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      09-30-2012, 10:58 PM   #1
evans4you
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Lightbulb BMW 328i and ATS 2.0 Battle Again in Direct Comparo by Car and Driver

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The 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T tries to dethrone the 2013 BMW 328i from the front of the entry-level luxury segment on the latest episode of Car and Driver: Tested.

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      09-30-2012, 11:13 PM   #2
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I wonder if the review would have been an easier swing for BMW if the car they tested had the dynamic handling package. The first one I drive with VSS and Adaptive Suspension will be mine so I haven't been able to compare what a difference it makes in the driving feel.
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      10-01-2012, 01:40 AM   #3
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Nice battle and nice info.

The 328 didn't have the adaptive suspension or what?
Those tyres look so smal on that car....

Cheers
Robin
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      10-01-2012, 08:32 AM   #4
evans4you
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I get the feeling Cadillac's work is 75% to 80% done to win this, they just need to do some tune ups on the engine and transmissions.
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      10-01-2012, 10:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evans4you View Post
I get the feeling Cadillac's work is 75% to 80% done to win this, they just need to do some tune ups on the engine and transmissions.
Put the Cadillac suspension on the BMW and it sounds like you have a great modern sport sedan. Very disappointing that the Caddy engine is so weak. If GM wants to compete in this class they need to up this part of their game.
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      10-01-2012, 11:42 AM   #6
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Credit to Cadillac for changing their game since the cars of the '80ies and '90ties. That they actually have a legitimate contender for the 3-series serves them credit.
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      10-01-2012, 12:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin_NL View Post
Nice battle and nice info.

The 328 didn't have the adaptive suspension or what?
Those tyres look so smal on that car....

Cheers
Robin
The sport line comes w/RFT 245 all around, no?

If so, then ya -small
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      10-01-2012, 12:15 PM   #8
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Sales of the ATS may be an indicator as to whether BMW Marketing has pushed engineering too far the other way. Apparently they intend the M335i, etc models to cover the enthusiast crowd and the pure ///M models to cover the hard core enthusiasts. Unfortunately, it would seem the general luxury car consumer actually wants a rather dull driving experience. This is so sad!!!
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      10-01-2012, 12:15 PM   #9
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I feel like the F30 will perform much better in all these comparison tests with better tires... man bmw... losing out on fun factor to a caddy... bavaria must be melting with rage...
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      10-01-2012, 12:25 PM   #10
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Caddy ATS . . . finally, a decent rental car option.
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      10-01-2012, 12:25 PM   #11
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the CUE system acronym made me LOL : S. H. I. T.
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      10-01-2012, 12:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kognition View Post
Unfortunately, it would seem the general luxury car consumer actually wants a rather dull driving experience. This is so sad!!!
Well then I guess the general consumer should stay away from BMW. The F30 328i is a blast right out of the box. (At least the Sport model, which I presume over 50% of all models will be.)
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      10-01-2012, 12:35 PM   #13
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I love the ATS for the simple fact that it will really show what direction BMW will choose to go towards. Aside from the ATS' transmission problems (big problem), the ATS is as good if not better in most categories. BMW can't ignore the ATS like they do the CTS because this reaches a bigger market.

Credit Cadillac for keeping with the ATS from the start despite their financial difficulties. IMO despite what people think, the 3-Series, while still an excellent car, is no longer the juggernaut it once was. It hurts just to hear that another car is more fun than the 3-Series.

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      10-01-2012, 12:37 PM   #14
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Caddy deserves a lot of credit for the ATS. There are just two things I can't get over. 1) The ATS doesn't look bad at all, but the super geometric Caddy "visual language" really seems like it's lacking any personality to me. Caddy has been using this for a while, I think they are due to update their overall aesthetic. 2) Going into a Caddy dealer sucks. Our nearest Caddy dealer is in an old building, stuck between a Chevy lot and a used car lot. The BMW/Mercedes/Audi dealers around here have really invested in stepping up their dealerships to provide a great all around customer experience. I especially love BMW of Seattle, where my car came from
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      10-01-2012, 12:51 PM   #15
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Some thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kognition View Post
Sales of the ATS may be an indicator as to whether BMW Marketing has pushed engineering too far the other way. Apparently they intend the M335i, etc models to cover the enthusiast crowd and the pure ///M models to cover the hard core enthusiasts. Unfortunately, it would seem the general luxury car consumer actually wants a rather dull driving experience. This is so sad!!!
Totally agree. It's as if to get a great sporty/dynamic experience you have to 'upgrade' to an M-performance for full blown M model. As a business school student, I can't deny that this is actually a smart business move because the average consumer doesn't care about a dynamic driving experience. For us enthusiasts though, it sucks.

A couple thoughts after watching the video:

- It's sad that the 'standard' sport suspension isn't acceptable anymore and enthusiasts would almost feel required to upgrade to an adaptive suspension. I don't like fiddling with a controller and prefer a static suspension, like the one on my e60 550 M-Sport.

- (Note: this is for all makes not just BMW) Is electric power steering around for good? I've not read one review where they didn't mention that there was a severe lack of steering feel due to electric assist power steering. Is hydraulic really only reserved for M models now? Artificially weighting it doesn't count as 'feel'. I realize it's due to a fuel savings issue though... maybe my anger should be directed at CAFE standards?

- As much as I want to love the ATS, and although I do appreciate their great effort, the ATS needs to be refined just a bit. Maybe when the model is refreshed in a couple years it'll be the e46 clone they want it to be. The interior is too busy, but it's nice to know they can do a great suspension and they didn't do the typical GM thing by downsizing a larger model as this car is quite light.

- I've always been a 'biggest engine possible' kind of guy, hence why I have a 550 (M models are too hardcore for me), but the things I hear about the 328 are greater and greater every time. I'd like my next car to be the F31 M-Sport Wagon and initially I was unhappy that they wouldn't offer a 335 Wagon but I'm becoming more and more okay with it. I'll certainly enjoy the fuel savings.
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      10-01-2012, 12:51 PM   #16
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Really good review. Informative, well-presented, and unlike Johnny Liebermann's comparo from Motor Trend, Gall's presentation has a clear indication of what they liked, didn't like, and why the BMW won. I haven't been in an ATS, but having sat in the CTS-V, I'd agree that Caddy/GM still don't know how to craft an interior that gives an air of quality and craftsmanship.

It seems like Caddy's drivetrain engineers are closing the gap, but have a LOT of work to do in building a car whose sum is greater than its parts. Here's to hoping they keep trying.
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      10-01-2012, 01:12 PM   #17
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Wow...they said the Caddy is more fun to drive. Sad for BMW, use to be their stand out feature.
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      10-01-2012, 01:26 PM   #18
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This should push BMW back on track
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BMW have tapped into this by mirroring typical BMW dynamics and steering communication within the new UKL cars.
You mean massive body roll, a steering system that is not connected to the front wheels, and the engine note played through the speaker system?!?!?!?!
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      10-01-2012, 01:39 PM   #19
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sorry, but doesn't look like a close battle in reality. They bitch about handling without getting the "FUN" suspension.
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      10-01-2012, 01:41 PM   #20
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Good comparison review. I agree with others - credit to Caddy for building such a car that would be described as "more fun to drive than a 3-series". "More fun to drive" is usually a term used to separate the 3-series from the likes of the C-class, A4, G37, IS350, etc. But I suspect that the ATS' magnetic ride control, LSD, standard Brembo's and chassis give it a slight advantage in terms of performance. Meanwhile it looks/sounds like BMW retains its advantage in engine (though I've read that their 2.0T is a little noisier than the Caddy's) and transmission delivery and package.

From what I've seen and read so far (without driving either one yet) my opinion is that the ATS looks more luxurious but drives more sporty, while the F30 looks more sporty and drives more refined. I like and am attracted to both cars and will seriously consider both before buying next year. Looks are subjective of course, but I'm one of those that likes the looks of both cars. Driving them both back-to-back would be interesting (necessary) and I certainly plan to do that at some point. That and the price would be the deciding factors for me. However, I've always dreamt of owning/driving a BMW 3-series since E36 generation.

Kuddos to Caddy for developing this car that will challenge the 3-series.
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      10-01-2012, 01:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cl0ud7 View Post
The sport line comes w/RFT 245 all around, no?

If so, then ya -small
No, our 328i Sport Line came with 225 all around.
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      10-01-2012, 02:29 PM   #22
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Meanwhile in Munich.... BMW is working on a X1 with stickers.
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