2020 BMW M2 Competition vs. 2019 Cadillac ATS Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The M2 Competition’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 Coupe doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the M2 Competition 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The M2 Competition’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the ATS Coupe’s (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M2 Competition 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

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 M2 Competition’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 133 more horsepower (405 vs. 272) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 295) than the ATS Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The M2 Competition’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 70 more horsepower (405 vs. 335) and 121 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 285) than the ATS Coupe’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the M2 is faster than the ATS Coupe V6 (automatics tested):

M2

ATS V6

Zero to 60 MPH

4.0 sec

5.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.1 sec

13.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.3 sec

5.6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.3 sec

3 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.8 sec

3.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12.4 sec

14.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

102 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the M2 Competition’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The ATS Coupe doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

The M2 Competition offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The ATS Coupe doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The M2 Competition offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The ATS Coupe doesn’t offer an SMG.

The M2 Competition Automatic’s optional 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 M2 Competition’s brake rotors are larger than those on the ATS Coupe:

M2 Competition

ATS Coupe

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

12.4 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the M2 Competition has larger tires than the ATS Coupe (F:245/35R19 & R:265/35R19 vs. F:225/40R18 & R:255/35R18).

The M2 Competition’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the ATS Coupe’s standard 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the M2 Competition has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the ATS Coupe.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the M2 Competition is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the ATS Coupe.

The M2 Competition Coupe handles at 1.01 G’s, while the ATS Coupe pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The M2 Competition Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the ATS Coupe (24 seconds @ .82 average G’s vs. 25.6 seconds @ .71 average G’s).

Chassis

The M2 Competition is 7.4 inches shorter than the ATS Coupe, making the M2 Competition easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the M2 Competition a Compact car, while the ATS Coupe is rated a Subcompact.

The M2 Competition has 5.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ATS Coupe (89.7 vs. 83.9).

The M2 Competition 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 M2 Competition Coupe has a much larger trunk than the ATS Coupe (13.8 vs. 10.4 cubic feet).

With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the M2 Competition offers cargo security. The ATS Coupe’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the M2 Competition the driver can close them all 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 M2 Competition’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 Coupe’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Recommendations

The M2 Competition was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 3 years. The ATS Coupe has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The M2 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 3 years. The ATS Coupe has never been an “All Star.”

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

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