: ATS drive from a BMW owner's perspective



flycaster
04-01-13, 09:20 AM
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.

mkco
04-01-13, 09:31 AM
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.

Siren05
04-01-13, 09:38 AM
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.

gfxbt
04-01-13, 09:47 AM
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.

mikesul
04-01-13, 09:53 AM
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.

Fraggy
04-01-13, 10:18 AM
Drive an F30 328 and then the ATS, and you'll realize the caddy is awesome.

Doodah
04-01-13, 10:29 AM
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.

flycaster
04-01-13, 12:21 PM
Not sure which suspension, but it was part of the Sports Package.

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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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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.

----------


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.

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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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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.

gfxbt
04-01-13, 01:57 PM
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.

EChas3
04-01-13, 11:13 PM
Isn't the 1-series FWD? Quit your swearing!

SLA
04-01-13, 11:24 PM
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

Rin
04-02-13, 05:06 AM
[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.

SLA
04-02-13, 08:21 AM
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.

Siren05
04-02-13, 08:38 AM
[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.

My STI WAS 2011 hatch that was stolen last month:(.

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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

SLA
04-02-13, 11:51 AM
lol if you say so

ryannel2003
04-03-13, 01:42 AM
I have test drove all 3 models of the ATS and I currently own an 2000 323i and I have to say they all reminded me of my car when it came to the handling prowess. My car does not have the sport package and rides on 16" wheels and the first thing I thought about the ATS when I drove it was how much it reminds me of the E46. The ATS is a better riding car but the steering, while good, isn't as direct as the E46. My car has all new suspension parts and I thought they were comparable on handing but the lack of larger wheels with better tires really doesn't help my car out. The ATS isolates the driver better from road impacts but otherwise they are very close. I have also test driven the latest non-sport F30 328i and it's softer than the E46 and the steering isn't as great as the ATS, but it has a great ride and I actually prefer the styling. The interior is a wash on either... the BMW is simpler and typical for the segment. The ATS has lots of different materials and textures but it looks upscale.

I'm not getting rid of my E46 for a long time but when I'm through with it I'm going to have a hard time choosing between the latest 3 Series and ATS. But I do have to say the spirit of the E46 lives in the ATS much more than the new 3.

Pete7874
04-05-13, 10:55 PM
Isn't the 1-series FWD?
It's RWD.

Fraggy
04-06-13, 11:50 AM
It's RWD.

It's the next 1 that will be FWD,

RippyPartsDept
04-06-13, 12:24 PM
you guys do know that the ATS was benchmarked on the E46, right?
http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1207_2013_cadillac_ats_first_test/viewall.html

73JPS
04-06-13, 12:41 PM
"This ability to make fast, running changes is part of Cadillac's strategy to let you update CUE by simply going online and downloading the latest software to a USB thumb drive, then plugging it into the car, rather than going to the dealer. We'll see how that works out when it actually goes online, and how Cadillac's even more ambitious plan to someday make the car itself a Wi-Fi hotspot and let it download software updates wirelessly works out when that day comes." -from the MotorTrend article linked in the above post

Does anybody know how this is progressing?

RippyPartsDept
04-06-13, 01:00 PM
currently dealers are doing the updates... GM sent out usb drives (one for nav systems and one for non-nav systems)

eventually they want to have it set up as stated in that MT article but as it is right now we're not there yet
the wifi hotspot thing is also in the works for maybe next years models
they are also working on an appstore ... there is an sdk out there for those interested in developing for CUE
i imagine that the approval process will be even more stringent than apple's

officially, there is no word yet on any of this... just rumor and speculation

73JPS
04-06-13, 05:44 PM
Thanks, Chris.

huna
04-11-13, 09:09 AM
[B]"This ability to make fast, running changes is part of Cadillac's strategy to let you update CUE by simply going online and downloading the latest software to a USB thumb drive, then plugging it into the car, rather than going to the dealer.


I just did a DIY update on our Ford MyTouch system from a USB drive. I was nervous at a couple points, including an unexpected error message that made it restart, but it ended up just fine. Took an hour. Perhaps not for the faint of heart quite yet.

flycaster
04-22-13, 11:02 AM
Finally had a chance to get the car from my wife and take a nice drive. I still think the drive is softer than the earlier BMW 3s, but I also find that when in the Sport mode, the drive does improve - mostly with tighter steering, which is most appreciated. Also, although a softer ride, the car does hold rather well on higher speed turns (like on on/off highway exit ramps). Really getting to like this car more and more.