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2013 Cadillac ATS Overview

Jerimy Grafenstein
Automotive Editor - January 31, 2013

Cadillac has gotten close in the past, but the 2013 Cadillac ATS is the first truly viable American alternative to the small European import sport sedans that have dominated the market for decades. And with a variety of trim levels and options, it can be tailored for the price conscious or those wanting all the bells and whistles.

The base ATS is powered by a 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine with 202 horsepower and 190 foot-pound of torque. While this engine is somewhat underpowered, there are other options: a turbocharged 2.0 liter inline four-cylinder engine cranking out a mighty 272 horsepower and 260 foot-pound of torque, and a 3.6 liter V6 producing 321 horsepower and 274 foot-pound of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel-drive is available on trim levels that offer engine upgrades. Fuel economy is respectable: the 2.5 liter engine produces 22 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, while the turbocharged four-cylinder and the V6 engines come in at 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

Cadillac has done a great job on the interior of the ATS. It features a variety of options, but the layout is sensible and features quality trim materials. The display screen is easy to use and has a pleasant pulse when you touch one of the display buttons. The seats are comfortable and headroom is good throughout, but legroom in the rear seats is limited. The trunk, however, is surprisingly small for a sedan; split-folding rear seats help ease the burden of larger loads.

While the ATS is not a BMW, it does offer superior handling through the corners, agile steering, and responsive brakes. The ride is surprisingly smooth, and even the roughest streets are handled with ease. The base 2.5 liter engine has disappointing acceleration, but available engine upgrades make upgrading an easy choice: the turbocharged inline four-cylinder and V6 options are worthy options.