Cadillac ATS 2.0L Turbo Loses Another Test Against BMW 328i, this Time by Car&Driver


The new BMW 328i (F30) has clinched another victory in a comparison test against General Motors' newcomer in the category, the 2013 Cadillac ATS with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, again on its American rival's turf.

After Motor Trend's Jonny Lieberman gave the upper hand to the 328i, his colleague at Car & Driver magazine Jared Gall did the same, as he also found the BMW to be a better choice overall.

However, the Cadillac once again finished very close behind, which says a lot about GM's first serious effort at the popular sport luxury sedan segment, especially considering the fact that BMW has been fine tuning the same recipe for decades.

For a more in-depth analysis, head past the break to watch the video review.



Blayke A. Fish said... »October 03, 2012

It seems somewhat misleading to post such a negative-sounding title to this article when in fact both testers found the cars absurdly close in comparision.... but at least they do rectify that within the article

JJ said... »October 03, 2012

Good to see GM making some even higher quality cars, but they have a long ways to go before they cruise past BMW.

Ben said... »October 03, 2012

Car & driver not available in my country, why is it always like that?!!

Merc said... »October 03, 2012

One thing is clear to me, is most auto pubs are reluctant to take the title away from BMW. They've essentially allowed BMW to write the rules. However, to me, the 335 has already lost to the Audi S4. I haven't driven the ATS yet. But because it's such a close match suggests to me that the Cadillac is really damn good. And in reality, perhaps it's better than the BMW. 

Objective observer said... »October 03, 2012

Personally, I am delighted that someone, anyone has finally produced a car with proper driving dynamics without all of the downsides. I have had a BMW 330xi and an M3. While the driving dynamics were good (but not nearly as good as my Boxster) they extracted a heavy toll: punishing ride, arrogant dealers (and service departments), mediocre stereos, and dozens of annoyances (like terrible cup holders, flakey key fobs, and etc.), and the absolutely abysmal iDrive. Worst of all, the BMWs have hardly changed in more than a decade.

It isn't surprising that car magazines that have told us for decades that manual transmissions are best and that the BMW 3-series is the best car, are now having difficulty admitting that the times have changed. Some automatics (like the one in the ATS) are far better than manual transmissions at selecting the right gear at the right time, and often get better gas mileage. 

Do yourself a favor, go drive the new Cadillac ATS. I did, and I prefer it to my BMWs. So much so, that I ordered one. We were long overdue for a fresh approach to compact luxury sports sedans. If you give it a chance, I think many of you will find that the ATS meets your wants and needs better than the BMW 3 series just as the vast majority of people are better served by automatics than by manuals even though the car magazines insist that we are better off with manuals.

It also doesn't hurt that Cadillac is ranked well above BMW (and also Mercedes, Audi, and Nissan) in both initial quality and dependability. Do some research. Take a test drive. Think for yourself. Choose the one you prefer. No matter what the fan boys or car magazines tell you to believe, they are both world class vehicles and you can't go wrong with either of them.

Earl said... »October 04, 2012

I agree with you. It does seems that when the BMW is not meeting it's sport sedan credentials that it will come out on top anyways against its competitors. Sure the Caddy is not perfect, but it has hit it's benchmark when it comes to solid performance the BMW was once famous for. So, it seems that the testers are saying they now like the softer, more luxurious, and almost perfect handling to any of the rivals that come along now. I think the 3 series even though its a great car will now and forever have the edge and everybody else will be just close and kinda good enough.

Fonzie said... »October 04, 2012

 I couldn't agree with your feelings more. As a multi BMW owner (E46/E91/E90/E86/E88) I think I've finally come to realize that while nice, these cars aren't exactly all they are made to be when it comes to driving dynamics. Drive one without sport package or with Xdrive, and it's soft and wallowy and dangerous on the highway. Drive one with sport package, and while fun, it is not a long distance cruiser as they least not up here near Phila. The interiors until very recently are boring and the electronics are a decade behind the times. I'll admit things have gotten better as iDrive has progressed, but that's not saying much. I also took a test drive a few weeks back in the F30 328 and don't understand how this car is getting ANY positive reviews. For starters, it's now 5 series big. The engine felt like it was struggling, the lag was horrible and the start/stop function was the worst I've ever felt. I don't even know how to explain how violent the car shakes during each transition. Yet for some reason I still want to love BMW's, and I can't explain it. Wife loves her 135i, but my 335xi's days are numbered, just waiting to figure out what will replace it.

Anyway, as far as these comparisons go, I'm convinced that the entire car world realized that the new ATS (which I've never been close to) is a better car except for one area, and they have all decided to exploit it. Tell me how often these reviews are done with manual transmissions? I'm aware the internet has decided real men only drive manuals, but considering the large majority of these cars are going to be sold with autos, shouldn't someone be testing these back to back in auto guise? I've seen five reviews now, and every single one was a manual transmission comparo, and that was the one thing in the other four that brought the mighty ATS down. So why not compare them again with proper transmissions? I'll give C&D credit for finding some interior knocks against the ATS to further prove their decision, but if you've owned a BMW, you know that's not exactly their strong suit either. In the end, I don't really care who wins because midsize luxury cars are all too big for me at this point, but if you're going to play, at least keep it fair.

Psiqtas said... »October 04, 2012

No DRLs or ANY other unnecessary blinding lights during the day - love that bimmer!!!

Seb Jones said... »October 04, 2012

worst review I hav ever seen.  No specks, talk of supsensions, transmition feel, engine, interior...

BMW said... »October 08, 2012

Drove it, but it was not for me. Still prefer my 335is. It (the Caddie) just doesn't have it at the limit.  The BMW just feels that much more comfortable and controllable at the extreme edge.   

Whut? said... »October 12, 2012

The dealerships in San Antonio, TX, only carry the base model and 3.6L engines.  Where are they selling the 2.0 turbo?  I must be missing something...

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