If there is one car that General Motors' newly launched Cadillac ATS compact sports sedan has to prove its worth to, it is the model that has defined the category in every possible way for more than 20 years: the BMW 3-Series sedan.
And it is these two sport sedans that Motor Trend's Jonny Lieberman brings together for a driving comparison in the latest episode of "Head 2 Head". The cars of choice are the Cadillac ATS with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and the BMW 328i.
The latest iteration of the BMW 3-Series, codenamed F30, has a lot in common with Cadillac's second attempt in the segment after the poorly received and executed (Saab 9-3-based) BLS, which was sold in Europe and Russia.
In these configurations, the two similarly sized and priced four-door sedans are both marketed as drivers' cars and feature the same powertrain layouts: a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine connected to a six-speed manual gearbox (in the test models, with automatics being optional) that drives the rear wheels.
On paper, the BMW's 2.0-liter force-fed four delivers 240hp and 255 lb-ft (345Nm) of peak torque with the car tipping the scales at 3,409 lbs (1,546 kg), while Cadillac's proposition features a 2.0-liter turbo engine that produces a healthier 272hp and 260 lb-ft (352Nm) while weighing in at 3,433 lbs.
The base MSRP for the 328i in the USA is $36,500 (€28,200) and for the ATS 2.0 Turbo, $35,795 (€27,700), with both prices excluding handling and destination.
So, which of the two models won MT's stamp of approval? Well, we wouldn't want to spoil the video for you now, would we…