2013 Cadillac ATS: Built From the Ground Up

By Durhl Caussey Created: February 18, 2013 Last Updated: February 18, 2013
Related articles: Life » Autos
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2013 Cadillac ATS (Courtesy of GM/Cadillac)

2013 Cadillac ATS (Courtesy of GM/Cadillac)

You can see the sleek crystal red-tint coated Cadillac ATS approaching even from a distance. The distinctive sloping grille with active aero shutters, which regulate air flow and hence the drag in the engine compartment, is integrated into the overall frontal design. 

Once stopped, the ATS has an assertive stance and striking vertical tail lamps that make a bold statement that immediately captures the eye.

The coating of the of the ATS appears more like skin than paint, as it is tightly chiseled over the seamless, bold body curves of the vehicle’s futuristic design. 

The ATS has a powerful drivetrain. The 2.0-L turbo VVT DI engine is mated to a Hydra-Matic 6L45 6-speed automatic transmission, passing power to the all wheel drive system. 

The ATS is so robust it appears to glide with awesome power above the road.

This Cadillac turbo engine produces 272 HP at 5,500 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. torque at 1,700 rpm. Also available is a 202 hp 2.5-L inline-four and a 321 hp V6. The ATS is so robust it appears to glide with awesome power above the road. 

All this power and prettiness sits atop 17-inch aluminum wheels and all-season tires. EPA fuel economy is 20 mpg city and 30 mpg highway for a strong 24 mpg average. A full 16--gallon tank will carry you close to 480 miles before refueling.

The ATS is equipped with an array of lighting. The interior lighting takes your eyes to individual aspects of the interior, such as the exotic wood trim, and at the same time work together to integrate these key areas of illumination to the general life areas of the cabin. 

On the outside, the optional illuminated door handles are easy to locate in the dark, and they return to non-illuminated state once you are in the car.

Complicated Technology

Inside the ATS (Courtesy of GM/Cadillac)

Inside the ATS (Courtesy of GM/Cadillac)

The Cadillac ATS offers a world of technology. The problem with advanced technology is that one can become hopelessly mired in a school of gadgetry that can actually hinder minor yet more common needs of the driver.

The vibrant 8-inch touch screen interacts with CUE (Cadillac User Experience). CUE is a sophisticated, innovative technology with a highly intelligent design that assists in processing challenging requests without complications. It is designed to allow easy access to up to 10 Bluetooth-enabled smart phones. 

The available 3D GPS Navigation System has a map-integrated Doppler weather report. CUE also streams Pandora Radio presenting you up to 60 favorite songs. 

2013 Cadillac ATS Specs

Wheelbase: 109.3 in.
Length: 182.8 in.
Width: 71.1 in.
Front headroom: 38.6 in.
Rear headroom: 36.8 in.
Front legroom: 42.5 in.
Rear legroom: 33.5 in.

There is no doubt that Cadillac has developed a technology that is a marvel. However, if your needs are simple and you don’t want to spend an inordinate amount of time learning about features you are not personally interested in, then I would recommend a more subdued technology. 

I found it difficult to use the navigation system and it was challenging to simply move from an AM station to a specific XM station. Even passenger and relief drivers felt overly challenged. 

To be helpful, technology must be simple, with clearly defined tasks, and easily accessible using commonly accepted and well understood symbols, icons, and instructions. It should not require more than three steps to accomplish the procedure successfully. However, if you are gifted, creative, have an exploratory personality, are less than 15 years of age, or hold a degree from MIT in computer science, then you are going to feel right at home in the ATS.

The ATS comes with eight standard airbags, including knee airbags and head curtain side airbags. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and Automatic Collision Preparation with brake pre-fill add another layer of protection against collisions. 

A rear camera with dynamics guidelines makes it easy when backing up the car. There is an array of available safety features using advanced radar, camera, and sensor technologies. This includes forward collision alert, side blind zone alert, rear-cross traffic alert, and intelligent brake assist. Safety alert seat sends warnings to the driver as pulses through the back cushion.

Cadillac seats are exceptionally comfortable, making it a treat for a long drive. Roads that might have once been too challenging now become part of the adventure.

The ATS is the culmination of what Cadillac set out to accomplish—create a world class luxury sport sedan with tenacious handling and superb performance. Standard vehicle price is $41,895.

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or 

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