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Cadillac ATS General Discussion Forum Discussion, My test drive in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; First I'm a 33 year old professional who has driven many different cars including Toyotas, a Subaru Legacy, Acura TL, ...
  1. #1
    idmd is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    My test drive

    First I'm a 33 year old professional who has driven many different cars including Toyotas, a Subaru Legacy, Acura TL, Acura MDX, Audi A5 and a Volvo XC60 R-Design.

    Really interested in Cadillac at the moment. I have multiple partners who drive CTS' and I've spent a bit of time in these cars. I think Cadillac has really dialed in exterior and interior styling. That's why I was surprised by the ATS. There's something very strange about its wheel size....seems too small and as a result it makes the entire rest of the car seem less sporty or even cheap.

    I test drove the 3.6 AWD and while power was good I think a 6-speed trans at this point is a real set back. I liked everything else except the gauges in the dash. Anyone else think the half circle speedo looks like it should be in a '92 Buick? The XTS gauges are great but the ATS gauges need work IMHO.

    One sticking point....I have 3 partners with Cadillacs, two current generation CTS and a last generation DTS. All three cars have spent an insane among of time in the shop. Leaky moonroof, two new transmissions, electrical bugs. With all the cars listed above I have never needed to bring them in for anything other than routine maintenance.

    How has Cadillac improved quality?

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  3. #2
    gohawks63's Avatar
    gohawks63 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Quote Originally Posted by idmd
    First I'm a 33 year old professional who has driven many different cars including Toyotas, a Subaru Legacy, Acura TL, Acura MDX, Audi A5 and a Volvo XC60 R-Design.

    Really interested in Cadillac at the moment. I have multiple partners who drive CTS' and I've spent a bit of time in these cars. I think Cadillac has really dialed in exterior and interior styling. That's why I was surprised by the ATS. There's something very strange about its wheel size....seems too small and as a result it makes the entire rest of the car seem less sporty or even cheap.

    I test drove the 3.6 AWD and while power was good I think a 6-speed trans at this point is a real set back. I liked everything else except the gauges in the dash. Anyone else think the half circle speedo looks like it should be in a '92 Buick? The XTS gauges are great but the ATS gauges need work IMHO.

    One sticking point....I have 3 partners with Cadillacs, two current generation CTS and a last generation DTS. All three cars have spent an insane among of time in the shop. Leaky moonroof, two new transmissions, electrical bugs. With all the cars listed above I have never needed to bring them in for anything other than routine maintenance.

    How has Cadillac improved quality?
    If you go to the CTS forums, I think the feeling is that the early versions of the 2nd gen CTS ('08 & '09) which were also the pre-bankruptcy years were prone to issues and that there was gradual improvements in '10-'12 years. From my perspective it's still early. I own a '12 CTS coupe that I bought in March and I have just shy of 8K miles. I did have a minor issue where the seat belt light would flash even when I was buckled. The seatbelt buckle needed to be replaced. Aside from that, the car has been solid. No rattles or squeaks and I absolutely love this car. Again though, it is early.

    Since the ATS is on an entirely new platform and it is in the first model year, there might be concerns that there may be teething pains, but then again, Cadillac has a lot riding on this car, so hopefully they didn't cut corners as they might have when the current gen CTS came out in late '07/early '08 during GM's dark days.

  4. #3
    BEarle is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by idmd
    First I'm a 33 year old professional who has driven many different cars including Toyotas, a Subaru Legacy, Acura TL, Acura MDX, Audi A5 and a Volvo XC60 R-Design.

    Really interested in Cadillac at the moment. I have multiple partners who drive CTS' and I've spent a bit of time in these cars. I think Cadillac has really dialed in exterior and interior styling. That's why I was surprised by the ATS. There's something very strange about its wheel size....seems too small and as a result it makes the entire rest of the car seem less sporty or even cheap.

    I test drove the 3.6 AWD and while power was good I think a 6-speed trans at this point is a real set back. I liked everything else except the gauges in the dash. Anyone else think the half circle speedo looks like it should be in a '92 Buick? The XTS gauges are great but the ATS gauges need work IMHO.

    One sticking point....I have 3 partners with Cadillacs, two current generation CTS and a last generation DTS. All three cars have spent an insane among of time in the shop. Leaky moonroof, two new transmissions, electrical bugs. With all the cars listed above I have never needed to bring them in for anything other than routine maintenance.

    How has Cadillac improved quality?
    I agree with the wheel size. I have been trying to figure out what I don't like about the ATS, it's a nice car but there was something that wasn't right and you hit the nail on the head, it's defiantly the wheels.

  5. #4
    rage2021 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: My test drive

    Why don't you guys get custom wheels? That's what I will do, black diamond tricoat with black 19' rims = drool. I need to find lowering kit too though.

  6. #5
    blkcaddy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Those wheels are extremely ugly and small! They look like they are 14" wheels. On a performance car you have to have a nice wheel with low profile tire! Exterior is nice....little plain but sleek. Definitely looks better with the 18's.

  7. #6
    BEarle is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by rage2021
    Why don't you guys get custom wheels? That's what I will do, black diamond tricoat with black 19' rims = drool. I need to find lowering kit too though.
    Nice set of concaves! Something Vossen

  8. #7
    idmd is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    I don't know to me the wheel wells are too small - especial in the rear where it has a really high belt line. It doesn't need larger rims on lower profile tires....it needs larger tires.

    Not a huge deal just has some awkward proportions that no other Caddys seem to have....CTS and XTS wheel sizes look perfect.

  9. #8
    b4z
    b4z is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: My test drive

    I am glad others have noticed what I posted two weeks ago about the tire package. The diameter needs to be slightly larger. Car is somewhat toylike looking now.

  10. #9
    idmd is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by b4z
    I am glad others have noticed what I posted two weeks ago about the tire package. The diameter needs to be slightly larger. Car is somewhat toylike looking now.
    Toy-like is a good way of putting it. Just hard to believe during the entire design process this never occurred to anyone at Caddy? If I think about all cars that I think look sporty/good the relative proportions around the wheel wells and the size of the tires really do set the look. It what does or doesn't give the car an "athletic stance".

    BWM understands this point. Audi understands this points. Even Acura with my 2010 TL SH-AWD in spite of it's hot mess beak understands this point.

    The more I look at it the less premium it looks specifically because of the wheels.

  11. #10
    idmd is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    I wanted to add one of my pet peeves. I went to my local Caddy dealer and walked into the showroom to find a mostly empty showroom with the exception on one not loaded CTS and one not loaded SRX. They have 5 ATS and 9 XTS outside locked.

    There was a single sales guy on the phone who didn't give me the time of day. That's fine, he's on the phone, but at least acknowledge my presence AND give me an ATS or XTS to see. SOMETHING to look at and sit in if you're going to ignore me!

    When I walk into my local BMW, Infiniti, Audi, Mercedes showrooms they're packed with loaded examples of everything. It's shinny and expensive looking and gets me excited. When i have to wait i can look at and sit in the car I'm there to look at. Sometimes i can really get a better feel when I'm left alone in a car and i can just play. When I walked into Caddy I asked myself are they even still in business? Looked like a dying car maker's showroom.

    Ok diatribe over....I know this may just be my poorly run local dealership but hey they are the face of the entire company and first impressions are everything.

  12. #11
    ryannel2003's Avatar
    ryannel2003 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: My test drive

    Quote Originally Posted by idmd View Post
    I wanted to add one of my pet peeves. I went to my local Caddy dealer and walked into the showroom to find a mostly empty showroom with the exception on one not loaded CTS and one not loaded SRX. They have 5 ATS and 9 XTS outside locked.

    There was a single sales guy on the phone who didn't give me the time of day. That's fine, he's on the phone, but at least acknowledge my presence AND give me an ATS or XTS to see. SOMETHING to look at and sit in if you're going to ignore me!

    When I walk into my local BMW, Infiniti, Audi, Mercedes showrooms they're packed with loaded examples of everything. It's shinny and expensive looking and gets me excited. When i have to wait i can look at and sit in the car I'm there to look at. Sometimes i can really get a better feel when I'm left alone in a car and i can just play. When I walked into Caddy I asked myself are they even still in business? Looked like a dying car maker's showroom.

    Ok diatribe over....I know this may just be my poorly run local dealership but hey they are the face of the entire company and first impressions are everything.
    This is a problem that neither the ATS or XTS will be able to solve alone. BMW's showrooms are always clean, neat and well organized and are required to meet a certain standard. While Cadillac is getting there, it will still be awhile before they are up to the level of Audi, BMW or Mercedes when it comes to sales presentation and showroom quality. This is an important factor when buying an expensive luxury vehicle.

  13. #12
    idmd is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    BTW....I'm 6'5" and about 270 lbs and believe it or not the ATS fits like glove! Plenty of room is all dimensions in the front seat.

    It's a nice change from some foreign companies. I test drove a Lexus GS 350 (not a small car) and headroom was short by about 1.5". Not impressed.

    Anyway the ATS is tall-guy approved.

  14. #13
    Chuck C's Avatar
    Chuck C is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Quote Originally Posted by idmd
    BTW....I'm 6'5" and about 270 lbs and believe it or not the ATS fits like glove! Plenty of room is all dimensions in the front seat.

    It's a nice change from some foreign companies. I test drove a Lexus GS 350 (not a small car) and headroom was short by about 1.5". Not impressed.

    Anyway the ATS is tall-guy approved.
    Fwiw I'm over 6' and the ATS also fit me like a glove (back when I took a test drive).

  15. #14
    JimmyH is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: My test drive

    Quote Originally Posted by idmd View Post
    I wanted to add one of my pet peeves. I went to my local Caddy dealer and walked into the showroom to find a mostly empty showroom with the exception on one not loaded CTS and one not loaded SRX. They have 5 ATS and 9 XTS outside locked.

    There was a single sales guy on the phone who didn't give me the time of day. That's fine, he's on the phone, but at least acknowledge my presence AND give me an ATS or XTS to see. SOMETHING to look at and sit in if you're going to ignore me!

    When I walk into my local BMW, Infiniti, Audi, Mercedes showrooms they're packed with loaded examples of everything. It's shinny and expensive looking and gets me excited. When i have to wait i can look at and sit in the car I'm there to look at. Sometimes i can really get a better feel when I'm left alone in a car and i can just play. When I walked into Caddy I asked myself are they even still in business? Looked like a dying car maker's showroom.

    Ok diatribe over....I know this may just be my poorly run local dealership but hey they are the face of the entire company and first impressions are everything.
    Do you want to buy a brand new, just released to market luxury car that has been pawed and drooled all over in the showroom? I would suspect that is why those 14 cars are outside and not in. That and they probably figure they are going to be sold soon anyway. The last time I was buying a car, one of the cars I was looking at had been on the showroom floor; there were scratches in the interior and exterior.

  16. #15
    idmd is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    I guess I always thought the purpose of a showroom was to show examples of what you can buy.

    Seriously though I've purchased a lot of cars in my relatively short life and I've probably been in 20 different showrooms between researching, test driving and finding a dealer i liked. But I've never walked into a showroom that was basically empty. There was room for at least 8 or 9 cars and it had just 2.

    Look all I know is that when I'm going to drop $50k on something that's going to depreciate like my retirement account in 2008 I'd liked to be "wow'd" by the showroom experience. That means if there isn't a 6' blonde there offering me a cappuccino immediately upon walking in I'd like some cars to check out while I wait for the ONE salesman. How long would I have waited if there was someone else in there before me?

    BTW...no 6' blonde...their greeter was 80+ year old guy named Joe who kind of looked like Harry Carey.

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