Kemna Automotive Group Compares 2017 Cadillac ATS Sedan VS 2017 Acura TLX In IA

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2017 Cadillac ATS Sedan

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2017 Cadillac ATS Sedan

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2017 Acura TLX

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the Cadillac ATS Sedan’s rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Acura TLX doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

Both the ATS Sedan and TLX have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The ATS Sedan has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The TLX’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The ATS Sedan V6 offers optional Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The TLX doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the ATS Sedan and the TLX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Cadillac ATS Sedan is safer than the Acura TLX:


ATS Sedan



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars





Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

14 inches




New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The ATS Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the TLX’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Cadillac pays for scheduled maintenance on the ATS Sedan for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Cadillac will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the TLX.

There are over 3 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the ATS Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the ATS Sedan’s engine. A rubber belt that needs periodic replacement drives the TLX 3.5 SOHC V6’s camshafts. If the TLX’s cam-drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The battery on the ATS Sedan is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the ATS Sedan’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The TLX’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 16th in initial quality. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th.

Engine Comparison

The ATS Sedan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 66 more horsepower (272 vs. 206) and 113 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 182) than the TLX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The ATS Sedan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 28 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 267) than the TLX’s optional 3.5 SOHC V6. The ATS Sedan’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 45 more horsepower (335 vs. 290) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (285 vs. 267) than the TLX’s optional 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Cadillac ATS Sedan turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Acura TLX:


ATS Sedan

TLX 4 cyl.


Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

7.2 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

15.6 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.3 MPH

91.1 MPH

98.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

Regardless of its engine, the ATS Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Acura only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the TLX V6 SH-AWD.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The ATS Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the TLX are solid, not vented.

The ATS Sedan stops much shorter than the TLX:


ATS Sedan



70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The ATS Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the TLX’s standard 55 series tires. The ATS Sedan’s optional 225/35R19 front and 255/30R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the TLX V-6’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the ATS Sedan offers optional 19-inch wheels. The TLX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the ATS Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The TLX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The ATS Sedan offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The TLX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The ATS Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the TLX’s (60% to 40%). This gives the ATS Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The ATS Sedan handles at .94 G’s, while the TLX V-6 SH-AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The ATS Sedan AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the TLX (25.8 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .74 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the ATS Sedan FE3’s turning circle is 2.8 feet tighter than the TLX V-6’s (36 feet vs. 38.8 feet). The ATS Sedan AWD’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the TLX SH-AWD’s (38.1 feet vs. 39.5 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The ATS Sedan is 7.5 inches shorter than the TLX, making the ATS Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the ATS Sedan uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The TLX doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the ATS Sedan AWD is quieter than the TLX (39 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The ATS Sedan has 1.4 inches more front headroom and .1 inches more rear headroom than the TLX.

Ergonomics Comparison

The ATS Sedan V6 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The TLX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the ATS Sedan and the TLX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the ATS Sedan is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The TLX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the ATS Sedan detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The TLX doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the ATS Sedan Premium has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The TLX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

On extremely cold Winter days, the ATS Sedan’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The TLX doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The ATS Sedan offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The TLX doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the ATS Sedan owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the ATS Sedan with a number “5” insurance rate while the TLX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the ATS Sedan is less expensive to operate than the TLX because typical repairs cost much less on the ATS Sedan than the TLX, including $25 less for a starter, $35 less for a fuel pump and $450 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the ATS as the 2013 North American Car of the Year. The TLX has never been chosen.

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