The Cadillac BLS Wagon, or estate for the more traditional among us, is the latest offering from the ever-increasing GM UK portfolio.
It joins a wide range of models from Chevrolet, Hummer, Vauxhall and Saab in what must be the most encompassing selection of cars from one brand.
Granted, some of the offerings are very niche and I don’t expect to see too many Hummers pounding down the motorway, but it gives GM UK the opportunity to go into a fleet and provide everything from a pool car to a director-level vehicle.
Like the Hummer, there aren’t going to be masses of Cadillacs on our roads, but GM knows this and believes it has found a niche for the BLS.
Essentially a rebodied Saab 9-3, the BLS is now available as an estate for the first time.
It comes in one well-equipped trim level – Elegance, and with a range of petrol and diesel engines.
So the mechanicals are familiar and well established, so what does the BLS Wagon bring to fleet.
Value for money is the simple answer.
Standard equipment includes leather trim, powered and heated front seats, Bose stereo system, DVD satellite navigation, hands-free Bluetooth telephony, dual-zone climate control, cruise control and parking sensors.
With prices starting from £21,495 this is a well equipped car, and it represents even better value for money when you realise that the premium for a diesel engine is very low (usually a diesel commands a £1,000 higher list price) and there is no extra cost for having an estate over a saloon – again, a similar cost saving.
Behind the wheel
The BLS’s Saab roots are evident in the cabin, which means a neat, well-built fascia and plenty of room inside.
The 1.9-litre diesel engine is a familiar GM group offering, delivering 150bhp.
It’s a strong unit, delivering plenty of accessible power from low down in the rev range, and proved to be a relaxing companion on long distance journeys.
There’s plenty of room inside for four adults and masses of luggage space, while the general ambience of the car is light and airy thanks to the standard-fit cream leather upholstery.
But is is the equipment levels which stand out – all of the aforementioned kit comes at a low price (roughly the same as an Airflow-badged 9-3).
With proven mechanicals and the backing of GM UK’s fleet division, the BLS Wagon has plenty to offer.
Although it won’t sell in huge numbers, the Cadillac’s value for money and generous specification level will ensure it finds favour with some buyers.