Saab History

Unveiling the Hidden Tale: The Never-Sold-In-America Cadillac BLS and Its Saab Connection

The Cadillac BLS: A Rebadged Saab 9-3 That Missed the Mark

Cadillac BLSCadillac BLS

The Cadillac BLS holds a unique place in automotive design history as a rebadged version of the Saab 9-3. Introduced in 2006, this compact luxury sedan was aimed at the European market, with Cadillac hoping to compete with other premium brands like BMW and Audi.

While the BLS had a sleek and stylish exterior design and offered a range of impressive features, it failed to make a significant impact in the market. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the BLS’s lackluster performance and its close ties to the Saab 9-3.

The Role of Saab in the Development of the Cadillac BLS

The Cadillac BLS was developed as a result of GM’s badge engineering approach, with the intention of leveraging existing assets to create new products. Saab, a brand under GM’s umbrella at the time, played a significant role in the development of the BLS. The BLS shared its platform with the Saab 9-3, and both cars were manufactured on the same production line in Sweden.

Discover the Improved Luxury Interior of the Cadillac BLS Compared to the Saab 9-3

Performance of the Average Cadillac BLS

Under the hood, the Cadillac BLS offered a range of powerful engines. The most popular choice was the reliable and powerful 1.9-liter diesel engine, which produced 150 horsepower and 320 Nm of torque. The BLS provided a smooth and responsive drive, with precise handling and a comfortable ride, making it suitable for long journeys and daily commutes.

Not only the TiD inscription, many other things are also from Saabs, because the BLS was built on the basis of the 9-3, on the same production line in Sweden
Not only the TiD inscription, many other things are also from Saabs, because the BLS was built on the basis of the 9-3, on the same production line in Sweden

Cadillac BLS Interior

While the BLS boasted a sleek exterior design, its interior was considered a weak point. The BLS inherited much of its interior design from the Saab 9-3, which featured some interesting design touches but lacked the grand sense of styling found in comparable BMW 3-Series or Audi A4 models.

Cadillac BLS Interior

The BLS’s interior designers toned down the Saab cockpit, resulting in a more nondescript and bland design. However, the BLS did offer a spacious and comfortable cabin with high-quality leather seats and a range of advanced technologies, including a premium audio system and satellite navigation.

Cadillac BLS – Value for Money

One of the selling points of the Cadillac BLS was its value for money. Despite its premium features, the BLS was competitively priced, offering luxury without breaking the bank. It also came with a range of warranties and roadside assistance programs, providing buyers with peace of mind.

The BLS Was Not a New Car

The Cadillac BLS was not a completely new car; it was a rebadged version of the Saab 9-3. While this allowed Cadillac to enter the European compact luxury car market, the lack of originality and brand recognition may have contributed to the BLS’s lackluster sales.

Cadillac BLS Wagon
Cadillac BLS Wagon

The Connection to Saab and the Future

The Cadillac BLS’s close ties to the Saab 9-3 were evident in various aspects, including shared platforms, engines, and even interior design elements. The Saab connection may have made the BLS less appealing to European buyers, who had their own reservations about Saab’s financial stability and the quality of GM-produced vehicles.

The Legacy of the Cadillac BLS: A Unique Chapter in Cadillac’s History

The Cadillac BLS was an attempt by GM to create a rebadged version of the Saab 9-3 for the European market. While the BLS had its merits, such as a sleek design, powerful engines, and value for money, it failed to make a significant impact in the market.

The lack of brand recognition and the association with Saab may have contributed to its limited success. Nevertheless, the BLS paved the way for future Cadillac models and showcased GM’s badge engineering approach in action.


  • SAAB is so much better than Cadillac Americans couldn’t build a European CAR like SAAB even if they had to because that’s how dumb they are even when SAAB was brand new they were well worth the Money.

  • Ahh yes, the many ways GM screwed Saab, this one ranks up there. Trying to shoehorn an American style car onto an already known European platform to compete in … Europe.

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