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Cadillac ATS General Discussion Forum Discussion, Cadillac is lucky... in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; I'm sorry, just need to rant. Been a rough couple of days. Let me start by saying I really DO ...
  1. #1
    Fraggy's Avatar
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    Cadillac is lucky...

    I'm sorry, just need to rant. Been a rough couple of days.

    Let me start by saying I really DO love the car. But more on that later.

    THE TRANSMISSION: The auto transmission SUCKS. Sorry folks, it does. It has very bizarre behavior under 3500 rpm. It is loose with limited lockup. Not much of a "manual" mode at all. As long as you are accelerating right through the gears you won't notice how much the tranny sucks. Let off the pedal, drive in highway traffic for a while loosely using the pedal, and then give it a fair amount of gas, and it slips like crazy. It WILL hold the gear, but the rpm will rise about 500 rpm, then settle back down, and after about a second, it will lock and begin to accelerate the car. All in all, you press the gas and watch this "dance" waste at least 1.5 seconds. Very antiquated. The BMW tranny spanks the crap out of this, as do older ones as well. My 2007 335 was fully locked from about 1800 on, with NO SLIP OR PLAY. A true "manual" mode. This ATS tranny is 2004 at best.

    THE GAS MILEAGE: One word, SUCKS! From delivery through a couple of days ago (600 miles) only 16.x mpg. Granted that included an inordinate amount of city driving so I reset it and 200 miles later, after driving my typical routes, and in typical fashion, it's only risen to 18.2 mpg. My 335 driven the same way, on the same routes, returned 18.8 mpg. And my ATS is only a 2.0! I'd have gotten a 3.6 but was hoping to save gas, but no luck, I'm getting worse mileage. Crap! All driven in "manual" mode in both cars.

    Why is caddy lucky? Because we buy the car anyway. I bought it for the amazing MRC suspension and top of the line EPS. For electric power steering, it's amazing. And the shocks, wow, the most luxurious ride that is also still as stiff as can be. Brilliant. But like I said, lucky. If the suspension and steering sucked as much as the tranny and mileage, this car would be a looker only. So yea, lucky...
    Jones atsnh and Jones atsnh like this.

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    73JPS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cadillac is lucky...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraggy View Post
    Why is caddy lucky? Because we buy the car anyway. I bought it for the amazing MRC suspension and top of the line EPS. For electric power steering, it's amazing. And the shocks, wow, the most luxurious ride that is also still as stiff as can be. Brilliant. But like I said, lucky. If the suspension and steering sucked as much as the tranny and mileage, this car would be a looker only.
    So why would this have to be "lucky"? Could it not also be a decided engineering decision? Resources are spent on suspension and steering, whilst accepting a lesser drivetrain package because time and money and resources dictate such? Engineering is always a compromise of resources versus results. Why would you assume it is luck?

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    Fraggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 73JPS

    So why would this have to be "lucky"? Could it not also be a decided engineering decision? Resources are spent on suspension and steering, whilst accepting a lesser drivetrain package because time and money and resources dictate such? Engineering is always a compromise of resources versus results. Why would you assume it is luck?
    Lucky, because we are also willing to accept the compromise.

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    73JPS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cadillac is lucky...

    So, then, this could be said about anything. Absolutely nothing is perfect. Everything is lucky.

  6. #5
    Link2877 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cadillac is lucky...

    No offense man but if you're going to drive the car in manual mode all the time why didn't you just buy a manual? As much as automakers want you to believe the manual mode in an automatic is the same thing as standard. I don't think any automaker in the world actually designs their automatic to driven in said mode at all times.
    And if I'm not mistaken the transmission in that 07 335 is a late cousin of the one used in the ats.

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    73JPS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cadillac is lucky...

    Some other examples of "luck", by your definition: Lululemon is "lucky" that women value comfort and style over modesty and decorum (one could argue that men are equally lucky in this instance ); McDonald's is "lucky" that people value flavour over nutrition, and BMW is "lucky" that people value status over financial responsibility.

    It's one thing to point out personal complaints with a product: heck, some of those might even be universal. It is quite another thing, however, to characterize those compromises as universal and absolute, and thus intimate some sort of weakness among the purchasers. Saying that Cadillac is "lucky" that we accept "the compromise" only serves to dampen intelligent debate about this car's strengths and weaknesses.

  8. #7
    duke27 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cadillac is lucky...

    I drive my ATS 2.0T AWD automatic almost everyday on highway and off highway and I've never really experienced what "Fraggy" is talking about. I blow by almost anything on the road, especially the new BMW 3 Series ( lol )

  9. #8
    Stevo Supremo's Avatar
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    Re: Cadillac is lucky...

    lol I test drove the automatic at the dealer and I absolutely hated it. It felt lazy and indecisive.

    I bought the manual because I've always driven manual and the drive is just so much more fun when you're in control. Plus, theres nothing more fun then rowing through the gears on a 6speed stick in these cars

    I'll admit the mileage does suck.. but I've also been driving it like a "yahoo" so.. that could be my fault lol!

    My biggest gripe with these cars is the FM reception is trash and the pissy halogen headlights.

  10. #9
    Yplus is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cadillac is lucky...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraggy View Post
    I'm sorry, just need to rant. Been a rough couple of days.

    Let me start by saying I really DO love the car. But more on that later.

    THE TRANSMISSION: The auto transmission SUCKS. Sorry folks, it does. It has very bizarre behavior under 3500 rpm. It is loose with limited lockup. Not much of a "manual" mode at all. As long as you are accelerating right through the gears you won't notice how much the tranny sucks. Let off the pedal, drive in highway traffic for a while loosely using the pedal, and then give it a fair amount of gas, and it slips like crazy. It WILL hold the gear, but the rpm will rise about 500 rpm, then settle back down, and after about a second, it will lock and begin to accelerate the car.
    That's because you are trying to accelerate in a gear that is too high. It's allowing the turbo to spool up more due to your error by "slipping" the torque converter and giving the turbo a little more flow to build boost. Try to downshift next time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraggy View Post

    THE GAS MILEAGE: One word, SUCKS! From delivery through a couple of days ago (600 miles) only 16.x mpg. Granted that included an inordinate amount of city driving so I reset it and 200 miles later, after driving my typical routes, and in typical fashion, it's only risen to 18.2 mpg. My 335 driven the same way, on the same routes, returned 18.8 mpg. And my ATS is only a 2.0! I'd have gotten a 3.6 but was hoping to save gas, but no luck, I'm getting worse mileage. Crap! All driven in "manual" mode in both cars.
    The EPA rating is 20/30. You car is not even broken in yet, AND we all have winter gas which has less energy in it. Those ratings are not based on spirited driving. But I WILL say that if you drive it on the highway at ~65mph and don't weave in and out of traffic and accelerate briskly, you WILL get 30MPG.

    Turbo engines get better gas mileage because when you are not accelerating briskly, you have a smaller engine. If you floor a Prius around town, and brake hard and floor it again ad infinitum, it will get ~18mpg. If you drive a Prius at 90 MPH, it will get ~25mpg. It's because it doesn't matter the size of the engine, you still need a certain amount of energy in brisk acceleration (and high speed due to drag) and unless you have a plug-in hybrid where you get some of that energy at home, you won't ever get better mileage unless you adjust your driving habits.

    My drive to work is 8-14 miles depending on how many detours I take. I'm lucky that I live in an area where these roads are almost all winding and hilly. I get 19mpg driving those roads the way I want to drive them (quickly). When I go to see relatives and I take the highway, I drive around 65mph with my wife and kid in the car and smoothly stay with traffic and I get 30-32 mpg on those trips.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo Supremo View Post
    lol I test drove the automatic at the dealer and I absolutely hated it. It felt lazy and indecisive.

    I bought the manual because I've always driven manual and the drive is just so much more fun when you're in control. Plus, theres nothing more fun then rowing through the gears on a 6speed stick in these cars
    Agreed, but I needed AWD and couldn't get a manual. That being said, after the engine breaks in, the transmission acts much better. I think during break-in, the computer is avoiding the engine getting into certain load conditions. (High load/Low RPM, etc). With 4k miles on my ATS4 Turbo, the engine will tractor up a hill in a lower gear with light throttle and not downshift. The fact that the engine makes enough torque at that point still blows me away. While I don't know this for sure, it sure seems that the transmission is being told to do certain things when the engine is fairly new and this leads to a lot of hunting for gears, but this goes away at some point.

  11. #10
    Bertha D Blues's Avatar
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    Re: Cadillac is lucky...

    I'm not entirely pleased with my transmission either. At 35 mph on level ground it jerks as it hunt for gears. Other speeds are ok. Also, sport mode doesn't work on my car. Bert

  12. #11
    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
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    Re: Cadillac is lucky...

    Quote Originally Posted by Yplus View Post
    I think during break-in, the computer is avoiding the engine getting into certain load conditions. (High load/Low RPM, etc). With 4k miles on my ATS4 Turbo, the engine will tractor up a hill in a lower gear with light throttle and not downshift. The fact that the engine makes enough torque at that point still blows me away. While I don't know this for sure, it sure seems that the transmission is being told to do certain things when the engine is fairly new and this leads to a lot of hunting for gears, but this goes away at some point.
    VERY unlikely as that would be "illegal" regarding the government fuel mileage tests. Cadillac got burned big time years ago when they got caught programming the computer to recognize the test cycle and do things to reduce fuel usage in that mode. I guess they hired a bunch of ex video card firmware coders. Anyway, car makers are not allowed to have the car operate differently when being mileage tested. The motivation for any such difference would be irrelevant. Although doing what you suggest would almost certainly hurt mileage which automakers would probably kill to avoid. LoL

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    AdamVIP is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cadillac is lucky...

    I have found the sport transmission setting to be infinitely better than the touring. The downside for me is that that also sends the mag shocks into bump city. Its still worth it to me though. Perhaps Cadillac can do an update to make sport transmission mode the norm or even separate the suspension mode from the transmission mode.

    As far as the mileage concerns mileage doesn't peak till after break in and while Im sure you think your driving the same you probably arent. The throttle posisition and fuel delivery are different between cars and it will take a while for you to adjust to the new car settings. Not sure which motor you have but I have the 2.0 and have been able to stabilize my combined around 25 and my highway at about 27.

    So I guess in summary. I agree the transmission leaves a lot to desire. Try sport mode. Its better. for the fuel give it a couple thousand miles. Per the manual break in for our cars is 1500 miles. Not 500 like what the dealers tell you. If it still sucks bring it to the dealer.

  14. #13
    mikesul is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Cadillac is lucky...

    Hopefully the 8 speed auto that's coming up will solve these problems. Some tuning to the transmission module may solve the problems in the current six speed. Enough complaints and Cadillac will have to solve the problems.

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    JSATS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Cadillac is lucky...

    I have over 9 thousand miles on my ATS and I haven't experienced any of the transmission complaints. I had an Audi A4 2.0t before this and the transmission was one of the things I didn't like about it. The Audi would upshift way too fast and would get into a hesitate situation all the time. I think it was done for fuel economy. The ATS shifts much smoother than my Audi and holds RPM better without hesitation. I also find the manual mode on the ATS to work as expected.

  16. #15
    Fraggy's Avatar
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    Wow, the fan boyz have come out of the woodwork on this one!

    Guess ill have to shoot a vid to show you guys.

    In reply to some comments...

    I drive in sport AND manual mode exclusively. I like choosing my shift points. I've been doing it since 2006 without issue.

    It's not related to the turbo spooling as the 3.6's I test drove did the same thing.

    It's not my fault for choosing too high a gear as I don't think cruising along at 2500 rpm is too low to be able to have direct acceleration in the same gear. Other cars do it with ease.

    There is no way this tranny is related to the one in my 335's as that one was made by ZF. Even the GM made tranny in the E90 325's and 328's didn't have these behaviors.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesul
    Hopefully the 8 speed auto that's coming up will solve these problems. Some tuning to the transmission module may solve the problems in the current six speed. Enough complaints and Cadillac will have to solve the problems.
    That is my hope.

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