To score a five-star overall rating, a car or truck doesn’t have to score five stars on each individual crash test done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is because some tests and qualities have a heavier weight. For instance, the 2013 Cadillac ATS got five overall stars but what’s even more impressive is that it got five stars on every test.
The NHTSA has an overall rating with a weighted total of four individual tests, which include frontal crash, side barrier and side pole crashes, and a rollover test. The tests come down to three ratings (front, side, and rollover) that trickle down some more to one rating. On every test, the ATS scored a perfect five stars. The driver and passenger were equally safe in a frontal barrier crash and side barrier crash.
Furthermore, the driver was five-star safe upon broadsiding a pole. The risk of rolling the car during an emergency maneuver is about 10%, which is low enough to achieve a five-star rollover rating. Some credit also goes to the 2013 ATS’ on-board safety tech, which carries more weight in safety and crash testing, according to the NHTSA.
The ATS has the obvious electronic stability control (which is standard on all cars offered in the U.S. after 2012). However, it also has the optional forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems on board. The car is equipped with front, side torso/pelvis, knee (driver), and side curtain airbags for both front and rear seats. NHTSA said that both the rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive ATS models also got perfect scores.