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Used 2015 Cadillac ATS vs. Used 2015 BMW 3 Series

By Mike Richards Updated: 04/08/2020 Posted: 11/29/2017

If you’re in the market for a luxury car that carries a sporty style, the Cadillac ATS and BMW 3 Series are probably both on your list of possibilities. Each of these vehicles brings plenty to the table with multiple body styles, high-end interiors, and luxury features that are well-appreciated. However, each has its own pros and cons, so we’re going to look at the differences between these two powerful vehicles.

Changes for 2015

In 2015, the ATS came out with a minor facelift that includes a new grille and updated front end. It also added more torque to the engine, 4G wi-fi, and wireless cellphone charging. For the BMW 3, there are few changes other than the addition of standard Bluetooth. A high-performance M3 model was also added in 2015.

Reliability Comparison

Looking to J.D. Power, the ATS offers four of five circles in the Power Circle Ratings, which is a better than average reliability score. However, the 3 Series earned only three circles, giving it an average reliability when compared to similar vehicles.

Fuel Economy Comparison

The ATS and 3 Series both offer many different engine choices, often with multiple drivetrains and transmissions. When you look at them as a whole, however, the 3 Series has better fuel economy. The base 3 Series gets 24 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway while the base ATS offers 21 mpg in city and 33 highway. That said, the 3 Series also has a diesel model with fuel economy of up to 32 in city and 45 on the freeway. There is also a hybrid ActiveHybrid 3 with fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon city and 33 on the highway.

In higher trim levels, the 3 Series still takes the prize with regards to fuel efficiency. The CTS model has a 321 horsepower V6 that offers 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, and the sporty 335i has 300 horsepower and up to 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.

Safety Comparison

When considering crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the ATS and 3 Series both claimed high ratings and are very safe vehicles. As far as safety features go, the Cadillac is slightly more well-equipped when the BMW. Both offer side airbags, anti-lock brakes, and similar equipment. They also have things like lane departure warnings, forward collision alerts, and blind spot monitoring.

However, the ATS also has some pretty substantial features that the 3 Series does not. These include lane-keep assistance, rear collision-mitigation, and Safety Alert Seats that alert drivers of potential hazards on the road.

Technology Comparison

Both the 3 Series and the ATS offer tons of technology for those attached to their gadgets, with neither pulling ahead much over the others.

That said, there are some features to be aware of. The Cadillac has wireless cellphone charging, as well as the OnStar system. The BMW, on the other hand, has an automated parallel parking and enhanced backup camera with top-down view. The Cadillac is also the only choice wi-fi hotspot while the BMW has a 16-speaker sound system.

When it comes to technology in common, there is a lot to go over. Both vehicles have a color head-up display and adaptive cruise control. They also both feature heated steering wheels, adaptive headlights, and automatic high beams. They also both have a mobile connected infotainment center, but the BMW version has a larger screen.

For those who care about technology, you’ll have to determine your priorities and go from there. Neither has a significant advantage in any case. Your decision should primarily be made based on the features you most care about. If technology isn’t a huge decider for you, either will offer the things you need.

These two cars are pretty hard to compare, as both are excellent choices for a used car buyer. The Cadillac is known for being more reliable and has more safety features. The BMW has more unique tech features and a better fuel economy. The BMW has more choices and better features, overall, but either car would be a good choice for many looking at the two as a used car purchase.

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