2019 Honda Accord vs. 2018 Cadillac ATS Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Honda Accord 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 Sedan doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Accord deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Accord’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The ATS Sedan’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The Accord’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Accord 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Accord the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ATS Sedan has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

There are over 15 percent more Honda dealers than there are Cadillac dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Accord’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Accord’s reliability 21 points higher than the ATS Sedan.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 46 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 27th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 18 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the Honda Accord 2.0T is faster than the Cadillac ATS Sedan 2.0 Turbo (manual transmissions tested):

 

Accord

ATS Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.3 sec

16.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

94 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Honda Accord 2.0T is faster than the Cadillac ATS Sedan 2.0 Turbo (automatics tested):

 

Accord

ATS Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.6 sec

16.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.1 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102 MPH

95 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Accord

ATS

 

2WD

Sport 1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Manual

26 city/35 hwy

20 city/29 hwy

2.0 Turbo/Manual

 

Sport 2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Manual

22 city/32 hwy

n/a

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

30 city/38 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

2.0 Turbo/Auto

 

Sport/Touring 1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

29 city/35 hwy

n/a

 

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

23 city/34 hwy

n/a

 

 

Sport/Touring 2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/32 hwy

20 city/30 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

AWD

 

n/a

22 city/30 hwy

2.0 Turbo/Auto

 

 

n/a

19 city/27 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Accord uses regular unleaded gasoline. The ATS Sedan with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Accord has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Honda Accord higher (6 to 7 out of 10) than the Cadillac ATS Sedan (5). This means the Accord produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the ATS Sedan every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Honda Accord 2.0 turbo 4 cyl., for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the ATS Sedan.

The Accord has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a CVT.

To help the driver achieve optimum performance and fuel economy, the Accord Sport has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift based on power needs and conditions. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

The Accord stops much shorter than the ATS Sedan:

 

Accord

ATS Sedan

 

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

167 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

109 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Accord Sport/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ATS Sedan (235/40R19 vs. 225/40R18).

The Accord has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the ATS Sedan; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The Accord’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Accord’s wheelbase is 2.1 inches longer than on the ATS Sedan (111.4 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Accord is 3.3 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the ATS Sedan.

The Accord Sport handles at .90 G’s, while the ATS Sedan pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Honda Accord may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 250 pounds less than the Cadillac ATS Sedan.

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

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Accord Touring is quieter than the ATS Sedan (40 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Accord a Large car, while the ATS Sedan is rated a Compact.

The Accord has 14.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ATS Sedan (105.6 vs. 90.9).

The Accord has .9 inches more front headroom, 2.3 inches more front hip room, 3.1 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 6.9 inches more rear legroom, 2.7 inches more rear hip room and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the ATS Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Accord has a much larger trunk than the ATS Sedan (16.7 vs. 10.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Accord easier. The Accord’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the ATS Sedan’s liftover is 28 inches.

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

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the Accord the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the ATS Sedan can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Accord’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The ATS Sedan’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Consumer Reports rated the Accord’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the ATS Sedan’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Accord’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the ATS Sedan’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

Both the Accord and the ATS Sedan offer available heated front seats. The Accord Touring also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the ATS Sedan.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Accord Touring keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Accord owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Accord will cost $105 to $3265 less than the ATS Sedan over a five-year period.

The Accord will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Accord will retain 43.72% to 52.72% of its original price after five years, while the ATS Sedan only retains 38.82% to 39.32%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Accord is less expensive to operate than the ATS Sedan because it costs $675 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Accord than the ATS Sedan, including $403 less for a water pump, $734 less for a muffler, $109 less for front brake pads, $167 less for a starter, $168 less for fuel injection, $4 less for a fuel pump, $78 less for front struts and $226 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Accord will be $15281 to $16819 less than for the Cadillac ATS Sedan.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Honda Accord, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Cadillac ATS Sedan isn't recommended.

The Accord was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 22 of the last 24 years. The ATS has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Accord 2.0T Sport was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The ATS has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Accord as the 2018 North American Car of the Year. The ATS was Car of the Year in 2013.

The Honda Accord outsold the Cadillac ATS by over 22 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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