AW AutoTest File - 2004 Cadillac XLR

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    End Of The Marking Period, And Cadillac Gets An "A"

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    AUTOWEEK
    Published Date: 10/18/04

    Like teachers preparing report cards, we pored over our logbook, tallied up the track test results, and boiled down all the owners’ opinions to determine if the Cadillac XLR passes muster.

    From its hardtop-convertible operation to its true dual exhaust, we found very little to detract from the XLR’s luxury-sport ambitions. We give the car top marks for looks and handling, and though a couple of owners wrote to us detailing problematic purchasing experiences, the overwhelming majority of comments were positive.

    At the drag strip we found the XLR got quicker with each successive run, with a best 0-to-60 time of 6.30 seconds, putting it 0.38 second ahead of both the Lexus SC 430 (Dec. 17, 2001) and the Mercedes-Benz SL500 (Sept. 23, 2002) in our test file. The XLR reached the quarter-mile pole in 14.59 seconds, which again compares favorably with the SC 430 (15.03 seconds) and the SL500 (15.09 seconds).

    The SL500 easily matched the XLR through our slalom course, however, its tauter chassis driving the big two-seat Benz through at 43.7 mph, making both the Cadillac and the Mercedes six-tenths of a mile per hour faster than the Lexus. The XLR would no doubt perform better if equipped with more performance-oriented tires instead of the run-flat all-season Michelins it wears.

    The Caddy takes just 119 feet to come to a stop from 60 mph, which not long ago would have put it in near-supercar territory.
    That figure still makes for a superior stopping distance, but the SC 430 bests the XLR by a foot, while the Benz blows it away, at 113 feet.

    Away from the track the XLR makes for a buttery-smooth ride. There is almost no freeway hop of which to speak, bumps are absorbed with ease and it is very composed on the expressway. Owners and staffers agree the Cadillac’s magnetic ride control suspension works well in balancing a placid, luxurious cruising ability with decent handling prowess.

    According to our stopwatch, the power-retracting hardtop takes 26.5 seconds to open and 28.5 to return to its fully closed position. Top down, even at 80 mph, we felt very little disturbance, and with the top up, a minimum amount of wind noise leaks into the cabin.

    Without a doubt, this car is a head-turner. Its sleek sports car looks draw attention top up or down. Many owners who wrote to us admitted the XLR’s looks first drew them to the car.

    "I wanted one since I first saw the Evoq at the Los Angeles auto show a few years ago," wrote one owner. Another, who praised Cadillac for finally delivering a vehicle attractive to new customers, wrote, "This is the only car that still turns heads in Beverly Hills."

    We appreciate the power express (up and down) windows on both sides of the car, and we also like that you can turn off the daytime running lights. There are other touches we could live without, including the Bulgari-designed key fob and instrument-panel gauges. The name may imply luxury, but we don’t think it adds much to the XLR’s sense of elegance. Our only other complaint about the interior: We wouldn’t mind a little more thigh support in the seat cushions.

    Owners and testers alike expressed a hesitation in fully trusting the keyless access feature, though it is a hoot to start up a car with the keys still pocketed. One owner reported he had driven off in his own car with the XLR keys still on him after a dealer test drive, and yet an employee at the dealership was able to start the XLR.

    A couple of owners wrote of troubling initial experiences as well. One waited months for the XLR he had ordered only to have it show up requiring immediate attention by the service department to repair its flywheel. Another owner had his XLR delivered with a crack in the decklid. Repairing it required an additional four-week stay at the dealership.

    All tallied, most seem to agree the Cadillac XLR more than makes the grade.

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    LIKES
    Head-turning style
    Trick power-folding hardtop
    Great ride/handling balance

    DISLIKES
    Needs more tire
    Seat bottoms too short
    No trunk with top stowed

    OTHERS CONSIDERED
    Mercedes-Benz SL500
    Lexus SC 430
    Jaguar XK8


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    OWNERS SAY...

    I have my pick of many fine autos, but I find myself wanting to drive the XLR more. The Northstar engine is smooth and sufficient, but I would like to see a V-Series with the Z06 engine. The ride quality is excellent and is a nice balance between sport and touring. I don’t think I could have a more pleasurable open-air driving experience without being totally impractical. Cadillac is finally figuring out how to build sleek and competitive luxury cars.

    Barry Helman, Malibu, Calif.

    The sleek silhouette and chiseled lines of the XLR are more pleasing than the Ferrari we used to own. It also feels more stable and planted while cornering than our Corvette. It offers enough performance to keep me entertained and enough luxury to keep me comfortable. While no other car on the road looks like the XLR, the one thing I really like is that it’s a solid convertible that doesn’t leak. This is what the Allante should have been.

    Alan Morrison, Key West, Fla.

    The Cadillac XLR is exceptionally good-looking and has no problem attracting plenty of attention. It is one of the flattest cornering vehicles I have ever driven, but the steering ratio seems a little too quick for a luxury car. The interior of the XLR is comfortable and roomy, and there is no cowl shake. It is by far one of the best interiors to ever come out of Detroit. However, small things like the wood on the steering wheel and the cheap pebble-grain trim leave me wondering what the designers were thinking. And the lack of storage makes the XLR rather impractical as daily transport. Only time, and perhaps the new Corvette, will tell if our XLR will be considered a good buy.

    Jack Miller, Pittsburgh

    I love the fact that XLRs are in short supply and in high demand, unlike SL500s, which are a dime a dozen in Los Angeles. It is built well and handles and drives great. I traded my Lexus SC 430 for the XLR because it has a sports car demeanor the Lexus was missing. I can’t wait for the V-Series.

    Ed Glazer, Los Angeles

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    MANUFACTURER INFO

    Cadillac Motor Car Division
    General Motors Corp.
    100 Renaissance Center
    Detroit MI 48207
    Customer assistance: (800) 333-4223
    Internet address: cadillac.com
    Country of origin: United States
    Number of dealers: 1400 (est.)

    STICKER

    Base (includes $815 delivery): $76,200
    As tested: $76,525
    Owners paid; average: $76,200 to $76,525; $76,362

    OPTIONS AS TESTED

    XM satellite radio ($325); 2.93 rear axle ratio (no charge)

    OTHER MAJOR OPTIONS

    None

    CHASSIS

    Unibody two-door convertible

    DIMENSIONS

    Wheelbase (in): 105.7
    Track (in): 62.2 front, 62.2 rear
    Length/width/height (in): 177.7/72.3/50.4
    Curb weight/GVWR (lbs): 3647/4024

    CAPACITIES

    Fuel (gal): 18.0
    Cargo (cu ft): 11.6

    ENGINE

    Front-longitudinal 4.6-liter/279-cid dohc V8
    Horsepower: 320 @ 6400 rpm
    Torque (lb-ft): 310 @ 4400 rpm

    Compression ratio: 10.5:1
    Fuel requirement: 91 octane

    DRIVETRAIN

    Rear-wheel drive
    Transmission: Five-speed automatic
    Final drive ratio: 2.93:1

    SUSPENSION

    Front: Double wishbone with upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite leaf spring, gas-charged shock absorbers, antiroll bar

    Rear: Double wishbone with upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite leaf spring, gas-charged shock absorbers

    BRAKES/WHEELS/TIRES

    Discs front and rear, ABS, aluminum 235/50ZR-18 Michelin ZP XSE Pilot Zero Pressure

    STANDING-START ACCELERATION

    0-60 mph: 6.30 sec
    0-100 km/h (62.1 mph): 6.58 sec
    0-quarter-mile: 14.59 sec @ 97.6 mph


    ROLLING ACCELERATION

    20-40 mph (first gear): 2.2 sec
    40-60 mph (second gear): 3.1 sec
    60-80 mph (second and third gear): 3.7 sec

    BRAKING

    60 mph-0: 119 ft

    HANDLING

    490-foot slalom: 43.7 mph
    Lateral acceleration (200-foot skidpad): 0.84 g


    INTERIOR NOISE (dBA)

    Idle: 50
    Full throttle: 82
    Steady 60 mph: 67

    FUEL MILEAGE

    EPA combined: 20.83 mpg
    AW overall: 19.9 mpg

    TRUE COST TO OWN

    Total: $81,108
    Average cost per mile: $1.08

    DEPRECIATION

    After one year: $17,587
    Five-year total: $41,763

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  2. Sideways

    Sideways Do I look like I give a damn?

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    I guess... if you're a 65 yearold man
     
  3. ZAQ786

    ZAQ786 BMW: The reason Lexus is still 'In the pursuit of

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    Great styling.
     
  4. Jerm

    Jerm I

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    Still to heavy, but for the market it's aimed at, the lightest :hs:
     
  5. PNice972

    PNice972 OT Supporter

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  6. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    XLR-V is on the way. :o
     
  7. tekknikal

    tekknikal Nothing's ever been better than that

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    :cool: car but i'd still rather an SL :hs:
     
  8. Read more...

    Read more... SPQR

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  9. camaudio

    camaudio TALL. WHITE. BAIT. OT Supporter

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    i get to drive one at caddy's 2004 drive summit :)
     
  10. DSHR

    DSHR Well-Known Member

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    Any day of the week
     
  11. grooves12

    grooves12 New Member

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    It's amazing how quickly the Cadillac brand has been turned around. Now if only GM could do the same with the rest of their lineups.
     
  12. Poetic

    Poetic Guest

    What kinda HP is the XLR V going to push?
     
  13. Ghost Load

    Ghost Load i'll see your kidcarson and geekboy and raise you OT Supporter

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    yeah right then you stalk me
    i want an awd sts (to drive my mother around in)
     
  14. grooves12

    grooves12 New Member

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    I think they are saying around 400 HP.
     
  15. Ghost Load

    Ghost Load i'll see your kidcarson and geekboy and raise you OT Supporter

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    yeah right then you stalk me
    oh and magna-struts own. i drove a srx down to cal from north id on a dealer trade. fucking handling son of a bitch.
     
  16. hondaluva

    hondaluva likes free hugs...

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    so do they have an winner on their hands??

    btw, Jaguar needs to get on the ball w/ the XK. I am a Jag fan, i LOVE the looks of the XK, but they need to make it not look like the same car it was in 1997.
     
  17. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Turnarounds are underway for each brand. The XLR-V will have 400-450HP.
     
  18. Butz

    Butz Guest

    I can't think a guy can be more biased :squint:

    the XLR is an awesome car and you have to be young to enjoy it :cool:
     
  19. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

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    Oh shit... :hs:

    The sexy-ass SL500 keeps up with my Maxima... :shakeshead:
     
  20. 02SS

    02SS New Member

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    suppose the xlr-v with 420 hp will be able to kick it with the sl55?
     
  21. 02SS

    02SS New Member

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    try to imagine it with the boot closed.... i think it looks cool
     
  22. cedric

    cedric I don't have a contract

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    I've only seen two so far. I guess the rarity around my area adds to its mystique. Most pics don't really do it justice. It's striking in black.

    It'd be nice to see them offer the XLR-V in a stick shift. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to domestics, but why are they putting a 4.2L supercharged V8 in the V, when they have the perfectly good C5 Z06 engine sitting around? Is it a refinement issue or something?
     

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