Cadillac XLR Accessories

Cadillac XLR Survey

Yet another entry from Cadillac to show the world it's serious about competing with the top European and Japanese luxury brands, the two-seat Cadillac XLR roadster is the company's flagship vehicle. Though it shares the same platform as the current Corvette, the XLR variant is not a simple case of corporate badge engineering. It's more of a grand touring machine than a hard-edged sports car, as the Caddy's responses are softer and comfortably refined. It also uses a more subdued 4.6-liter, 320-horsepower V8 engine rather than the Vette's edgier 6.2-liter, 436-hp V8 power plant. The use of lightweight components like aluminum suspension pieces and composite body panels keeps the Cadillac XLR from being a bloated luxury two-seater.

In addition, the standard Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension system automatically firms up or softens the suspension based on driving conditions, ensuring generally smooth and responsive maneuvers. The combination of bold, angular styling outside and distinctive eucalyptus-wood cockpit accents gives the XLR a sophisticated presence. Further, the XLR's power retractable hardtop roof allows the comfort and security of a coupe when the top is raised. As impressive as it is, the Cadillac XLR roadster is not quite the "standard of the world" -- far from it. Though its styling and Cadillac badge will appeal to those looking to roll up to the valet in something different from the status quo, the XLR comes up short in terms of maximum performance and especially interior detailing when compared to its similarly priced rivals from Germany and Great Britain.

Cadillac XLR GrilleFurthermore, the XLR doesn't really offer that much more than a fully loaded Corvette, which is about $20,000 cheaper and 116-hp more powerful. The Cadillac XLR is a two-seat luxury roadster featuring a retractable hardtop roof. The standard XLR comes with just about all of the luxury Cadillac XLR Accessories you'd expect, including 18-inch alloy wheels with run-flat tires, adaptive xenon HID headlights, adaptive cruise control, heated leather seats with plenty of power adjustments, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless startup, a head-up display, Bluetooth, a navigation system and a Bose audio system with satellite radio and a CD changer. A refined yet muscular 4.6-liter V8 powers the XLR, and a six-speed automatic transmission transmits the Northstar V8's 320 hp and 310 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels.

We've found the XLR to be a spirited performer, with 0-60-mph sprints taking less than 6 seconds and high-speed cruising that's generally hushed and effortless. Full-throttle shifts result in little hesitation, and the sound of the engine at speed is as good as or better than any V8 in its class. Antilock disc brakes are standard safety items, as are run-flat tires, a tire-pressure monitor, stability control, head/torso side-impact airbags and rear parking sensors. Inside, the Cadillac XLR boasts an upscale cabin complete with rich eucalyptus wood trim and aluminum accents in addition to comfortable leather seating -- altogether clean-looking, modern and warm. However, compared to similarly priced offerings from European luxury brands, the XLR doesn't come close to matching materials quality and overall design.

Cadillac XLR ExhaustIt does feature its fair share of state-of-the-art technologies, though. A head-up display shows vital information such as speed, fuel level and audio status on the windshield, adaptive cruise control automatically maintains a preset distance between the XLR and the car in front, and a large touchscreen mounted high in the center stack helps keep the dash free of numerous single-use buttons. As fast as the XLR is when pushed, those expecting a true Cadillac sports car will be disappointed. Acceleration, though certainly quick, is not as forceful as its corporate cousin, and the XLR's softer suspension tuning results in noticeable body roll during hard cornering and plenty of nosedive under heavy braking.

Even with its adaptive suspension's split-second response, the Cadillac XLR still feels less willing to tackle turns than the more athletic European contenders. On the open highway, the roadster hits its stride, delivering an undisturbed ride with effortless tracking. The Cadillac XLR debuted for the 2004 model year with a five-speed automatic transmission (with a manual shift mode) instead of the current six-speed automatic, which debuted for 2007. Since that year, there have been limited-edition XLRs sold that feature special exterior colors, unique custom wheels available at and different interior trim. For 2009 the base model was dropped, leaving only the Platinum trim.