2013 Cadillac ATS: Affordable luxury starts at $34,000

2013 Cadillac ATS: Affordable luxury starts at $34,000

The battle for luxury sport sedan supremacy is poised to heat up as General Motors takes it to German rival BMW’s popular 3 Series with its own 2013 Cadillac ATS luxury sedan.

When it arrives in showrooms this summer, the Cadillac ATS will present a healthy slice of luxury sedan pie with three models for potential customers to mull over. The base-model Cadillac ATS will roll in with a $33,990 sticker price, including destination fees. Of course that price will only rope you an entry-level ATS with a 200-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated with a six-speed automatic transmission, which Cadillac says will net you “well over 30 mpg.”

A more powerful lightweight turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 270-horsepower and all-wheel drive can be yours if you’re willing to make the jump in price to $35,795. And if you’re still craving for more luxury, the top tier Cadillac ATS with an even more powerful 3.6-liter V6 churning out 320 horses can be yours for $42,090. The top-of-the-line caddy adds manual transmission options as well as well as available all-wheel-drive.

With Detroit desperately looking to challenge Munich, it’s clear to see why Cadillac is coming out of its corner swinging. Still, it’s hard to know just how well the ATS will fair considering GM has yet to release a complete breakdown of standard equipment for each ATS model. While the entry-level 2013 Cadillac ATS undercuts the BMW 3 Series price by almost a few thousand, Cadillac customers will need to make due with 40 less horsepower. Where the battle really starts to heat up, however, is when you compare the mid-level ATS to the entry level 3 Series. Cadillac’s turbocharged tier-two ATS beats the 328i’s 240 horsepower by nearly that much for roughly the same price.

Of course it’s going to come down to what’s inside the car just as much as what’s under the hood. With the 2013 Cadillac ATS, GM is exhibiting a confidence that it has lacked for some time in the luxury segment. Setting its sights on BMW is an excellent start, but trying to undercut the seminal 3 Series is even better.