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MotorTrend: Luxury Sport Sedan Comparison 2013/2014


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Cars:

Audi S4, BMW 335i xDrive, Cadillac ATS4 3.6, Lexus IS 350 AWD, and Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design


Ride and Handling

Winner, Cadillac.

Performance

As for the Cadillac's 3.6-liter V-6, it's perfectly adequate for canyon-carving, but in a straight line, the ATS is the slowest car here to 60 mph and tied with the 164-pound-heavier Lexus for last in the quarter. I bet the poor transmission has more to do with the car's relative sloth than the engine.


Economy
The ATS4 returned a worst-in-test average of 16.2 mpg.
The Cadillac is more fun to drive than any of the others, and therefore we all rode it harder as a result.

Cockpit/cabin:
They hate CUE. Other problems with the inside of the ATS4 included wimpy, unsupportive seats and small, cramped, deal breaker rear seats.

Safety:

The Cadillac and the Audi received identical scores from NHTSA: all 5s.

Value:

The Caddy has a base price of $44,090 with $8575 worth of options for a total of $52,665 ($10K less than the BMW)

Cost of ownership:

Cadillac suffers the greatest depreciation as a percentage of the purchase price, which ties into brand perception, meaning Cadillac still has a mountain to climb in that arena.


Conclusion:

The Cadillac outshone everyone else in one single category: Ride and handling. In terms of smiles produced and fun to drive, no other car was even close. But as right as Cadillac got the ATS' chassis, it dropped the ball elsewhere, especially in CUE.

4th Place: Cadillac ATS
Without question, the best driving car here, but last or near last in every other category. Cadillac has a great starting point, but it needs to finish the job.


My continuing conclusion: The ATS needs an immediate refresh with more power, a more responsive CUE system, and an 8-speed automatic.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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