dual clutch transmission are already at a metal recycling facility.

You don’t read much about paint quality in auto reviews but I always thought it an essential differentiating factor for cars that claim luxury status. The ATS gets a mixed review here for having a smooth hard clear coat but suffering from thin paint – an undesirable weight saving trend in many modern cars. Expect stone ships to get through to the undercoat which is not a good look on a black car.

Also firmly in the “meh” category is the Nav system. On the upside this option is a bargain price when compared to the European competition and it does have a nice 8” display. However, it is very slow and has a frustrating search function that insists you spell everything 100% correctly or it will simply not find what you’re looking for. The software is also third party so if you want bugs fixed you will have to pony up $150 for a map and software upgrade. In the mid 30k price range this might be barely acceptable but anyone finding this unit in a $70K CTS V-Sport will not be pleased.

The Ugly
He’s going to talk about CUE! Not so fast. The ugly actually starts before you even buy the car and are pondering the options list, which is clearly the product of a near government size bureaucracy. The available top three trims Luxury, Performance & Premium are not so much option packs as different suspensions with ever increasing standard and optional equipment as you move up. So you want HID headlights? You will also need to buy the hard-as-rock suspension as they are only available in Performance trim or higher. Want a heads-up display? Clearly you will also need that firm sports suspension. Whoever thought that bundling common features with arbitrary suspension packages was a good idea needs to lose their “employee of the month” parking spot. Considering how easy it would have been to copy the European brands successful (and profitable) option packages, this craziness really is an unforced error.

So let’s talk about CUE but before we do, let’s get something clear: the disadvantages of having touch-screen only controls are obvious and I knew this when I bought the car. I also knew the system was a little slow. What I didn’t know was just how many glitches were still hiding in every corner of this complex system. Starting with annoying audio system habits like forgetting the track you were on when you restart the car (I have heard way too much of my music collection that starts with an “A”) to outright crashing at random, events such starting or ending a phone call using Bluetooth.

Then there is the HVAC system. Built on the premise that its automatic mode will take care of everything from temperature to humidity, clearly the designers saw no need for much in the way of manual controls. However, if you don’t like what the automatic system has decided to do then you are in for a frustrating time. For example, if you have the audacity to want to turn off the AC compressor when it is cold out it will blast you with hot air until you sweat even though the temperature is set to 70. Why not just turn off the fans you say? Unless you put the system in recycle it will still let air through the vents by air forced in from the outside when you’re doing more than 60 MPH even when the fans are off. Other HVAC highlights feature a de-misting function which, in humid Florida, will fog up your windscreen in seconds by blasting it with super cold air. And just to drive home the folly of “automatic or nothing” systems, things then went into comedy overdrive when an HVAC temperature sensor failed late last year and the system acted like it was possessed. I will spare you the sweaty details of the mobile sauna that this fault turned my car into, but it suffices to say that I was thankful for small mercies as it was winter and the electric windows worked just fine.

The story of the rest of the electronics unfortunately doesn’t get much better. Sometimes the door handle lock buttons refuse to work until you either us the fob or open and close the door again. Once the system got so confused it would lock from either the fob or the door buttons. I had to park the car outside my office window and wait for the ECU to go to sleep until normal locking functionality returned. Then there are minor fails like placing the outside temperature sensor clearly way too close to parts of the car that get hot during normal use, resulting in hilariously inflated readings. If you don’t believe in global warming now, you will after owning an ATS.

Then there was the ugliest of glitches that prevented the electronics from entering sleep mode when the car is turned off and completely draining the battery overnight. Fortunately that only happed a few times but, like most of its glitches, was also impossible to reproduce for diagnostic purposes. However, once you find yourself having to share your 10 cu ft trunk of your new car with a jump start batter pack, you know it’s time to cut your losses.

So by now you may have figured out that I did have few visits to the dealer and may be wondering how that experience was. You dealer mileage may vary but mine was extremely friendly and helpful and always fixed what they could. Unfortunately dealers simply can’t do much to fix broken computer code or poor design. They were also not helped the fact that the pace of software updates seems to have slowed to a trickle. I am guessing those GM developers are busy working on new system.

So where does that leave my feelings about owning the ATS? Part of me is encouraged that GM has the engineering prowess to turn out a new platform that, in its first iteration, is better than most of what European premium brands can manage. The other feeling is dismay in that they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by cursing this car with a crazy half-baked set of electrics. It’s an old-school RWD sports sedan – all it needed was the old-school reliable system from the Impala or Malibu and it would have been the best compact sport sedan you could buy. Instead I am left pondering an expensive mistake while I wait for my BMW 2-series to arrive.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

238 Comments on “Reader Review: 2014 Cadillac ATS...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Wait, let me get some popcorn and a chair…

    Ok, ready

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @ Lie2me..Good idea with the popcorn. I’ll give it another 50 comments, and I will crack a beer.

    • 0 avatar
      NVHGuru

      I completely agree with this review. I have 20,000 miles on my ATS 2.0T and I would trade it in for a Golf GTi in a heartbeat. The basic body and chassis are close to being competitive, but the interior and electronics are a huge letdown.

      The interior quality of the Golf is so much better – higher quality, solid feel and logical controls. I recently drove a BMW 320D in Europe and felt more at home operating iDrive in 5 minutes than I do after 2 years with the ATS and CUE. If it was badged as a Buick for $5k less, it would feel more honest.

      • 0 avatar
        Turbo Is Black Magic

        This probably will not make you feel better, but I have 10,000 miles on my MK7 GTI… and it’s still xxxxing awesome!

        • 0 avatar
          NVHGuru

          No it doesn’t ; (
          When I looked at a GTi the lease price for a $28k VW was much more than I’m paying for a $44k Cadillac – but I guess you get what you pay for…

          • 0 avatar
            Upstater

            Compare a dressed up econobox to an ATS ? That’s really a stretch.

            I’m so surprised how critical everyone is to American cars versus European. I was a long time Euro car junkie, and anyone that claims trouble free ownership is either lucky or not driving something of the past decade, or are just in denial.

            The ATS is a great example of an American manufacturer producing a quality product. Yes, on certain road surfaces it’s rough, but the handling/control, structural rigidity and balance cannot be met by a front drive VW Golf. I have a Golf GTI. Like it, but it’s cheap. And I don’t trust the 2.0 will last with the terrible record it and it’s predecessor the 1.9 have.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        A decently spec’d 2015 GTI can be had for around 25k, and will be more refined, more powerful (real world), have a much better manual transmission (if one chooses that route as god intended), WAY better fit/finish/gauges, actual buttons & knobs to control “things,” be roomier with more cargo space, and just be a much better all around experience.

        I’d add the extended b2b warranty, and if one allergic to fwd (even well engineered fwd), pop an extra 8 or 9 G’s for the much more powerful, AWD R spec Golf.

      • 0 avatar

        Darn you 320D unobtanium ! One of the best 3 I have ever driven…and no, I can’t have one !!!

      • 0 avatar
        rushn

        I am driving 320d for the past month and another month left. Coming from Nissan Xterra, sometimes it’s very, very weird. Maybe I should write a review as well :)

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        The Golf is a economy car over the pond.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          No, the Golf is a respected family car in Europe. Cars are a lot more expensive there for most.

          Cadillacs, on the other hand, are regarded as complete trash in Europe.

          So what was your point, Norm?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I saw exactly three in Europe. An Escalade in Nyon, an SRX (gen 1) in Prague, and a 1950ish Deville also in Prague.

  • avatar
    319583076

    This may get ugly…thanks for your review.

    It seems like one feature every *luxury* car maker gets “right” is: minor, seemingly benign failures that spiral into dysfunction and then frustrating, expensive repairs.

    I’ll stick with my Miata.

  • avatar
    michal1980

    Great owner review. Thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      +1, and I admire how objective he managed to keep his tone. Personally, absent a major life change requiring a totally different kind or price of vehicle, I would be infuriated if I felt compelled to unload a brand new car at only 15k. Those are some seriously expensive miles.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        “I would be infuriated if I felt compelled to unload a brand new car at only 15k. Those are some seriously expensive miles.”

        I did go through the usual stages of denial, grief, anger, more anger and waiting for my new car.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      Agreed, nice honest review. I like the reader reviews _much_ better when they are done after the honeymoon wears off. When the car/experience is too new you end up with gushing praise. I’d much rather see them after a year or so of ownership when the little things have started to annoy you (or at least have a follow-up piece later for recent purchases).

  • avatar
    ltcmgm78

    Thanks, carguy! This was a great review. The local Cadillac dealer has a stack of these ATS models. Sounds like I’d pass. SAAB still runs fine. For now. Did I just jinx myself?

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I’d opt for the 2.0T as well. I really want to crank up the boost on one of these f*ckers. Boy was that fun in the LNF equipped cars.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    To Deadweight,

    Fire for effect!

  • avatar

    I’m very happy that Cadillac has made their new cars spacious and luxurious, even at the expense of power.

    #1 The interior quality and materials feel fantastic. The leather and seats feel wonderful – and they’ve finally started making brighter colors for “airy” interiors.

    Ride quality is excellent. Highly isolating, soft, smooth and dead quiet.

    #2 The interior space of the ATS is OK for me to drive, but the CTS and XTS are perfectly huge – both front and back.

    My only problems:

    #1 3.6-L should be standard in the upper trims of the ATS and standard in the CTS. Twin Turbo V6 should be standard in the XTS. All prices – otherwise – feel about $5000 too high.

    #2 C.U.E needs to go. It’s a shame that the system looks more “luxurious” than Uconnect, but works so poorly and slowly.

    #3 All these cars need a seat massager option for the back.

    #4 All these front seats pale in comparison to the powered headrests and footrests of the 2015 C-class.

    Even HYUNDAI has copied the Mercedes’ powered functions.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      “#3 All these cars need a seat massager option for the back.

      #4 All these front seats pale in comparison to the powered headrests and footrests of the 2015 C-class.”

      My wife and I drove an MKS two weeks back. Equipped with the massage seats it is, hands down, the best front seat experience that I’ve had. *Every* car should offer seats like these. Since we spend so much time in our car doing two-to-three hour drives, this has moved the MKS to the top of the list despite any other issues it might have.

      • 0 avatar

        BUNKIE

        Before you say that the MKS was the best seat experience you’ve had, I ask you to either go to your local Mercedes dealer and ask to ride in the W222 S-class, or if you live near NYC, I’ll give you a ride in ours.

        IT’S ABSOLUTELY HEAVEN.

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          I live in NYC. Are you at Silver Star on Northern Boulevard?

          I tested an E350 last year and really liked it. However, there’s no way my wife would go for a German car as there’s too much ugly history on her side of the family.

          The MKS is another car that’s gotten a lot of bad press, but I found it to be comfortable, quiet, reasonably quick (with the 3.7 AWD drivetrain) and we loved the seats and the panoramic moonroof, that’s a real wow feature. What we didn’t like was the $50K price with the goodies we wanted. If we can get a good lease deal, we might end up there.

          Me, I want a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with the 5.7.

          • 0 avatar

            The MKS is maligned because of the bunkerized interior which robs it of a lot of interior space. Dead steering and lazy handling.
            My uncle traded in a loaded 09′ to a loaded 13′. Only improvement was the crappy “SYNC” system which is only slightly better now.
            Ecoboost’s HP gains from the 09′ to 13′ aren’t noticeable, but the torque vectoring in the steering is better.

            If I’m free or out of the office, I’d let you know when…or you can go to Silver Star and just check it out. I business lease from Mercedes Benz Manhattan. We keep them on 2 – 3 year rotations.

            One Black, One silver.

            Check out the ones with the “all White” interior…

            Even the new C-class interior – at $52,000 is amazing.

          • 0 avatar

            The new CTS might be to your wife’s liking if you need something bigger than the ATS.

        • 0 avatar

          BMW sport seats, but not the M versions.

          • 0 avatar
            never_follow

            Best seats ever? URS6 seats with adjustable thigh support. I put a set in my car that looked like frankenstein’s face, and caught shi* from a bunch of people – until they sat in them. Then they understood and wanted to find a set for themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      “I’m very happy that Cadillac has made their new cars spacious and luxurious, even at the expense of power.”

      THEY DON’T. I’ll let this one pass since you must have race fuel grade induced amnesia, but I will remind you that the ATS has less useable interior (especially rear seat) and trunk room than either a Nissan Sentra or VW Jetta/Golf, FFS!

      Before I give my thumbnail sketch of good (two things) & ugly (many, many things), READ CAR GUY’S COMMENTS ON HVAC SYSTEM, ALONE, A D ASK IF YOU’D ACCEPT THIS IN A $21,000 Accord, Fusion, Malibu, or even ANY VEHICLE, including a 16k Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus or Chevy Cruze?

      The good:

      Stiff chassis.
      Decent steering

      The ugly:

      Noisy (not premium or luxurious)

      Stiff, non-premium, Pontiac G6 grade ride quality (not premium or luxurious)

      Pontiac G6 grade gauges SHAME the ATS 1988 era gauge cluster* (see * footnote for comparison of IPs & gauge cluster’s in $20,000 vehicles that shame ATS & CTS)

      Awful automatic transmission (delay, mechanical grittiness)

      HORRID haptic feedback style HVAC controls (that didn’t work properly on my 6500 mile “worn” rental)

      CUE (’nuff said)

      Back seat designed for The Little Couple

      Trunk too small for The Little Couple to fit into

      Shoddy build quality from paint, to interior plastics, to front end fascia that was tearing itself apart

      Extraordinarily rough startup (bad motor mounts? Bad ECU? Plugs/coils?) at 6,500 miles

      2.5 liter in rental was a f**king joke/2.0T liter in tester was still weak & unrefined

      Rental ATS w/all of 6,500 miles was having electronic system, engine management and wear & tear issues I’ve not experienced in another vehicle with less than 70,000 miles on odometer

      Price is asinine (hence the now 9k off sticker – Thanks, Johan, but I wouldn’t touch an ATS – or CTS with now 13k off sticker – with your South African member at any price since these cars have shoddy quality throughout)

      THIS IS NO CADILLAC. CADILLACS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE POWERFUL, STATELY, STRONG, VERY COMFORTABLE, ROOMY, QUIET (WITH WINDOWS UP), LUXURIOUS VEHICLES WITH MAGIC CARPET QUALITY RIDES (Mercedes pulls this off in everything from the C to S Class, as does Chrysler in the 30k 300). This vehicle really is Pontiac Grade, as it was designed to be (ask Bob Lutz).

      People realize that not only is it no Cadillac, but that it should’ve been a Pontiac G6 with associated price tag, WITH A LONG WARRANTY AND BETTER GAUGES (and the CTS could have been a Pontiac G8 with A LONG WARRANTY AND BETTER GAUGES)

      *check this out for comparative purposes:

      2015 VW Golf TSI Gauges (not even GTI, either) – a 20k vehicle:

      http://www.cnet.com/pictures/2015-volkswagen-golf-tsi-tdi-pictures/21/

      2015 Hyundai Sonata Gauges – a 20kish vehicle:

      http://www.auto-classics.com/the-design-and-appearance-of-hyundai-sonata-sport/2015-hyundai-sonata-sport-gauge-cluster

      2006 Pontiac G6 Gauges – a 16k vehicle?:

      http://dealerrevs.com/gallery/46939005.html

      2015 Cadillac ATS Gauges – a 36k to ??? (55k) vehicle?:

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/2013-Cadillac-ATS-3.6-AWD-010.jpg

      Even the 2006 Pontiac G6 Gauges are better.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Who cares what you think, BTSR? Your thoughts are completely irrelevant compared to that of the writer, because you don’t own an ATS, and he does. Your bombastic tripe is of zero value to me, and I suspect, to many others.

      Superb job by Ur-Turn. The best reader review yet.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      “All prices feel about $5000 too high”

      It’s a Cadillac. You will get $5000 off without even trying.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Nnow receiving 9k off MSRP, between manufacturer and dealer incentives, and the Cadillac CTS, which is receiving 13k off MSRP, between manufacturer and dealer incentives, in just the latest attempt to desperately try to sell some – any – of those failed vehicles (you’d pay full MSRP).

        “The failure of the ATS and CTS to hit their targets is costing GM. To kindle demand, Cadillac has offered subsidized leases, discounted financing and rebates. Consumers are being given $4,000 on the 2014 ATS and $6,000 on the 2014 CTS. But some dealers are getting additional subsidies from Cadillac — up to $5,000 more on the 2014 ATS and up to $7,000 more on the 2014 CTS — to help clear out unsold cars.”

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/10/us-gm-cadillac-exclusive-idUSKBN0LE0D220150210

        AND WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

        http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f15/cts-escalade-help-boost-cadillac-u-s-sales-195266/

        Get your $53,100 MSRP CTS Sedan 2.0L Luxury Collection for….wait for it…

        …$28,710 !!!

        Building brand value, great product & efficiently pricing their vehicles; the Cadillac way.

        http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f15/cts-escalade-help-boost-cadillac-u-s-sales-195266/#post4715346

        Go Johan de Zohan! Go Melody CT-Lee!

  • avatar
    bunkie

    Great review.

    I, too, found the driving dynamics of the luxury trim with the 2.0T to be really impressive. To me, this is the sweet spot in this car. Forgo the fancier options get the luxury trim and the 2.0 and have a good time.

    The ATS is certainly not without flaws. But, properly equipped, it is a real drivers car.

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    Typical of GM to F up the simple things, however my biggest complaint is that Caddy did not give this car a distinctive look, but rather made it a clone of all in the series. You will only be viewed as “not being able to afford the real thing” when driving this car. No one will appreciate that you chose it for its driving ability. The interior is all Caddy and that is not good. I do not want my living room in my car. With luck this chassis will be passed on to something cheaper which will cure most of its problems. Just as long as Chev doesn’t make it a baby Impala.

  • avatar
    MPAVictoria

    Great, great review man.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    It’s funny, after reading all the hyperbolic anti-Cadillac spew I still really liked the ATS, until I read this review. The kind of glitches you speak of may be acceptable in the notoriously temperamental Range Rover, but not in a 2014 Cadillac. Unacceptable in an American car costing half what the ATS costs, ridiculous in a $40K car of any kind

    Thanks for a great review and one that actually changed my mind about a car

    I hate to say this, but I think DW is right about this car

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Meh, seems like an issue caused by communication bus messages being interrupted/not sent/received because of something. These are usually caused by very minor issues, but dealers have a hard time tracking them down because most technicians don’t have the patience to figure out where the root of the problem is. Stuck inputs like a stuck switch or even a too tight bezel can cause control modules to ignore bus messages and not behave correctly or shut down. Often, dealers will pound control modules and the issue remains. Customer gets the impression that they have a lemon really quickly when the dealer makes it appear that it “can’t be fixed” after replacing parts.

      It wouldn’t scare me off a whole model line, these things happen on all makes and models, the problem just needs to be fixed by someone who knows what to look for.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “Electrical gremlins” are the scariest words in the automotive world. You’re a mechanic and the last thing I want to see you do when I ask you what’s wrong with my car is for you to scratch your head and say,

        “It’s electrical”

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          I know a few guys who specialize in electrical and bus communication work. They love it, are good at it, and make good coin fixing it. The fact that there are proportionally few of them a symptom of the flat rate labor system, and the fact that the majority of techs prefer part swapping to diagnostics.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        No, these things don’t happen on all makes across the board. Come on now. This is getting ridiculous.

        GM bit off way more than it could chew with this thing’s electronics, period. There’s nothing wrong with knobs and buttons, even in a luxury car.

        And techs shouldn’t have to have computer science degrees to diagnose problems. The car’s electronics are just not good.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          They do happen in all makes. The techs that specialize in this area need a computer hacker attitude, so it’s a small subset.

          Root causes are sometimes mind-boggling, until you realize that all of these devices are communicating on the same bus. One bad window lift controller can disable your backup sensor (for instance).

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          They do, I have the experience to back that up because I’ve encountered it with multiple different automakers. They use remarkably common bus communications architectures, so it’s not hard to imagine. Don’t let the facts get in the way of the hate though, I’m sure DW wil be here shortly so you two can get to it.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            BS. They do not “happen” on all makes.

            Sonata?

            Accord?

            Camry?

            Lexus anything?

            MB C Class?

            Fusion?

            BMW 3 Series? NOPE.

            Audi A4? S4?

            Not even a VW GTI.

            Haptic only “virtual” controls for audio, climate, cruise, etc., is a horrible idea that Cadillac manages to excel at in the worst possible way.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Yes, communication bus faults occur on those models as well. Or do you think the other manufacturers write service manuals just for the fun of it? Never having actually worked on an ATS, how would I know about the nature about bus faults were it not for them occurring on other manufacturer’s cars?

            It’s unfortunate for the OP and Cadillac that it happened with this particular car. If there are unresolved issues, carguy should see what can be done for him under his local Lemon Laws if he hasn’t already. That tends to get things resolved quickly one way or the other.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Over ten years ago the Northstar’d Cadillacs we would get in had all manner of electrical and alternator issues. The general consensus was Cadillacs in particular seemed to have more of a drain on the electrical system than their Pontiac/Olds/Buick cousins as well as their Lincoln, Lexus, or Infiniti counterparts. This may have been a symptom of the drivetrain more the other systems, at the time there was no way to compare.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        I’ve worked a launch where a harness routing through an IP that wasn’t initially designed for a MyFordTouch module kept pinching a bundle that wreaked havoc on I/O communication. It took several bezel redesigns and multiple routing changes (different Christmas tree pin locations) before the issue went away. The only way we kept catching it was good EOL tests and driving the hell out of our preproduction fleet. It was a pain in the 4ss but after reading this, all those engineers deserved an employee of the month spot for working that hard on a B car that doesn’t sell.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          My solution to the MyFordTouch APIM problems is to drive the car into a ditch and set it on fire. My dealership asked me politely not to do that and a man from Wayne came to fix it.

          If I had this ATS, I would have driven it to the dealership and set it on fire with all of the other ATSs so that Cadillac couldn’t hurt anyone anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Americans are obsessed with gimmicks, and car companies are obsessed with cost-cutting. Hence, glitchy, half-baked electronics.

      And is anyone bothered by that piano-black interior trim as much as I am? It’s just everywhere in that car, it looks cheap, and it must always be covered in fingerprints. I checked out an ATS at the DC auto show, and the black trim inside the car was just covered in prints. My 1st-gen Mazda3 has piano -black trim on the dash. Come on, Cadillac! You need to do better than my old Mazda!

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Yeah, I found the interior surprisingly cheap looking

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        As the previous owner of a Mazda3, I would politely disagree. While the design may not be to everyone’s liking, the quality of the ATS interior seemed superior to the 2 series, A3 and CLA.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          I’m not saying the Cadillac’s cheap black plastic is worse than that in my Mazda. I’m just saying Cadillac shouldn’t be taking interior styling cues from Mazda (or any other mainstream manufacturer) at all. Cheap, shiny black plastic is fine in a cheap car, but it has no place in a Cadillac.

        • 0 avatar
          geeber

          Thank you for the excellent review.

          I keep seeing this car compared to the BMW 2-Series, Audi A3 and Mercedes CLA. You even mentioned that the interior quality of the ATS is superior to the interiors of those cars.

          The only problem is that the ATS was designed to compete against the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class.

          If it’s only competitive when compared to cars in a less expensive and smaller segment, then that is a problem.

          • 0 avatar
            motorcityguy

            I’m not sure what 9 year old Mazda you have, DW, but the fact that you say only “The ATS” demonstrates some bias, as you’re not making a distinction between the interiors of various trim lines. Certainly, the base models in all black are a bland affair, but my ATS performance with red leather/black interior and carbon fiber trim is a lot more interesting than say, my 7 year old Mazda 5 touring- which admittedly has some interesting textures and design elements, but by no means looks upscale. That said, I’m not a huge fan of the piano black plastic in my ATS.

            Obviously personal taste plays into this quite a bit- I actually prefer the design of the 3 series interior, but spec’d out ‘almost’ the way I wanted it (M-sport), it was pushing 50k, didn’t have leather, and the interior, while nicely designed, was a dour sea of black plastic.

            With only 7K miles so far, I’ve been quite happy with the ATS. The handling is great, I find the sport suspension stiff, but smooth. I haven’t had any electrical issues at all, unless you count a rat making his home in the engine compartment and chewing through an electrical harness, disabling one cylinder. Haha. But Cadillac covered it.

            I don’t like the haptic controls in the ATS, although mine work. Cue isn’t very good, but I use the shortcuts and voice control, so I’m never digging into the menus and rarely touch the screen. I had a worse time with the Sensus system in my 2012 Volvo S60. I look forward to letting my iPhone handle all of the infotainment duties in my next car.

            Anyway, good review! It’s always interesting to hear another owner’s perspective.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Black shiny plastic has no place in any car period! It is a cheap and bad substitute for wood tone or silver or aluminum trim. In most any used cars I could find with this piano crap it was not only heavily fingerprinted but also showed every single scratch, blinded me when the sun hit it and worse was enough to cook an egg on it during the summer hot months. Just go and touch a black car that has been sitting in the sun and then touch a white or tan car.

        And I agree that we are way too obsessed with technology and gimmicks in cars these days. There just comes a point when all of this crap is just unnecessary and out of control, especially when some teenager can hack himself right into your car because it is so overly complicated with electronics. KISS should be mandatory with many of today’s cars. If they go even more in there current direction you will see pretty dire consequences as a result.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      “It’s funny, after reading all the hyperbolic anti-Cadillac spew I still really liked the ATS, until I read this review. The kind of glitches you speak of may be acceptable in the notoriously temperamental Range Rover, but not in a 2014 Cadillac. Unacceptable in an American car costing half what the ATS costs, ridiculous in a $40K car of any kind

      Thanks for a great review and one that actually changed my mind about a car

      I hate to say this, but I think DW is right about this car.”

      ——-

      Lie2me, you know that I really rarely care if people agree or not with my admittedly hard-nosed opinions, but I PROMISE YOU that there’s no hyperbole when either carguy or I describe how dreadful the haptic feedback climate ontrol system or even the CRUISE CONTROL toggle switch (which was 100% broken on my rental ATS).

      At least 20% of the time, the haptic controls DID NOT do what I wanted or didn’t respond at all, and the system would crash and “reboot.”

      Again, this vehicle had less than 7000 miles on it when I RETURNED IT.

      Sixt told me I could swap it out when I informed them of the issues I was having, but by then, I was 100 miles from SEATAC, so they discounted the daily rate to $17 or $18 (from $27) for the 6 days I had it (5 1/2 to be precise).

      When I test drove the 2.0T, I didn’t have a chance to test whether the haptic controls were working, as the test drive wasn’t longer than 15 minutes, but all these vehicles have the same problem-prone system.

      And think about what carguy said about something as simple as the outside temperature gauge – REALLY CADILLAC? Your cars can’t source accurate readings of outside air temperature because you are so incompetent that you can’t design/place the sensor in a way – like a Kia RIO – that is able to display accurate temperatures?

      WTF!!!

      Lastly, we had to “borrow” space from an accompanying traveler’s car for luggage – this for two people on a 6 night trip. – because the ONE LARGE SIZE LUGGAGE BAG would not fit, no matter which direction, in the ATS’s trunk (it had to be “shoe-horned” into the back seat, on the rear seat, for a day and a half until they told us we could put it into their Camry’s trunk).

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Well now! Sounds like GM has succeeded in copying the Germans… on the electronics front.

    No thanks, I’ll stick with my HVAC knobs and aftermarket Kenwood 7″ radio for as long as humanly possible. There are some places where the car really doesn’t need to be smarter than the driver.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Well put.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      I have never experienced these kinds of issues in my German cars. I’ve rented the ATS and put quite a few miles on it. I can concur with the authors comments. On the ATS, controls that were not responsive. Getting the climate system to some comfortable temp was almost impossible as it was continually too hot or too cold. We found ourselves continually adjusting it. We also noticed occasional crashes in the CUE. All as the author described. I have never experienced such simple and inexcusable issues in my German cars.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I have to chime in as well – those touch controls in the Cadillacs are just completely terrible. I’ve had ATS, CTS, and SRX rentals in the past year. And every bit as bad response-wise in the new Toyota Avalon I had last week too. Touch anything has absolutely NO business in a car! I’m no fan of iDrive, but it is still 10X better than this crap.

        The auto HVAC in my 3-series is pretty much perfect. I never touch it, other than to occasionally use the thumbwheel that alters the face vent temps. And I LOVE that I can have warm air at my feet and cool air to my face. It just sits on 70F and Auto and does it’s thing unobtrusively summer and winter. Which IS the whole point of auto HVAC.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    I’ve yet to drive in an ATS. But everyone that I’ve talked to that ownes one has nothing but good things to say. My neighbor states it’s one of the best sport sedans he has ever owned. And considering his wife has owned two different Porsche Cayman S over the past two years, I respect his words. I also have a few coworkers state they like their ats’s better then their old Lexus and BMW’s. It sounds a bit unrealistic to think that. But people do enjoy their new Cadillac’s.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      Just do what I did and rent an ATS. I can concur with all the comments the author made above, except that my rental ATS also had creaks and rattles and wind noise. I came away very dissapointed.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Mine had more creaks, etc. than my 98,000 mile 9 year old 8, and this was on SEATTLE/PNW roads, which are like billiard table surfaces compared to metro Detroit.

  • avatar
    jmo

    “No rattles developed in my car nor did I notice any in the abused ATS rentals that I have also driven.”

    That, for me, is huge. I loath rattles, they honestly drive me to distraction. If I have to call roadside assistance and they flatbed the car away every so often? Meh, I can deal. But, ever time I hit a bump I hear, “squeak/rattle” it drives me f-ing ape-$hit.

    Does anyone know of any published metric that rates a vehicle’s long term propensity for squeaks and rattles?

    • 0 avatar
      formula m

      My parents bought a new 2001 Pontiac Montana and after 12,000 mi the rattles and noises started. The side plastics in the rear where the worst when we would hit the gravel roads when we got to the cottage. They traded it after 2.5 years.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Well based on the 3 Mazda’s I had, they start on day one. Surprised that “rattles” isn’t listed as standard equipment on the Monroney.

    • 0 avatar
      MeJ

      I don’t have the metrics you speak of, however my 07 E92 has 105000 on the clock and is still as solid as a tank. No squeaks or rattles of any kind. The upholstery still looks as new.
      Just my two cents.

  • avatar
    sketch447

    I know I’m gonna get kicked in the teeth for this, BUT: Given the current massive incentives on the ATS, why anyone would consider a Bimmer over this superb machine is beyond me.

    Hello, BMW? My local Caddy dealer is offering $7k – $10k on the hood of leftover ATS’s. Bimmer, why should I pay you $40k for a stripped 3-Series when I can get a comparable ATS for $12k less? Legendary Bimmer reliability? Nope. Reasonable off-warranty Bimmer repair costs and a large dealer network? Nope.

    Bye, bye Bimmer!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      1. Snob factor.
      2. While perhaps having good points, this is not a superb machine.
      3. Ease of resale (not necessarily resale valuation).

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        4. You want a usable back seat.
        5. You want non-infuriating controls.
        6. You want a wagon or a hatchback.

        I do agree that the ATS is a GREAT car to drive, and I even really like the way they look on the outside). So close – and yet so far. A much better proposition at $10K off. Just like the Saab 9-3SC I bought in ’09 actually. $13K off on that one, my best automotive purchase ever really. You can forgive a lot at 1/3 off.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      How do the lease offers compare?

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      >>Hello, BMW? My local Caddy dealer is offering $7k – $10k on the hood of leftover ATS’s. Bimmer, why should I pay you $40k for a stripped 3-Series when I can get a comparable ATS for $12k less? Legendary Bimmer reliability? Nope. Reasonable off-warranty Bimmer repair costs and a large dealer network? Nope.<<

      Few people buy BMWs because the are the ultimate driving machines – those that do get manuals.

      People do buy BMW's because of image and Cadillac's KMart blue light special ATS isn't even on their radar.

      btw, the ATS is gonna have horrendously poor resale for anyone who bought at anything near retail, further cementing its poor image.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Did anyone read the review in its entirety? It put to rest the myth that nobody makes bad cars anymore. I’m not saying BMWs are good, but this man’s ATS was a Speke TR7 compared to something with real quality, like a Lexus or Acura.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      @sketch447: I would agree that in the price range the ATS offers a lot more car than the A3 and CLA, but there is more to car costs than initial purchase price. You will find that the ATS has some steep depreciation that will wipe out most of its initial price advantage.

      For anyone considering a purchase: Factor in depreciation when calculating ownership costs.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The BMW 3.0T is one of the greatest engines of all time, and is way better than any of the ATS’ options. The less-than-BMW dynamics can be fixed with suspension upgrades from reputable manufacturers. And its infotainment interfaces is 100x more sorted than CUE. You get what you pay for.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        GM needs to step or with all 3 engines in the ATS. The 2.5 is noisy, especially when cold. So is the LFX. Haven’t driven the turbo motor but from what others are saying it has refinement issues too.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      If you like the ATS more than BMW, then it is the right car for you. I’ve owned multiple BMWs and I’ve rented and driven the ATS. To me there was no comparison. The ATS was buggy and frustrating. Rattles, a horrible infotainment system and less practicality. My BMWs have been very reliable, both in and out of warranty, to include our current BMW. It’s up to you, but just because a car is cheaper doesn’t mean it’s better and huge incentives should raise a red flag if you ask me.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    When I saw this I was excited because I thought it was the fabled DeadWeight review we’ve all been waiting for…

  • avatar
    bryanska

    How is the back seat room in everyday use?

    I’m a little guy, and am still shocked every time I try to sit in one.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      The back is OK for most less than 6 feet but entry via the rear doors is a little awkward. There is not much room to get in so bumping your head is easy to do.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Part of the problem is that the floor pan intrudes into where your feet are supposed to go. I honestly don’t know how they screwed this up so bad but then GM seems to have a real hard time with rear seat legroom in many of it’s cars such as the current Malibu/Regal for starters.

    • 0 avatar
      Counterpoint

      As a point of comparison the Subaru WRX is almost exactly the same exterior size and has an equivalent engine but manages to squeeze in a usable back seat. So that shows what competent designers can accomplish within the same basic form factor.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice balanced review, this was my favorite:

    “If you don’t believe in global warming now, you will after owning an ATS.”

  • avatar
    Maymar

    It does seem rather befitting of GM to build the best BMW outside of Bavaria, just as BMW decides they don’t need to be building BMWs anymore, and it certainly doesn’t seem to be hurting sales of the F30.

  • avatar
    SayMyName

    Good to see an actual owner’s perspective on why those who have stayed away from the GM – er, Cadillac – store should be considered some of the smartest MF’ers out there. Meanwhile, the sycophants over at GMI are hyperventilating over a Reuters article pointing out that the CTS and ATS continue to gather dust on dealer lots (4 months oversupply on the CTS, a full half-year on the ATS.)

    This has all been repeated ad nauseam, but apparently Johan and Melody still don’t understand so it bears repeating still: the very types of youthful, affluent, and discriminating buyers GM is desperate to attract with these cars are the same ones who grew up in the age of Cimarron, Catera, and Northstar. They will never, NEVER willingly sign on the dotted line for a Cadillac sedan at BMW, Lexus or Mercedes prices. The brand is a sad and miserable farce to them.

    Solutions: get QC under control. Teach the UAW apes how to assemble an interior properly – it doesn’t matter how nice the materials are if the seams don’t line up. Next, dump CUE and replace it with literally anything else. Maybe Ford will be willing to offer heavy discounts on closeout Microsoft-based MyTouch systems; if not, start begging the Koreans for their superior touchscreens. It should be plain to see that GM engineers simply can’t do tech.

    Lastly, start the ATS at $25K, CTS at $31K or so, and top out the non-V/VSport models at less than $50K. Lose your shirt for two years on these cars, Johan (remind your superiors they should have plenty of leftover taxpayer cash to help cushion the blow) to build a brand.

    If that doesn’t drive up sales, then kill ’em both in 2017 (along with the destined-to-fail CT6) and focus on the Escalade. Make these your final actions as you head out the door to the unemployment office, Johan. At least you could honestly say you tried.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @ say my name {formerly Volts on Fire} Teach the UAW apes ????. So tell me, oh wise one. How would you go about teaching such “apes”. The worker is supplied with tools, and materials, and the specifications. The worker has about 60 seconds to complete his/her {I assume their is lady apes”} job. The next job is right behind it. The job has to be performed, and completed to management standards.. If the worker does not complete hos job assignment, to the standards set. Progressive discipline comes into play. Workers can, and do, get terminated for sloppy workmanship.

      As far as you attitude goes. I’ve seen so many white, and blue collar guys come in with a pre conceived notion like yours. They walk around with a big old chip on their shoulder. In no time at all, someone knock s it off. Next thing you know their crying to anybody , that will listen. Nobody does…!

      Within a few week, days, sometimes hours, they go crying home to their Moma, or in your case {“say my name” a.k.a “Volts on fire”} they go to their key board, where they don’t need any real balls.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You and Dead Weight should get a room.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      SayMyName: Your anti-American racist undertones are not so hidden.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Is American a race now? Let’s skip the name calling, especially when we don’t have clue what we’re talking about.

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          UAW apes ? He sounds like the typical anti American brand snob. Simple due to his ignorance of Unions. Those unions that gave opportunities to minorities. He would buy a Toyota pretending it is not made by American’s.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Learn some history. The UAW grew energetically as white northerners tried to avoid having to compete with blacks for jobs. You need to educate yourself about topics before you write about them, as it is repulsive to witness.

      • 0 avatar
        SayMyName

        I think the fact you apparently equate “apes” with “black” is far more telling than anything I wrote. I also find it funny that one little word managed to derail the conversation from several valid points I made. Those constantly seeking a reason to be offended will always find one, I suppose.

        That said, I apologize for my use of such a charged term. While it’s true that I have a generally low regard for any worker reliant on the protective umbrella of organized labor, that doesn’t mean they deserve to be dehumanized.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          How about none union autoworkers, do you respect them? Do you think they’re higher in the evolutionary chain?

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I certainly do. I respect anyone strong enough to be measured on their own merits. People that think they can benefit from being deemed average are not even average on their own terms.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You actually make an excellent point with:

      “discriminating buyers GM is desperate to attract with these cars are the same ones who grew up in the age of Cimarron, Catera, and Northstar. They will never, NEVER willingly sign on the dotted line for a Cadillac sedan at BMW, Lexus or Mercedes prices. The brand is a sad and miserable farce to them.”

      but I don’t think the car has suffered from any notable assembly issues (although I am prepared to be corrected if wrong). Every issue the car seems to have had is related to bean-counting or poor design (electronics, no rear seat etc).

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Jesus Christ. Great review. This is what GM gets for not putting much weight into a Quality drive fleet. They have a few, but nothing on the magnitude that I coordinated.

    GM has always been an excellent powertrain manufacturer that just happens to also make cars.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      “GM has always been an excellent powertrain manufacturer that just happens to also make cars.”

      I’ve always heard this about BMW, I believe it’s true in both cases.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      tres, you get it.

      GM Powertrain is the gem of the organization. What other manufacturer would suddenly change engine options in the ancient W-body Impala just to start handing out 300 hp DI VVT engines and six speed autos with paddle shift in a $20,000 car? Or builds the Cobalt SS taking a completely ho hum vehicle and turning it into a rocket?

      GM, that’s who.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        I miss my GM employee discount from my ancestors. I also miss the dead nuts reliability from the first few vehicles I owned. I do not miss harsh NVH and squeaks and rattles from the 90’s-Mid 2000’s GM. I know they’re better, but the author hit the nail on the head with this. Gimmicky gadgets be damned – this car could have been a huge winner. I had a friend who loved his ATS, but he’s also the kind of guy that didn’t care about tech.

        • 0 avatar
          rocketrodeo

          Tres, I picked up a second job during the Great Recession test driving vehicles from the VOCF at Allen Park. P415, CD338, D472, D258, D385. Got pretty good at calling reproducible issues but the contractor was a pain to work with. Had the impression there were several other similar fleets.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            You and I probably worked together :) just hundreds of miles apart. I was at Oakville. Every program has a fleet. The scale of the program determines the size. Every model year and even some Job 1 +90’s, Job 2’s, etc.

            I loved putting the MyFordTouch issues to the PMT’s. Even if they got the same AIM’s 100 times prior. I’m guessing you were one of the good one’s out there identifying things. I hated it when I’d see pre drive check lists get ignored and pencil whipped.

        • 0 avatar
          WildcatMatt

          “Never trust gimmicky gadgets!” – The Doctor

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Boy, my 2012 outdated, W-body Impala LTZ just gets better and better!

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          I enjoy every single minute of my outdated 2013 W-body. Everything works exactly as it should. There are no delays or lockups. No confusing menus to straddle through. No unscheduled dealer visits for poor electronic issues. And that 300 horse LFX will haul assss

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Wait a minute, how would you if the universe goes or not when you die? Maybe it does.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Seriously, I think I could compose a sizable list of crappy GM powertains I have witnessed the past 40 years.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        This is a particularly hilarious idea to express in a review of a Cadillac. V8-6-4, Olds diesel, HT4100, Northstar; Cadillac’s last good engine was introduced in 1949.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          That Olds diesel was stellar when you added a water separator. It was bean counted out of the design.

          I can’t believe I replied to your toll sh1t.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “That Olds diesel was stellar when you added a water separator. It was bean counted out of the design. ”

            With all due respect, tresmonos, that’s what made it crap

            “Introducing the 2015 Belchfire 5000. Don’t let the THREE wheels scare you, outside of some handling issues it’s an excellent car. The fourth wheel was “bean counted out of the design. ”

            BFD!

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          The last real Cadillac V8 was made in 1981. Early attempt at electronic cylinder deactivate aside the 368 is a bullet proof long lasting engine tied to a bullet proof THM 400 transmission. Anything after this point has been rather hit and miss with the HT 4100 being a major miss and the 2003 on up Northstars being better but still complex engines and the 4T80 transaxle is a love or hate affair.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I’ll just say it & wait for the rebuttals, if any:

            The Cadillac DTS was 500% more closely aligned with what a Cadillac should be than ANY sedan or coupe Cadillac now makes (or fakes, as in the case of the XTsPala).

          • 0 avatar
            MeJ

            I owned a 1981 Biarritz with the 4-6-8 engine.
            Biggest piece of Sh*t engine I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never had a car use soooooo much gas so fast.
            Well, with the white on white leather, at least it looked cool!

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            DeadWeight, you’ve gone over the deep end.

            The DTS was a lightly disguised Buick Lucerne, itself a slightly beefed-up second-gen variant of the good old H-body from 1986 (which itself was derived from the 1982 A-body). It was (literally) creakingly ancient.

            There is only one (1) respect in which any DTS was indisputably better than an XTS, and that is back seat width. The engine was competent (when it wasn’t broken) and the seats were reasonably comfortable, although the XTS is better in both areas despite having two fewer cylinders. But other than those things, here is no other respect in which the DTS, a light update of an ’80s GM FWD corporate chassis, was even comparable to your average modern car. It was like a FWD Panther.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “…Cadillac’s last good engine was introduced in 1949.”

          But, man what an engine it was.

          The 4.9L in the early 90s was alright as well.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The ’49 engine was fantastic until demands for low emissions and fuel consumption were factored in. The 4.9 liter was a decent engine in general terms, but it was wildly uncompetitive compared to engines being offered by Lexus and Infiniti. Acura’s V6s of the era had power parity on the low side and a 15% power advantage combined with a lower curb weight in general. Just making an engine that doesn’t self-destruct wasn’t enough in the luxury space once the Japanese crashed the party.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Waingrow

      “GM has always been an excellent power train manufacturer that just happens to also make cars.” Possibly the best, most accurate description of GM I’ve yet to encounter. Sadly, long ago, they did most everything well. The 1950s were maybe a high-water mark.

  • avatar
    Fred

    The ATS styling inside and out is opposite of the Audi A3 I was coming from. Also the manual box is terrible, at least in the early model I tested. I’ve read later reviews saying it is pretty good. As much as folks rag on Audi reliability I’m more scared of Cadillac with all those GM parts and Chevy mechanics. I think his conclusion agrees with mine, except I think there are better cars overall for the same money.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      @Fred: I did not drive the manual but I have also heard that it is not the best. However, if you’re not afraid of Audi then you really have not too much to fear from Cadillac. The electrics are infuriating but the I have every confidence that the rest of the car will be very durable.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        In general, I can confirm this. I have put over 50K miles (total mileage is 64K, I got it as a low-mileage CPO car) on my 2010 CTS. It had some noisy suspension bushings (replaced under warranty) and the rear shocks need replacing (also under warranty), but that’s about it. The electronics, HVAC, interior parts, body and drivetrain have been very solid.

        Reliability, in general, isn’t an issue with the car. One bonus is that the consumable parts (pads, rotors which I replace myself) are very reasonable.

        • 0 avatar
          sckid213

          I have 65k on my ’08 CTS Premium (first year of second-gen). Only mechanical problem I have had is a thermostat went bad and replaced under warranty. Got 55k out of original Michelins, and still on original brakes and battery.

          Electronics have also been solid. The infotainment system (an orphan system used only in the second-gen CTS) has overall been very reliable. Have had it completely crash but immediately restart and resume as normal maybe 3 times in the past five years. I’m satisfied.

          By the way, I’m 31, live in Socal, and bought this car on my own free will. No regrets. Meanwhile buddies with similar-generation BMW and Audi are well into $$$$ repairs stage.

          • 0 avatar
            bryanska

            I consider the gen2 CTS 3.6 to be the perfect car EXCEPT that you can’t swap out for an aftermarket double DIN. If you ever find someone who has, please contact me.

            it’s the only objection I have to that car.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            I considered a CPO 2011 CTS Performance. I was pretty bugged that it didn’t have bluetooth audio for the radio. Felt kind of heavy, and not very quite, and the transmission was kind of slow. The rear seats didn’t fold down either, which is a big step down in terms of storage space from my Mazda3 hatch. What ultimately did it in was that it was the same color as my Miata, and I didn’t want two cars of the same color.

            It had the rare Recaros optioned though, and they were great.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          I’ve got +80K miles on a ATS 2.0T AWD. Aside from needing strut bearings and struts/shocks this rides and drives like a dream. Yes, I put ecu tune and downpipe even the suv-loving fiancé likes to drive it.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        @carguy: Except I had no problems with my Audi, and based on my 1999 Chevy truck I’m leery of GM products.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “The electrics are infuriating but the I have every confidence that the rest of the car will be very durable.”

        You’re very kind carguy, but to me this is equivalent to saying, “Outside of that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Only GM owners can “brag” about “only” having to replace major suspension & other mechanical components in less than 50,000 miles as a testament to GM’s superb quality.

      Many of us have only had to change the oil & filter, coolant, brake pads & battery on vehicles having over 100,000 miles and been satisfied with lesser makes.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        My last 4 W-body GM cars have all went way over 100K with the 2000 3800 Impala going 171K with but oil/filter changes, coolant brakes and battery etc plus tires and wipers. GM does make good vehicles. Just don’t buy them in there first few years of production until the bugs are worked out.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    The new compact jaguar is on the way. If I could own any car in the segment, it would be that one.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Um, speaking of DeadWeight, where the hell is he? We finally get an article where it would be appropriate for him to make a Cadillac bashing comment (unlike the Ford Escape review from yesterday, etc.), and he’s no where to be found. Has he been stuffed into the 10 cu. ft. trunk of an ATS by Johan the Zohan, and being driven to the river wearing a pair of Jimmie Choo cement shoes by Melody CT-Lee?

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Thanks for a great review.

    I didn’t know Lucas was still in business as a supplier, though.

  • avatar
    HenrySmith12

    This car is so cool. It’s a great example of a one year old car buy that can get you a great ride for significantly less money. http://www.caracceptancedealers.com this is also probably a make and model that would depreciate a lot in only a year.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Except it isn’t a great ride. It doesn’t matter that the chassis is great if it has intolerable electrical gremlins/poor design. Unless you don’t listen to music, don’t bother with climate control, and still use paper maps, this isn’t just a matter of some superfluous toys not working.

      This reminds me of all the aftermarket head units with touch screens I often inherit when I buy used cars. Tossing them in favor of the OE unit is always my first “mod”.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Excellent review. I too, cannot understand why OEMs will not let you shut the damn AC compressor off!!! This is not just a Cadillac problem. For one, wouldn’t they want it off to aid in better fuel economy? I like three dials and I can handle the HVAC. This push to touch everything is a distraction if anything. One thing about dials, when you go car to car, you expect some things to be standardized like radio controls, HVAC, lights etc. With everyone doing their own thing via touch, you have to spend a few minutes to learn the system and then deal with its eccentricities once on the road.

    Back to the Cadillac, sounds like a solid effort but apparently not enough to keep you from a BMW. C’est la vie.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      Both my Audi and Acura allow you to turn off the AC. Can’t say for sure but I think most of the cars I tested had a manual mode that would turn off the AC. Sometimes it was disguised as a ECO button.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      As much as I find being able to shut the A/C compressor off appealing, every time I drive in the rain and see clueless folks dangerously fogged into their own vehicles it reminds me why many cars now don’t give you the option.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Yep, diapers for everyone, just in case.

        One of the first things I did after buying my Mazda3 back in ’04 was to break off a switch and solder some new connections on the HVAC unit’s circuit board to give me control of the compressor. I imagine it wouldn’t be as easy on the boards of these more complex HVAC units, but you could always just intercept a wire somewhere – likely right off the back of the unit – and put a switch in-between.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      +1 excellent review. I like this style review the most because it tells us what its like to LIVE with the car after a period of time. Plus you seem to get a more honest take when people spend their hard earned money and have real world feedback/complaints.

      This auto-magic HVAC stuff sounds like a horrible nightmare and would scare me to death. Completely unacceptable in a “luxury” car. Especially the window fogging situation, that is downright dangerous. To this day I still miss my old Civic and Prelude which used Honda’s two sliders (temp and vent selection) along with a knob for fan speed, plus a level that moved between fresh and recycled air with an honest button for the AC compressor. My Z has an “auto” setting… I’ve never used it, the 3 dials approach works great (temp, vent, speed).

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Just about any review of a luxury vehicle leaves mw with the impression that luxury car makers think that luxury equals complexity, automation, and gimmickry.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I believe much of what you say to be true especially for those luxury cars at the lesser price points. Traditional luxury staples have been adopted by more provincial brands so luxury marques need to differentiate themselves a bit more.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if during CUE development a subset of designers wanted traditional buttons and dials in addition to the screen but were over ruled for not being forward thinking enough.

      Hopefully Cadillac (and other manufacturers) takes relevant critiques to heart for the second generation car.

    • 0 avatar
      mmreeses

      “that luxury equals complexity, automation, and gimmickry”

      sigh, there’s something to be said about the simplicity of a high-end Swiss, non-digital, non-touchscreen watch.

      Wish more designers and meddling car execs would share that view.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      That’s why I love the 200C so damn much, more than any luxury car.

      It’s got all the things that used to define luxury in 2005, without all the crap that defines luxury now. You could say the 200C, loaded, is the ultimate expression of the luxury sedan if no more features could be added after 2005.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        A loaded 200C pretty well defines entry level luxury today. Stuff like self parking, active collision avoidance etc. were still pie in the sky type things in 2005.

  • avatar
    r129

    It seems to be almost universally accepted that the ATS is a great car to drive. If you can live with the leatherette seats, and you don’t regularly carry anyone in your rear seat, the ATS in the 2.0T Standard trim level is not a bad choice. This way, you can avoid CUE altogether, and keep the price down. Once you get into the higher price points, the idea of the ATS becomes less attractive to me. Yes, the interior trim is hard to keep clean, but I don’t get the impression that it is cheap. “No materials are fake and, to me, it feels special and luxurious in ways that Acura will never quite understand.” Really hit the nail on the head with that comment.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      I was just looking at the Cadillac configurator and was going to mention this. I believe when the ATS first came out, and perhaps when Ur-Turn was buying, you only could avoid CUE by opting for the naturally aspirated 2.5.

      Ur-Turn’s problems with the HVAC are a real shame because traditionally HVAC has been a huge strength of the General. It sounds like the system’s bones still are fine but that it’s derailed by the horrible interface.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Let me slide into the back. I just gotta cut my legs off first.

    It’s not a bad car, but given Cadillac’s pedigree, every single one of their cars should be the most spacious in class.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Nice to see an honest review. God bless TTAC.

    I wonder if the electronic glitches spoken of here are general to the line, or this car in particular.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    A very helpful review – you were clear and very thorough. Some writers here could take notes from you!

    Those glitches you experienced are totally unacceptable on this caliber of car, and should be enough to eliminate the ATS from anyone’s consideration who isn’t on GM payroll.

  • avatar
    MPAVictoria

    Thinking of writing a review of my 2012 S80 now that I have owned it for more than 6 months. Any interest out there?

  • avatar
    gasser

    Nice review. Again, this ATS review points out to me that the “cheap” cars have gotten better and the “expensive” cars have gotten worse. The gap between mass market cars (Sonata, Fusion, etc) and upper end cars (ATS, etc) has narrowed for me because of a change in the pleasure/pain ration. Great chassis and handling…hooray!! Insane Cue system and electronic bugs….damning. Lastly the change in driving patterns in our increasingly urbanized nation means that there are fewer great roads to drive on, fewer traffic free hours to zip along and more slow creeping hours over marginally maintained pavement. Get me a good lease deal on a mainstream midsize with workable electronics. Let the lessor worry about resale, repair at the 7 year mark and updating the navigation system.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      @gasser: You are right about the ever shrinking gap between luxury cars and mass market vehicles. Although, in mass market vehicles I not yet found a chassis that was as sporty, balanced and compliant all at the same time. I drive mainly in urban and suburban environments and the car was a joy to drive at all speeds – right up until you noticed yet another electrical problem.

      The next Camaro will be based on the Alpha platform so I am still hopeful that GM will bring those driving dynamics to the masses (minus the horrible electrics).

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      A current fusion sport is a shockingly competent drive, its good enough for 95% of people on the road. BMW has seemed to get it, that is, keep the car adequate in the handling, but improve the rest of the car. The ats is the opposite approach. The ats reminds me of the f body trans am in that regard. Sales numbers prove the BMW approach is the correct one.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    That was a great review Carguy. If all car reviews were based on an owner’s 15,000 miles worth of experiences, we’d all be better off. Thank you for sharing.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Thank you carguy.
    Please, more of these.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    Yes, TTAC, more of these. It was a good review and generated a better-than-usual comment thread as well.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch…

    This is such good popcorn.

    crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch…

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    Great review, carguy. I’ve been thinking about either a CTS or ATS as a replacement for my aging Benz.

    I see the ATS has a lot of good points but those are indeed an unacceptable number of electrical issues for a new car.

    I’ve been told on TTAC that driving a 14 year old Benz means I’ll be losing my job and sacrificing my family to the elements by the constant breakdowns, but I’ve experienced nothing like your issues with the ATS. It’s been a reliable daily driver requiring not much more than the occasional wear item.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I wish automakers would stop tilting at the automatic climate control windmill. It didn’t work 30 years ago in my XJ6. It didn’t work 5 years ago in my MINI. My current vehicles have 3 knobs that take about 5 seconds to set exactly the way I want. This is not a problem that needs fixing.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks. I’ve had a few cars, some with fan/vent/temp, and others with thermostats. The bottom line is that I touch the classic three switch system less than the “automatic” thermostat systems….this over a variety of each in different cars….

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      You’ve driven the wrong cars. The automatic HVAC in my 2005 Saab 9-5 was almost supernaturally good. I never touched it. On long distance drives through varying weather I’d be shocked when I opened the door and the outside qas different than when I left, and it was so quiet that aside from initial warmup it was almost inaudible if the temps were between 10f and 90f. I never even considered window fogging because it never happened. The car just took care of it.

      My ’15 Sonata isn’t quite at that level, but it’s still immeasurably better than manual control – particularly as my wife likes her side of the car 5 degrees warmer than I want mine. I’m sure there are crappy implementations, but don’t dismiss the concept because you’ve had bad experiences. It can be and has been done well.

  • avatar
    erobrider

    Someone needs to edit this…

  • avatar
    KindaFondaHonda

    Funny how the OP takes a swipe at Acura (Honda) regarding the superior or “special” interior finishings of the Cadillac (that we all know will curl, crack, fade, buzz, creak, and fall off thru the years). Yet, that’s the great thing about Acuras (or Infinitis or Lexuses for that matter)… they may not have some silly pleather “cap” over the dash or gauge pod, obnoxious light piping, or chromey dingleberries, but they get the things right that matter most to A LOT of buyers: price, competence, comfort, reliability, and long-term quality.

    But at least in the Cadillac, I suppose it must be comforting to wait in your super special interior, while AAA is on it’s way!

    Criticize Acura all you want, but that “failing brand” every armchair “enthusiast” excoriates outsold Cadillac last month without an Escalade monster-mobile in it’s line-up (a huge portion of Caddy sales).

    And I’m only Kinda Fonda Honda (Like my Infinitis best).

  • avatar
    jmiller417

    I just bought a leftover ’14 ATS 2.0t manual for a song, trading in a ’10 128i convertible (w/ the sport package and Steptronic). So far, aside from the dealer’s botch of a recall item before delivery and the resulting trip back to the shop, I’m happy with it. It matches the handling of the 128i with a much smoother ride. (The 128 was positively brutal around NJ.) Thankfully, I have a base model without CUE, but even the standard controls are a little wonky. That’s my only complaint about the car so far, and as long as the reliability matches what you find elsewhere in the class (not a high bar, admittedly), it’ll stay that way.

  • avatar

    I really liked this review. You get a clear idea of what the car is like, thanks. A note to help us Euroreaders: to avoid having to dig into Cadillac’s website a weight/height/width/length and basic configuration note would be helpful. Am I right in seeing this as a BMW 3 series sized car and I suppose it’s on the Insignia platform?

  • avatar

    I thank you. So it has its own platform? Wikipedia seems to indicate this. How intriguing. Opel should get this and kick BMW a little.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      It’s on GM’s Alpha platform. Currently, only the ATS and CTS from Cadillac are using that platform. The next Camaro will use it too. I don’t think it’s going to underpin anything in Europe though, other than the Cadillacs no one is buying.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    This is my favorite car review in a long time. I read most of it out loud to my wife just to enjoy being interrupted by her loud agreement about the unacceptability of the worst issues. This car is like the Seahawks last drive; brilliance ruined by the failure to go the last yard. Tres knows how it didn’t happen in much more detail than I do, but there’s no excuse for spending that much development and not routing harnesses and mounting components properly leading to …. What Danio3834 said. Common bus packet collisions or whatever.

    Ordering the review from good on down left me imitating all those 12th men in the videos after the Super Bowl. NOOOOOOOOO

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    What is it with Seattle fans mistaking luck for brilliance?

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I saw your post previewed on the margin. I didn’t see your point until I read 05lgt’s comment. You nailed it. Dumb luck put them on the goal line…

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Not a hawks fan. I saw brilliant play and superb play calling from both teams on both sides of the ball.

      Dumb luck from a Super Bowl team? That’s just hateraid.

      For the record: 49ers fan, but not all that fanatic or faithful. It’s a sports team, not my tribe.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        It always takes some luck to make it to the Superbowl, and the Seahawks had more than their fair share. You can’t tell me luck wasn’t a huge factor for them getting past the Packers.

        Specifically regarding the Superbowl, Kearse’s catch at the five yard line was a result of a very lucky bounce. Kearse does deserve credit for sticking with the play, but something like that ends in an incompletion 99% of the time. It’s amazing to me that so many people, Seattle fans or not, think the Seahawks had some kind of dominant run in the playoffs, with their back-to-back trophy dream only taken away by one decision. There is no acknowledgement of all the lucky bounces it took to get them there and put them in a position to win.

        And the “failure to go the last yard”? That last yard was not automatic. Lynch’s statistics at the goal line were nowhere near as good as Collinsworth lead you to believe. If they had run into a goal line defense from a 3-receiver set and Lynch was stopped, everyone would call Caroll an idiot. Similarly, if Butler was half a second slower, Seahawks score and Caroll is a genius. The call was fine, the Patriots just executed better. Seahawks did not choke or fail to take an easy last yard.

        Anyway, to relate this sports babbling back to the ATS, GM saw the competition aligning their product expecting it to move in one direction (space, comfort, tech) and tried to hit them in a soft spot (the now somewhat vacated domain of “driver’s car”). Unfortunately for GM, the competition was well prepared and execution in other parts of the field was good enough to keep GM from scoring. GM didn’t choke with the ATS or fail to achieve something that should be a given based on the chassis, they didn’t execute in enough other areas to gain any ground on the competition. The ATS has its strengths, but GM has to have a more complete product to compete at the same price.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Dumb luck was in reference to your statement that their last drive was brilliance. The catch that put them in the red zone was a once-a-season second chance at a broken up pass. Excellent play by the receiver, but that ball was in his hands because of dumb luck.

  • avatar
    jmiller417

    To me, the criticisms of the back seat are a little overblown. I have to problems sitting back there, and it’s only slightly less spacious than a last-gen C-Class. (I haven’t sat in a ’15.) Three across would be stretching it, but two can be reasonably comfortable back there. Granted, I’m coming out of a 128i, so most anything would feel bigger.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Excellent review.

    “When adjusted correctly, the large s!de mirrors offer an excellent view either s!de of the car that makes for confident lane changes even in crowded traffic. That may not seem like such a big deal to you but after having to deal with the postage stamp size aerodynamic sports mirrors on my previous BMW it seemed like a magnificent feature.”

    I hear you. Having spent a fair bit of time driving a ’93 MX-6 with tiny mirrors, then replacing those mirrors with the up-level heated ones after the spatially-impaired owner broke one backing out of her garage, only to find that they have a light green tint that severely reduces contrast on dreary days, I can appreciate a good set of s!de mirrors!

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      The size of the s1de mirrors might be influenced by safety standards in the manufacturer’s domestic market. For example, the small BMW mirrors are intended to be used with convex mirrors in Germany, where US FMVSS requires unit magnification mirrors on the driver’s s1de (49 CFR Part 571 if you are interested). While sight lines differ between drivers, in my E46 I was never comfortable with blind spot coverage using unit magnification mirrors, even with the mirrors pushed out as far as they would go. Changing to the convex mirror covers the blind spot and then some. The tradeoff is “objects are closer than they appear”. Much closer in the case of BMW’s convex mirror, so you best not forget it. And no, it has not caused an accident for me in case anyone wonders why I stress this.

      I’m guessing smaller mirrors have some aerodynamic advantage, as well has helping to squeeze the car into tighter spaces. For markets where unit magnification is required on the driver’s s1de, options are:
      1) Throw bigger mirrors at it (apparently GM’s “solution”), or
      2) Add a smaller convex mirror in the corner of the unit magnification mirror (Ford’s solution on many cars).

      I’m on team Ford here; over-sized mirrors are a lazy solution. Big mirrors are great on trucks where you need all the help you can get, but not OK on a compact sport sedan.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    Great review! What’s up with GM’s outside temperatures??? Just about every GM I have driven showed something like 150F during idle. You’d think a bit of brains would solve such dumbness…

  • avatar
    realpower1

    awesome review that highlights some of issues in actually spending your own cash for a gm car.. reported elsewhere today, cadillac cts makes the top ten depreciation list.. i wish gm could pull it together and be a source of pride for this country, unfortunately they just can’t seem to escape tipping their hand to most discerning buyers that they aren’t sweating any details.
    1) it is always something stupid and cheap with gm climate control systems that scream cheap in any given price class.. no true bi-level with heat on your feet and a/c in your face, 3 speed fans, off position blowing heat in your face, can’t split heat to both floor and defrost…
    2) get rid of the f*&%ing rubbermaid/fisher-price grey switch gear.. i get every company shares these components, but making it stand out in grey drags down the quality impression the car leaves with even the most casual buyer.. it would be one thing if gm switch gear was world class, but it isn’t even close.. just go look at any $20K mazda or toyota and then a $60k caddy.. it is enough to make me puke. serious, you can’t leverage your supplier and toss in another $1 for at least a different color plastic for your premium corporate products over $30K??
    3) body details.. gm cars just look junky in the way various exterior surfaces and functional pieces meetup.. the overall effect on the eye is that it breaks the visual flow as one takes in the shape of the car.. once again the cheapness of gm shows up in that what may work at $20k, is simply not acceptable at $50K.. in particular i find the areas around door frames and windows junky, with lots of elevation and texture changes in the various elements that other companies mitigate better at 1/3 the price. they do themselves no favors with the new corvette and caddy V sedans which seem to have dozens of vents/scoops/wings/splits grafted onto the bodywork and make me think they amalgamated the notebook design ideas of an entire 7th grade all-boys school study hall session..

    when gm premium vehicles are really world class, they will have sales numbers outside the usa to prove it.. right now they don’t, and there are reasons for that.

  • avatar
    AnotherMillenial

    This was an excellent review, it’s extremely detailed and well-rounded throughout. As a GM fan (it’s hard) I really, really wanted the ATS to succeed, but it’s tragically unfortunate the car is half-baked as are many of GM’s products. I’ve always felt that the ATS never got a fair shake and CUE reviews were probably overblown (compared to most in-car tech), but you can’t argue with an OWNER. I can definitely take your word for it.

    GM may have gotten flack for using the Impala UI but not nearly a fraction of the hate and massive turnovers CUE and it’s accompanying wiring has caused. Sorry you had such an experience, especially as a long-time BMW-owner! This is NOT what GM needs and once again the consumer fits the bill for design flaws no model salesman can fix. I wish you the best with your 2-Series as it seems like a pretty authentic, drivers car. I’d happily read more of your reviews.

  • avatar
    Bad Driver

    Excellent review. As an owner of a month old CTS VSport I feel for you as you experienced way too many issues with CUE and climate controls. I am hoping my experience with CTS will be happier but time will tell. So far I find CUE fairly straightforward and quite responsive. Perhaps Cadillac made some changes since you bought your car. I have not noticed any issues with my car so far (knock on wood). Only once I inadvertently ended up turning seat ventilation when I wanted to dust off the screen but that was my flimsiness rather the fault of the car.

  • avatar
    Boxerdog

    Bought a brand new 2013 ATS4 Luxury 3.6 . Still own it and love it. No more problems then the Mercedes or BMWs I have owned . Handles better and CUE has not been much of a problem for me. Fast , stiff and aggressive car , that’s what it was built for . Not a fan of the 2.5 or 2.0T , the 3.6 is the engine to get in this car ! Interior is very high quality. Still looks and feels brand new. Have the brush stainless/w/graphics with black. Trunk is a little small and the back seat. Does not bother me because I’m driving :). I have had people in the back seat complain and I just laugh and say “drive your own car next time” lol. I Have a 2015 Caravan for when I want to drag a bunch of people and gear around. No squeaks , rattles or major problems with 60,000 miles yet. My 16 year old daughter has a Mazda and the interior is cheap and sucks! Very happy with my ATS. Its a drivers car not built for pussies or whiners and its American !


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • ajla: 0. What kind of Continentals? 1. What octane are you planning to use?
  • SuperCarEnthusiast: No! They hate Tesla as a company!
  • Rocket: Panasonic, yes, but with completely different technology. Plus, Panasonic seems to be an unhappy partner in...
  • brettc: It’ll probably just be me, so if it does happen I’ll take my time on the way back and make a...
  • SuperCarEnthusiast: Chinese based government backed car firm like they did for Volvo!

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States