Taking the 2013 Cadillac ATS for a drive

Photo 2013-01-05 12 50 14  Thanks to Klout and Cadillac I recently had the opportunity to take the new Cadillac ATS for a weekend test drive.

This isn’t your Dad’s old Caddy, gone is the ‘sofa on wheels’ feel of the super-sized luxury car I remember renting when I worked at a rental car agency in the 90s. The 2013 Cadillac ATS is a sleek, sporty and luxurious car that surrounds the driver and passengers in style and comfort.

At first glance the car is surprisingly compact for a luxury car, the ATS is the smallest Cadillac in the line, it was barely 6 inches Photo 2013-01-06 18 02 02longer than the sup-compact parked beside.   While the mid-size car fits in most city spaces easily, the parking sensors and back-up camera make parking even easier.
Behind the wheel, the seats and console envelope the driver, making everything at your fingertips but it was also open and spacious enough for 4 adults to ride comfortably.  The only interior drawback I did find in my seating location, was a couple of tricky blind spots caused by the pillar between the front and back doors. The first thing one notices upon entering the car is the ‘Cadillac Cue’ display in the centre console.  Connecting the car to my iPhone via bluetooth was quick and easy so I could make calls hands-free or control music with voice commands. There was also a USB and memory card slot for music in the armrest storage.  Cue also allow for tuning of AM/FM and XM Satellite radio just with a simple vocal command.  Navigation was the only disappointment when trying to program OnStar turn-by-turn navigation with voice command only. There was Photo 2013-01-06 18 04 54too many steps for on-the-go voice programming, I’m sure calling a live OnStar agent would be an easier option but I didn’t really want to tie up an operator as an experiment.Cadillac ATS - panel

Taking off through the city, the car handled easily and was a comfortable experience when sitting and waiting in traffic congestion. The true test of the ATS is on the open highway, it handled great and super smooth at highway speeds, hugging corners and easily flying along the open road. It seems like a small feature but the ATS’ High-Intensity Discharge headlights really did a great job of lighting up the road ahead after dark.
It was a cold, windy day out but inside the car, the heated seats and responsive climate control kept the it comfortable and the aerodynamics and handling made easy work of the cross wind.

Through city or highway, I could see a long road-trip being a breeze in this car.  No wonder the 2013 ATS has received accolades from numerous auto publications including “Luxury Car of The Year” by Popular Mechanics magazine and ” Car of the Year” by Esquire



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