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Competitors

You can see how this car fares against its competitors by clicking on the car's name below.

Audi A5
4.5 stars

BMW 3 Series
5 stars

BMW 3 Series (05-12)
4.5 stars

Citroen DS5
3 stars

Lexus IS
3 stars

Mercedes C Class
4.5 stars

Saab 9-3
3 stars

Volvo S60
3.5 stars

Volvo V40
4 stars

Volvo V50
3 stars

Volvo V60
3.5 stars

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Cadillac BLS

Cadillac BLS

Rating

2 stars

Quick Summary

Average. It's built in Europe, shares most of its underpinnings with a Saab and will never see America - meet the strangest Cadillac ever.

Full Road Test

Probably the most outlandish entry to the compact executive segment in recent years, the Cadillac BLS is basically a rebodied version of the current Saab 9-3, sharing its Swedish cousin's underpinnings, engines and even windscreen.

The BLS certainly looks like a miniaturised Caddy, sharing the angular looks and chunky "egg crate" radiator grille of the XXL versions - but it's actually a Europe-only model and will never be sold in the States.

It's appeal is pitched as being a combination of strong equipment and exclusivity. Cadillac's limited dealer network in the UK means it will be a long time, if ever, before the BLS becomes a common sight on our roads. Build quality is impressively high, notably tighter than on Cadillac's American-built offerings, although some bits have clearly come straight from the Saab parts bin. Front seat accommodation is reasonable, although taller rear seat occupants will find their heads pressed against the roof.

The BLS drives with a composed competence, riding reasonably well and cruising quietly at speed. But it can't muster anything like the back-road enthusiasm of its German competitors, sharing the 9-3's slightly inert steering and understeering determinedly at the limit. Performance is similar to the Saab as well, thanks to shared engines. Three petrol motors are available - 2.0 litre turbos in 175 bhp and 210 bhp states of tune and a 255 bhp V6 turbo which struggles to find traction on greasy road surfaces. The 1.9 litre 150 bhp turbodiesel is undoubtedly the most sensible option.

Next: Full Road Test