"Both of these cars are great, and itís hard to nitpick much. I do hate how BMW bends you over the options barrel, where things that should be standard equipment arenít. Things like an alarm system or satellite radio."
I could care less about Satellite Radio or an Alarm System (which tends to go off all the time - all Cars in Ontario have engine immobilizers, so it's not like without an "alarm system" that your car is completely unprotected - it just doesn't make annoyingly loud honking noises when you accidentally hit the button on the fob).
Look, the cars are both great in their own respects, and the author hit on those very well. The read was just painful because clearly, Tom was trying to really up-sell the ATS and it was just too fake...especially when he chose the Bimmer at the end.
The pricing of the ATS is actually great - you can get a VERY reasonable, AWD 2.0T Auto for under $40k if you don't care about these outward 'luxury' appointments like collision mitigation (which should be standard anyway - why are SAFETY features "optional?!") or CUE - which is terrible.
If you want a driver's car, then get a stripped down version of the thing anyway...the base model is far from crappy, and the loaded versions will always be blamed for being too pricey.