2019 Cadillac ATS-V vs. 2020 BMW M4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the Cadillac ATS-V’s 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 BMW M4 doesn’t offer height adjustable seat belts.

To help make backing safer, the ATS-V’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The M4 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the ATS-V and the M4 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the ATS-V 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the M4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the M4 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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

Reliability

The M4’s redline is at 7600 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The ATS-V has a 6500 RPM redline.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 17th in initial quality. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Engine

The ATS-V’s 3.6 turbo V6 produces 39 more horsepower (464 vs. 425) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (445 vs. 406) than the M4’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. The ATS-V’s 3.6 turbo V6 produces 20 more horsepower (464 vs. 444) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (445 vs. 406) than the M4’s optional 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. The ATS-V’s 3.6 turbo V6 produces 11 more horsepower (464 vs. 453) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (445 vs. 442) than the M4 CS Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Cadillac ATS-V is faster than the BMW M4 (base engine) (automatics tested):

ATS-V

M4

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

4 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the ATS-V Auto gets better fuel mileage than the M4 Coupe Auto (17 city/25 hwy vs. 17 city/23 hwy).

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is optional on the Cadillac ATS-V, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the M4.

Brakes and Stopping

The ATS-V stops shorter than the M4:

ATS-V

M4

60 to 0 MPH

101 feet

108 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The ATS-V’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the M4’s standard 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The ATS-V handles at 1.00 G’s, while the M4 Coupe pulls only .98 G’s of cornering force in a Road and Track skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the ATS-V’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the M4’s (38.4 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

The ATS-V uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The M4 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the ATS-V is quieter than the M4 Coupe (84 vs. 87 dB).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 33% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

The ATS-V Automatic has a standard 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 M4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The ATS-V’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The M4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The ATS-V’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The M4 has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The ATS-V’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower both of them with the lock engaged. BMW does not offer a locking feature on the M4’s standard power windows.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the ATS-V has standard extendable sun visors. The M4 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Cadillac ATS-V has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Wireless charging costs extra on the M4.

The ATS-V 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 M4 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the ATS-V owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the ATS-V will cost $1320 to $1850 less than the M4 over a five-year period.

Recommendations

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the ATS as the 2013 North American Car of the Year. The M4 has never been chosen.

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

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