From £21,970
Stylish and certainly stands out from mainstream competition. Refined, too, but lacks the sparkle of an Alfa 159 or build quality of a 3-series. Still worth a look, though.

What’s new?

Caddy’s baby European saloon gets four-pot turbocharged engine from the Saab 9-3, accompanied by a five-speed gearbox. It’s now the entry-level model for the range, undercutting the diesel version by around £700.

What’s it like?

Surprisingly refined, actually. The BLS is an accomplished motorway cruiser, with very little engine noise at cruising speed. The ride is a little fidgety and there’s a reasonable amount of road noise, but there are far worse places in which to tackle a long journey.

At least, that’s the case for front-seat passengers – those in the back will find the lack of legroom annoying after the first few miles.

Steering is direct, if a touch light for our taste, and the ‘box feels precise, albeit with a relatively long throw. The interior is reasonably well finished and spec includes air con and CD player, but the huge steering wheel would look more at home in a giant American SUV.

Should I buy one?

If you like a bit of quirkiness in your choice of saloon, then you should have a look. It undercuts its natural rival and sister motor, the Saab 9-3, by around £600, and is just as handsome and almost as idiosyncratic. Just don’t expect it to worry the mainstream competition or offer as much driver enjoyment as an Alfa 159.



Find an Autocar review

Add a comment…

Find an Autocar car review