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Cadillac ATS General Discussion Forum Discussion, New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions! in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; Especially those who have gotten their turbos...would love to know what you like or dislike after owning an ATS for ...
  1. #1
    rustybear3's Avatar
    rustybear3 is online now Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions!

    Especially those who have gotten their turbos...would love to know what you like or dislike after owning an ATS for a few weeks....

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    blue_skies is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions!

    I guess I can start here by inserting my earlier comments:

    I just picked up the ATS and it is a SMALL car. Much smaller than an average Cadillac buyer may expect. But it is also FUN. Much more fun than the average Cadillac can deliver, mostly because of it shedding so much bulk and weight. It is a fun car and invites to be driven very spiritedly.

    I doubt that the majority of Cadillac buyers will be interested in the ATS (too small), but the group that purchases small Euro-luxury and performance cars may take another look.

    I came from an STS (2nd STS). Brand/dealer loyalty, absolutely. But, the ATS/3.6L/Luxury prices a lot below the ATS/3.6L/Premium, and gives you almost as much bang for the buck. Not interested in canyon driving (own a Boxster for that). Fwiw, I drove the ATS like I drive the Boxster, and in short, you better not - the ATS is still a 'regular' car with noticeable limitations. The FE3 suspension would not make a big difference here, imho, it does make the car a lot better, but nowhere near a Boxster setup (hence my choice for Luxury).

    The 3.6L engine is tuned for performance in the ATS, and the CTS, SRX, and XTS do not do this engine justice. As a small Cadillac, the ATS delivers. I test drove every car model on the lot with the 3.6L engine in it, and the one thing that is lost on most is the engine tuning. In sport mode, the ATS is nothing short of a hotrod, no need for paddle shifters.

    As a BMW competitor, the ATS/2.0L turbo will lose against the 328i and the ATS/3.6 will loose against the 335i in every review, I am convinced. Basically, given the same price, you purchase into an evolved species, or a newbee. The 3.6/Luxury is a neither nor, but brings the 335i fun for 328i pricing. It is a sleeper setup that saves quite a bit of dough. Ultimately, as prices will drop and discounts become available, the buying public may see the ATS as a better (purchase) deal, but then future resale value kicks in.

    The CUE system still needs more work, and I am expecting firmware updates to overcome its little quirks, but it does receive lots of compliments - besides, the car looks very clean with it.

    I have some more specific feedback for the dealer, e.g. the center console is too low/short for comfort cruising, but it is a minor item. I will meet with the local rep to list the Cue quirks that I have observed. There is also some chipped paint which seems to be a manufacturing defect.

    [EDIT] Adding that now, after a few weeks, the car is beginning to grow on me. It is definitely a car that is very agile and easy to toss around. Power comes on briskly, and the car accelerates blindingly fast. It feels sports-car/V8 strong, surprisingly for a V6. You have to drive it hard - use sports mode and work the gas pedal, and the car is definitely tuned for performance driving. I am very impressed with the gear box and rpm tuning that was done for the ATS.

    The car feels solid and handles quite well for its lowered weight. It feels securely in tight corners, and even though I have the regular suspension, the car feels very predictable, albeit a bit softer setup than I would have liked (do not have MRC).

    The car looks sharp when parked next to a 3-series BMW and I get compliments for both the outside and interior design of the car.

    The rear seats are tight, but the car can handle four adults easier than I expected.

    The trunk space is tight but ok, the folding rear seats are a great help.

    Also surprisingly, I am using the remote start a lot, find it a convenient features, and it doesn't take extra time when walking onto the parking lot.

    Attachment 98599

    wb1.jpg
    Ormond, Ormond, investor74 and 5 others like this.

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    rustybear3's Avatar
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    Re: New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions!

    Very nice evaluation...can you tell us what trim model you got, interior and exterior color and what extras you got that you like or don't like....e.g. driver awareness package, etc.?

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    blue_skies is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions!

    Quote Originally Posted by rustybear3 View Post
    Very nice evaluation...can you tell us what trim model you got, interior and exterior color and what extras you got that you like or don't like....e.g. driver awareness package, etc.?
    I'll add some pics tomorrow - there was a pic in my earlier post, can you not see it?

    Essentially it is a 3.6L Luxury, with Cue System, Navigation, Cold Weather Pkg and Crystal Red TintCoat exterior. Interior is Light Platinum with Jet Black. 6-speed automatic transmission.

    The detailed list includes 57 different items, including warranty items. Suspension is basic Sport Suspension, tires are the 17" aluminum wheels with RFT/ZP run-flat Michelin tires with Brembo brakes.

    The "Luxury" list is well thought through, it is a complete 'up-level' car, including heated mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, programmable remote, flip rear seats, keyless entry/ezkey, memory seats, power seats, navigation system, front & rear parking assist, rearview camera, outdoor/indoor lighting, tire pressure monitor, abs/traction control, and so forth. Interior looks are impressive. I am upgrading the headlights to HID lights. I didn't realize that the Luxury has no HID lights (Cadillac, come on now?).

    As to the "Premium" up-sell, I restrained myself to not fall for all the niceties. Now after having the car, I see a couple of things that I do put value on - I mentioned the HID headlights and the MRC ride control, and would also add, interestingly, the sound system upgrade - I have the Bose system, and understand that the Premium's version is enhanced. Truthfully, all the other features you can get on the Premium are nice-to-have, but they do add up. Not as fast as on a Euro car though And for my low-mileage usage, in California, I am very happy to do without them, but ymmv.

    Actually, having driven the car today in rainy conditions, the car is very easy to drive slow in slow traffic, I begin to understand Cadillac's reason for the 2.5L and base trim (and AWD?), see the BMW sales breakdown, the 3-series is leading, and most sold are the price leading models, not the performance models.Aside from the Cadillac website, I found this an interesting compare site as well:Notice when you 'maximize' options:Notice the almost $10k price differential between my configuration on the 3.6L Luxury versus the tricked-out Premium. More interesting is that the delta for the BMWs in comparable configurations is even larger.

  6. #5
    rage2021 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions!

    Curious can you upgrade the HID lights seperately without getting the premium package? How much would it be if so? And would they add both the LED strips to top and bottom?

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    rustybear3's Avatar
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    Re: New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions!

    No I missed your attachment in the lower left....very nice color. The cadillac website shows the price difference between the 3.6 luxury and premium being a little under $5000 ( and includes NAV for premium, optional for luxury), driver awareness pkg, upgraded Bose, hid headlights, rainsense wipers, HUD, and other additional options. I think for the money, it is a reasonable upgrade cost. However, $5000 is $5000 and I agree, the Luxury model gives you quite a bang for your buck. I'm interested in your Bose evaluation....it was the one option in my 2008 STS that I was NOT impressed with...I had the upgraded Bose....sound was just so-so to me. How would you compare this Bose with your STS Bose system?

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    SierraM is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions!

    I'm pretty sure you get the same upgraded Bose sound system as long as you get the cue navigation option for the luxury. It is standard for premium though. I'd also like to know where you plan on upgrading the HID lights.

    You can compare the 3.6 Luxury and the 3.6 premium here.

    http://www.cadillac.com/ats-luxury-s...equipment.html

  9. #8
    mrrairai76 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions!

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you upgrade to HID don't go with a PnP kit. Have someone do a complete HID retrofit. It will be cleaner and you will have the sharp cutoff that comes with a true HID setup. I have one on the Denali and I can send pics if you like.

  10. #9
    blue_skies is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions!

    Quote Originally Posted by rage2021 View Post
    Curious can you upgrade the HID lights seperately without getting the premium package? How much would it be if so? And would they add both the LED strips to top and bottom?
    Not a sub $100 HID bulb kit. The factory OEM HID bulb + ballast replacement unit is $300 each at dealer, $170 each at gmparts Internet resellers, and plugs right in. Exterior does not change.

    The LED strips, top and bottom, is a much more involved upgrade, and cannot be ordered on the Luxury.

    I see no reason why the HID bulb unit itself cannot be included as an option, but $600 is steep.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mrrairai76 View Post
    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you upgrade to HID don't go with a PnP kit. Have someone do a complete HID retrofit. It will be cleaner and you will have the sharp cutoff that comes with a true HID setup. I have one on the Denali and I can send pics if you like.
    See my other reply, this is not a retrofit kit, but a genuine OEM part. The headlight assembly already has the focused beam setup, so only a bulb replacement is required.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rustybear3 View Post
    No I missed your attachment in the lower left....very nice color. The cadillac website shows the price difference between the 3.6 luxury and premium being a little under $5000 ( and includes NAV for premium, optional for luxury), driver awareness pkg, upgraded Bose, hid headlights, rainsense wipers, HUD, and other additional options. I think for the money, it is a reasonable upgrade cost. However, $5000 is $5000 and I agree, the Luxury model gives you quite a bang for your buck. I'm interested in your Bose evaluation....it was the one option in my 2008 STS that I was NOT impressed with...I had the upgraded Bose....sound was just so-so to me. How would you compare this Bose with your STS Bose system?
    The premium gives you a lot more than that, MRC, upgraded seats, wider rims, performance tires, paddle shifters, and I agree that $5,000 (+ 9% tax here) won't break the bank. Are you sure that you included all the options? It doesn't sound right to me.

    The original STS with 9" woofer had a very crisp base response that I miss in other cars. The ATS Bose sounds warm and muffled. Mid tones and highs are fine, but the base is boomy, not crisp.

    Same problem in the Porsches with the factory Bose option. In the Boxster (zero space! ) I ended up installing an inverted 8" woofer, driven separately by a 100 Watt amp - mind you, not for volume, but for crispness. The Boxster setup sounds warm too, but much cleaner than the factory Bose.

    The ATS Bose setup is between these two setups and liveable, but warm sounding. Reducing base levels doesn't change this. Maybe the woofer needs a bigger amp too, maybe it is just interior cabin/trunk space volume and shelf space limitations.

    The ATS cabin is very quiet.

  11. #10
    blue_skies is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions!

    Some more exterior and interior pics

    ext1.jpg

    ext2.jpg

    int1.jpg

    int2.jpg
    eddie, eddie, investor74 and 2 others like this.

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    Its an ATS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_skies

    Not a sub $100 HID bulb kit. The factory OEM HID bulb + ballast replacement unit is $300 each at dealer, $170 each at gmparts Internet resellers, and plugs right in. Exterior does not change.

    The LED strips, top and bottom, is a much more involved upgrade, and cannot be ordered on the Luxury.

    I see no reason why the HID bulb unit itself cannot be included as an option, but $600 is steep.

    ----------



    See my other reply, this is not a retrofit kit, but a genuine OEM part. The headlight assembly already has the focused beam setup, so only a bulb replacement is required.

    ----------



    The premium gives you a lot more than that, MRC, upgraded seats, wider rims, performance tires, paddle shifters, and I agree that $5,000 (+ 9% tax here) won't break the bank. Are you sure that you included all the options? It doesn't sound right to me.

    The original STS with 9" woofer had a very crisp base response that I miss in other cars. The ATS Bose sounds warm and muffled. Mid tones and highs are fine, but the base is boomy, not crisp.

    Same problem in the Porsches with the factory Bose option. In the Boxster (zero space! ) I ended up installing an inverted 8" woofer, driven separately by a 100 Watt amp - mind you, not for volume, but for crispness. The Boxster setup sounds warm too, but much cleaner than the factory Bose.

    The ATS Bose setup is between these two setups and liveable, but warm sounding. Reducing base levels doesn't change this. Maybe the woofer needs a bigger amp too, maybe it is just interior cabin/trunk space volume and shelf space limitations.

    The ATS cabin is very quiet.
    I have seen premium and luxury models and I can not tell the diff between the seats. Is it an external or only internal upgrade?

  13. #12
    blue_skies is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Its an ATS View Post
    I have seen premium and luxury models and I can not tell the diff between the seats. Is it an external or only internal upgrade?


    See option list at end - Premium has "Leather seating surfaces with driver 12-way and front passenger 10-way adjustments, plus 2-way lumbar adjustments"

    Only premium and sport have passenger lumbar adjustments
    • Luxury has driver 8-way
    • Standard has driver 6-way

    That, and the driver awareness feedback.

    Also, I read in one of the reviews that the seat bolster in the premium is adjustable.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by SierraM View Post
    I'm pretty sure you get the same upgraded Bose sound system as long as you get the cue navigation option for the luxury. It is standard for premium though. I'd also like to know where you plan on upgrading the HID lights.

    You can compare the 3.6 Luxury and the 3.6 premium here.

    http://www.cadillac.com/ats-luxury-s...equipment.html
    According to: http://www.cadillac.com/content/dam/...talog_7-24.pdf

    The Luxury has this Bose System:
    "Bose® Premium 7-speaker sound system"

    Whereas the Premium has this Bose System:
    "Bose Premium 10-speaker Cabin Surround® sound system"


    I ordered the OEM HID bulbs+ballast and will post a pic when they arrive - already have the tech drawings of the headlight assembly.

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    SierraM is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions!

    According to your link the Bose Premium 10 speaker system is also an available option for the luxury model. If you go the build your own link, choose the luxury trim, and then pick cue nav it will you will also get premium surround sound if it wasn't equipped. Unless you didn't order cue navigation, you should have the premium 10 speaker surround sound system.

    http://www.cadillac.com/ats-luxury-s...-your-own.html

    CADILLAC USER EXPERIENCE (CUE) AND NAVIGATION
    includes all (Y24) CUE and Surround Sound content, plus (UY4) navigation system
    (Includes (Y64) Cadillac User Experience (CUE) Infotainment System content.)

    AUDIO SYSTEM FEATURE, CD PLAYER, SINGLE DISC
    (Included and only available with (Y26) CUE and Navigation.)
    $0 $0
    AUDIO SYSTEM FEATURE, BOSE SURROUND SOUND 10-SPEAKER SYSTEM
    (Included and only available with (Y26) CUE and Navigation.)
    $0 $0
    NAVIGATION SYSTEM
    (Included and only available with (Y26) CUE and Navigation.)

    ----------

    How much do you think you will spend on parts & installation of the OEM HID lights?

  15. #14
    blue_skies is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions!

    Thanks for that info, and yes, got all those options. I have not seen a Premium yet, only on paper.

    HID parts are $170 * 2 plus an hour of labor, so well under $500.

    The mechanic showed me how to take off the bumper, in case I want to do it myself at home.

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    SierraM is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New owners of Cadillac ATS post your initial impressions!

    Less than $500 seems reasonable. Do you think all the Cadillac dealerships will offer to do the part order and installation?

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