The EPA has delivered the fuel economy results for the 2013 Cadillac ATS with the 2.5-liter, four cylinder: 22 city, 33 highway, 26 combined. The response so far range from 'That's not what we expected' to 'Well, what did you expect?' Cadillac describes the ATS as a "compact luxury sedan... built on a foundation of quick, nimble fun-to-drive dynamics and mass efficiency," so everyone is ready to grade on the sports-sedan curve, and while we think taken on their own they're fine if nothing special, some were expecting better frugality from the Ecotec motor.
The issue is that the EPA numbers for the 2.5-liter put the ATS in the thick of the playing field, in there with the 23 city/33 hwy of the BMW 328i, the 21 city/31 hwy of the Mercedes-Benz C250 Sport Sedan and the 22 city/30 hwy of the front-wheel drive Audi A4. But the Cadillac's 202-horsepower and 190 pound-feet mean it is down on power to the other cars in its class – 38 hp shy of the BMW, 39 lb-ft down on the Mercedes-Benz, for instance – at the same time, it is less expensive than the BMW and Mercedes.
Motor Trend reports that General Motors predicts 22 city/32 hwy for the more powerful 2.0-liter turbo that puts out 270 hp and 260 lb-ft, the same as it did for the 2.5-liter, and that's what could make for the biggest question mark. The 2.0-liter would give the ATS a leg up on others in its class – it's not for nothing that the ATS site uses this motor for comparison – and the $1,805 premium over an ATS with the 2.5-liter pegs it exactly to the 328i's $35,795 base price. If the stronger engine does return the same EPA numbers, then until we have a better idea of standard equipment, lots of folks will wonder whether $1,900 is enough monetary space to make a case for a markedly less powerful car that won't save you any money on gas.