The good folks over at Automobile Magainze have put together a comparison table that shows how the ATS matches up against the rest of the segment.
Now, while I might wonder in what parallel universe the Automobile folks live in that has the Buick Regal, Acura TSX, and Lincoln MKZ as competitors to the rear/all-wheel drive segment the ATS plays in – it’s easy enough to ignore those columns and see how things stack up.
As it is, Cadillac did pull a rabbit out of their hat with the lightest product in the segment (always a great place to start for dynamics)…but if you are looking for the most rear-seat room, you might have to go elsewhere.
Personally, this is a sport sedan segment – if you want rear seat room as your primary consideration…maybe you are looking at the wrong kind of car.
Automobile calls out as a shortcoming that the ATS is down on interior volume to the current 3 series (by 5.3 cubic feet) but I would respectfully say they miss the point. The automakers have been progressively making each generation of their cars bigger, arguing that that is what buyers want. However, when asked, don’t most consumers ask for their car to be ‘more’ than the one they replace? More room, more power, more, more, more…
This is how we get a Ford Taurus that is the size of the old Crown Victoria. How the Civic is bigger than the Accord I knew growing up. There is something lost with these ‘more = better’ product decisions. More size = more mass. More mass is going to often equate to duller responses as well as needing more power and worse fuel economy to get equal performance.
I commend GM for not aiming the ATS to be the biggest car in the segment at the expense of driving dynamics…and not only because they seem to have hit a size that reminds me of the sport sedans I grew up with but for making a decision that competes by letting the competition beat itself. The 3-Series is heading in a direction not in keeping with their “Ultimate Driving Machine” roots. This leaves space for another brand to take up that driving-enjoyment torch and poach buyers that feel that BMW has gotten too soft for their tastes. Not being as ostentatious as something with the Roundel or 3-pointed star is icing on the cake (yep, I just said that the wreath and crest isn’t as smug and self-important as the German makes…sue me).
I hope the ATS and Cadillac turn out to be the brand that takes over the pure sport sedan turf while we watch the 3-series get softer with each generation.
For the full comparison table, see the link below: