Road Trip: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD to Whistler
Road Trip: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD to Whistler. Click image to enlarge

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Ever since Cadillac started airing their “Cadillac vs. The World” ad campaign I’ve been dying to get out on a proper road test with their new sports sedan. In the string of TV spots and short films the ATS is shown tackling some of the most glorious stretches of road on earth. From the hillside roads along the Atlas Mountains in Morocco to the unforgettable Grand Prix circuit in Monte Carlo, Cadillac clearly set out to showcase the ATS’s handling prowess, so a weekend getaway romp from Vancouver to Whistler was pretty much a no-brainer. BC’s Sea-to-Sky highway was rebuilt prior to hosting the winter Olympics and although its posted speed limit is shamefully low at 80 km/h it is still one of the best roads in the country. What better place to have our own Cadillac vs. The World experience and see how it really stacks up.

Road Trip: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD to WhistlerRoad Trip: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD to WhistlerRoad Trip: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD to Whistler
Road Trip: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD to Whistler. Click image to enlarge

To tie in to this luxury sports sedan weekend we thought it best to seek out some appropriately posh accommodations for the night as well as look for another hit of adrenaline to follow up our morning’s drive. We’d always talked about doing one of the zipline tours up in Whistler and after hearing that Superfly Ziplines now boasted both the longest and fastest tandem lines in Canada we were excited to give it a try. The company runs a whole string of activities for the adventure junkie, from whitewater rafting and ATV excursions in the summer to backcountry snowmobile tours in winter, so we figured they should be able to provide us the bit of controlled excitement we were after.

Nita Lake Lodge Summer Exterior
Road Trip: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD to Whistler. Click image to enlarge

Rather than stay smack-dab in the middle of Whistler Village we opted for some quiet lakeside accommodations at Nita Lake Lodge. The last time we sought out hotel accommodations in the village we wound up having a nightmare of an experience at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and from what I’d read so far Nita Lake Lodge presented as the antithesis to the dated Chateau. The lodge was less than a minute off of the main road into town and offered up well-appointed rooms with a great view of the lake. As an added bonus, being just a stone’s throw out of the main village and offering complimentary shuttle service in and out of town meant we could have as quiet and relaxing a time as required depending on how our day progressed. With the details all sorted, all that was left was to toss a couple overnight bags into the trunk and hit the road.

Road Trip: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD to WhistlerRoad Trip: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD to WhistlerRoad Trip: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD to WhistlerRoad Trip: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD to Whistler
Road Trip: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD to Whistler. Click image to enlarge

As excited as I was to put the ATS through its paces, I have to say the build spec on my tester was about as far a cry from what I was looking for as possible. No, I didn’t get my hands on the 3.6L V6 version, and alternatively I did not get a manual gearbox with the 2.0L turbocharged engine. Instead our sharp little blue test-rocket came as a 2.0L with an automatic gearbox and all-wheel-drive making it the slowest turbo ATS you can find. The good news is that it came in Performance trim, adding half-decent sports seats and steering wheel–mounted paddle shifters that I was hoping would come in handy on our winding drive. Packing up the car I quickly noticed a lack of room in the rear passenger area. That cool sloping roofline has taken away a healthy chunk of headroom in the sedan, and legroom isn’t much better. Hopping into the rear seat for a moment it was easy to see that I wouldn’t be asking any six-foot-tall friends to come along for a drive unless I didn’t like them all that much.

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