2009 Cadillac BLS | new car review

Posted on Sep 6, 2009 by

Think and you think America. Apple pie, Coca-Cola, chewing gum, that sort of thing. But the 2009 BLS is unusual, in that it was designed exclusively for the European market.

A medium-sized saloon, it’s based on the same platform as the Saab 9-3 and the Opel Vectra. In fact, it’s so closely based upon the 9-3 that you’ll spot parts that have been lifted wholesale from the Swedish brand. See that steering wheel? Exactly the same as the Saab. Ditto the handbrake.

So, plagiarism abounds here, but there are plenty of details unique to Cadillac to help the BLS stand out. The trademark grille and sharp lights are present, all hallmarks of Caddy’s US machines, although the BLS does look more, well, European. It’s not big and brash like Cadillac’s can be, it’s more… sophisticated.

Three versions of the BLS are available, with two different engines.

The BLS 2.0T comes, as its name suggests, with a 2.0-litre engine producing 175bhp attached to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed automatic. It comes as standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, dual-zone air conditioning and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

A CD player is included, upgradeable to a six-CD changer as an option on all models.

The 2.0TS features a more powerful version of the 2.0-litre powerplant, putting out 210bhp, with either a six-speed manual ‘box or a six-speed automatic. In addition to the features of the 2.0T, it also comes with front fog lights.

The top-of-the-range model 2.8T V6 comes with, surprise surprise, a turbocharged 2.8-litre V6 engine, which makes 280bhp. It features rear parking sensors, an optional DVD navigation system and rear heated seats, although front heated seats are optional. Said seats are upholstered in leather, and the car rides on 17-inch alloys.

Several optional packages are available on the BLS, including two sports packages that add sports seats, lowered suspension and 18-inch wheels.

All BLS models come with front and side-mounted airbags for driver and front passenger, as well as side curtain airbags, traction control, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control, which help keeps the car pointing in the right direction in the event of a skid.

The BLS is also pretty customisable – seven exterior colour choices and two interior hues should make sure that you don’t see another with the same combination every day.

If you want the history and heritage that go with the ownership of a Cadillac, but can’t quite bring yourself to buy full American, then the BLS could be worth a look. It combines Cadillac’s trademark look with the feel of a European car.


Body typeEngine (litres)Power (bhp)Torque (Nm)Transmission


Price Range (AED) 103,000-130,000


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