Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

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Thread: Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

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    Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

    Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350
    MotorTrend
    December 4, 2012
    by Jonny Lieberman


    "I think the problem here is that we've got three second-place cars," I said to my colleagues Scott Evans and Mike Febbo as we sat down to a late lunch after a day of hard driving. The task at hand was to sort out a finishing order for our three contenders. Surprise, surprise -- there are no perfect cars. But in terms of the $50K six-cylinder luxury sport sedan segment, we were stymied -- at first -- by three of the best. In order of newness, the closely competitive cars are the Cadillac ATS 3.6, the BMW 335i Sport, and the Mercedes-Benz C350 Sport. At around $42,000, each car has an engine good for north of 300 hp, an automatic transmission, four doors, and rear drive. Between the lightest and the heaviest is a scant 107 pounds. Dimensionally, they're all within inches of each other. Check this out: "Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar." That's from the charts at the end of this article. The suspension info is identical for all three.

    We finally decided that what really counts in this segment is how the cars drive. After all, that was the determining criteria we used when naming the 328i the winner of our eight-car comparison. On this day, one car shone much brighter on the winding roads than the other two. That car is the Cadillac ATS. From Evans: "This chassis...wow. Unbelievable. I'm just blown away by how well this car drives. Those two are luxury sport sedans. This is a luxury sports car."

    Indeed. When I was pushing the Caddy hard up in the mountains above Malibu, I was also overcome by the sensation that I was driving a sports car. Something very similar to a Nissan 370Z, in fact. As odd as it may sound, Cadillac has built a car that goes around corners better than it runs in a straight line. And as for straight-line driving, the Cadillac's ride is on the firm side of firm, and that's in Touring mode. When you switch to Sport, the ride becomes harsh. Febbo explained, "I like the suspension, which makes me wonder if most people will think it too stiff. Most companies, like BMW, have become scared of aggressive rebound rates, but Cadillac has the balls to go hard."

    So that's our story. While flawed, the Cadillac ATS is the best $50,000 sport sedan of the three. Audi couldn't make an S4 materialize in time for this comparison, so we can't say with certainty the Caddy is the best you can buy. However, I'll go out on a limb and say it is. Summarized Mr. Evans, "When we did that eight-car comparison the 328i won, I remember getting out of the other cars, climbing into the BMW, and thinking, 'This is it. This is how you do it.' I had the same feeling today driving the Cadillac ATS."

    1st: Place: Cadillac ATS 3.6
    Nürburgring Nordschleife-developed chassis beats the Germans at their own game. However, the dated transmission and CUE need fixing.

    Full article at link.
    Last edited by ne_one; 12-04-2012 at 12:52 PM.

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    Re: Motor Trend comparo: ATS for the victory!

    Great job Cadillac! I really didn't think that MT would give the nod to the ATS over the 335i.

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    Re: Motor Trend comparo: ATS for the victory!

    Quote Originally Posted by impala02 View Post
    Great job Cadillac! I really didn't think that MT would give the nod to the ATS over the 335i.

    When C&D says the same thing, the world as we know it will have come to an end.

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    Re: Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

    Isn't this a repost?

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    Re: Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

    Repost of a video segment that was on the ticker last week. But good to see the ATS getting its due.
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    Re: Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

    Quote Originally Posted by b4z View Post
    Isn't this a repost?
    This is the actual article that goes along with the video that was previously posted.

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    Re: Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

    Its amazing how these magizines will not give Cadillac the unqualified absolute victory, even when its clearly the victor, throwing words like 'flawed' in there. Just say it, Cadillac is now the Standard of the world, simple and clear. Wait until the new CTS comes online.

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    Re: Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

    Talking about Cadillac, it was just announced that there is not going to be a CTS wagon. Too bad, that would have been a funky caddie.
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    Re: Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

    Sometimes the total grille opening on the ATS looks too big, like a gaping mouth, other times not.

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    Re: Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

    Wow - GM needs to apply this ability to get it right to it's other vehicle lines - especially midsize sedans (Malibu).

    GM needs to take the team that developed the ATS and understand what they did differently to create a class leading vehicle. Then use this knowlege thoughout all other development processes. I'm not saying that GM hasn't been doing well with other vehicles, but the ATS is heads and shoulders above - all of GM's cars need to be like this.
    Last edited by BlackGTP; 12-04-2012 at 01:24 PM.

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    Re: Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

    I drove the ATS 3.6 Premium vs my 335i. I'll say that the ATS is better riding thanks to the magnetic ride, but I wish the sport seats in the ATS were as beefy as the ones in my 335i. Also, I don't like the variable steering in the ATS or variable steering in general. My BMW has a nice linear weigh to it that inspires confidence in driving. ATS is a really good car. It tempts me still even though I didn't feel it was a must have.
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    Re: Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

    Hell just officially froze over.

    Well done, Cadillac!
    If you can't fix it with a hammer, then you have an electrical problem.
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    Re: Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

    Quote Originally Posted by impala02 View Post
    Febbo explained, "I like the suspension, which makes me wonder if most people will think it too stiff. Most companies, like BMW, have become scared of aggressive rebound rates, but Cadillac has the balls to go hard."
    Forget "New Standard of the World." and replace it with"Cadillac - the balls to go hard!"
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    Re: Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

    On this day, one car shone much brighter on the winding roads than the other two. That car is the Cadillac ATS. From Evans: "This chassis...wow. Unbelievable. I'm just blown away by how well this car drives. Those two are luxury sport sedans. This is a luxury sports car."

    enuf said

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    Re: Comparison: BMW 335i vs. Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes-Benz C350

    Motor Trend test results are for sale. I've followed GM long enough to know the routine, it happens ever time they have a new "game changing" model. Now that we are on GM's 6th or 7th "rebirth" this was expected. All new models come out strong and then by the next comparison they are outdated relics and a new king is crowned. It is easy to create a new model and beat the established brands, it is something else entirely to year after year stay on top - like civic, corolla, camry, 3 series, F150, etc. That is, has been and will always be GM's problem. They get some momentum and change names - i.e. cavalier, cobalt, cruze... I'm surprised they stuck with malibu quite frankly. lol

    The ATS I am sure is a fine car, however GM cannot erase 30 years of dominance and brand recognition the others have. BMW and mercedes have huge advantages, they are dedicated established luxury brands - people want those emblems in their driveway. Cadillac isn't there yet. As long as those others get mentioned in comparison and Cadillac is an alternative to those rather than the must have - this will continue.

    My problem with the ATS is it's styling. It is a smaller CTS. I wanted something different and not the same old thing. So it has all the goodies, it can be equipped with a manual. Underneath though it is all GM, probably has a few Sonic bits and pieces hidden in there somewhere to cut corners. A bmw or a mercedes on the other hand aren't anything else, it is all they do. (You could argue bmw makes minis, but they hardly share as much as most GM products do and minis are hardly crappy cars.)

    Bravo Caddy for building a competitive car, which is exactly what a car company is supposed to do. So I am not celebrating too much. I'd be seriously worried if I were GM, I haven't seen much real change since the bailout.

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