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Cadillac ATS vs. Mercedes CLA

21416 Views 26 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  SimpsonTide985
Starting at $33 095 for the 2013 ATS 2.5L Standard RWD, being about $3 000 more than the base model Mercedes CLA 250. The base model Cadillac ATS can be seen as a better buy over the base model CLA 250 since it's RWD unlike the CLA, but is it??

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the CLA is nice but its only nice, CLA is a pretty girl with no personality..
That's what we in the US are waiting to find out, isn't it?
How much time left till we get to see the CLA in the U.S.?
I can see the 2.0 turbo model of the ATS being competitive with the CLA.
I hate to say it but I am pretty much sold on going with the (2013 - 2014) ATS 2.0L Turbo Luxury AWD. Yes its more expensive but the standard features on the ATS are longer than the CLA. Leather, Keyless access/drive, Remote Start. 272HP. Reviews on the ATS are rock solid.
I have been keeping my eye out for pricing and Cadillac is offering some really deep discounts on the 2013 MY. Low 40K for AWD/Nav/Sunroof
More a competitor for the C class, and in your case a C350 with over 300hp.
Unless cadillac decides to come out with something smaller than the ATS.
Unless cadillac decides to come out with something smaller than the ATS.
that might or might not be a good idea. but still possible, there are so many smaller Chevy platforms they can use for the smaller caddy
Here's my review of the ATS:

This was a "golf" car, hence the little sticker on the side. There was a PGA thing recently in Arizona and so they had "rented" a few Cadillacs out for the event.

Anyways, it was a 2013 Cadillac ATS 3.6L Performance RWD; White Diamond paint w/ Light Platinum/Brownstone Accent interior. I think it was $44-$46k or something. The only additional option(s) it had on it was the Moonroof


-I must say, I really loved the handling and the poise of the car. It's sure-footed and tight--actually handles a bit better than the G37S I'm afraid! All of the big talk they've been saying about the ATS seems to be true!

-Lots of HP at a lower RPM. It has great immediate delivery of power right off the line and it accelerates firm and smooth without being jarring.

-It's hard to tell in the photos, but the ATS is a very clean and impressive looking car. From the outside it's clean, stylish, without being gawdy. It could be a little too simple for those looking to stand out (with the new CTS's aggressive styling, the ATS design might feel outdated soon). The interior is well done and the leather stitching and glossy materials really capture the luxury feel well. I'm not a fan of the standard ATS wheels however.

-For a car with this kind of suspension, it absorbed bumps very nicely and kept out road noise fairly well.

-The CUE/none-button control system, while it took a while to get used to, is pretty interesting. Sure, it seemed cumbersome right off the bat, but it didn't as hard to navigate as I expected. I'm still not a fan of it. (low Pro)

-Not much of an engine note. When you push on the gas, it goes, but the engine itself is almost too smooth and quiet that it takes a ton of enjoyment out of hearing that strong, V6 engine working. I was a little disappointed in that.

-The sound system in the ATS leaves a lot to be desired. It offers very little option for customization of the audio levels, which is important for me since I luv my music (Bose,wtf?). Not only was there little customization, but it didn't really sound all that great.

-Rear room is pretty tight, leg room is not all that great and neither is headroom either. Even compared to the G37 which is similar in size, I didn't expect it to be as cramped as it was.

So, I break it down like this:

Looks: 8.25/10 (I'm enjoying the overall curve and design of the car, but it might look too much like the CTS at certain angles. The stock wheels need to go)
Performance: 8.5/10 (Really great handler, but lost points to the lack of engine noise and personality)
Personal Practicality: 7/10 (Decent mpg, cramped in the back. It's a Cadillac, so I'm not expecting the best of depreciation)
Tech: 6.5/10 (Nothing impressive to note. No standard moonroof? CUE takes a while to understand- MEH audio system)

Overall: 7.6/10 (I gave the Mercedes-Benz CLA a 7.8/10)

Bottom Line: The ATS is an incredible machine. It handles well and has good power. However, the engine sounds pretty lame, I don't like the audio system, the back seats are too tight, and I'm not in love with the CUE system. Compared to the CLA, I think a loaded CLA at $42k might not be such a bad alternative compared to a mid-range equipped $46k ATS. The two cars are very comparable in many ways. The ATS is more powerful and has a better chassis and suspension. The CLA has slightly larger interiors dimensions, sounds better on the road, and has better fuel economy.
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