Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 BMW 3 Series VS 2015 Cadillac ATS Near Phoenix, AZ

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2015 BMW 3 Series

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VS

2015 Cadillac ATS

Safety Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The ATS Sedan only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the ATS Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the BMW 3 Series Sedan is safer than the Cadillac ATS Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

ATS Sedan

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

150

346

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

116 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the BMW 3 Series Sedan is safer than the Cadillac ATS Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

ATS Sedan

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

184 lbs.

316 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

688 lbs.

861 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

291

358

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

46 G’s

Hip Force

513 lbs.

720 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the ATS Sedan’s (12 vs. 6 years).

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 13th.

Engine Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan has more powerful engines than the ATS Sedan:

Horsepower

Torque

320i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

180 HP

200 lbs.-ft.

328i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

255 lbs.-ft.

335i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

300 lbs.-ft.

ActiveHybrid 3 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

335 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

ATS Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

202 HP

191 lbs.-ft.

ATS Sedan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

272 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

ATS Sedan 3.6 DOHC V6

321 HP

275 lbs.-ft.

The 3 Series Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 191) than the ATS Sedan’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the 328i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Cadillac ATS Sedan turbo 4 cyl. (manual transmissions tested):

3 Series Sedan

ATS Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

6.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.5 sec

16.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

99 MPH

94 MPH

Top Speed

154 MPH

151 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW 3 Series Sedan is faster than the Cadillac ATS Sedan (automatics tested):

328i

335i

ATS Sedan turbo 4 cyl.

ATS Sedan V6

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

4.4 sec

5.7 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

13 sec

14.3 sec

14.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.9 MPH

105.4 MPH

97.3 MPH

101.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the 328d gets better fuel mileage than the ATS Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

ATS Sedan

RWD

 

n/a

19 city/30 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Manual

2.0 turbo 4 cyl. diesel/Auto

32 city/45 hwy

21 city/33 hwy

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid/Auto

25 city/33 hwy

n/a

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl. diesel/Auto

31 city/43 hwy

20 city/28 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

On the EPA test cycle the 3 Series Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the ATS Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

ATS Sedan

RWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (180 HP)/6-spd Manual

23 city/36 hwy

19 city/30 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Manual

2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (240 HP)/6-spd Manual

22 city/34 hwy

n/a

3.0 turbo 6 cyl./6-spd Manual

20 city/30 hwy

n/a

n/a

21 city/33 hwy

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (180 HP)/8-spd Auto

24 city/36 hwy

21 city/30 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (240 HP)/8-spd Auto

23 city/35 hwy

n/a

3.0 turbo 6 cyl./8-spd Auto

21 city/32 hwy

18 city/28 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (180 HP)/8-spd Auto

23 city/35 hwy

20 city/28 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (240 HP)/8-spd Auto

22 city/33 hwy

n/a

3.0 turbo 6 cyl./8-spd Auto

20 city/30 hwy

18 city/26 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Sedan’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 3 Series Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the 3 Series Sedan’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the ATS Sedan:

320i/328i

335i

ATS Sedan

ATS Sedan

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13 inches

12.4 inches

12.4 inches

The 3 Series Sedan stops much shorter than the ATS Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

ATS Sedan

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 3 Series Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. Run-flat tires cost extra on some versions of the ATS Sedan.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 3 Series Sedan’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the ATS Sedan (110.6 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

The 335i handles at .89 G’s, while the ATS Sedan pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 328i goes through Road & Track’s slalom faster than the ATS Sedan (69 vs. 68.7 MPH).

The 335i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the ATS Sedan (25.6 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.7 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Road & Track, the interior of the 328i is quieter than the ATS Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

ATS Sedan

At idle

39 dB

42 dB

Full-Throttle

70 dB

75 dB

50 MPH Cruising

60 dB

63 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

67 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan has 5.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ATS Sedan (96 vs. 90.9).

The 3 Series Sedan has 1.7 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more rear headroom, 1.6 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the ATS Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan has a much larger trunk than the ATS Sedan (13 vs. 10.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 3 Series Sedan easier. The 3 Series Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26 inches, while the ATS Sedan’s liftover is 28 inches.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 3 Series Sedan’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The ATS Sedan’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the 3 Series Sedan w/Comfort Access the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the ATS Sedan can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 3 Series Sedan has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The 3 Series Sedan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The ATS Sedan’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 3 Series Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 3 Series Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer headlight washers.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the ATS Sedan offer optional heated front seats. The 3 Series Sedan also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the ATS Sedan.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i)’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 3 Series Sedan is less expensive to operate than the ATS Sedan because it costs $72 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 3 Series Sedan than the ATS Sedan, including $636 less for an alternator, $40 less for front brake pads, $35 less for fuel injection and $276 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The BMW 3 Series Sedan has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

3 Series Sedan

ATS Sedan

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

TRUE

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its September 2013 issue and they ranked the BMW 335i xDrive first. They ranked the Cadillac ATS Sedan AWD fourth.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 20 of the last 20 years. The ATS has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 18 years. The ATS has never been an “All Star.”

The 3 Series was selected by Automobile Magazine as their 2006 Car of the Year. The ATS has never been chosen.

The BMW 3 and 4 Series outsold the Cadillac ATS by over four to one during the 2014 model year.

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