- 02-10-13 03:27 PM #1Cadillac Owners Member
- Automobile(s): ATS 3.6 Premium. Opulent Blue
- Join Date
- May 2012
1000 mile review
Have put about a thousand miles so far on my 3.6 Premium, opulent blue with grey interior, and so far I would have to say I'm really enjoying this car. Not without some minor issues, but overall a great car. Its a great combination of fun to drive, comfort, and technology. I purchased the car (didn't lease), but don't expect to keep it more than 3-4 years (maybe sooner if they release an ATS-V!)
To put my review in perspective, this is the first American car I've owned in decades. Currently also drive a 2011 BMW Z4 (leased on a whim, but lease is up in June), previously owned a BMW 335. Also have owned a couple of Miatas, an RX-8, and an Audi A4.
Performance - I am very pleased with the handling. I think it handles at least as well as my Z4 and feel very light on its "feet." Steering effort is very light, but I'm getting used to it and its reasonably communicative (better than the current 335, but I do miss the hydraulic steering of my 2008 335). Engine performance is good, but can't touch the current BMW 335. Rather loud engine, and not entirely in a good way (seems a little rough), but tolerable. Transmission, while only six gears, works very well. Paddle shifter lags slightly compared to instant shift of BMW 8 speed in 335, but overall works quite well. I test drove both the four and six cylinder engines on the ATS and the 335, and decided that there was too much lag on the ATS 2.0 (maybe an issue with the low mile tester I had). In the end, it was the handling of the ATS that sold me. However, not that impressed with the magnetic shocks. Ride is a bit jittery, even in touring mode, but overall I'm willing to live with that given the great handling. Mileage has been a little disappointing. The best I can get on my commute when I avoid traffic and spend almost all my time on the highway is about 25mpg. Thats at least three mpg lower than my Z4, which has much lower gearing and poorer aerodynamics. Hoping this improved as the engine breaks in.
Comfort - Seat comfort is OK and the adjustable side bolsters help keep me in place, but not as well as my BMWs. Lumbar support seems a little low and can't quite get the seat set up to where I want it, but will reserve judgment until I take a long drive (longest so far about an hour) to see how it is on my lower back, which can give me problems in certain cars. Rear seat room is tight, but can fit my family of four in it OK (and I'm 6' 1"). However, I had to forgo the sunroof to have enough rear head room. I'm happy with the performance of the automatic climate control, works at least as well as my BMW, but am having the problem that others have voiced about an intermitant tapping/rattling when the heat is on. It doesn't happen all the time, and its somewhat faint so don't hear it at speed, but annoying in stop and go trffic or at traffic lights. Hope they can roll out a fix for this.
CUE - while it takes some getting used to, I much prefer it to I-Drive in my BMW. I've had no major problems (no reboots) and overall it works well. Can be hard to hit the right virtual button when I'm on the move and bouncing around (the ride can be a little jittery, even in touring mode). Voice control is hit or miss, and is very slow. I think most of my challenges have involved just learning how the system works. The manual isn't really all that helpful. I miss the ability to read incoming messages from my blackberry (which my BMW will read to me), but hoping they roll out the capability in an update. Love the HUD, although it washes out if you wear polarized sunglasses. Also like the number of different things you can display in the driver information center below the gauges. While I don't love the look of the gauges, I don't hate them as much as I thought i would, and visibility is very good.
Sounds system is decent. Not outstanding, but good enough that I don't feel the need to upgrade the system.
Driver awareness package - lane departure warning works well, collision warning less so. I've played with the settings and no mater what sensitivity I set it to, some of the warnings seem a little random. I'm really glad I didn't get the package that brakes for you. I would be concerned that it would brake when it doesn't need to, plus it would give me false alarms on my radar detector, so foregoing that package was a good deal for me. Understand others like it and are glad they got it, but its not for everyone.
Appearance - I really love the exterior and interior of the car. I think the interior materials are at least as good as the BMW. The steering wheel, while not as good as the steering wheel on my M-package Z4, feels much better than the plasticky steering wheel on the sports-package equipped 335. While the interior may have a little too many textures/colors going on, I prefer it to the rather boring interior of the 335 with the screen sticking up out of the dash like an afterthought. While the exterior of the BMW looks good, I think the ATS looks fantastic, although I understand that is a personal preference and reasonable people will disagree on this.
Build quality, other than the climate control rattle mentioned above, seems excellent, but only time will really tell.
Overall, I'm very happy with the car and much prefer to drive it than my Z4 (except maybe for the occasional gorgeous day when I'm not on a highway and want to put the top down). I have no regrets about my purchase.
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- 02-10-13 04:07 PM #2Cadillac Owners Fanatic
- Automobile(s): ATS 3.6L Luxury
- Join Date
- Oct 2012
Re: 1000 mile review
A couple of comments come to mind.
I am close to 5k miles, and the more I drive it, the more I like it. The car grows on you.
The engine, well it has power, but it sounds odd. Just something to get used too, I guess. It comes with better mileage. Power is plenty, if you are willing to work the throttle. I feel that only sports cars, at 2x the price, are faster on the street, and this car has four doors.
I thought that the back seats are kiddy seats, but have taken two trips with four adults now - it seems fine.
I don't miss the 8 gear box, nor the paddle shifters. It simply has not been an issue at all. And I can drive a car up to its limits, my other daily driver is a Boxster. The ATS is surprisingly forgiving when pushed. It can't match the Boxster, but the edge is much further out than what you would expect.
I am happy, in hindsight, that I did not get the MRC. I drive in Sports Mode virtually all the time. Mileage does not seem to suffer all that much, but the steering and acceleration control is so much better. Maybe a FW hack can be introduced for the Premium model.
I am used to the CUE by now, and awaiting FW updates. It is neither here nor there, but it works, and the dash looks so much cleaner than the BMW's.
On the weekends, I mostly grab the Boxster, but for commuting, the ATS has given me a much more rewarding experience than my previous STS's have. Albeit, for long distances and business purposes, the ATS falls short. Comfort is there, but the steering feels busier, and the lighter weight comes through. The cabin is very quiet, and the car feels very solidly built, even though it does not appear so to the eye, at first.
And I should mention the brakes, they are, after all, important, and the are among the best.
There are many minor quirks, like how quickly the back ends get dirty after driving in a drizzle, but again, the more I drive it, the more I like it.
- 02-10-13 07:05 PM #3
Re: 1000 mile review
Great reviews, guys. Thanks!
- 02-10-13 10:49 PM #4Cadillac Owners Member
- Automobile(s): 97 STS (Sold); 13 ATS 2.0T w/AT & CUE
- Join Date
- May 2005
Great review! Thanks for your insights. I have the collision braking and have not had any issues or chance to test yet. Thankfully.