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Cadillac BLS Wagon engines, drive and performance

2008 - 2010 (change model)
Performance rating: 3.5 out of 53.5

Written by David Ross Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

The BLS Wagon uses the same engines as the saloon and there are five to choose from (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 7.8 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 brisk 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.