2020 BMW 2 Series vs. 2019 Cadillac ATS Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 2 Series’ 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 Coupe doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 2 Series and the ATS Coupe 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 all wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 2 Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ATS Coupe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The 2 Series’ corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the ATS Coupe’s (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 2 Series for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Cadillac only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the ATS Coupe.

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 2 Series’ reliability 48 points higher than the ATS Coupe.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The ATS Coupe isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 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 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 12th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 44 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 20 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

The M240i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 84 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 285) than the ATS Coupe’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 2 Series Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the ATS Coupe:

MPG

2 Series Coupe

RWD

Manual

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/32 hwy

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

19 city/27 hwy

Auto

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

AWD

Auto

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

ATS Coupe

RWD

Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/29 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/27 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the 2 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The ATS Coupe doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

The 2 Series offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The ATS Coupe doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The 2 Series Automatic’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The ATS Coupe doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the M240i’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the ATS Coupe:

M240i

ATS

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

12.4 inches

The 2 Series stops much shorter than the ATS Coupe:

2 Series

ATS

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

157 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

103 feet

114 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The 2 Series Coupe handles at .97 G’s, while the ATS Coupe pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The 2 Series Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the ATS Coupe (24.9 seconds @ .78 average G’s vs. 25.6 seconds @ .71 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 2 Series’ turning circle is .2 feet tighter than the ATS Coupe FE3’s (35.8 feet vs. 36 feet). The 2 Series xDrive’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the ATS Coupe AWD’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

The 230i is 8.9 inches shorter than the ATS Coupe, making the 2 Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the 2 Series Coupe a Compact car, while the ATS Coupe is rated a Subcompact.

The 2 Series Coupe has 6.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ATS Coupe (90 vs. 83.9).

The 2 Series Coupe has 2.5 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the ATS Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The 2 Series Coupe has a much larger trunk than the ATS Coupe (13.8 vs. 10.4 cubic feet).

With its coupe or convertible body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the 2 Series offers cargo security. The ATS Coupe’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

If the front windows are left open on the 2 Series w/Comfort Access the driver can close them at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the ATS Coupe can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 2 Series’ 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 Coupe’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 2 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The ATS Coupe 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 2 Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The ATS doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The 2 Series’ optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The ATS Coupe doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The BMW 2 Series comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Cadillac ATS isn’t available as a convertible.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 2 Series owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 2 Series with a number “1” insurance rate while the ATS Coupe is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

The 2 Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 2 Series will retain 47.46% to 51.69% of its original price after five years, while the ATS Coupe only retains 38.92% to 41.91%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 2 Series is less expensive to operate than the ATS Coupe because it costs $182 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 2 Series than the ATS Coupe, including $398 less for a muffler, $22 less for front brake pads, $77 less for a starter, $160 less for fuel injection, $302 less for a fuel pump, $30 less for front struts and $329 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW 2 Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The ATS Coupe isn’t in the top three.

The M235i/M240i was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 5 years. The ATS Coupe has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 2 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The ATS Coupe has never been an “All Star.”

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

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