Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

There are five engine choices in the BLS (all borrowed from the Saab 9-3) starting with the 1.9 D - available in two outputs of 150bhp and 180bhp. It's a fairly refined diesel which is quite punchy with decent in-gear pace while economy is good on both. Surprisingly the more powerful unit is actually more efficient and is capable of 50mpg. The 2.0T petrol is (as the badge suggests) a turbocharged unit and is offered in two outputs of either 175bhp or 210bhp - the more powerful version manages the 0-62mph sprint in 7.7 seconds and is an enjoyable engine to exploit, with a smooth and predictable power delivery.

The range topping engine is the 2.8T V6 with 255bhp which sounds wonderful thanks to a distinctive engine note and burbling exhaust. The standard gearbox on all models is a six-speed manual, but while precise it lacks feel. An automatic transmission is available as an option - it's a six-speed unit on the diesels and 2.8T V6 and a five-speed on the rest of the range.

The BLS is a front-wheel drive car (unlike the larger CTS) but it's capable of comfortably covering ground at a decent pace. However it is far happier as a motorway cruiser and makes easy work of even relatively long journeys. That's because on more demanding and twisty roads it's weaknesses become all too evident - there's too much bodyroll and the steering lacks feel and precision.

The pay off for this soft suspension is a very smooth ride and an ability to iron out rough roads. The top of the range Sport Luxury model has a slightly firmer suspension set-up than the rest of the range but this does little to address the Cadillac's shortcomings in corners.