New Cadillac ATS May Boost Demand for Used CTS

2013 Cadillac ATS

2013 Cadillac ATS

In its quest to finally field some decent competition to the BMW 3 Series, Cadillac has finally brought its ATS to the masses. While it’s a fantastic car, it probably won’t be the BMW-slayer GM wanted.

The ATS to best compete with the 3 Series is the V6 version, which starts at $42,990. That’s within a few dollar bills of the bigger CTS, so I don’t envy the salespeople who want to steer folks to the smaller sedan. The two 4-cylinder ATS models obviously cost less, but don’t offer the giddyup needed to adequately play in BMW’s league.

The biggest competition to the ATS, I think, is a decked-out late-model CTS. Or dare I say it, a CTS-V.

Until an ATS-V comes out, which should happen in the coming years, shoppers looking to buy a Cadillac priced in the mid-40s can do well searching the CarGurus used listings for a CTS. In fact, a quick search while writing this post turned up a 2011 CTS-V with 35,000 miles on it for $44,987. That’s a heck of a bargain and one that wouldn’t make decision-making very hard if it were sitting next to a similarly priced ATS on the lot.

2011 Cadillac CTS-V

2011 Cadillac CTS-V

The 2011 CTS-V used a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 to lay down 556 hp and could achieve a 0-60 run in 4.2 seconds. It came with a 6-speed manual transmission. New, it carried a sticker of around $70,000.

The 2013 ATS is obviously not supposed to compete with the Mighty V, but the price similarity begs the comparison. The biggest engine, the 3.6-liter V6, pumps out 321 hp and sends the power to the rear wheels through a 6-speed auto transmission. No manual is offered. That should make for a perfectly thrilling ride, but one would be crazy to opt for it over the CTS-V. Heck, even looking at 2010-2011 CTS sedans could offer considerable savings and lots of extra room compared with a new ATS.

Which would you buy for the same $45,000 or so: a new 2013 Cadillac ATS or a 2011 Cadillac CTS-V?


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Used BMW 3 Series
Used Cadillac CTS
Used Cadillac CTS-V


  1. This is the problem that GM has with selling new cars. The ATS would make for a great second-generation Pontiac G6. At one point, the ATS was in the cards to be badge-engineered as a second-gen G6. But it’s an extremely hard sale as a Cadillac. Plus it doesn’t just make the CTS a no-brainer, it also hurts cars like the Regal GS, which was gutted of Haldex AWD that the Opel variant offers domestically.

    One could make the case for an AWD Regal GS to offer an all-weather alternative to the ATS, but I can’t see anyone in their right mind opting for the Regal GS with the ATS available, especially once the ATS hits the pre-owned market.

  2. I just can’t get excited over yet another cookie-cutter Cadillac. They should just drop the dumb letter names and simply call them small, medium, large, and extra large. That V series car might not be such a good deal when you get your insurance bill.

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