New guy - help me compare the different ATS models
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Cadillac ATS General Discussion Forum Discussion, New guy - help me compare the different ATS models in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; Hey guys. I'm brand new to the site. I have been looking for a vehicle for sometime and recently test ...
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    btleier is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    New guy - help me compare the different ATS models

    Hey guys. I'm brand new to the site. I have been looking for a vehicle for sometime and recently test drove one of the 2.0T/AWD/Auto cars my local dealership had. My impressions were that I liked the finishes in the interior, and the styling of the exterior. The 2.0T had logs of power, and was alot of fun, but I really thought the automatic transmission was quite poor in the car and really killed the fun of the car. So I have started reconsidering the configuration and am now considering a 2.0T/RWD/Manual option. Have any of your guys driven them back to back? How does the RWD perform compared to the AWD? Does the manual gearbox make driving the car the experience that I thought it would be? Any other feedback or thoughts on this?

    My initial inclination was AWD as I live in the midwest where there is lots of snow/ice, but I figured with modern ammenities such as traction/stability control, and a good set of snow tires I should be fine for 99% of the time. Look forward to your feedback.

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    maxima10 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Welcome aboard pal ... I'm a big fan of the AWD 3.6. I didn't like the turbo, but I'm not a fan of turbo to begin with so maybe I'm biased. The 3.6 felt right though.

  4. #3
    bungee91 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    I have a 2.0T premium manual and yes with a proper set of snow tires (which I have) the winter weather was no issue at all. I think the 2.0T has decent power and is enjoyable to drive. There is a little getting used to (for me anyway) getting the most power out of the engine vs a naturally aspirated engine, however it's an easy enough thing to get used to. I'm still planning on loading up a tune (which I have sitting here) to increase the response a little more.

    As for the trims, if you care for a folding rear seat, get the luxury or premium trim.

  5. #4
    gfxbt is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: New guy - help me compare the different ATS models

    Welcome! My guess is that the 3.6 guys will tell you how great the 3.6 is and the 2.0 guys will tell you the turbo is the best. I would drive them both and decide for yourself. I have a 2.0T with a manual. I didn't consider the 3.6(or AWD) because the only deal-breaking option for me was the MT. As for driving in the winter, I picked my car up in December and live in MI. It definitely doesn't drive like a Tahoe in the snow, but it works. Only once did I get the car "stuck" in the snow, but that was the first big snow storm we had and I was intentionally out driving around on un-plowed roads to see how the car would drive in the snow (I put "stuck" in quotes because although I was able to get the car lodged in the snow and thought I was going to have to push it out, I was able to get it out by rocking it and never got out of the driver's seat). I've never messed around with snow tires (this is my first RWD car in the north), but I hear they're the bee's knees when it comes to winter driving with a RWD car.

    The first decision I think you need to make is what kind of consumer you are, as this may quickly dictate the car you choose (i.e., limit your options). For example, if you are interested in getting into a nice, fun to drive car that is practical and you live in the north, you're best bet is AWD, but the debate is still on for 2.0 v. 3.6 and trim level. BUT - this immediately takes MT off the table. On the other hand, if you absolutely need a manual, then by all means do it, you won't regret it, and the best part is, all you have left to debate is colors and trim levels.

    As for trim levels, I let price be my dictator. I told myself what I wanted to spend and made it work. I know if I went in there "just to browse," I would have ordered a much more expensive car (i.e., I would just keep rationalizing "well, it's only a 1,000 option, that's not that much when you consider the payments" over and over again until I was in a $50,000 car). But, I didn't let the urge get the best of me and I got a base trim level. I am extremely happy with it. My only compromise is that I didn't get the red interior that I wanted (not available on base trim as it is leatherette, not leather). Also, if you are considering the base trim level, I'd go for CUE. I like it. It looks great. In my opinion, totally worth it.

    I think that is enough for now, but if you want more information, more description of trim levels, etc., let me know - I love my car and could talk about ATSs all day. Good luck!
    IBMike and IBMike like this.

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    grasshopper is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New guy - help me compare the different ATS models

    Since you live in snow area, keep in mind that Premium models 18" wheels with any engine comes with SUMMER tires standard.

    They're not bad here in Kentucky as snow is a rare thing. But on certain occasion when the condition is right, those tires are like hockey pucks.

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    msheikh25 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New guy - help me compare the different ATS models

    Quote Originally Posted by grasshopper View Post
    Since you live in snow area, keep in mind that Premium models 18" wheels with any engine comes with SUMMER tires standard.

    They're not bad here in Kentucky as snow is a rare thing. But on certain occasion when the condition is right, those tires are like hockey pucks.
    I think only the RWD Premium and Performance come with summer tires. I have an AWD Premium and that came with all season tires. Maybe it also varies by region since we do get a little snow here in the DC area.

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    Fraggy is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Perf come with all seasons. Only prem comes with summer.

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    rustybear3 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: New guy - help me compare the different ATS models

    As for myself, I'd go with AWD 2.0T premium. Plenty of power and decent MPG. If you plan on keeping the car for awhile, get it loaded....I'll guarantee if you don't, you'll start second guessing yourself why you didn't. The options you get with premium are worth it and after all....you are buying a luxury car....go for it!

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    btleier is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: New guy - help me compare the different ATS models

    Thanks for all the responses guys. I guess in terms of engine I have already made my mind up on the 2.0T. I'm a big fan of turbo cars and the tunability of them. When I drove it I thought it had plenty of power. My initial thoughts were to just do the base as I would like to put an aftermarket set of wheels/tires on it anyways, so I don't care as much about the stock wheels and 17s will be just fine. The options that I would add are roof, heated seats, and que. I would really like HIDs although I can always add them in the aftermarket. Is there any other options that you guys are big fans of that you think I should consider?

    ----------

    Hey guys, what are the performance front seats all about?

  11. #10
    gfxbt is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    I believe the performance front seats have larger side bolsters. Maybe someone with them can comment further on this. As for the 2.0, I think it is a good choice. In all honesty, I don't think my car feels all that fast, but I think that is because the chassis/suspension is so well composed. In other words, I think the car is fast, but it drives so well that it doesn't feel it. I take sweeping on-ramps (90 degree total turn over 300 feet or so) at 78 mph and the car is nowhere near its limit.

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    Dave3283 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    I have the performance 2.0. The seats have a thigh extender, the driver seat has adjustable bolster. Not sure if the overall bolster is more to start with. So far I've put 1500 km (900 miles), I've used the adj. bolster on a few turns and it holds you in place. Mine is automatic, RWD. The auto works well, lets you have two hands on the wheel and easy access to gearing, or leave it to PAL...it works! The steering is very precise, two hands are needed when taking on and off ramps at 2.5 times the posted limit.

  13. #12
    marktanner is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: New guy - help me compare the different ATS models

    Try both seats before you decide. The performance seats look a lot like the base and luxury seats, but to me they are far more comfortable. They are better padded and more supportive overall, and the lateral support is better, too, though not a true sport seat like the Recaros on my old CTS-V. The thigh bolster doesn't extend that much, so to me it doesn't add that much, but the basic comfort of the performance is overall a lot better.

    Other issues to consider: CUE isn't available with Navigation on the base car; base car is vinyl only, in two colors (pretty high quality, though); the HIDs on the Performance and Premium are adaptive, and the LED strips include fogs (always on, though), so they are quite a bit better overall (light kit won't yield the same results); the performance and premium have paddle-shifters; only the luxury and premium have split folding rear seats, with the performance just a ski pass through; only the premium comes with limited slip differential, magnetic ride suspension, and 18" forged wheels, which all can make a difference. If one equips a performance with 18s and Nav, it's only about $1000 more for the suspension, LSD, and HUD, which is a lot of value for the money.

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    Re: New guy - help me compare the different ATS models

    Quote Originally Posted by rustybear3 View Post
    As for myself, I'd go with AWD 2.0T premium. Plenty of power and decent MPG. If you plan on keeping the car for awhile, get it loaded....I'll guarantee if you don't, you'll start second guessing yourself why you didn't. The options you get with premium are worth it and after all....you are buying a luxury car....go for it!
    One reminder about the 2.0T, premium fuel is "recommended."

    I do have a question, on the Premium, the Magnetic Ride Control suspension is only available on the RWD, not the AWD. Given I live in Colorado, the AWD is something I am pretty much set on getting; how much different is the ride without the Magnetic Ride Control suspension?

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    rustybear3's Avatar
    rustybear3 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: New guy - help me compare the different ATS models

    Quote Originally Posted by IBMike View Post
    One reminder about the 2.0T, premium fuel is "recommended."

    I do have a question, on the Premium, the Magnetic Ride Control suspension is only available on the RWD, not the AWD. Given I live in Colorado, the AWD is something I am pretty much set on getting; how much different is the ride without the Magnetic Ride Control suspension?
    First...I've used both premium and regular fuel and haven't noticed a big difference in power to be honest....second, I test drove ATS's with and without magnetic control before I bought the AWD....the system reacts instantly to "aggressive" driving, hardening up the strut/shock system and leveling the vehicle in turns and stops. It also supposed to give a somewhat more comfortable ride.....unless you want to do some real aggressive driving on curves and base roads, it is nice to have....but I'd rather have the advantages of AWD. The AWD is a pretty comfortable ride for me; and I'm big on comfort at my age...
    IBMike and IBMike like this.

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    Re: New guy - help me compare the different ATS models

    Quote Originally Posted by rustybear3 View Post
    First...I've used both premium and regular fuel and haven't noticed a big difference in power to be honest....second, I test drove ATS's with and without magnetic control before I bought the AWD....the system reacts instantly to "aggressive" driving, hardening up the strut/shock system and leveling the vehicle in turns and stops. It also supposed to give a somewhat more comfortable ride.....unless you want to do some real aggressive driving on curves and base roads, it is nice to have....but I'd rather have the advantages of AWD.
    Agreed, AWD with all season tires is a great thing to have in my neck of the woods where it could be 70° one day and single digits with snow the next! lol
    rustybear3 and rustybear3 like this.

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