Car Review: The 2013 Cadillac means something new in this year’s class

Kudos to the 2013 Cadillac ATS, an all-new Cadillac option in the compact-luxury sport sedan class. Photo: Inside and close up of the 2013 Cadillac Photo: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, January 7, 2013 — What can you say about a car that Esquire Magazine named the 2013 Car of the Year? Kudos to the 2013 Cadillac ATS, an all-new Cadillac option in the compact-luxury sport sedan class.

Not replacing any current models, the ATS competition is strong against the BMW 3 Series. Only time will tell how this five-seat Cadillac fares in this class since BMW has owned it for years.

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For trims, the 2013 Cadillac ATS comes with 16 options. The ATS is offered in Luxury, Performance or Premium Collection models or there is the standard model to choose from as well.

Sleek Cadillac Photo: R. Dandridge

There are three engines to choose from and two different 4-cylinders. You can also opt for a manual transmission or there is a V6 either in a rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.  With so many trim options, there are a variety of prices to choose from, but take note of the four trims out of 16 that are priced as low as $33,990.

Under the hood the engine choices begin with the standard 202 horsepower, 2.5L four-cylinder or the 272 horsepower 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder. Finally, there is the 321 horsepower 3.6L V-6 engine too. Take note that the 2.5L engine is only available in rear wheel drive with the standard or Luxury trim, and the V6 is not available on the standard trim.

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For safety the 2013 Cadillac ATS has a number of features likes the 4-wheel ABS, dual front side-mounted and front and rear head airbags, remote anti-theft alarm system, front and rear ventilated disc brakes, child seat anchors, emergency braking assist, stability control, daytime running lights, and a post-collision safety system.

One of the features on this Cadillac that did not work for me was the bright indicator lights on each of the outside mirrors.  As I was driving at night I could see the flashing lights (when I had my indicator light on) and it was very distracting since a few times I thought there was a car beside me that I had not seen.

Otherwise, the Cadillac interior experience is nice if not a bit confusing when one first sits in the driver’s seat. The controls for the audio, heating and cooling, navigation and connectivity are a bit all encompassing, but over a week or two I suspect it would be easier to get to know. 

There is an eight-inch LCD touch screen along with the controls and you work the entire Cadillac ATS universe of “what is going on in the car” with this screen. The knobs — or a better description buttons — were a little slow for me when I was pushing the volume control and the temperature.   

Overall the 2013 Cadillac ATS offers a quiet ride, which is always a big plus. The voice controls are on target and all of the ATS models come with the CUE system. Do keep in mind that only the top models will include the navigation and premo audio; this is where the voice-recognition interface really works its magic though.  

Should You Need to Know: Take note that there is plenty of room in the front seat for driver and passenger. The back seat has a good amount of room for this class too and the trunk is 10.2 cubic feet.

Miles Per Gallon: For an in the city drive, it comes in at 22 miles per gallon and on the highway at 33 miles per gallon.

Cost: I drove the Cadillac ATS 2.5L Luxury Collection and the price tag was $44,375. 

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.

She also contributes travel and auto to the Anthony Duva show, which can be heard live from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST every Sunday at

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and www.greensourceDFW and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books. She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.

Her latest book releases are both “Haunted Dallas” and “Haunted Fort Worth” from Her third book in the Haunted Series was released in October “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma.”  Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.


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