Cadillac ATS-V: A Better BMW

Yes, Jeff drove it on the race track already. That doesn’t show what it’s like to live with the new Cadillac ATS-V though, so I sucked it up and took on the task of playing with the car as a daily driver for a week. Short straw draw, but I’ll manage…
What Cadillac have created in the new ATS-V is essentially the vehicle that you’d expect BMW to be building if they’d continued existing after the E39 M5. Since they stopped making cars that people can enjoy we’ll have to live in this alternative universe and enjoy the absolutely excellent Cadillac ATS-V.

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  1. Fred Talmadge Avatar
    Fred Talmadge

    When you say that BMW has stopped making enjoyable cars, are you saying all the M variants are garbage? Or are you just lamenting the loss of the E39

    1. Jason Connor Avatar

      In my opinion having a “drivers car” should not have to continually have settings to get to the way you want to drive it. Yes the PTM is a performance/driving/traction enhancement, but it doesn’t do so in a way that feels digital and enhanced in the way the BMW’s do.
      When I had the M4 for the weekend I found it infuriating to have to set the car up differently for different traction or road surface. The E39 was the last of the pure driving muscle sled sedans, the subsequent models further drove away (no pun intended) from the feeling of the E39.
      Cadillac still has the pure driving ethos but not doing it in a way that feels enhanced or forced. The CTS-V does this even more with crazy power and insanity, but as a sports sedan and for pure driving enjoyment the ATS-V remains king to me.

      1. Fred Talmadge Avatar
        Fred Talmadge

        OK that makes sense.

  2. Chris Parente Avatar
    Chris Parente

    Love the E39 M5 reference, I own a 2002. Nice review of the ATS-V.

    1. Jason Connor Avatar

      Thanks a lot, I’m getting better my presentation does need a good bit of polishing. With time comes experience and I’m hoping I get better at being more concise with my thoughts. I almost bought a 2003 M5 back in 2010 until I fully researched maintenance costs and gave it the pass.

      1. Gee Nick Avatar
        Gee Nick

        Same here. A buddy wanted to unload his ’03 M5 on me, and I almost pulled the trigger. Instead, I ended-up with his golden retrievers and a bought a hot hatch to carry them in.

  3. neight428 Avatar

    Since they stopped making cars that people can enjoy…
    Whatever do you mean?

    1. Jason Connor Avatar

      Hey it’s brown so it must be made for enthusiasts.

        1. nanoop Avatar

          No need to raise it, it’s tall enough.

          1. Roody Avatar

            Well played.
            Also, there’s a joke in here somewhere about BMW raising the roof, but I’m to tired to be that creative.

      1. crank_case Avatar

        I like the GT. The only way to make sense of it though, is not to think of it as a tall 5 series, but as a 7 series compact, because despite the badge, that’s exactly what it is. It’s built on the 7, not 5 series platform. If we’re talking non-M or higher powered variants, a 5 series isn’t the drivers car it used to be anyway, so why not just have space and comfort?

    2. outback_ute Avatar

      Not a bad option if you need ground clearance. Also, replaced by FWD…

    3. nanoop Avatar

      Not a problem, we’re at Hooniverse, we embrace all cars. The fallen stars, the bland beaters in their third spring, the Cimarrons and Olds diesels, the Marinas and the the Ferrari Ferraris – and whatever the latest ride of Sir Harrell is. A functional car (starts, runs, stops) will always be acknowledged as a fine, joyous privilege. Share & Enjoy!

  4. Lokki Avatar

    I have a 2014 5-Series and, having owned a string of BMW’s since 1998, I am not impressed with its ‘soul’. It’s a dead thing. I call it a good video-game simulation of a BMW. The car has three modes: performance,comfort, and, of course, Eco. Each setting varies the suspension stiffness, the shift points of the 8-speed automatic, the fly-by-wire throttle response, the steering weighting, and the responses of the stability control system which automatically applies individual brakes to help cornering. Combined with the lack of feel from the electric power steering you are more of a drone pilot than a driver.
    The only thing that concerns me about considering a a Caddy is the GM tradition of producing cars that are wonderful for 24/36 months after which they make you ….annoyed. BMW’s have 4-year 50K mile warranties and quality, and, generally speaking, won’t enrage you unless you keep them beyond one of those milestones – and I never do. If Caddy has advanced to an equal level of lack of hassle, I might consider -leasing- one. Can anyone tell me?

    1. Gee Nick Avatar
      Gee Nick

      A friend had a 2.0 turbo ATS lemon buy back last year.

  5. rickbradner Avatar

    Until GM sells more Cadillacs than BMW sells sports sedans, I think the suggestion that Cadillac know their customer better than BMW is a bit silly…

  6. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
    Dean Bigglesworth

    To me sound is one of the most important things in a street car.. and this just doesn’t do it. Acceleration is also nearly irrelevant; sure 0-60 in 4s is quite a bit faster than say 7s, but even 4s isn’t fast enough to feel exciting in a modern car so what’s the point? It’s like saying being faster at sex makes it better.
    The biggest benefit of turbocharged engines is the feeling of the boost building and the engine coming alive, but most new turbo engines pull so strongly from low revs it just feels like a characterless large displacement engine with extra mufflers. Turbo engines in a performance vehicle should add some brutal violence to the experience, not try to emulate a linear NA engine.
    A track vehicle? Do everything to make it faster. 7 gear auto or even a CVT? Great! Lag free turbo? Super! characterful engine? Irrelevant!

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