Cadillac re-enters small car market

2013-03-03T00:00:00Z Cadillac re-enters small car marketBy Jim Jackson Times Corresponden
March 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

After a 25-year hiatus, General Motors’ Cadillac Division returns to the compact segment with the 2013 Cadillac ATS.

Today, the compact car market commands one-third of the cars sold in the U.S. with more than 2 million sales annually.

Arrival of the 2013 Cadillac ATS completes the luxury brand’s passenger car portfolio.

“The return of a compact car to the Cadillac line up is drawing a younger buyer into our showroom,” said Paul Certa, sales consultant for Schepel Cadillac in Merrillville. “That is critical to the brand’s revitalization and growth.”

Cadillac ATS carries youthful appearance that mirrors dramatic design cues of recent Cadillac Concept Cars, bringing futuristic Cadillac front-end styling from concept to production.

“Concept car designs from yesterday are literally in the showroom today for a new Cadillac look,” Certa said.

The front half of the compact 2013 Cadillac ATS has similar room as the brand’s midsize CTS model, according to Certa. “Though most adults might find the back seat legroom a little short, young families see a ‘just right’ fit for a couple child seats.”

Recently, I tested a 2013 Cadillac ATS equipped with all-wheel drive powered by a spirited 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that generates 272 horsepower. Rear-wheel drive is standard.

Other ATS engine offerings include a base 2.5L, four-cylinder with 202 hp and a 3.6L V6 that ushers 321 hp to the street.

All engines are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0L turbo also is available with a six-speed manual gearbox.

I am impressed with the over-achieved acceleration delivered by the 2.0L turbo engine.

Whether off the line or already at speed, the turbo provides plenty of punch for the daily commute while achieving fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon in town and 31 mpg on the Interstate.

Cadillac ATS is very well balanced courtesy of a 50/50 weight distribution teamed with nimble electronic steering control that helps to quickly plug holes in traffic.

The ATS all-wheel drive system became my silent ally during last month’s first-of-the-season lake effect snow bringing sure-footed traction and peace-of-mind while traveling across the Borman Expressway.

Inside, ATS is fitted with a handcrafted cut and sewn interior with contoured seat cushions that can hold up for long-distance travel comfort. A cold weather package ($600) provides heated front seats and heated steering wheel.

The Cadillac User Experience (CUE) system uses an 8-inch touch screen on the center stack to interface with infotainment and climate control functions. A wave of a hand within four-inches of the screen makes the display appear.

My test car came with an available driver awareness feature that vibrates the seat cushion bolsters to privately warn the driver of such hazards as lane departure, cross-traffic alert, side blind-spot detection and automatic collision preparedness.

The American-built 2013 Cadillac ATS comes in Standard, Luxury, Performance and Premium trim levels starting at $33,095.



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