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Old 02-01-2014, 01:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Here are my impressions: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0 in Summer Gold Metallic with black interior, automatic, and 20,000 miles. Priced at just over $30k and on "sale" this weekend for $28k. I know you should never base your opinion of a car solely on a 20 minute test drive, but that 20 minutes has completely put me off the 2.0. I was seriously considering it as a future car. The hood release is incredibly hard to find. The salesman and I spent 5 minutes searching even after looking in the manual. It's right in the middle of the driver's bottom dash. I got to take it out by myself which is awesome. I told him right off that I didn't like the color but ATSes are hard to come by used and he offered to let me take it out. The engine made a weird high pitch noise while accelerating, I turned the radio off to make sure I was hearing it accurately. It never stopped making it even after it got warmed up. Not sure if they all do this. I was also surprised at how much noise there was in the cabin. It wasn't overwhelming, just more than I expected. Power was just ok. Coming from my Legacy I could definitely tell the difference in acceleration and responsiveness. But I suspect that is easily corrected with a tweak of some maps and a good tune. And I think that would be enough to get it into the pleasing category for me. The Cue system works ok as long as you're sitting still. I had to jab at all the touch controls in the center stack multiple times to get them to register. And while adjusting the temperature controls while driving, I had to take my eyes completely off the road to get it done. There is a nice thump that confirms you pressed a button, but I found myself frustrated with it rather quickly. Handling was excellent. I took it on a low speed windy bit and it never felt out of shape and seemed to want more. This alone would be a valid excuse to buy one. With more aggressive tires, I think this would be a really fun car to drive. Brakes and steering didn't make any impact on me, which these days I consider a good thing. Visibility, while there were dealer sheets on the rear window, was terrible. I like to sit low, which usually helps in modern cars but looking over my shoulders yielded only the rear door cards. I also had a hard time finding a comfortable driving position. The headrest made me have to lean forward the whole time. It wasn't easily obvious how to adjust it while I was thinking about it. The trunk is a good size for 2 people. I was surprised by the amount of leg room for rear passengers, even with seats all the way back. I wouldn't want to spend a lot of time back there, but cramming folks in to go out to lunch wouldn't be too bad for 4 people. While I think what you are getting a good car for $28k, I don't think that's good enough for this car. For a Cadillac I want more. Or, in the case of touch controls, less. I've been reading that the ATS is one of the best Cadillacs ever and maybe it is. I definitely think there is room for improvement. Actual car not pictured:
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I know turbos are supposed to be the answer but I would certainly be buying the 3.6 V6 if I was buying an ATS. I know I'm old school but I can't picture being happy with a 4 cyl in a Cadillac.*
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I test drove a new ATS with manual and it was so balky I couldn't get a quick shift in for the life of me.*
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I think this car is a piece of crap. I drove the 6MT, and the gearbox was awful, and I couldn't get over the coarseness and noise of the engine. Your comments are pretty well spot on. No thanks. I'll take a Regal GS.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I actually drove straight over to the Buick dealer after driving the ATS. They had a GS on the lot, new and FWD. A salesman didn't immediately approach and I didn't want to waste his time driving a new one and I really want to drive the AWD version since that's the one I would consider. I was also starving. So I didn't stick around.

I really want to love the GS, which after driving the ATS may have also made me not drive it that day and risk being disappointed again.
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