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      10-08-2012, 12:59 PM   #89
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I just read the print version of this review (mag came in the mail a few days ago) and overall, I am less sold on the ATS than before, especially in its current state. also, I wish they would have test driven the Auto transmissions instead of the 6mt as the bimmer 8at is so amazing.

they really do praise the ATS chassis and steering, but engine + tranny goes to bmw. Engines and trannies can always be changed, but the platform and chassis points to maybe an ATS refresh doing very well. Interior is always subjective, so I won't comment there. I am just really disappointed that bmw is not determined to keep its handling / suspension edge over competitors, that gap is closing (or gone, really) with each comparo.

I also wish they would put better wheel/tire setups on these "sportline" cars. the caddy came with RE050A-I (which is of course what e90s used to come with), while the f30 came with P7 cinturatos. What a joke!?! sportline, my ass. Put some staggered bridgestones on the bimmer and it prob would have won every performance category, including skid pad and braking. Why so cheap BMW, when you're charging an arm and a leg?
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      10-08-2012, 09:24 PM   #90
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So I took some time today and looked at the ATS. The car is very impressive as far as exterior styling IMO and looks better than the 328i. The interior of the ATS doesn't look so good in photos, but in person, its pretty nice and is just as luxurious as my E90 (wood trim aside in the E90). I buy a car for the driving experience, not how the interior looks as long as it is functional. I've spec'd an ATS on Caddy's website and a 328i Sport line. Comparatively equipped (base cars with few options) the ATS is $6K less than the BMW. My ATS would be the 2.0 Turbo base car with a MT and sunroof. The 328 Sport line w/bluetooth (amazing it's not standard).

I've not yet driven either car, as the Caddy 2.0 Turbo with MT is as of yet not out in my area. My first physical impressions of the Caddy are quite positive, the driving position seems perfect and the controls proper for good driving (the trunk is a bit small). BMW has gone so far from the original 3-Series formula (from the E30), that I'm not likely to buy a BMW again. The 2.0 turbo in the 3-er is just not right in my experience of owning I6 N/A BMWs. The ATS has no such history, so the 2.0 Turbo in it will get consideration from me. The car I saw was a 2.5L auto, the under hood engineering and assembly are just first-rate IMO; its a very very clean design, very neat and tidy. For a 1st shot out of the box up against the benchmark 3-Series, the ATS is quite impressive. Priced thousands less is only a bonus. I'll have to see how both cars are at 9/10ths on the back roads.

I've owned a 3-series since 1988. At this point BMW has its work cut out for it for me not to consider the ATS.
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      10-08-2012, 09:31 PM   #91
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So I took some time today and looked at the ATS. The car is very impressive as far as exterior styling IMO and looks better than the 328i. The interior of the ATS doesn't look so good in photos, but in person, its pretty nice and is just as luxurious as my E90 (wood trim aside in the E90). I buy a car for the driving experience, not how the interior looks as long as it is functional. I've spec'd an ATS on Caddy's website and a 328i Sport line. Comparatively equipped (base cars with few options) the ATS is $6K less than the BMW. My ATS would be the 2.0 Turbo base car with a MT and sunroof. The 328 Sport line w/bluetooth (amazing it's not standard).

I've not yet driven either car, as the Caddy 2.0 Turbo with MT is as of yet not out in my area. My first physical impressions of the Caddy are quite positive, the driving position seems perfect and the controls proper for good driving (the trunk is a bit small). BMW has gone so far from the original 3-Series formula (from the E30), that I'm not likely to buy a BMW again. The 2.0 turbo in the 3-er is just not right in my experience of owning I6 N/A BMWs. The ATS has no such history, so the 2.0 Turbo in it will get consideration from me. The car I saw was a 2.5L auto, the under hood engineering and assembly are just first-rate IMO; its a very very clean design, very neat and tidy. For a 1st shot out of the box up against the benchmark 3-Series, the ATS is quite impressive. Priced thousands less is only a bonus. I'll have to see how both cars are at 9/10ths on the back roads.

I've owned a 3-series since 1988. At this point BMW has its work cut out for it for me not to consider the ATS.
Nice, but the bold makes little sense. The N20 is a superior motor to caddy's 2.0t and caddy's manual trasmission has received awful reviews from all mags.
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      10-08-2012, 10:13 PM   #92
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Bluetooth is standard in the'13 328.
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      10-09-2012, 09:07 AM   #93
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Nice, but the bold makes little sense. The N20 is a superior motor to caddy's 2.0t and caddy's manual trasmission has received awful reviews from all mags.
It makes perfect sense if you remember the crap BMW 4 cylinder engines of the 70s and early 80s and longed for the I6 that BMW finally got right in the E30 in 1988. The ATS has no such heratige to live up to, as it is fresh design. I'll make my own judgement of both engines on my own rather than take an opinion of BMW fanboy whose just read a magazine article.
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      10-09-2012, 09:21 AM   #94
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Excellent point. I had a Chevy Cruze for like a month (don't judge me, I got it super cheap and only bought it to flip) but the Chevy dealer is AWFUL (same dealer as Caddy). I mean holy crap you pull up wearing anything other than a t-shirt and the techs are eyeing you. I have never been to Kentucky, but I'm pretty sure that's what it feels like to be there.
Good.. we don't want you here.
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      10-09-2012, 09:24 AM   #95
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It makes perfect sense if you remember the crap BMW 4 cylinder engines of the 70s and early 80s and longed for the I6 that BMW finally got right in the E30 in 1988. The ATS has no such heratige to live up to, as it is fresh design. I'll make my own judgement of both engines on my own rather than take an opinion of BMW fanboy whose just read a magazine article.
Does it make you feel cool to sound like a ****** ***?
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      10-09-2012, 12:03 PM   #96
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Does it make you feel cool to sound like a ****** ***?
Well informed auto enthusiast?
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      10-09-2012, 12:37 PM   #97
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justinnum1
While his tone was just a bit snarky, the message is completely on point. Always trust your own opinions over those on the written page (or coded website).

But also, I agree with your point of contention in regards to the different heritage of the ATS and the 3-series. One can't knock the 3 series engine specifically because it's a fourbanger vs the I6 until the differences in respective engines are experienced. Myself, I actually prefer the turbo 4 over the NA 6, as I found the power band to be both stronger and more linear, and those characteristics took precedence over what I felt was a slightly less sophisticated engine feel and note. Some might feel otherwise, but they cannot just fall in line with assumptions based specifically on specs.

That being said, I look forward to test driving an ATS asap to compare the engine to the BMW four. It looks like it was a great first effort by GM, which is only bested by an engine that is generally recognized as the best turbo 4 in the world, by a company with a lot more experience in creating great small-ish displacement turbo engines.
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      10-09-2012, 02:04 PM   #98
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Opinions are opinions. But a dyno is fact. Based on dyno of both 2.0t. BMW>ats. Loom forward to hearing more people's reviews of the ats.
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      10-09-2012, 02:18 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
It makes perfect sense if you remember the crap BMW 4 cylinder engines of the 70s and early 80s and longed for the I6 that BMW finally got right in the E30 in 1988. The ATS has no such heratige to live up to, as it is fresh design. I'll make my own judgement of both engines on my own rather than take an opinion of BMW fanboy whose just read a magazine article.
Interesting perspective as the best E30 (M3) had a 4 cylinder, and I see more E21 and E30 cars on the road with four cylinders than sixes. Pointing out the resemblance of BMW's headquarters to a particular type of engine seems redundant.

I'm not arguing the benefit of a straight six to a four cylinder, but using the E30 as your reference seems odd. Next you'll be extolling the V12 E Type.
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      10-09-2012, 02:42 PM   #100
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There is no arguing that BMW has another 3 series competitor in the ATS. Yes, its first gen, is from GM, and has that chiseled body many don't love. But, at the end of the day it drives really well and its engines are competitive. The auto rags were all very complementary, except for the CUE system, touch controls, E46 era rear legroom and trunk narrowing @ wheel wells.

I was very impressed with the car drive, feel and driving position. There were a few items I thought were cheaply made, like the fake stitching on things like the door panels. Also the rear legroom is further restricted by a bulge in the unibody structure. I found that pretty strange.

If GM markets it properly, offers attractive leasing options, and corrects some of the CUE software problems, they could have a respectable showing in this first gen. We may have a reborn GM on our hands and I'm cautiously optimistic that the future is looking bright for American cars.
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      10-09-2012, 05:51 PM   #101
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Short and selective memory from Efthreeoh, guess he wasn't around for the Cadillac Cimarron. Yes Cadillac has heritage from the same time period as mentioned for BMW but it was embarrassing. If he read the Car and Driver article as I did it says clearly that the ATS engine is crap compared to the BMW.
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      10-09-2012, 07:59 PM   #102
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LOL.

Have you driven one?

Just because it has 4 cylinders does not mean it sounds like a Civic.

If anything, there is an absence of sound.

This will be remedied by the exhaust being developed on my car next week.

*Plenty of them*, I rest my case. Not to be offending but if you would have gotten the 335i first, you probably wouldn't require a performance exhaust...
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      10-09-2012, 09:24 PM   #103
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Interesting perspective as the best E30 (M3) had a 4 cylinder, and I see more E21 and E30 cars on the road with four cylinders than sixes. Pointing out the resemblance of BMW's headquarters to a particular type of engine seems redundant.

I'm not arguing the benefit of a straight six to a four cylinder, but using the E30 as your reference seems odd. Next you'll be extolling the V12 E Type.
So don't even try to extalt to me what the best E30 was. I owned an E30 for 18 years (1989 325i with the M20) and have driven several E30 M3s along with several E21s back in 1976 through 1983 so I'm quite familiar with BMW's 4-cylinder engines of the era in both the E21 and E30. While the E30 M3 handled quite well, it wasn't much faster than a 325i with the M20 of the day, so it just wasn't. I also currently own a 1997 Z3 1.9L. The BMW I6 is just a superior engine to any 4-cylinder. Had you been of driving age in the 1980's, everyone in the USA (and the magazines) was asking for the 3 Series to get the M20. BMWs 4 cylinders are not history for me, they are real life experiences. Sorry, I'll take the N/A I6 any day of the week.
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      10-09-2012, 09:37 PM   #104
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Short and selective memory from Efthreeoh, guess he wasn't around for the Cadillac Cimarron. Yes Cadillac has heritage from the same time period as mentioned for BMW but it was embarrassing. If he read the Car and Driver article as I did it says clearly that the ATS engine is crap compared to the BMW.
Yeah, well I was around for the Cimarron and well remember what a joke it was. But it was a joke because it was a warmed-over Cavilier economy car, not just because it had a 4-cylinder tractor motor. That car is long gone anyway and was around for one model cycle, so I'll say it is nowhere close to a heritage model for Cadillac; sorry, nice try.

BMW has been continiously selling in the USA the 3 series with an N/A I6 for the last 25 years. The 3 series has always been a sports sedan since day one. The cavilier was Cadillac's attempt at a luxury economy car when gas was the equivelent of $4.50 a gallon in the 1980s. The ATS is a clean-sheet sports sedan with no heritage; it's that simple.
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      10-09-2012, 09:51 PM   #105
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So don't even try to extalt to me what the best E30 was. I owned an E30 for 18 years (1989 325i with the M20) and have driven several E30 M3s along with several E21s back in 1976 through 1983 so I'm quite familiar with BMW's 4-cylinder engines of the era in both the E21 and E30. While the E30 M3 handled quite well, it wasn't much faster than a 325i with the M20 of the day, so it just wasn't. I also currently own a 1997 Z3 1.9L. The BMW I6 is just a superior engine to any 4-cylinder. Had you been of driving age in the 1980's, everyone in the USA (and the magazines) was asking for the 3 Series to get the M20. BMWs 4 cylinders are not history for me, they are real life experiences. Sorry, I'll take the N/A I6 any day of the week.
Slower performance, and worse efficiency than the 4 cylinder turbo. Makes sense.

There is a lot more to an engine than how it sounds.
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      10-09-2012, 10:06 PM   #106
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It's a sad day for BMW. Despite the misgivings regarding the powertrain, the ATS is the more appealing car, especially exterior-wise. The only reason I could never consider the ATS seriously, is the fact that the 3.6L simply cannot touch BMW's N54/N55 and it's not available with a manual transmission. HOWEVER, the V6 and V8 families are due for a redesign (starting with the Gen V small block V8 in the C7 Corvette).

If they offer the ATS-V with the next-gen small block V8 + manual transmission. I could honestly stop lusting after the M3. In fact, GM if you're reading this ... don't go the turbocharged V6 route. The smallblock V8 is by far the best V8 in the world when considering efficiency, packaging, cost, and power.

Build the ATS-V with the new V8 + manual transmission, and I think you will give current M3 owners something to look at for much cheaper $$$.

"Build it and they will come"
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      10-09-2012, 10:12 PM   #107
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It's a sad day for BMW. Despite the misgivings regarding the powertrain, the ATS is the more appealing car, especially exterior-wise. The only reason I could never consider the ATS seriously, is the fact that the 3.6L simply cannot touch BMW's N54/N55 and it's not available with a manual transmission. HOWEVER, the V6 and V8 families are due for a redesign (starting with the Gen V small block V8 in the C7 Corvette).

If they offer the ATS-V with the next-gen small block V8 + manual transmission. I could honestly stop lusting after the M3. In fact, GM if you're reading this ... don't go the turbocharged V6 route. The smallblock V8 is by far the best V8 in the world when considering efficiency, packaging, cost, and power.

Build the ATS-V with the new V8 + manual transmission, and I think you will give current M3 owners something to look at for much cheaper $$$.

"Build it and they will come"
To who?

Exterior? Thats totally subjective, some will like it, some won't. Both transmissions in the ATS have been said to be poor. The suspension is better than the F30's and both engines are said to be not as good as bmw's offerings.
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      10-09-2012, 10:25 PM   #108
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To who?

Exterior? Thats totally subjective, some will like it, some won't. Both transmissions in the ATS have been said to be poor. The suspension is better than the F30's and both engines are said to be not as good as bmw's offerings.
Definitely subjective, but hardly unheard of. The new F30 design is a step back from the E90/E92 design. I have warmed up to it a little bit over the past few months, but the front fascia is absolutely horrid especially on base trims.

I concede that BMW builds better 4 and 6 cylinders (especially 6 cylinders) than GM's equivalent offerings in the ATS. However, GM makes the best V8s, and I hope that the next ATS-V will come with the new Gen V SBC V8. To date, no manufacturer has built better V8s in the last 50 years.

Heck, give me the ATS, toss the 3.6L and put in the LS1 V8. This V8 is over 15 years old (debut in C5 Corvette for the '97 model year), and even in stock form will match BMW's N54/N55 offerings, with much lower cost of ownership and a lot more aftermarket support.
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      10-10-2012, 07:30 AM   #109
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*Plenty of them*, I rest my case. Not to be offending but if you would have gotten the 335i first, you probably wouldn't require a performance exhaust...
Rest your case? Not to be offending, but...

Perhaps you are completely wrong and all it takes is looking at my signature.

I have no interest in a 2nd BMW with a forced induction straight 6. There is nothing the N55 could give me that I am not getting in spades with my 400whp(more coming as I up the boost after a headgasket and retune) S52 in a car slightly larger than a Miata.

I had a 2.0Tsi 6mt Vw CC stage 2 as my DD. The F30 with RWD but similar architecture was an ideal replacement for that car. Could not be any happier with my current stable. Was not about money or all out speed out of the box, if that was the case I would have likely gone used and gotten something more.

If I had only one car, one car to do it all, yeah I would have not opted for the N20 F30.
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      10-10-2012, 07:36 AM   #110
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Definitely subjective, but hardly unheard of. The new F30 design is a step back from the E90/E92 design. I have warmed up to it a little bit over the past few months, but the front fascia is absolutely horrid especially on base trims.
To be honest I was not a fan of the front either. The side and rear, I don't see enough of a change to find better or worse than the E90.


But then comes the M-Sport. I am sorry, but if you have not seen one in the flesh, it is a drastic improvement and makes no apologies compared to an any E90.

All subjective of course.

But fact is, most have not seen an F30 M-Sport in person, also seen one in EB2.
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