2013 Cadillac ATS: Up Close


Cadillac had fighting words backing up the ATS, a car that GM North America president Mark Reuss said will challenge German supremacy in the sport-sedan segment. Touting the brand's latest small sedan, Reuss said the ATS is "the most mass-efficient car in its segment," with a curb weight of well under 3,400 pounds. The proof will be in the driving, but the ATS fits the Cadillac lineup and it doesn't look deliberately scaled down.

More 2012 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Photos don't do the headlights justice. They're intriguing. They sweep over the fenders, ending above the front axle, and there’s a bit of first-gen CTS in their character. It's a cool look. A shoulder line appears under the C-pillar, sweeping around the tail. It looks OK, but I found the rear too busy and a bit forgettable. The wheels max out at 18 inches — appropriate here, if smaller than some rivals' wheels — to keep unsprung weight down, Cadillac says.


Cabin materials are good — BMW 3 Series good — with available carbon fiber and stitched panels atop the dash and doors. An official told me it’s faux leather, and it feels more tautly stretched than the ultra-padded faux-leather dash in the CTS. But it fits the character of a sport sedan, and all the important areas – where your knees would dig into during hard corners, for example — are padded. I’m sold.


Cadillac's Cadillac User Experience (CUE) swaps center buttons for touch-sensitive controls in most trim levels. I'm skeptical about touch-sensitive controls — in Ford vehicles, in our long-term Chevrolet Volt — and the ones in the show cars weren't fully functional. But the system does have some interesting conveniences: You can drag often-used functions on the 8-inch touch screen to an area up top for quick access, for example.


The front seats afford enough room and decent adjustment range, but tall drivers may find headroom tight. Most adults will find the rear seats sit too low to the floor, and the center driveshaft hump intrudes into space for your feet. Short windows minimize sightlines back there, too, so any claustrophobes will want to call shotgun. Trunk volume, at just 10.2 cubic feet, trails the segment, but the compartment looks efficiently packaged — it's narrow but deep enough for a full-size suitcase. It's a small car on the inside but so are the best cars in this segment.




Gauge cluster picture? Thats what I want to see. The CGI images didnt really show the gauges up close.

I knew we'd do something wrong Sheth...
Gauges weren't illuminated last night but we'll have a full photo gallery up soon of the interior and different colors and trims. I'll see if I can get them turned on when I hit the floor later this a.m. Just for you.


You guys are way too sensitive. Its not "wrong", I am asking for a view that no one has provided yet. Im helping your site get more hits because I havent seen one real world pic of the gauges yet. In no way was more initial comment even remotely critical. I simply asked if we can see the gauges.


hey sheth, chill out a bit, it's not like they won't have more pictures to upload later on. you're crazy positive posts really know how to bring the "hits" to the page. i'm sure cars.com management thanks you for your positive life outlook and amazingly fantastic tone of voice. cheers sheth!


It's ok Sheth, that's the first thought that came to my mind too. I'd love to see what that gauge cluster looks like in an actual photo. Can't wait to see the full barrage of pictures when they're available!


...and just what other cars is this Cadillac competing against? Is this car Chevy Cruz-sized or a little larger (Accord sized)?


So, small trunk AND no spare wheel?



Overall length is close to Cruze but wheelbase is 3" longer. This competes (obviously) with 3, C, A4 and IS.


I hate touch sensitive controls. Are these things really that much cheaper for the manufacturer because I'm pretty sure the public isn't asking for them. If you're trying to compete with the Euro cars why try to whiz bang them to death.



European cars are the Kings of "whiz bang". Have you seen the tech overkill on the new 3 series? Even C&D sort of complained about BMW going overboard with the luxury/safety features and gimmicks. European cars are many things, simple isnt one of them. They pioneered the overcomplication of controls with idrive, COMMAND and MMI.


It is a LCD gauge cluster with no physical pointers on a gauge.

However, the system still does not work.


Can someone double check if the gauge is a 12.5 in LcD screen for this ATS? It seems like it's only available in SRX/CTS?

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