2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

Episode 3408
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Without a doubt, the most exciting American sport sedan in decades is the Cadillac ATS. Since it arrived for 2013, the ATS has fully stood its ground against the best four-doors that Germany has to offer. Now Cadillac is following that up with a coupe version. So, let’s see if, even with two less doors, it’s just as able. 

As the first compact sporty coupe to ever wear the Cadillac crest, the 2015 ATS Coupe has got a tall bar to top, to make headway into a small, clearly European dominated segment. 

Now, being drawn from the wonderful ATS sedan certainly helps. Indeed, GM hasn’t done anything major here beyond crafting a 2-door body onto the ATS chassis. So if you liked the sedan, chances are you’ll really like the Coupe. 

Unlike many sedan/coupe siblings, wheelbase stays the same, though the 2-door’s track has been widened for better handling, and a more muscular appearance, especially at the rear.

Only the hood is shared, the rest of the body panels are unique. Though sleek and stylish, it comes off a little conservative compared to ATS and CTS sedans, and that’s apparently intentional. Still dynamic and very well done overall, lots of emphasis is placed on aerodynamics, including extensive underbody shielding. 18-inch wheels are standard, with a wider footprint at the rear. 

The ATS Coupe also launches a new Cadillac crest. A big large for our taste, it will quickly work its way throughout the lineup. 

What’s under that shared hood is not quite as shared as the 2.5-liter I4 is not available. Just the delightful 272-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo, uprated to 295-lb ft of torque, and our car’s 3.6-liter V6 with 321-horsepower and 275 lb-ft. The V6 is automatic only, but, like the sedan, you can choose a 6-speed manual for the turbo-4. 

Watching weight is still an ATS hallmark. But, poundage does see a slight increase over a comparably sedan. 3,530-pounds total in the case of this V6, with a little more of the weight over the front wheels. 

That’s barely apparent from 0 to 60 as this 2-door gets the job done in 6.2-seconds. The automatic yields quick, nearly seamless shifts, pushing through the ¼ mile in 14.6 seconds at an even 100. That’s only slightly off the pace of the last turbo-4 sedan we tested. 

When it comes to handling, there’s the same 5-link IRS, and double pivot MacPherson strut front suspension, but with unique tuning that feels a tad stiffer than the sedan. For best results, you can upgrade to the FE3 sport suspension with Magnetic Ride Control, as well as a mechanical limited-slip rear diff. 

The belt-driven, variable effort electric steering works well, with precise inputs and decent feel. All-wheel-drive is available with both engines. Brembo brakes are standard, but just for up front. And that was enough to bring things to a halt in a short average distance of 120-feet from 60. 

The interior is well-crafted. We especially like our car’s carbon fiber accents. The enhanced CUE system makes for easier smart phone use. Most info is easier to find, and the touchscreen seems more responsive. Front seats are as comfortable as we remember; the steering wheel still feels great in your hands; and the gauge panel is still clear and comprehensive. This Coupe is a 2+2 so rear legroom is tight. Still, the seats cushions are comfortable.

Two different safety packages are available: Driver Awareness and Driver Assist; and include back-up camera, full-speed range adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, front and rear automatic braking, head-up display, and of course GM’s safety alert vibrating seat. Trunk capacity stays the same as the sedan at 10.4 cubic-ft.  

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the V6 are also the same as the sedan at 18-City, 28-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged a fine and fun 23.8 miles-per-gallon of Regular. The Energy Impact Score falls about average at 15.0-barrels of yearly oil use with CO2 emissions of 6.8-tons.

Base pricing for a standard 2.0-liter ATS Coupe is $38,990; V6 pricing begins at $46,145.    

If Cadillac had come to us for advice before building the 2015 ATS Coupe, we would have told them to keep the sedan’s performance intact and keep the price under 40. Well, they did us one better by keeping the price reasonable, and packing in even more total performance. We think that much like the sedan, the ATS Coupe should be an instant sales success and have no problem carving out a spot among the luxury sport coupe elite.


  • Engine: 3.6 liter
  • Horsepower: 321
  • Torque: 275 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 14.6 seconds @ 100 mph
  • EPA: 18 mpg city/ 28 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 15.0 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 6.8 tons/yr
2023 Mazda3

2023 Mazda3

Still The Same Mazda3, Just A Bit Better

Episode 4304
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When the fourth-gen Mazda3 arrived for 2019, it grew a little more stylish, a lot more upscale; and loads more practical too, adding all-wheel drive into the mix for the first time. How does it get better than that? Well, for ’23 the 3 adds an engine update that promises to deliver more power and better efficiency. Time to speak truth to this power.

The Mazda3 has always been a great compact car, big on both fun and value, and has earned numerous MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Awards over the years. This current-gen has been on the road for 4-years now, and it gets even better for 2023.

Starting with the powertrain, the base 2.0-liter I4 has been eliminated leaving just 2 versions of the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, turbo and non-turbo. Base versions get a 5-horsepower bump to 191-horsepower, along with updates for its cylinder deactivation system. The 2.5 Turbo fits standard all-wheel drive and outputs the same 250-horsepower and 320 lb-ft. of torque as last year; provided you use Premium gas. Max ratings drop to 227-horsepower and 310 lb-ft. with Regular.

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A 6-speed manual transmission remains available in front-wheel drive 3s, but AWDs come exclusively with a sport-tuned 6-speed automatic. We found it well-sorted and seemingly always on the same page as us whether we were shuffling through back roads or sitting in traffic. There is a softer overall feel compared to Mazda3s of old, which you’ll appreciate when encountering harsh pavement, but it still feels plenty agile when called upon.

That softer feel certainly carries over inside, where it has gotten much quieter, and quite nicely finished, consistent with Mazda’s Audi-like premium intentions. All 3s get an 8.8-inch center display, and all of the fingerprints on our test car’s screen signifies most people assume it’s a touchscreen. It’s not, however, as inputs are made with a rotary controller on the console. It’s not the most intuitive system, but once you’re past the learning curve, it’s tolerable.

The rear seat room doesn’t have the roomy feel of the Subaru Impreza, but space is certainly more than adequate compared to the rest of the compact set. Rear cargo space for this hatchback rates a good 20.1 cubic-ft. with trunk space in the sedan coming in at 13.2 cubic-ft. So yes, the Mazda3 remains available in both sedan and hatchback, but we still prefer the 5-door hatch both for its practicality and for its sporty looks. Top Turbo Premium Plus gets gloss black aero treatments including a roof spoiler and front air dam.

At the test track, power from the 2.5-turbo felt more than adequate off the line, using all-wheel-drive grip to bite into the pavement and get up and go to 60 in 6.0-seconds flat. There was virtually no turbo lag, and the engine felt nicely refined with its power delivery. Transmission operation was equally as smooth and kept the power flowing quite effectively throughout the ¼-mile, which ended in 14.5-seconds at 95 miles-per-hour. We really appreciate a well-tuned 6-speed in this world of overactive 8 and 10 speed automatics.

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While there was definitely some understeer to manage in our handling course, the 3 turned in quickly and provided real, sporting feedback through our cone course. I-Activ AWD features G-Vectoring Control Plus, which uses both engine torque vectoring as well as selective braking to minimize body roll, and preserve the lively feel we’ve come to expect from Mazda. In panic braking runs, the pedal was soft, but that kept ABS pulsing to a minimum; and the results were great, as we averaged a very short 106-feet from 60, with minimal nose dive and stable, straight stops.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for an all-wheel drive Turbo are 23-City, 31-Highway, and 26-Combined; we averaged a good 28.4 miles-per-gallon of Regular.

Obviously by eliminating the previous base engine, prices have taken a jump for ’23, but so has everything else. Still they remain more than reasonable. The base S now starts at $26,855, with the top Turbo Premium Plus at $37,815, with many options in between. And sedan prices are even more sensible, starting at $23,715.

Like most brands, Mazda seems to be going all-in on SUVs; as the 3 is the last family sedan and hatchback in their lineup. And it would be a real shame if that were to change. As the 2023 Mazda3, the hatchback in particular, is just about the perfect car, offering utility vehicles levels of practicality along with better than average luxury, plus handling performance that few crossovers can match. So, long live the Mazda3!


As Tested

  • Engine: 2.5-liter Turbo-4
  • Horsepower: 227 | 250
  • 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 106 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 28.4 MPG (Regular)
  • Transmission: 6-speed auto
  • Torque: 310 lb-ft. | 320 lb-ft
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.5-seconds at 95 mph
  • EPA: 23-City / 31-Highway / 26-Combined