Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Cadillac ATS VS 2015 Subaru WRX Near Scottsdale, AZ

Responsive image

2014 Cadillac ATS

Responsive image

2015 Subaru WRX

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the Cadillac ATS’ rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Subaru WRX doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

Both the ATS and WRX have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The ATS has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The WRX’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The ATS offers optional Automatic Collision Preparation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The WRX doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The ATS’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The WRX doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The ATS’ optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The WRX doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

The ATS has standard OnStar ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The WRX doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the ATS and the WRX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

The ATS comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The WRX’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the ATS 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Subaru covers the WRX. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the WRX ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The ATS’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the WRX’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Cadillac pays for scheduled maintenance on the ATS for 4 years and 50,000 miles. Cadillac will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Subaru doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the WRX.

There are almost 3 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the ATS’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the ATS’ engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The WRX STI 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the WRX’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The battery on the ATS is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the ATS’ battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The WRX’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 13th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 14th in reliability. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 15th.

Engine Comparison

The ATS’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 16 more horsepower (321 vs. 305) than the WRX STI’s optional 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Cadillac ATS V6 is faster than the Subaru WRX 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

5.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.3 sec

14.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.7 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102 MPH

99 MPH

Top Speed

152 MPH

150 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the ATS AWD Auto turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the WRX CVT with its standard turbo 4 cyl. (20 city/29 hwy vs. 19 city/25 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Cadillac ATS uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine for maximum performance). The WRX requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The ATS’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the WRX are solid, not vented.

The ATS stops shorter than the WRX:



70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

116 feet

Road & Track

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The ATS’ optional 255/35R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the WRX STI’s 40 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires optional on the ATS can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The WRX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The ATS offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The WRX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the ATS’ wheelbase is 5 inches longer than on the WRX (109.3 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

The ATS’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the WRX’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the ATS more stable handling and braking.

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the ATS 2.0T/V6 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The WRX doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the ATS is quieter than the WRX:



At idle

40 dB

48 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

70 dB

Ergonomics Comparison

The ATS offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The WRX doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the ATS, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The WRX doesn’t offer a memory system.

The ATS’ optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The WRX doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The ATS offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The WRX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the ATS and the WRX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the ATS is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The WRX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The ATS’ front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its front windows also automatically close, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The WRX’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The ATS’ optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The WRX’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The ATS has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The WRX doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the ATS detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The WRX doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the ATS offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The WRX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the ATS has standard extendable sun visors. The WRX doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The ATS’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru charges extra for heated mirrors on the WRX.

When the ATS with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The WRX’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The ATS offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The WRX offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The ATS has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The WRX doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The ATS has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the WRX STI.

Both the ATS and the WRX offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the ATS has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The WRX doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the ATS offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The WRX doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The ATS offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The WRX doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations Comparison

The Cadillac ATS has won recognition from these important consumer publications:



Consumer Reports® Recommends



Car Book “Best Bet”



Kiplinger’s Award



A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the ATS as the 2013 North American Car of the Year. The WRX has never been chosen.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.