This article is part of the GM Authority Wish List series for the Cadillac ATS — a collection of changes, updates, and modifications we’d like to see made to the current family of compact luxury vehicles, as well as to its CT# replacement. The purpose of the Wish List is very simple: to create awareness of the issues we have found with the vehicles so that Cadillac can address them in the future, whether via a refresh or a next-generation model, all in an effort to make the best luxury cars on the market, bar none.
The GM Authority staff has collectively spent a significant amount of time with the ATS, both as drivers and as passengers, in both Sedan and Coupe body styles, with all four engines, all five trim levels, and with various degrees of features and equipment. In other words, this wish list is not the result of a knee-jerk reaction after a day or two with the car. It’s the result of living with the cars, sometimes for several months. In fact, our own founder happens to own an ATS (2015 2.0T Premium, six-speed manual).
We should note that at times, the Wish List series might appear like nitpicking, as it will point out the smallest features, characteristics, or components. If it seems that way, it’s for a reason, since we believe that the devil is in the details, especially when it comes to prestige luxury vehicles. As such, we honestly believe that addressing these issues will improve the product, grow the brand, and — ultimately — lead to an uptick in Cadillac sales. And as journalists who also happen to be GM and Cadillac enthusiasts, few things would make us happier. If nothing else, it would result in a Cadillac we’d be proud to buy, to own, and to show off to anyone willing to look and listen.
Keeping in mind that this wish list is by no means in order, here is the sixth item on our list: auto-dimming passenger-side mirror.
Every new Cadillac model on sale today has one auto-dimming mirror — the one on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Conversely, the passenger-side mirror does not have the auto-dimming feature, not standard and not as an available option. This applies, without exception, to every Cadillac on sale today, like the $74,000-and-up Escalade, and the upcoming CT6 flagship. In very simple and blunt terms, this is unacceptable in the prestige luxury space in which Cadillac and the ATS exist, and therefore should be added immediately to every single Cadillac model.
Now, some of you may remember that we have brought this up before. Since then, we’ve received various comments about the subject, some of which were along the lines of: “An auto-dimming passenger mirror isn’t really important or necessary”, or “I’ve never noticed it, and few will notice it as well.” As an owner of a 2015 ATS Sedan, I wholeheartedly disagree.
First and foremost, it’s important to recognize that any attempt to downplay the importance of this feature in a modern luxury vehicle is nothing more then an excuse. And, from a strategic point of view, those excuses that should not represent the mindset of Cadillac — a prestige-luxury carmaker vehemently looking to establish leadership and win customers.
Second is the customer experience angle: auto-dimming mirrors on both sides of the vehicle are essential to those who have experienced them. My 2008 Lexus IS and 2013 Audi A4 had them, and their omission on the ATS (as well as on all other Cadillac models) is the complete opposite of luxurious.
Those not familiar with the purpose of of auto-dimming wing mirrors should know that they prevent light from bouncing off the mirrors and into the eyes of the driver during the night. Not having them allows the driver to be occasionally and momentarily blinded by the reflection, negatively impacting safety while worsening the impeccable driving experience Cadillac strives to deliver.
If you still think it’s not an important feature for you, that fine. But you should consider that there is a reason ATS competitors from BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus all offer two auto-dimming mirrors as standard equipment. This fact, in particular, is just downright embarrassing. It’s as if Cadillac got all the difficult things right on the ATS — like a balanced and lightweight chassis, connected steering, confident handling, and attractive design — but then completely dropped the ball on something as simple as the self-dimming mirror, either by overlooking the feature or excluding it in the name of cutting costs.
What we wish for:
- For Cadillac to include standard auto-dimming on the passenger-side wing mirror on the ATS, as well as on all other vehicles in its lineup
- For Cadillac to offer auto-dimming glass replacement as an official accessory for existing owners
Why we wish for it: eliminates being blinded by headlights from following vehicles, thereby improving safety and owner satisfaction (customer experience), while bringing the vehicle on-par with the competition.
Who to look to for examples: BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus, and others.