My 2 Cents
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  1. #1
    Thunder Gray STS's Avatar
    Thunder Gray STS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    My 2 Cents

    After living with an ATS Premium 2.0T Auto for a month here are my thoughts:

    Everything that is wrong with the car is software/programming related:

    Transmission tuning is awful –
    Up shifts are too early downshifts are too late – (I know why they did this…for mileage purposes)
    Out of 35 cars, I’ve never owned an automatic transmission car that lugs the engine – this one does.
    These programming issues should not affect drivability, but they do.

    You cannot put the transmission in Sport Mode without putting the suspension in Sport Mode; you should be able to separate the two.
    You should be able to move the transmission lever over to the left, and that would put the transmission in sport mode.
    Moving the transmission lever over to the left and then pushing it up or down or tapping one of the flappy paddles should put it in manual mode.

    The torque management sucks all the life out of the drivetrain. Torque management is fine, it shouldn’t feel so invasive.

    You know there is more there with the engine, it feels like it is being held back. A properly tuned turbo car should pull steady all the way to the redline because a turbo’s torque curve is usually very flat.

    I also wish you could hear the turbo more. I know it’s a Cadillac, blah, blah, blah.

    I understand most of this can be fixed with a tune, but I really don’t want to void my warranty. I would prefer Cadillac and GM Powertrain to get it right.

    CUE is ok, does most things correctly most of the time, however; I wish they had thought things through a little better. Anything you can do with a voice command you should be able to undo with a voice command. There are features that you can only do by touching the screen. You should be able to do them with voice commands. CUE supposedly is not using all the processor capacity that is in the car. They need to step it up, so the reaction time is faster, plugging in the phone for Pandora, switching between Aps etc. is much slower than it should be.

    To be fair, I have had zero problems with the car. The engine idles so smooth you have to look at the tach to see if it is running. I must admit the bottom of the accelerator is well acquainted with the top of the floor mat, but still I am getting 23 MPG. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the car.

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  3. #2
    JSATS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: My 2 Cents

    I don't understand your point about putting the car in manual mode. When you move the shifter to the left it will go into manual mode without being in sport mode and you can shift when you want and control the engine rpm and response. I don't use sport mode often but when I do I don't notice any difference in the suspension. When I want to have fun with the car I will put it in manual mode. My last car was a 2.0T Audi and the transmission was just like my ATS, it would up shift early and labor in gear before downshifting. This is all done for fuel efficiency and the only way around it is either sport mode or manual mode. I can't speak for other cars but my Audi and my ATS are very much the same when it comes to transmissions.

  4. #3
    donavo is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: My 2 Cents

    Quote Originally Posted by JSATS View Post
    I don't understand your point about putting the car in manual mode. When you move the shifter to the left it will go into manual mode without being in sport mode and you can shift when you want and control the engine rpm and response..
    what he means is that the shift points only change when ur in sport mode. he wants to be able to change the shift points (aka more aggressive autmoatic shifting) just by pushing the lever over and NOT pushing it to plus or minus. my previous TSX had this feature. it was good.

  5. #4
    David is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: My 2 Cents

    Just a quick comment on the original post: Whatever the product, from toasters to automobiles, no matter what the design, experience in owning it, or whatever: someone, for what ever reason, won't like it: so be it. And the opposite, of course: some will love it. I've owned my '13 ATS Premium 3.6 since last December; it is the best car I've ever owned since 1963, and I've owned over 25. Is it perfect? Of course not; no car is, but it is damn close.

  6. #5
    M5eater's Avatar
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    Re: My 2 Cents

    I don't use sport mode often but when I do I don't notice any difference in the suspension.
    you should check if your magneride is working. There's a clear and immediate difference between the sport and touring settings with an FE3 mageride car. Sport mode on public roads is borderline coilover-like and harsh, it shouldn't even be considered on anything except glass-smooth asphalt.

    I agree with the OP's observations, I would go further and state however, that the sport mode trans software is practically useless anyway, the PAL and PAS software only engages when you're far out of a comfortable zone on public roads, and the 'sport' mode has the exact same problems as the touring mode. The only difference I can tell is that it's more eager to engage shifting. It will still shift down way too early, and often. The CTS-V 6L90E had a far more usable trans software, and it was far better than this car.

    The torque management is similarly problematic. It almost feels like there's a great deal of turbo-lag and other times it feels like there's none at all. It really just depends on timing your gas pedal to make sure it's not shifting at the same time. I have to image it's because the 6L45E is being taxed heavily give it's use in other vehicles of the same weight barely reach 220ft/lbs.

    what he means is that the shift points only change when ur in sport mode. he wants to be able to change the shift points (aka more aggressive automatic shifting) just by pushing the lever over and NOT pushing it to plus or minus. my previous TSX had this feature. it was good.
    the CTS (and CTS-V) had this distinction. I've no idea why they've decided to combine the two.

    When you move the shifter to the left it will go into manual mode without being in sport mode and you can shift when you want and control the engine rpm and response.
    paddle shifting a torque converter automatic is one of those things(to me) you do once and then forget to use. This car has exceptional response for an ole slushbox, but just like every other car, it's best left to it's own devices. Except here. It's own devices are still pretty crappy. When i push the car, it'll search for gears constantly, and it does it fast enough that I haven't upset the car, but one day I will, and it also just feels wrong.

  7. #6
    mikesul is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: My 2 Cents

    paddle shifting a torque converter automatic is one of those things(to me) you do once and then forget to use. This car has exceptional response for an ole slushbox, but just like every other car, it's best left to it's own devices. Except here. It's own devices are still pretty crappy. When i push the car, it'll search for gears constantly, and it does it fast enough that I haven't upset the car, but one day I will, and it also just feels wrong.

    I agree with M5eater on this. I traded my manual C5 Corvette for a 2006 C6 when the 6 spd auto "paddle shift" came out. Thought it would be fun, sold it 7 months later and went back to a manual trans. The only "auto" trans I would like to see is if GM comes out with a true DCT. I tested a BMW 135 with a DCT and loved the shifting!

  8. #7
    M5eater's Avatar
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    Re: My 2 Cents

    I agree with M5eater on this. I traded my manual C5 Corvette for a 2006 C6 when the 6 spd auto "paddle shift" came out. Thought it would be fun, sold it 7 months later and went back to a manual trans. The only "auto" trans I would like to see is if GM comes out with a true DCT. I tested a BMW 135 with a DCT and loved the shifting!
    The manual control 'experience' with the 6L45E in the ATS is superior to that in the 6L90E V, but it's still a far cry from being very enjoying.

    It just lacks, character? Audi on their high-end DCT's shoot a blurp of gas to get that nice gargle on upshifts, and most others lets you make the shifting firm enough that it actually feels like you're moving a cog up or down.

    the Trans in the ATS by comparison (and every other torque converter auto from my experience.) is that there's nothing really to distinguish it from simply manually controlling the gears. Which of course, is the exact truth but, it's not doing anything for me. it's not the pressing buttons part that's exciting, it's the stuff that happens after you press the button, and the ATS weirdly, is just buttons in this department, very nice magnesium buttons, but still..

  9. #8
    Thunder Gray STS's Avatar
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    Re: My 2 Cents

    Quote Originally Posted by M5eater View Post
    I agree with the OP's observations, I would go further and state however, that the sport mode trans software is practically useless anyway, the PAL and PAS software only engages when you're far out of a comfortable zone on public roads, and the 'sport' mode has the exact same problems as the touring mode. The only difference I can tell is that it's more eager to engage shifting. It will still shift down way too early, and often. The CTS-V 6L90E had a far more usable trans software, and it was far better than this car.

    The torque management is similarly problematic. It almost feels like there's a great deal of turbo-lag and other times it feels like there's none at all. It really just depends on timing your gas pedal to make sure it's not shifting at the same time. I have to image it's because the 6L45E is being taxed heavily give it's use in other vehicles of the same weight barely reach 220ft/lbs.


    the CTS (and CTS-V) had this distinction. I've no idea why they've decided to combine the two.

    The CTS V of course would start off in 2nd if you left it in plain ole' drive. It would also shift into 6th with minimum throttle about 42 MPH. When you push the lever over to the right, it would then start off in 1st, and the shift points would be higher, with 6th coming in at 48 MPH. No matter what you did (with the exception of a heavy shove on the accelerator), with just plain driving, the car would stay in 5th until it hit 48 MPH. It wasn't that big of a deal in the V because you had gobs of torque all the time at any RPM. In this car you don't, so to me it would be a lot more fun if the shifts were delayed somewhat (I'm not talking about holding RPM's at 4 grand), but delaying the upshifts say another 4-500 RPM before it shifts. I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with the internals of the transmission in the ATS, just the way the software is programmed.

    And I completely agree, why they decided to combine the two escapes me.

  10. #9
    JSATS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: My 2 Cents

    I have a 2.0 Premium AWD that doesn't come with mag ride. I can understand there are many manual fans who don't like auto transmissions. What I don't understand is why those same people will buy a car thinking they will be happy with paddle shifters and sport mode shifting autos. Those features are for people like me who like autos and enjoy a little fun every now and then. I don't want to shift anything anymore, I like to keep a free hand for my morning coffee. Back when I was a kid I loved my four on the floor Road Runner and GTO but I never visioned buying a Cadillac with a manual. I would however own nothing but a manual in a true sports car like a Vette or Dodge Viper.

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    M5eater's Avatar
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    Re: My 2 Cents

    Quote Originally Posted by JSATS View Post
    I have a 2.0 Premium AWD that doesn't come with mag ride.
    Then there would be no distinction for you. You're riding on FE2 suspension.

    I can understand there are many manual fans who don't like auto transmissions. What I don't understand is why those same people will buy a car thinking they will be happy with paddle shifters and sport mode shifting autos.
    A properly tuned DCT or auto with paddles can be just as enjoyable as a manual, the problem is, they're not all created equal. New car drama clouds judgement, and there are a lot more slushboxes out on dealer lots than 6MT's. Personally I picked mine up because an automatic will be easier to sell/trade in when I pickup a V or M3, and because it had a $3K incentive on it,

  12. #11
    Thunder Gray STS's Avatar
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    Re: My 2 Cents

    Quote Originally Posted by JSATS View Post
    I have a 2.0 Premium AWD that doesn't come with mag ride. I can understand there are many manual fans who don't like auto transmissions. What I don't understand is why those same people will buy a car thinking they will be happy with paddle shifters and sport mode shifting autos. Those features are for people like me who like autos and enjoy a little fun every now and then. I don't want to shift anything anymore, I like to keep a free hand for my morning coffee. Back when I was a kid I loved my four on the floor Road Runner and GTO but I never visioned buying a Cadillac with a manual. I would however own nothing but a manual in a true sports car like a Vette or Dodge Viper.
    For the record I personally HATE driving manual transmissions, and my family makes their living off of rebuilding clutches. I have owned 2 MT car out of 35. A 1991 SHO and a 2004 GTO. They are a pain in the butt in stop and go traffic, creeping along, accordion freeway driving etc. If an auto transmission is programmed correctly they can be just as much fun as a MT. An auto should not lug the engine at any speed like this one does. I could care less about the paddles, if I wanted to pick my shift points I would have bought a manual. I would like a transmission that doesn't upshift early or hunt gears. If GM needs to do this for EPA crap then fine, but give me the option to override it should I wish without being totally dependent linking other systems in the car to the transmission shifting points.

  13. #12
    JSATS is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: My 2 Cents

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder Gray STS View Post
    For the record I personally HATE driving manual transmissions, and my family makes their living off of rebuilding clutches. I have owned 2 MT car out of 35. A 1991 SHO and a 2004 GTO. They are a pain in the butt in stop and go traffic, creeping along, accordion freeway driving etc. If an auto transmission is programmed correctly they can be just as much fun as a MT. An auto should not lug the engine at any speed like this one does. I could care less about the paddles, if I wanted to pick my shift points I would have bought a manual. I would like a transmission that doesn't upshift early or hunt gears. If GM needs to do this for EPA crap then fine, but give me the option to override it should I wish without being totally dependent linking other systems in the car to the transmission shifting points.
    Like I stated earlier I think these transmissions are set up for fuel economy. This may be hard to believe but my 09 Audi A4 was worse than my ATS. That car would up shift so fast that the car would hesitate and accelerate sluggishly. The only way I enjoyed driving it was in sport mode or manual mode.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by donavo

    what he means is that the shift points only change when ur in sport mode. he wants to be able to change the shift points (aka more aggressive autmoatic shifting) just by pushing the lever over and NOT pushing it to plus or minus. my previous TSX had this feature. it was good.
    The CTS works this way too? Once you move the lever to the left the DIC says "Transmission in Sport mode" and it takes on a mo aggressive shift pattern. If you what to manually shift then you tap the lever up or down.

    Is the ATS different?

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by M5eater
    .

    the CTS (and CTS-V) had this distinction. I've no idea why they've decided to combine the two.

    .
    Edit: I see that my question was answered, the ATS is different.

  15. #14
    Stevo Supremo's Avatar
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    Re: My 2 Cents

    I have this magic thing called a "manual transmission", see, it lets me make the transmission do whatever the hell I tell it to... and I dont care what anyone says about the flappy paddles, a proper manual willl still ALWAYS be more fun than paddles
    Jones atsnh likes this.

  16. #15
    Jones atsnh is online now Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: My 2 Cents

    Quote Originally Posted by stevo supremo View Post
    i have this magic thing called a "manual transmission", see, it lets me make the transmission do whatever the hell i tell it to... And i dont care what anyone says about the flappy paddles, a proper manual willl still always be more fun than paddles
    Damn right!

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