ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective
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Cadillac ATS General Discussion Forum Discussion, ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; Traded in my cream-puff 2002 325i (sport suspension and sport seats) for a ATS 2.0L turbo Luxury. My 325 only ...
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    flycaster's Avatar
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    ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective

    Traded in my cream-puff 2002 325i (sport suspension and sport seats) for a ATS 2.0L turbo Luxury. My 325 only had 68K miles and was a pleasure to drive, but it was time to get a new car. I got the ATS because of all the hype about how it was a direct competitor to the BMW 3 series. Well, I really don't know about that! The car handles well and has a lot of pep, but it doesn't feel like a real driver's car as did the BMW. The ATS holds the road fairly nicely, but it doesn't let you FEEL the road, nor is the steering as responsive as it was with the BMW. I would describe the ride as being more "plush," but a lot looser than the 325's. I might also add that even the new BMW 3 series cars (after the E46 series), don't have the road feel that my car has (E46)...those days are gone. Nonetheless, I do enjoy riding a "plush" car, but when i really want a driver's experience, I still can turn to my remaining BMW, a 2005 Z4...which I will only give up when I can't get in and out of it.

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    mkco is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective

    Having had an E46 BMW myself, I totally agree. HOWEVER, that car isn't sold by BMW anymore, unfortunately. The next generation (E90) wasn't as sporty (I had one of those too) and the current one has fallen further since into the Lexus abyss. I'd take an ATS over the CURRENT 3-series any day! BMW has "jumped the shark"...Cadillac is on its way up.

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    Re: ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective

    Which suspension package do you have? FE2 or FE3


    I came from a race tuned heavily modified Subaru STI. I feel that my ATS HANDLES AMAZING.

    I SPENT 20+ track days annually and logged many hours behind the wheel. So I'm comparing a far
    Better driver car than a 325 and I'm sorry but I disagree with your statement. MY 2 cents.

    ----------

    Which suspension package do you have? FE2 or FE3


    I came from a race tuned heavily modified Subaru STI. I feel that my ATS HANDLES AMAZING.

    I SPENT 20+ track days annually and logged many hours behind the wheel. So I'm comparing a far
    Better driver car than a 325 and I'm sorry but I disagree with your statement. MY 2 cents.

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    gfxbt is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective

    I was surprised by your initial comments, until I saw "e46," which caused me to go back and read "2002 325i" more closely. Your remarks are interesting and I have been thinking about this comparison a lot myself. When I was younger, my dream car was an e46 m3. I always loved the way it drove, looked, etc. One came up for sale recently and I really want to go drive it. Not to buy it, but just to see what my thoughts are now. During the period when I was obsessed with the e46 m3, I had two different cars, both FWD with MT. I am wondering now if that was the reason I wanted one so much (going from FWD MT to e46 m3 was always a huge difference). I want to see now what my impression would be that I am daily driving a 2.0t ATS with MT. Sure, I expect the e46 m3 to be faster, but I am wondering about handling and just overall drive feel.

    I agree that the e90s and e92s don't drive like the e46s did, which is a shame in my opinion. Maybe one of these days I'll get around to driving an e46 m3 again (should the opportunity present itself - I feel bad going to test drive one with no intention of buying). Until then, I will sit and wonder, then read comments like above describing how great the e46 was and how the ATS doesn't stack up, and wonder even more . . .

    With that said, I hope you are enjoying your ATS.

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    Re: ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective

    Flycaster has the Luxury version. The suspension in the performance version is tauter and more responsive. Wish the magnetic suspension was an option and not part of the premium package, as I would have got that also.

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    Drive an F30 328 and then the ATS, and you'll realize the caddy is awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesul
    Flycaster has the Luxury version. The suspension in the performance version is tauter and more responsive. Wish the magnetic suspension was an option and not part of the premium package, as I would have got that also.
    I am not to sure about the performance having a tighter suspension than the luxury. According to Caddilac the suspension is the same until you upgrade to the premium.

    On my second note. I to just traded a 08 335i sport for a 3.6l Perf. In my opinion, the BMW interior display and ergonomics simply can't be beat. The orange lighting is so much easier to read and easier on the eyes. Or maybe this is just because I have driven BMW's for the past 12 years and worked at a BMW dealer for 7 years.

    At the end of the day the only complaint I have is the ATS doesn't have the smooth down shifting as the BMW 3 series. It's as if its confused on what gear to choose.

    I have a couple minor squeaks that hopefully can be fixed under warranty. At the end of the day the ATS was almost $100 cheaper a month on the lease vs the 335i and that to me was worth trying.

    At lastly, the 1 series BMW will be the new old 3 series. The 3 series will never be what it was 8-10 years ago.

    My two cents.

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    Re: ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective

    Not sure which suspension, but it was part of the Sports Package.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkco View Post
    Having had an E46 BMW myself, I totally agree. HOWEVER, that car isn't sold by BMW anymore, unfortunately. The next generation (E90) wasn't as sporty (I had one of those too) and the current one has fallen further since into the Lexus abyss. I'd take an ATS over the CURRENT 3-series any day! BMW has "jumped the shark"...Cadillac is on its way up.
    And i agree with what you said. Particularly the part about how BMW has gone "Lexus," soft drive and all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfxbt View Post
    I was surprised by your initial comments, until I saw "e46," which caused me to go back and read "2002 325i" more closely. Your remarks are interesting and I have been thinking about this comparison a lot myself. When I was younger, my dream car was an e46 m3. I always loved the way it drove, looked, etc. One came up for sale recently and I really want to go drive it. Not to buy it, but just to see what my thoughts are now. During the period when I was obsessed with the e46 m3, I had two different cars, both FWD with MT. I am wondering now if that was the reason I wanted one so much (going from FWD MT to e46 m3 was always a huge difference). I want to see now what my impression would be that I am daily driving a 2.0t ATS with MT. Sure, I expect the e46 m3 to be faster, but I am wondering about handling and just overall drive feel.

    I agree that the e90s and e92s don't drive like the e46s did, which is a shame in my opinion. Maybe one of these days I'll get around to driving an e46 m3 again (should the opportunity present itself - I feel bad going to test drive one with no intention of buying). Until then, I will sit and wonder, then read comments like above describing how great the e46 was and how the ATS doesn't stack up, and wonder even more . . .

    With that said, I hope you are enjoying your ATS.
    Oh, I'll enjoy the ATS, but it will never compare to the E46; and that's why I have my Z4.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by gfxbt View Post
    I was surprised by your initial comments, until I saw "e46," which caused me to go back and read "2002 325i" more closely. Your remarks are interesting and I have been thinking about this comparison a lot myself. When I was younger, my dream car was an e46 m3. I always loved the way it drove, looked, etc. One came up for sale recently and I really want to go drive it. Not to buy it, but just to see what my thoughts are now. During the period when I was obsessed with the e46 m3, I had two different cars, both FWD with MT. I am wondering now if that was the reason I wanted one so much (going from FWD MT to e46 m3 was always a huge difference). I want to see now what my impression would be that I am daily driving a 2.0t ATS with MT. Sure, I expect the e46 m3 to be faster, but I am wondering about handling and just overall drive feel.

    I agree that the e90s and e92s don't drive like the e46s did, which is a shame in my opinion. Maybe one of these days I'll get around to driving an e46 m3 again (should the opportunity present itself - I feel bad going to test drive one with no intention of buying). Until then, I will sit and wonder, then read comments like above describing how great the e46 was and how the ATS doesn't stack up, and wonder even more . . .

    With that said, I hope you are enjoying your ATS.
    Oh, I'll enjoy the ATS, but it will never compare to the E46; and that's why I have my Z4.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesul View Post
    Flycaster has the Luxury version. The suspension in the performance version is tauter and more responsive. Wish the magnetic suspension was an option and not part of the premium package, as I would have got that also.
    Good point. I never drove the performance version, but do believe that it would (should) be a tighter drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fraggy View Post
    Drive an F30 328 and then the ATS, and you'll realize the caddy is awesome.
    Wow, if you are talking about the ATS without performance package, then the 328 must be a dog. To be honest, I haven't driven the 2012-13 328, but have driven 08s, 09s, 10s and 11s as loaners, and knew right away that BMW has given up on the driving experience...but still a very good car.

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    Re: ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by Doodah View Post
    At lastly, the 1 series BMW will be the new old 3 series. The 3 series will never be what it was 8-10 years ago.
    Agreed - If I didn't have GM ties, I would definitely have considered more seriously the 135. It would be nice to see Cadillac come up with a 1 series competitor. Off the top of my head, I believe the 1 is about 10 inches or so shorter than a 3. Sounds like fun to me. Although, the naming convention will be difficult for a "Cadillac 1 series." From large to small, to you have the XTS, CTS, ATS. Doesn't leave an alphabetically inferior monikers to denote a smaller car. We can still hope.

    And I agree with the f30 comments. If you thought the e90 and e92s had gone soft, drive an f30. Pretty disappointed. Although, I won't say they are becoming "too Lexus," as I feel that is too much of an insult. I think we can at least say they are becoming "too Mercedes" haha.

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    Re: ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective

    Isn't the 1-series FWD? Quit your swearing!

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    SLA
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    Re: ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective

    It's very hard to compare anything but the current offerings from both manufacturers. In terms of sharpness and road feel, our ATS is analog and my e36 M3 is digital.

    Yes, I understand the irony of that metaphor. Haha

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    Rin
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    Re: ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective

    [QUOTE=Siren05;3271039]Which suspension package do you have? FE2 or FE3


    I came from a race tuned heavily modified Subaru STI. I feel that my ATS HANDLES AMAZING.

    I SPENT 20+ track days annually and logged many hours behind the wheel. So I'm comparing a far
    Better driver car than a 325 and I'm sorry but I disagree with your statement. MY 2 cents.[COLOR="Silver"]

    I also had an older STi. Couldn't agree with you more! The ATS handles like a champ. Boy, I sure do like the new STis though. LOL Came very close to getting a new one, but they are a bit overpriced.

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    SLA
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    Re: ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by Rin View Post
    I came from a race tuned heavily modified Subaru STI. I feel that my ATS HANDLES AMAZING.
    I spent years trying to fight physics in my LGT. It was a losing battle, but I'm happy now that I don't have to keep modifying it.

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    Re: ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective

    [QUOTE=Rin;3272123]
    Quote Originally Posted by Siren05 View Post
    Which suspension package do you have? FE2 or FE3


    I came from a race tuned heavily modified Subaru STI. I feel that my ATS HANDLES AMAZING.

    I SPENT 20+ track days annually and logged many hours behind the wheel. So I'm comparing a far
    Better driver car than a 325 and I'm sorry but I disagree with your statement. MY 2 cents.[COLOR="Silver"]

    I also had an older STi. Couldn't agree with you more! The ATS handles like a champ. Boy, I sure do like the new STis though. LOL Came very close to getting a new one, but they are a bit overpriced.
    My STI WAS 2011 hatch that was stolen last month.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by SLA View Post
    I spent years trying to fight physics in my LGT. It was a losing battle, but I'm happy now that I don't have to keep modifying it.

    I wasn't fighting anything. I was improving upon a great setup that suited my need for twisty tracks every weekend.
    The 2011 STI WAS A BEAST OUT OF THE BOX JUST A LITTLE TOO MUCH BODY ROLL FOR SMALL TRACKS

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    SLA
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    Re: ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective

    lol if you say so

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