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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 07-28-2012, 02:04 PM
bimmerbeemerfan bimmerbeemerfan is offline
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Uh-Oh...First 3 Series versus ATS Comparison Test

So, has Cadillac really cracked the 3 Series' code?

http://www.totalcarscore.com/car-rev...omparison-test

"Shadowing the BMW 335i in terms of both intuitive feedback as well as overall ride quality and handling confidence is the 2013 Cadillac ATS. If you think you might have misread that previous sentence, go back and read it again – slowly. Just to be 100 percent clear, Cadillac has created a sport sedan that is, dynamically, right on top of the BMW 3 Series. How close is it? The ATS is closer than the previous challenger to the 3 Series’ supremacy when it comes to sublime handling finesse – the Infiniti G37. Again, we’re talking shades of gray here, shades we could only uncover because we drove all three in such close proximity to each other. The G37’s extra weight is the likely culprit in placing it third, as it still feels like a first class sport sedan...unless you drive it aggressively right after driving an ATS or 3 Series, aggressively."
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:07 PM
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Cool, sounds like they picked the caddy because its 7K cheaper.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:38 PM
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I just couldn't tell anyone I know "I drive a Cadillac".
I don't know I guess I could practice with my wife, "honey, ask me what I drive"
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:42 PM
bimmerbeemerfan bimmerbeemerfan is offline
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It will definitely be a challenge for Cadillac to overcome its image in the eyes of many traditional BMW customers. But if they've got the hardware to back up their claims when (if?) a potential 3 Series buyer ever gives the ATS a test drive...well, that's the first step.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:45 PM
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The Cadillac may be $7K cheaper now but once normal incentives kick in they'll be a steal at year's end.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:53 PM
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The Cadillac may be $7K cheaper now but once normal incentives kick in they'll be a steal at year's end.
What about a resale? You will probably be able to get a 3 year old ATS for 50-55% off.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:55 PM
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There biggest challenge will be to get BMW buyers in a Cadillac show room.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bimmerbeemerfan View Post
It will definitely be a challenge for Cadillac to overcome its image in the eyes of many traditional BMW customers. But if they've got the hardware to back up their claims when (if?) a potential 3 Series buyer ever gives the ATS a test drive...well, that's the first step.

There are proably a lot of younger buyers who do not remember the abominations that Cadillac was building 30 years ago.



They definitely have an image problem to overcome but it is not insurmountable. You never know what the future will being. In another 30 years BMW may be considered an old persons car and Hyundai and Cadillac may be the status brands.

They certainly lost their way and built some real crap over the years but the brand has a gear heritage and they built some wonderful cars in the past,





CA
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:06 PM
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Definitely some great product in the history books. I get the sense GM understands this and knows the brand could be great again...if it's given its due.
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:06 PM
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Two Cadillac threads on the F30 subforum? Really?

BJ
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerbeemerfan View Post
So, has Cadillac really cracked the 3 Series' code?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerbeemerfan View Post
Definitely some great product in the history books. I get the sense GM understands this and knows the brand could be great again...if it's given its due.
As noted in the article Infiniti has been at it for ten years and has not succeeded. And, as noted, they started out really well. I remember well the headlines, "Will the G25 be the Bimmer killer?" Well, it turned out not to be.

I have A LOT more confidence in Infiniti's ability to stay focused than I do in Cadillac's and it turns out keeping that focus has been very difficult for them.

I think Audi will continue to be BMW's fiercest competitor. Caddy will probably end up as another "also ran". Their ATS interior is already much more Lexus-like than Teutonic and Cadillac is a much more natural competitor to Lexus than they are to BMW.
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:38 PM
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So, has Cadillac really cracked the 3 Series' code?

http://www.totalcarscore.com/car-rev...omparison-test
And they are.....who? And this is authoritative........because?
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:55 PM
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What about a resale? You will probably be able to get a 3 year old ATS for 50-55% off.
The CTS is ranked #1 by Edmunds for best retained value in its class for 2012. I expect the ATS will do just as well.

2012 Best Retained Value® Awards
Sedan Over $40K: Cadillac CTS

Honorable Mention: Porsche Panamera, Lexus LS 460

http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/b...alue-cars.html
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:58 PM
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And they are.....who? And this is authoritative........because?
There are tell tale signs that the ATS will do very well in an instrument test comparison. For example, all the first drive reviews commented how well the ATS was balanced and composed at turns and cornering.

It just so happened in two of the first drive videos, they showed the ATS pulling 1.0+ g. I was surprised to see the numbers, because I recalled when C&D did the test among four competitors, the F30 328i only pulled a 0.87 g.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:02 PM
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The ATS is getting attention here because Cadillac has made it very clear that it is taking aim at the 3 Series and from the early reviews it appears that they have come up with a very good car.

Let's face it there are always going to be some here who would rather have a diaper pail with a BMW roundel on it than a Ming vase with a Cadillac crest.

We don't know how the ATS will do in the marketplace but it appears that Cadillac is off to a good start.

CA
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:34 PM
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There are tell tale signs that the ATS will do very well in an instrument test comparison. For example, all the first drive reviews commented how well the ATS was balanced and composed at turns and cornering.

It just so happened in two of the first drive videos, they showed the ATS pulling 1.0+ g. I was surprised to see the numbers, because I recalled when C&D did the test among four competitors, the F30 328i only pulled a 0.87 g.
It doesn't answer my question. We're discussing a site called totalcarscore.com. I've never heard of them prior to this review. Do they have some kind of known track record that makes them a trustworthy source on the level of, say, Autoweek or C & D? It's a fair question.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:56 PM
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The ATS is getting attention here because Cadillac has made it very clear that it is taking aim at the 3 Series and from the early reviews it appears that they have come up with a very good car.

Let's face it there are always going to be some here who would rather have a diaper pail with a BMW roundel on it than a Ming vase with a Cadillac crest.

We don't know how the ATS will do in the marketplace but it appears that Cadillac is off to a good start.

CA
LOL, I love the whole post, but the highlighted area just cracks me up and is so true...
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Old 07-28-2012, 05:19 PM
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Old 07-28-2012, 05:37 PM
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This isn't related to performance, but rather interior accommodations. The rear seat of the CTS is really bad. Because of the super wide C pillars and the low seating position it is like sitting in a hole. The cushion is short and low, so there is no thigh support and your knees are up around your chin. The rear seat of the E90 is much better. In fact, I consider it the best in class. The Audi is very close and some like it better.

This comparo already says the ATS' rear seat is smaller than the F30. The ATS has basically the same super wide C pillars as the CTS, so I expect the rear seat is virtually the same and it may be worse.


I haven't driven the current CTS, but I did drive the first one. It wasn't nearly as good as the E90. I went to a big GM driving event during the run of the first CTS where GM had lots of their competitors. In the segment where they had the CTS they also had a BMW E90 325 (this was late summer/early fall 2005) and a Merc C Class. There were two cars people were lining up to drive repeatedly - the BMW and the Merc. No one (other than me) got in line to drive the CTS multiple times.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:08 PM
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LOL, I love the whole post, but the highlighted area just cracks me up and is so true...
In any product caregory, whether it is automobiles, home entertainment systems, clothing, or whatever there are always going to be buyers who understand the products, understand what constitutes a quality product and understand the difference between high quality and lower quality products and make their purchase decisions based on that knowledge.

There will also always be unsophisticated consumers who can't tell the difference and buy by the label or by the price tag. From a marketing standpoint this category is not a good consumer base to build a brand on because the "image over quality" crowd is a fickle and unloyal crowd who tend to go for "the flavor of the week".

There will also always be customers who can tell the diffenence but feel that a "lesser" product is sufficient for their needs and that the extra cost of the more expensive product (even if they can easily afford it) is not justified. Not everyone who can afford a Bentley drives a Bentley.

As I have mentioned here I have participated in a number of BMW marketing events and BMW is very aware of what built their brand and what their core market is. They fully understand that they are viewed as a car that combines performance with luxury and if they go to far in either direction they will loose their focus along with their core market.

The 3 Series accounts for a huge portion of BMWs sales and is very sucessful to the success of the company. BMW is very aware that most 3 Series are used as daily drivers and that the owners depend on them for basic transportation and expect a certain level of civility and creature comforts. Even a so called "stripper" 3 Series is reasinably well equipped. BMW is also very aware that a large proportion of their customers feel that they have purchased "The Ultimate Driving Machine" and take great pride in the way their cars drive.

Depending on the model and options chosen a 3er can be geared toward more sport, more luxury or a combination of both, but it is never going to be too extreme in either direction. In other words you are not going to be able to option a 3 Series into either a Lotus Exige or a Lincoln Town Car.

Do many of the BMW models have more performance than can regularly utilized on the street? Certainly, but that describes most cars available today. If you don't believe me try going for a ride around a track with a professional driver in a Honda Accord and you will see how much potential most modern cars have. Does the fact that that potential is there mean the owners of those cars will drive them recklessly? Some will some won't. I have seen reckless drivers in Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas.

Having a 300 horsepower car may not be necessary but it does not mean that the owner will use that power irresponsibly any more than the fact that your next door neighbor has an 800 watt amplifier and 8 speakers means that he is going to be playing it full blast at 3:00AM. Of course playing music full blast won't kill anyone (unless its a Kanye West recording) so maybe that is not a good anaology. But on second thought playing Kanye West at full volume may cause your neighbors to try to kill you so maybe it is a good analogy.

I recently spoke to Lexus executive (he was driving an LF-A). I mentioned how much I had liked my SC300 and he agreed that it was a great car and the fact that Lexus had not continued in that direction and that they had develped a reputaion for building cushy, souless cars had tarnished their reputation and hurt sales. Lexus is now working very hard to release models that are viewed as sporty and fun to drive to try to regain their position as the best selling "luxury" brand which is now BMW.

I remember an incident from a number of years ago when I ran the high end sound room at a stereo store in Boston. A customer wandered into the sound room and saw a pair of very large and very expensive speakers at the back of the room (I can't rememer what they were but the were about $1,800 a pair). He listened for a few minutes and commented on how great they sounded but $1,800 speakers were out of his price range. I explained that the speaker that were playing were actually the EPI 100s that were sitting next to them and sold for about $90 each. He told me that he was not interested in purchasing any cheap $90 speakers and walked out of the room.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 07-28-2012 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:25 PM
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I explained that the speaker that were playing were actually the EPI 100s that were sitting next to them and sold for about $90 each. He told me that he was not interested in purchasing any cheap $90 speakers and walked out of the room.

CA
And no BMW owner would ever switch to Cadillac.

BJ
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:26 PM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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It doesn't answer my question. We're discussing a site called totalcarscore.com. I've never heard of them prior to this review. Do they have some kind of known track record that makes them a trustworthy source on the level of, say, Autoweek or C & D? It's a fair question.
Read them the first time myself, which was why I never referenced it, even though it was the very first report that came out on 7/23.

Aside from the impressive G ATS pulled, it should do well in braking test, with its standard 4-piston Brembo brakes.

Last edited by dtc100; 07-28-2012 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:27 PM
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Honestly, if I thought I could have found an ATS 2.0 Premium with manual to drive, I would have waited before ordering my F30. With the magnetic ride and turbo 4 I have a feeling the ATS would be even closer, if not better, than the F30. I trust Karl Brauer's assessment in his review as I've been reading his work for over 10 years. I get where he's coming from and if he sees the ATS as a hair behind the 3, he's probably right. He's handled more awesome cars in his life than most of us will ever dream of touching. Given the feature of the ATS and the way Caddy supports their CTS, the ATS will undoubtedly be a steal compared to the 3. An ATS-V will surely be a beast...for much less than the next M3.

No matter now, my F30 is built and enroute. But gotta say BMW hooked me in with the various discounts on the BMW now and my familiarity with the brand. Next time...I will give the ATS a shot just like MB, Audi, Infiniti got a shot this time.

Last edited by brkf; 07-28-2012 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:31 PM
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It doesn't answer my question. We're discussing a site called totalcarscore.com. I've never heard of them prior to this review. Do they have some kind of known track record that makes them a trustworthy source on the level of, say, Autoweek or C & D? It's a fair question.
Karl Brauer founded it a couple years ago. He was the editor at Edmunds' Insideline for many years and editor at a bunch of car mags before that. He had a vision for a different kind of online car resource with TotalScore. It's kind of a car review aggregator.

As for his own "car-guy" credentials, the dude's owned a serious array of awesome cars/motorcycles, including currently having a Ford GT in his garage.

Last edited by brkf; 07-28-2012 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:36 PM
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And no BMW owner would ever switch to Cadillac.

BJ


Now it all makes sense. The store was in Boston, you lived close by in New Hampshire.

I thought you seemed familiar when I saw you at C2C2.

What kind of speakers did you end up buying?

P.S. You aged very well. I guess eating at White Castle is healthier than I thought.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 07-28-2012 at 06:39 PM.
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