Favorite, if not very exotic, feature: 60 virtual push-buttons. You can display several at a time on the bottom of the screen. Use them to store not just favorite radio stations but frequent navi destinations, oft-used phone numbers, songs that might be on one of the three devices you can plug into the three USB ports (one of which is lighted, hallelujah). Why did it take so long?
Not so good: sliding bar for stereo volume. Knobs, please. No better way.
•No start-stop. Applause. Nobody's done it right yet. It saves fuel by killing the engine when it needn't run, such as at long stoplights. But restarts are jerky and clunky in most vehicles, including the BMW 3 Series that is ATS' rival.
ATS is a delight, and its unique platform will migrate across the ocean to GM's troubled Opel in Germany, and perhaps into Chevrolet or Buick sedans.
ATS is the credible starter model Caddy has needed to snag entry-luxury buyers, who are among the most brand-loyal. And the use of ATS hardware elsewhere in GM makes ATS the start of something good.
About the Cadillac ATS
•What? New-from-scratch small Cadillac four-door sedan meant to challenge BMW 3 Series. Available with one of two new four-cylinder engines or a V-6. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD).
•When? On sale late this summer.
•Where? Made at Lansing, Mich.
•How much? $33,990 to about $55,000, with shipping.
•What makes it go? Base: 2.5-liter four-cylinder rated 202 horsepower at 6,300 rpm, 191 pounds-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm.
Optional: 2-liter turbocharged four rated 272 hp at 5,500 rpm, 260 lbs.-ft. at 1,700 rpm.
Optional: 3.6-liter V-6 rated 321 hp at 6,800 rpm, 275 lbs.-ft. at 4,800 rpm.
Six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
•How big? Exterior's within half an inch of a BMW 3 Series sedan every which way. ATS is 182.8 inches long, 71.1 in. wide, 55.9 in. tall on a 109.3-in. wheelbase. Weighs 3,315 to 3,629 lbs. Passenger space: 90.9 cubic feet; trunk, 10.2 cu. ft.
Tows up to 1,000 lbs.
Turning circle diameter: 36.4 to 38.1 ft., depending on model and tires.
•How thirsty? Government has rated only the base, 2.5-liter RWD model: 22 mpg city, 33 highway, 26 in city/highway mix.
GM 2-liter RWD to be about 22/32/26; V-6 RWD, 19/28/23. AWD will be 1 or 2 mpg less.
2.5-liter automatic test car registered 28.5 mpg (3.51 gallons per 100 miles) on hilly, rural two-lane roads with occasional hard acceleration and use of manual-shift mode in the automatic.
2-liter turbo manual test car registered 23.2 mpg (4.31 gal./100 mi.) on hilly, two-lane back roads.
All engines burn regular; Cadillac recommends but doesn't require premium for 2-liter turbo four. Tank holds 16 gallons.