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Frankfurt first look: Cadillac BLS - due May 2006

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Review

The BLS will be the rank and file of Cadillac’s assault on the UK car market when it arrives in right-hand drive in May 2006.

With an entry price of around £20,000, the distinctive saloon will be expected to take on premium rivals such as the BMW 3-series and Jaguar X-type.

Nevertheless, initial UK volumes will be modest by comparison. European sales across the whole Cadillac range aren’t expected to reach 20,000 until 2010, with the UK and Germany expected to account for the bulk of business.

The inclusion of a 1.9-litre turbodiesel (150bhp) variant in the BLS is a first for the American marque, indicative of it adapting to European drivers’ tastes. Three petrol powertrains complete the range: a 2.0-litre turbo in two stages of tune (175bhp and 210bhp) plus a 2.8-litre V6 turbo (255bhp).

A wide range of standard and optional equipment will make the BLS attractive to drivers used to forking out for extras. Although UK specification is not yet finalized, kit available includes Bose audio, touch-screen sat-nav, parking assistance and a tyre pressure warning system.

Click here to be taken to the Frankfurt 2005 picture gallery.

Also driven: Cadillac BLS Wagon

The 1.9-litre turbodiesel is both quiet and smooth, and the premium positioning of the car is enhanced by an excellent Bose speaker system and comfy leather interior as standard.

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