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.
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?