2018 Audi S4 vs. 2017 Cadillac ATS-V

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S4 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Cadillac ATS-V doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The S4’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The ATS-V doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi S4 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Cadillac ATS-V doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

The S4’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The ATS-V doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The S4 has standard Audi Pre Sense Front, 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 ATS-V offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature which would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The S4 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The ATS-V doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The S4 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The ATS-V doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The S4 Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The ATS-V 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 S4 and the ATS-V have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The S4’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the ATS-V’s (12 vs. 6 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 14th in initial quality. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 16th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 11th in reliability, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 15th.

Transmission

The Audi S4 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the ATS-V.

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S4 offers optional 19-inch wheels. The ATS-V’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S4’s wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the ATS-V (111.2 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S4 is 1.1 inches wider in the front than the average track on the ATS-V.

Passenger Space

The S4 has 1.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ATS-V Sedan (92 vs. 90.9).

The S4 has .3 inches more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear headroom, 2.2 inches more rear legroom and 3.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the ATS-V Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The S4 has a much larger trunk than the ATS-V Sedan (13 vs. 10.4 cubic feet).

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S4 offers cargo security. The ATS-V’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

The S4’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-V’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the S4 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the ATS-V can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The S4’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-V’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The ATS-V 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 S4 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The ATS-V doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Both the S4 and the ATS-V have standard heated front seats. The S4 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the ATS-V.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the S4 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The ATS-V doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold Winter days, the S4’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The ATS-V doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the S4 Prestige 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 ATS-V doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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