2013 Cadillac ATS 2.5L
Car and Driver
January 25, 2013
by K.C. Kolwell
Is it heresy that the starter version of Cadillacís excellent 3-series fighter is powered by the Chevy Malibuís 2.5-liter inline-four? Or is a high-volume schlepper a necessary and reasonable condition of Caddy making an ATS-V for us enthusiasts? Depends on whom you ask. Whatís clear is that the ATS is priced to move: At $33,990, the 2.5 is $1805 cheaper than the one-level-up 2.0-liter turbo ATS, and it undercuts competitive rear-drive base models, including the BMW 328i and the Mercedes-Benz C250, by at least $2400.
Surprisingly, the 2.5ís 202 horsepower isnít a drag under most circumstances. The ATS merges onto the freeway with all the gusto of, well, a Malibu, and comfortably keeps pace with 80-mph traffic without the need to rifle through the transmission for revs. When every last horse must be harnessed, however, the engine sounds a bit like a two-cycle leaf blower warming up. And, though thereís decent power lower down, thereís no punch at the top end.
If it werenít for an engine thatís a couple dozen horses short and a bit too coarse, the base ATS would be award-worthy. This car has an exemplary chassis that begs to be caned. Itís a pity the same canít be said for the base engine.
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