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Cadillac ATS-V or BMW M3?

11218 Views 14 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  al.copp
Two outstanding vehicles, but only one can come out on top. Price, performance, aesthetics (subjective), re-sale value, maintenance costs etc. Which is the better buy and why?
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Non M owner but have and currently own a BMW. Will never own another again due to numerous gremlins and issues. Along with potential issues, seems that every time I drive, I wonder if today will be the day I have a few thousand dollar breakage coming my way since I just passed 50k mile warranty.

Understandably all vehicles can have issues, but theres a reason most BMWs are for sale at 50k miles or just under.

No doubt the current M models are nice but my choices I have been holding out for are the ATS and CTS v models, and other vehicles.
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The M has a pretty craptastic interior. Haven't seen the ATS-V in person, so hard to compare. But man alive is the M's interior cheap feeling and looking.
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I'd imagine the ats-v will edge out a win performance wise against the m3/m4. And imagine prices will drop a bit on the Caddy after all hype is gone, which will unfortunately probably hurt resale value. Would be great to see the ats-v follow in the stingray's footsteps value wise, but I'm afraid that's just wishful thinking.
I Hope this car does well but at the moment the public has not accepted Cadillacs new pricing structure. Im sure this car will perfrom as well or better than its competition but price and fear of low resale value will be this cars biggest obstacle.
Personally, I don't like BMW's. I think they are overrated. Interiors are cramped too. However, if you hype any vehicle long enough, people will end up believing it.
There is something about sitting in a Beemer,descended from motorcycles and planes. It feels like legacy if you see it like that. But from a new perspective, ATS-V is worthy to challenge. Personally, as much as I like the way the 3-series feels and money will go for a V.
June issue of C&D has a limited comparison with M4, RC F and RS5.
The ATS-V had the lowest price. M4 is better at braking, acceleration and road holding.
The M has a pretty craptastic interior. Haven't seen the ATS-V in person, so hard to compare. But man alive is the M's interior cheap feeling and looking.

You're in for a BIG surprise then once you read all the magazine comparo reviews and you actually get to sit/feel the ATS-V. I got the chance to spend 20-minutes poking and prodding it and the biggest glaring let-down is the interior and the obnoxious rear trunk spoiler.
And here is Car & Driver's August issue which compared the ATS-V vs M3 vs C63-S:

EDIT: For some reason I cannot post a link but either search google or go to and in the C63 section, you'll find the thread that has the comparo
C&D rated ATS-V third at 201 points vs 205 for C63 and 207 for M3.
They did not like the engine and the interior(glossy plastic and Chevy gages).
They liked the chassis and handling.
Here is M&T positive review of ATS-V.

Beating the Germans is never easy — just ask the French — yet automaker after automaker sets its sights on what's become the holy grail of German sports cars: the BMW M3. Many have tried to unseat the king, but thus far the likes of Cadillac, Lexus, and Volvo have yet to definitively succeed. Where others have failed, General Motors hopes the new 2015 Cadillac ATS-V provides the magic bullet. After spending a couple weeks with an automatic-equipped ATS-V Sedan and a manual-equipped ATS-V Coupe, I think it's safe to say that the General is on to something.
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I imagine most are already intimately familiar with the ATS-V, Cadillac's hot new thing (along with the related CTS-V), so I'll offer up a quick refresher of Caddy's M-fighter. Built on GM's lightweight, rear-drive Alpha platform (which Cadillac will share with the next-generation Chevrolet Camaro), the ATS-V is powered by a 3.6-liter, twin-turbo V-6 that produces 464 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque. A V-8 will probably fit under the hood, but sadly none is offered. Buyers have the choice of a six-speed manual or a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic in addition to the choice of two- and four-door body styles.

Having already sampled an automatic-equipped ATS-V Coupe at Texas' Circuit of the Americas, we focused our efforts on two versions that we haven't touched: a manual-equipped ATS-V Coupe and an ATS-V Sedan automatic. Identically equipped save for the transmissions and the doors, the ATS-V Coupe was the lighter of the two, weighing 3,754 pounds to the sedan's 3,788. Lighter but not faster. The manual-equipped coupe runs to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.2 seconds and through the quarter mile in 12.6 seconds at 114.2 mph. The eight-speed-equipped ATS-V Sedan does the deed quicker, hitting 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and blasting through the quarter mile a half-second quicker — 12.1 seconds at 116.2 mph. Where does the extra speed come from? Likely the sedan's fast-shifting automatic. As much as we love shifting our own gears, the ATS-V's somewhat notchy manual transmission just can't hold a candle to the slushbox when it comes to going quickly. The heavier sedan also manages to outbrake the coupe, the four-door needing 99 feet in the 60-0 mph stopping test to the two-door's 101.
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The ATS-V Coupe makes up some ground when corners get thrown into the mix, but not much. On the skidpad, the ATS-V Coupe shows its potential, netting a 1.04g average, and the ATS-V Sedan musters up a 1.03g average. But again, the manual sadly proves to be the Coupe's undoing; its best figure-eight run was 23.9 seconds averaging 0.86 g, and the sedan managed an impressive 23.7-second time averaging 0.89 g.

For reference, the ATS-V Sedan essentially matches our long-term 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 in all performance metrics, and it does so with an extra 400 pounds in tow. Our long-term 'Vette does 0-60 in 3.8 seconds, goes through the quarter mile in 12.1 at 117.8 mph, and can lap the figure eight in 23.5 seconds while averaging 0.91 g.Outside the test track and out in the real world, the ATS-V in either form is a remarkable car. Its German rivals often feel like they were built as luxury cars first and sports cars second, but the ATS-V is the opposite. It's a sports car that just so happens to have a supple ride, leather interior, and a comfortable-for-its-size back seat. Already small, the ATS-V does what good sports cars do best and shrinks around the driver once it starts being pushed. The ATS-V is telepathic, becoming one with your body as it gets flung from corner to corner. The small-diameter steering wheel offers up the perfect amount of heft and feedback, and the magnetic shocks do their job and keep the V cornering flat.
Both transmissions are pretty good. From a driver's engagement perspective, the manual can't be beat. Its throws are notchier than I'd like, and the clutch has a vague engagement point, but it's ultimately a rewarding gearbox to row. The automatic is pretty good, too. As my cohort Scott Evans says, "It isn't PDK-perfect, but it does a pretty good imitation." Even in Track, the most aggressive of the ATS-V's driving modes (the others are Weather, Tour, and Sport), the automatic can be a bit too eager to upshift on partial-throttle applications and a little slow downshifting on heavy braking, though those are issues easily fixed by using the flappy paddles. Of the two transmissions, I'd probably opt for the automatic.

If there's anything to take issue with, it's the ATS-V's engine. It's not that the twin-turbo V-6 mill is a bad engine — it's actually anything but. It's just that it's lacking in personality. It's too quiet. Cadillac V-cars are supposed to be loud and in-your-face — the Guns N' Roses to BMW and Mercedes' Scorpions — and this one just isn't.On its own, the new Cadillac ATS-V is another mighty step forward for the Cadillac brand and its V division. Each Cadillac V car has been better than the last, and the ATS-V deserves to be taken seriously. Although the ATS-V might not win any exhaust note battles (at least in stock form), it does represent a significant threat to BMW and Mercedes-Benz's factory sports cars. As for how the new ATS-V stacks up against its German counterparts in a Head 2 Head competition, well, stay tuned.

2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan
$63,660 $61,460
PRICE AS TESTED $73,550 $73,570
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 4-pass, 2-door coupe Front-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
ENGINE 3.6L/464-hp/445-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6 3.6L/464-hp/445-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,754 lb (52/48%) 3,788 lb (52/48%)
WHEELBASE 109.3 in 109.3 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 184.7 x 72.5 x 54.5 in 184.0 x 71.3 x 55.7 in
0-60 MPH 4.2 sec 3.7 sec
QUARTER MILE 12.6 sec @ 114.2 mph 12.1 sec @ 116.2 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 101 ft 99 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 1.04 g (avg) 1.03 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 23.9 sec @ 0.86 g (avg) 23.7 sec @ 0.88 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 17/23/20 mpg 16/24/19 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 198/147 kW-hrs/100 miles 211/140 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.01 lb/mile 1.03 lb/mile

Read more: 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Review - First Test - Motor Trend
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There are multitude of tests done on all kinds of cars by numerous magazines and others, many are biast, some are competent drivers some not so much. People sometimes have a tendency to over think a car purchase. The V Cars are specialty cars setup by General Motors Performance People. There are reasons manufacturers put warranty limits miles etc. I usually trade when I reach the warranty limit. I had a C7 Stingray which I traded on the Black Raven Coupe 8A loved the vette as I have owned 11 of them but found it increasingly difficult to get in and out of. As I said in earlier posts, I read in a believe it was a Motor Trend in 2013 before the C7 came out that GM was considering a V6 Twin Turbo around 450HP for the corvette, well obviously that didn't happen, but I have strong suspicions that the Baby V will be a test platform for future considerations for the Corvette, JMHO. As I said earlier I have done some mods to mine down pipes, Tune,
and Dyno and is indeed a Bad Boy! 536.7RWHP and 550.LBFT of Torque. For 220ish cubic inches that ain't bad. As far as price I like most others would love for it to be lower, but after all it is a High performance Specialty car and they have always been more even in 1963 when I bought my first high performance car a 1963 Impala SS 409 2x4barrels 4:56 positraction, 4 speed. The engine option was $485 doesn't sound like much by today's standards but considering the total sticker price was $3800.05 it was significant. Enough of my ranting and thanks for reading my posts I have owned and driven many high performance cars in my life if the Master allows me to keep my life and faculties I will continue to do so. Love this little Lightning Bolt.
Black Raven
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