CTS vs. ATS
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2008-2013 Cadillac CTS General Discussion Discussion, CTS vs. ATS in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; I brought my 2012 CTS 3.0L Luxury in for service and got a 2.5L ATS as a loaner. My impressions: ...
  1. #1
    billeee is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    CTS vs. ATS

    I brought my 2012 CTS 3.0L Luxury in for service and got a 2.5L ATS as a loaner.

    My impressions:

    1) The ATS does handle and corner somewhat better than the CTS.

    2) The CTS ride is significantly smoother and quieter (I believe the ATS had standard suspension like my CTS).

    3) The 4 banger 2.5L ATS engine is surprisingly strong but it sounds and feels like it is working hard at full throttle.

    4) Interior space was better than I expected and the seats were comfortable.

    5) The ATS had the base CUE system (no nav). I'm an iPad/Android user so I'm used to using touch screens. My reaction was similar to most of the published reviews. The CUE system is a technically cool concept but definitely harder to learn and use than conventional controls. I can see that touch controls would be useful for the NAV function but they are a real negative for the audio and climate controls.

    The CUE screen had so many finger prints on it after 2K loaner miles that you could hardly see the icons. Needs a wiper/washer system .

    Note to CUE system designers -- you can't beat knobs for audio volume and tuning controls.

    .

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  3. #2
    mike_g is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: CTS vs. ATS

    Interesting. I have my 2008 CTS4 with Performance pkg in for service and I have the same ATS for a couple of days.

    I noticed the ATS suspension is much softer than mine. Also, to me that engine feels like it can't get out of its own way. Entering the highway on an on-ramp going uphill was unsure feeling. Whew, I see why I don't buy 4 cylinder cars. The trunk is really tiny, too, compared to the CTS. Important for me hauling around music gear. The interior itself does feel almost as big though.

    I'm not a big fan of the touch controls either. It is just weird feeling, and as you said the gloss black shows lots of fingerprints.

    The car is nice feeling and riding, but I'm glad it reinforced my decision to get the CTS over a newer ATS. I'll be glad to have my car back.

  4. #3
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: CTS vs. ATS

    there is a microfibre cloth (with the cadillac logo stitched or embossed into it) that should be in the glovebox

    they're like $6 or $7 or if you want extra ones

    #22917893
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  5. #4
    angelbones is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: CTS vs. ATS

    Quote Originally Posted by billeee View Post
    I brought my 2012 CTS 3.0L Luxury in for service and got a 2.5L ATS as a loaner.

    My impressions:

    1) The ATS does handle and corner somewhat better than the CTS.

    2) The CTS ride is significantly smoother and quieter (I believe the ATS had standard suspension like my CTS).

    3) The 4 banger 2.5L ATS engine is surprisingly strong but it sounds and feels like it is working hard at full throttle.

    4) Interior space was better than I expected and the seats were comfortable.

    5) The ATS had the base CUE system (no nav). I'm an iPad/Android user so I'm used to using touch screens. My reaction was similar to most of the published reviews. The CUE system is a technically cool concept but definitely harder to learn and use than conventional controls. I can see that touch controls would be useful for the NAV function but they are a real negative for the audio and climate controls.

    The CUE screen had so many finger prints on it after 2K loaner miles that you could hardly see the icons. Needs a wiper/washer system .

    Note to CUE system designers -- you can't beat knobs for audio volume and tuning controls.

    .
    I'm also in an ATS loaner car, and you hit the nail on the head with how I would describe it as well. Of course, for me it's slightly different comparison since I'm coming from a coupe with a larger, but I was just trying to compare what I could with that in mind. I would agree with every bullet point you raised. The biggest positive is I'm getting upper 20s in the gas mileage dept., but I'd still rather have the power. I would also make this point. I drove a really ugly gold ATS loaner car a couple months ago and hated everything about it. This time around, I've warmed to the looks a little more since it is an all black model, but frankly I'm waiting to see a coupe version.

  6. #5
    HurstGN is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: CTS vs. ATS

    Quote Originally Posted by RippyPartsDept View Post
    there is a microfibre cloth (with the cadillac logo stitched or embossed into it) that should be in the glovebox

    they're like $6 or $7 or if you want extra ones

    #22917893
    For that price, it should be the size of a bath towel!

  7. #6
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: CTS vs. ATS

    TRUE, cheaper microfibre cloth costs approx $1 per towel but the nice ones like these are prices pretty close

    plus it has the cadillac logo on it...
    Chris Heath (RippyPartsDept) is an ASE Certified GM Parts Consultant at
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  8. #7
    angelbones is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: CTS vs. ATS

    So I just got done driving an ATS loaner for two weeks. (Don't worry nothing wrong with my CTS, but too long to explain here). Although I've already commented, I wanted to add this since I was able to spend more than a day or two in the ATS. While it is not exactly a fair comparison from a Base ATS to my Performance CTS, my wife pointed out that the quality just wasn't there in the ATS. I really didn't think too much about it at the time and that was a week ago. Today, I got my beloved CTS back, and I have to say, the CTS just oozes a better "quality" product. This is not necessarily a knock on the ATS, because it was a base model, but it wasn't until I got back into the CTS that I realized what my wife was talking about. Also, as a side note, I drove an XTS loaner a couple months ago, and felt that the quality in that was also very good. I guess to be fair, I should sit in and drive a more loaded ATS, but for now, gimme my CTS.

  9. #8
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: CTS vs. ATS

    Yeah the up-level leather in the ATS is much better than the base
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  10. #9
    gohawks63's Avatar
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    Re: CTS vs. ATS

    Quote Originally Posted by angelbones View Post
    So I just got done driving an ATS loaner for two weeks. (Don't worry nothing wrong with my CTS, but too long to explain here). Although I've already commented, I wanted to add this since I was able to spend more than a day or two in the ATS. While it is not exactly a fair comparison from a Base ATS to my Performance CTS, my wife pointed out that the quality just wasn't there in the ATS. I really didn't think too much about it at the time and that was a week ago. Today, I got my beloved CTS back, and I have to say, the CTS just oozes a better "quality" product. This is not necessarily a knock on the ATS, because it was a base model, but it wasn't until I got back into the CTS that I realized what my wife was talking about. Also, as a side note, I drove an XTS loaner a couple months ago, and felt that the quality in that was also very good. I guess to be fair, I should sit in and drive a more loaded ATS, but for now, gimme my CTS.
    I think the same could be said between a base CTS and an upper trim (i.e. Premium) CTS.
    rustybear3 and rustybear3 like this.

  11. #10
    angelbones is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: CTS vs. ATS

    Quote Originally Posted by gohawks63 View Post
    I think the same could be said between a base CTS and an upper trim (i.e. Premium) CTS.
    I agree but I'm thinking more along the lines of fit and finish; leather stitching; trims, etc.

  12. #11
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    rustybear3 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: CTS vs. ATS

    Quote Originally Posted by angelbones View Post
    I agree but I'm thinking more along the lines of fit and finish; leather stitching; trims, etc.
    Actually, I had a loaner CTS Coupe when my Premium level ATS was having it's CUE update. While the exterior was nice, I felt the interior was cheaper looking and quite dated compared to my ATS. Especially the console. The trim level was average at best IMHO. Could hardly wait to get my beloved car back! To each his own, I guess...

  13. #12
    CTSCHICK is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: CTS vs. ATS

    After driving a 3.6 ATS for a while yesterday I have to agree with what was said about the CTS base or luxury compared to the premium like 2 completely different cars IMO kinda like the Base CTS loaner car I had with the 3 point slow that felt like I was in a entirely different car.

    I instantly like the ATS Interior better just because it doesn't have the huge tacky silver plastic center console with analog clock that makes me think Cobalt or Malibu even though I do not like the ATS cup holder front to rear lay out.
    The wrapped leather on the center console of the ATS is where I expected the CTS to be

    Driving and handling wise I am used to 2 door sport coupes so I felt right at home in the ATS

  14. #13
    gohawks63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTSCHICK
    After driving a 3.6 ATS for a while yesterday I have to agree with what was said about the CTS base or luxury compared to the premium like 2 completely different cars IMO kinda like the Base CTS loaner car I had with the 3 point slow that felt like I was in a entirely different car.

    I instantly like the ATS Interior better just because it doesn't have the huge tacky silver plastic center console with analog clock that makes me think Cobalt or Malibu even though I do not like the ATS cup holder front to rear lay out.
    The wrapped leather on the center console of the ATS is where I expected the CTS to be

    Driving and handling wise I am used to 2 door sport coupes so I felt right at home in the ATS
    I think the analog clock is supposed to,be a bit of a throwback. Chrysler does that on the 300 too.

  15. #14
    arw1510 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    I don't mind the analog clock. But I do wish that they would partner with a watch company to make it. Granted they aren't going to partner up with breitling like Bentley does, but maybe an American brand like Hamilton would be able to put a nice classic style clock in there somewhere lol

  16. #15
    MoFex's Avatar
    MoFex is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Actually analog clock is very elegant and classy. There is nothing wrong with it.
    Manifest78, RAB, RAB and 2 others like this.

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