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Cadillac XLR vs. Mercedes-Benz SL

exalteddragon1exalteddragon1 Posts: 735
edited July 2 in Mercedes-Benz
should be compared to the SLK or CLK MB, bu the S Class. The fact that the market thinks the price is too high (if thats really true) is probably because either the interrior like you mentioned, even though i can't find anything to fault, or the fact that cadillac does not have a lower price roadster like MB.

The XLR though, has twice the road presence of the MB, and its both lighter and faster. Its got heated and cooled seats, Bvlgair dash and anodised aluminum. What can be cooler than that? The only thing i think is missing, is a stip of wood trim in front of the passengerm where it says "XLR" on the right side of the dash, from the center stack to the start of the side door. This would make it symmetrical with the wood trim on the steering wheel.

Just my oppinnion though, and not a deal breaker.

Something though, i agree should have been thought of better. Like there shoudl be room behind the seats for a suitcase (meybe behind each seat) and even though the XLR has the most trunk space with the top up, meybe another inch of trunk space would have helped the car edge out the SL in that C&D comparo. Although a Road and Track comparo has the XLR in 2nd place behind the Porche.

This, the way it is, is defenetley a weekend car, not a business car. Since there is little room to do much else. The execution of everything else, however is superb. The ride/handling, the platform, the roof, the leather. It is a wonderfully done car and a good flagship.
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Comments

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,684
    Well, I think the market thought the price is too high (and that is my opinion, although I've read the same elsewhere) not only because of the interior, but because it is a Cadillac. Many do not consider Caddy in the same league as MB, BMW or Lexus (or Audi & Infiniti!?) Unfortunatley, I believe all GM brands continue to suffer the sins of the past, especially Cadillac. I certainly remember the Cimarron and other (larger) basically rebadged GM products that did quite a bit to tarnish the Cadillac brand.

    Caddy is certainly turning it around with unique models and distinct designs (although to me the CTS and STS are of the "One sausage, two lenghts school" with the STS less unnatractive due to a generally cleaner appearance). The XLR and SRX work pretty well for me. Although, possibly save for the STS, none of the interiors work for me. Design, mostly with some GM parts bin pieces thrown in. As you said, not a deal breaker here (well, it was for the CTS when I was car shopping. Interior and exterior got it crossed very quickly off my list), but it is for many.

    And logically, the XLR will be cross shopped with the SL500 & SC430, possibly the SLK, in the hardtop convertible market. Throw in Jag XK and BMW 6 in the mix and it's a tough neighborhood. I think they should have priced the XLR closer to the Lexus, even undercut it. As far as being compared to the S Class? How? Only in price, but I doubt someone would compare a large four door sedan to a small two seat convertible, assuming they can only buy one car...

    Nice to see some action in this thread. And agreed, the XLR overall is a good flagship for Caddy.

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • Sedan, I mean the SL500 Roadster.

    Look at Cadillac's competition...

    SL500 - Overpriced, too many of them around, but established

    SC430 - Slow, Pudgy, wierd Al interrior, but Lexus 'quality' and very low price

    Jag XK - big fat (not enough room for its size) and soft top - not in this league
    BMW 6 - same as Jag, but add ugly.

    now check out the cadillac - Priced in between SL500 and SC430, made of 3mm thick fiberglass, hardtop by the same people who make the SL's, lighter, faster, based on a true sports car chassis, but in this price range yet unestablished.

    I think its a good bet that this car has all the right moves. I am too young to remember much of cadillac's 'woes' but i believe it, still looking at today's cadillacs and i think they have more prestige than MB or BMW. This is IMO but i look at the showroom and I don't see 1980's, I see Matrix II, cars that look like they were pulled from the future. The XLR is the perfect icing on this very nice cake.

    Its also a great car to establish and test the waters of the 70+ K segment for cadillac. They might make a sedan in this range sooner or later.

    The XLR especially, has exclusivity without that horrible stench of Jaguar quality. Its built better than MB too. You can see the trends now, with MB going down and GM going up.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,684
    Again, I agree with much of what you say. But, perception is reality and imho that is the battle Caddy is fighting (and winning, I believe). Had they maybe taken a page from the Lexus book and made the XLR price more compelling, then slowly walk it up a bit all the while undercutting the established players... I mean, even the V has "Buy It Now" prices on Ebay in the low 90's from some dealers. 100K for a Caddy! Puhleeze.

    And, really, all MBs are overpriced compared to comparable cars. But, they've earned a reputation, recently tarninshed, but I don't think it's hurt them that much in the US...yet?

    The SC: Yes, the exterior is just odd from some angles. But, besides the lighter colored wood interior option, I find the interior just lovely. High quality.

    Jag XK: Gorgeous, still. Haven't seen enough of the '07, but the '97-'06 will always be stunning. Advantage of the soft top is great trunks space, but I'm not interested in a ragtop.

    BMW 6 I find handsome until you get to that horrible, tacked on, cheap looking, did someone attach the wrong part to the rear of the car trunk lid!!! I really can't stand to look at that trunk, it so ruins the car for me. Plus I'm not a big fan of the new BMW interiors.

    And I wouldn't use the phrase, "horrible stench of...quality" anywhere near a GM discussion! :P

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,684
    Luxury convertible comparo. Caddy XLR-V brings up the rear, in C & D's opinion, trounced by the SL550. Price and interior are among the categories that hurt the Caddy. (Haven't read the whole article in detail yet).

    Discuss.

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I love the twist on exclusivity, when the truth of the matter is that the car simply doesn't sell as well as the others in the class. Exclusivity means that you could sell more, but don't, clearly not the case with the XLR.

    Better made than the SL? Really. No one in the industry has found this to be true, only GM supporters. The gripes about Cadillac's interior quality have been far and wide and in this latest comparo they got knocked on that again.

    The XLR-V just got trounced by the Jaguar XK and Mercedes SL550. To make matters worse the performance gap between the SL550 and XLR-V isn't nearly as much as it was just a few months ago. The SL550 scored better in handling and the XLR-V's brakes were clearly lacking compared to the 911 and SL550. So much for that "sports car" chassis being an advantage in the luxury class.

    Mercedes going down and GM going up? In what world is this? GM is dying, that is the trend. It has gotten to the point where others are approaching them to see if they can be of some help, while Mercedes is having a grand year with record sales and one impressive showing after another of various products.

    I find it very interesting that you don't remember Cadillac's woes, but Jaguar has a stinch? Cadillac and Jaguar were both literally in the same boat during the same period, the 80's and most of the 90's.

    M
  • woodlandswoodlands Posts: 10
    If you follow the quality surveys, the mercs are having significant problems (as are other German car brands....VW has been a disater). The Cads have better build quality and higher initial owner satisfaction.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Likewise if you follow the roadtest you'll see that the Mercedes is superior car in many other ways and just because a Cadillac reports less "problems" than a Benz in a survey doesn't mean it is physically built better either. Cadillacs interiors are still typcial cheap GM in build. Also in the last JDP survey about roadsters I didn't see the XLR in the #1 spot, it was the SL if I remember right.

    M
  • If you really want to know what Mercedes owners think about their cars go to one of the boards on the 'net and check out the comments. You will be shocked with the number of problems that are encountered. At least I was.

    I will say that I have never been a big fan of mercs or BMWs. However, I bought a Chrysler Crossfire and became interested in what SLK owners had to say about their cars because of the similarities to the Crossfire. Based on the comments you find it would take a fool to buy a new (or recent model) SLK. Way, way too many problems with every part of the car.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    And this has what to do with the SL and it being superior to the XLR?

    Do we really want to get into finding comments on the net about unhappy owners? GM owners would own the bandwidth on that one!

    M
  • What this has to do is with you trashing Cadillac, when in fact the ratings (JD Powers) reflect that owners/buyers believe they are as good as Mercedes.

    Mercedes has zero advantage regarding quality and in some cases places behind Cadillac (or other GM brand).

    I will admit that neither brand comes close to the Japanese competitors.

    It is interesting that for the 2006 JD Powers initial quality survey, the Chevrolet Corvette and the SL Class tied.

    If you want to know what owners think of their cars you need to survey 'net sites where owner's talk about the good and bad of vehicles. The Mercedes site says there are problems with the vehicles.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    No one is saying that Mercedes has had issues in recent years, but if you're going to harp about these surveys like Cadillac is some kind of standard for quality don't bother because for what have in reliability they lack in other areas.

    The SL and Corvette tied in initial quality - big deal.

    The SL has been wiping the floor with whatever roadster Cadillac has had for the last 20 years!

    What this has to do is with you trashing Cadillac, when in fact the ratings (JD Powers) reflect that owners/buyers believe they are as good as Mercedes.

    Whooptie doo, so they're happy that their Cadillacs aren't falling apart anymore, doesn't mean much when the rest of the car is lacking compared to the competition and getting beat left and right and doesn't sell in good numbers relative to the class. Win one battle, but Cadillac still looses the war big time. Let me know when Cadillac gets their build quality, styling, engineering, and interior plastics above regular GM products and truly worthy of a 100K car.

    Mercedes has zero advantage regarding quality and in some cases places behind Cadillac (or other GM brand).

    Yet it doesn't do them any good when compared to the competition! Reliability isn't the same as quality either. GM cars manage not to fall apart of cough up their internals in 90 days, but they're still shoddily built and for that the mis-informed take this as being a better "quality" car.

    M
  • Well, sure, I hope the SL550 would close a little of the gap that existed between the XLR-v and the SL500. This is the nature of out-of-phase product cycles in a hypercompetitive business. Brakes of an XLR-v not quite up to a 911's? Really? Not up to a Z06 either! That's because it's not a pure sports car and it's 600 pounds heavier than those two. However, this is easily corrected in the aftermarket if anyone really thinks that gap is worth closing.

    Crossed 9,000 miles in the XLR-v last week. Dead nuts reliable, feels faster than new, as expected. This car gets more attention than an SL. And the interior materials show no signs of use whatsoever. Very high quality, and not overwrought. A friend and I swapped cars for a few hours -- he has an SL55. Man, do you feel that extra quarter ton in the porky MB. Yeah, they keep the tires planted, but you feel the inertia of that useless mass in every change of direction. I far prefer the more incisive, agile V.

    Phil
  • I've been waiting for this rumored "shoddy" GM build quality to surface in either of our Cadillacs, and damned if it just refuses to show its face.

    9,000+ miles on the XLR-v and nothing about the car has deteriorated. Friends who have SLs have all been back to the dealer for numerous fixes, corrections, adjustments in similar mileage, including cars that refused to start. I noticed trim lifting from heat on a few SLs in parking lots in this hot summer in L.A. (an unusual 119 degrees F where I live, at peak heat). No such problems on my XLR-v. The car is nimble, quick, comfortable, fast, assured, stout.

    Similar miles on the CTS-v and same experience. Couldn't be happier, especially when I hear that dorky-sounding BMW V10 M5 beside (or behind) me on PCH. What a godawful, untuneful buzz.

    One really good sign for Cadillac: the XLR-v turns heads en masse near elementary, middle and high schools. Better yet, here's a story. This summer I was driving to Santa Monica through Topanga Canyon one morning. A car was stopped to make a left turn at the Fernwood Market, and a lost truck driver was blocking room to pass on the right. Some kids were standing in front of the market. I'm looking at oncoming traffic, and I see a Bugatti Veyron rolling in the opposite lane, approaching me. (I'm thinking it was Jay Leno, as he is sometimes seen on that road, and there are very few people who combine the means to own that car with the inclination to drive it in everyday traffic.) As the Veyron rolls past me, one of the boys in the parking lot points and yells, "Hey Mister, what's that?" I jerked my thumb in the direction of the just-passed Veyron and say, "it's the new Bugatti Veyron!" The kid says, no, not the Bugatti, YOUR car!" I said, "Oh, it's the Cadillac XLR-V." The guy making the left turn moved out of the way and I rolled away to two-handed thumbs-up from 6 teenage boys. This is an excellent harbinger for Cadillac.

    Anyway, I'm in the biggest local Mercedes market in the world, Southern California. You couldn't find a blander more cliched car to drive than an MB, and if you see who is driving them, you don't want to emulate the marque's drivers. It's not like the old days when Clark Gable drove something interesting. Paris Hilton drives an SLR McLaren for cryin' out loud! Really, none of their cars are the least bit interesting here. Fortunately I don't have to drive something so mundane. I'm also seeing a steady pickup in XLR/XLR-v in routine traffic. A few years on, the XLR design still looks fresh and advanced. The platform is light, high performance and luxurious in this iteration. If someone prefers a Mercedes SL, or worse a Lexus SC, that's up to them. But there is no substantive reason other than brand-seeking, social insecurity, or lemming behavior to buy either over the Cadillac.

    Phil
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well, sure, I hope the SL550 would close a little of the gap that existed between the XLR-v and the SL500. This is the nature of out-of-phase product cycles in a hypercompetitive business.

    Well it is called being superior, now you can coat it with an excuse about products and phases if you like. Doesn't matter the SL was judged superior by all before the 07' upgrades.

    Brakes of an XLR-v not quite up to a 911's? Really? Not up to a Z06 either! That's because it's not a pure sports car and it's 600 pounds heavier than those two. However, this is easily corrected in the aftermarket if anyone really thinks that gap is worth closing.

    I have to ask you if you're been reading you're own posts up until now? I've been telling you that the XLR-V isn't a sports car all along, yet you going on and on about it being lighter and what not and yet none of that turned up in actual testing by the professionals, now you claim that the XLR isn't a sports car! Well no kidding! Now you've got to resort to the aftermarket to get brakes, how lacking is that on a 100K car!

    Crossed 9,000 miles in the XLR-v last week. Dead nuts reliable, feels faster than new, as expected. This car gets more attention than an SL. And the interior materials show no signs of use whatsoever. Very high quality, and not overwrought. A friend and I swapped cars for a few hours -- he has an SL55. Man, do you feel that extra quarter ton in the porky MB. Yeah, they keep the tires planted, but you feel the inertia of that useless mass in every change of direction. I far prefer the more incisive, agile V.

    Congratulations on the miles, but the rest of that I'd have to say it is time to turn that record over. Both MT and C&D judged the mere base SL550 to be better handling than the XLR-V, and to add insult to injury MT even said that the SL550 felt lighter and more agile. So much for your friend and his seat of the pants assesment!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Whew listen to the salt in that post! ALl this down about Mercedes and what not yet, the XLR-V loses every single time it has to face the oh so pitiful SL.

    We're down to bragging rights about kids turning their heads when a XLR passes by? They can't buy and by the time they're ready, willing and able, the current XLR will be in a GM historical display in Detroit.

    I've never seen so much nonsense written in dislike of a particular brand, that wasn't based on anything but a clear and present bias and resentment of said brand building a better car.

    Goodness that was a lot of nothing guy.

    M
  • I said before the XLR-v is not a "pure sports car" but that it is a sporting GT and obviously less mass is an advantage.

    Who said C&D has any special insight about automobiles anymore? Not me. They are entertaining to read, but actual experience with a large number of vehicles only leaves me wondering what the magazine reviewers ever knew in the first place. Anyone who thinks an SL550 feels lighter and more agile than an XLR-v is numb or has otherwise dulled senses.

    The brakes on the XLR-v are fine. Exceptional really. Only if you want Corvette Z06 or Porsche 911 stop distances will you want beefier brakes to make up for the added mass of the luxury GT retractable hardtop. In which case you'll be mucking with the luxury/sports car axis by increasing the unsprung mass on all four corners. Cadillac has it right for the car's purpose.

    Phil
  • Not sure why you think there is bias reflected in my post. I never bought a new car from GM before, and only one used GM car in over 30 years of buying cars. I drove everything in the class and then some, and made an objective decision. No bias -- the XLR-v won on its merits and the ham-handedness of the competition. XLR-v loses to the SL? Not my experience and no reviewer's opinion is pertinent. What I usually see is the usual, "the SL's 50 year heritage gives the MB the edge in status..." and not much else. The SL is dated, overweight, overwrought and overestimated. Blah. It's boring and it's become a status symbol for the unimaginative, nothing more.

    Plainly, I'll say it again: Between the Mercedes SL-XXX variants and the XLR-v, Cadillac has built and offers the better car.

    Phil
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I said before the XLR-v is not a "pure sports car" but that it is a sporting GT and obviously less mass is an advantage.

    I'm sorry guy but you're just back stroking now because I've been saying that the XLR isn't a sports car all along and now that it has been tested and compared against the competition and found to be lacking you've all of sudden seen the light. Also, this advantage you keep talking about regarding mass hasn't materialized anywhere especially in regards to handling, where the SL was chosen to be better at the task. Maybe it is the skinny tires on the XLR or something, who knows, but this weight advantge you're maintaind hasn't shown up in any tests so far.

    What C&D said was that in the mountains the SL felt agile and MT said that SL actually felt more agile also.

    Having to mention something, anything about going aftermarket for brakes a luxury GT car is downright inexcusable and really ridiculous. Now to be fair in the C&D test the XLR-V's brakes were pitiful, but in the MT test they turned in the same distance as the SL550 so that could have been just a one time thing, but still. The XLR-V is a the top of the line XLR, the SL550 is the base SL and for all the talk done before the differences are very slight. The SL55 AMG would rip the XLR-V good if the SL550 can come oh so close to doing so already, so much for all that about the Corvette's platform and what not, hasn't amounted to anything, only last place in C&D's comparo.

    It is amazing how you now refer to the XLR as a "luxury GT retractable hardtop", when just few months ago it was this oh-so light sporting machine that made the SL look like a beached whale. Hilarious. "Unsprung mass" and "right car for the purpose" yet it loses to a bunch of other cars and to the SL each and every time. I love it!!!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Denial is tuff guy.

    What I find interesting is that the SL won this latest round based on how it performed and drove, no one at C&D mentioned status and prestige as the thing that put the SL over. Now MT did mention status and what not as icing on the cake. It isn't MB's fault that Cadillac ruined their image with so many years of lame cars.

    One minute when the mags praise the XLR in a single car test they're all knowing and really on the money, but when they compare it and find it lacking they're clueless. Oldest about-face in the book.

    Plainly, I'll say it again: Between the Mercedes SL-XXX variants and the XLR-v, Cadillac has built and offers the better car.

    Only in your mind. Cadillac apparently hasn't built or offers squat better than MB, BMW or Jaguar for that matter.

    M
  • M,

    Never did I say that the XLR-v is a sports car. If I wanted a sports car, I would have bought a Z06. Still might add one. I said the V is a sporting GT and it is the leader in architecture, design and agility in its class, not least because it is designed to avoid the useless bulk of the SL.

    What the magazines have to say about relative agility is irrelevant to me. I have mountains to drive in and have driven both. The XLR-v is the more agile car and easily feels by far the lighter of the two. MT and CD are just wrong, but they may write what they wish.

    If you look at my posts, I wrote repeatedly that the XLR-v is a sporting retractable hardtop GT. My position is entirely consistent. You're misrepresenting the facts. NO ONE will feel they must go to the aftermarket for brakes for an XLR-v. But just as Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Audi, Ford and others have cars that support rich aftermarkets, options exist for the V too on many fronts, owing to its Corvette architecture. Do you need aftermarket brakes for the V? Not in the least. Can you get some monster brakes that will harshen the ride and boost chance that lesser cars rear-end you? Absolutely. Buyer's choice. The car is perfectly balanced stock.

    The biggest improvement one can make to any car using run-flat tires is to migrate to a stickier conventional inflatable in the high performance Z or W class. It's easy to do and if I wanted to discreetly and seriously affect the reviewers' perceptions of the V, that's the change I'd make. But in real world driving, the Pirelli Eufori on the car is excellent and the security is well worth the current cost in that technology to ultimate grip and ride.

    At a quarter ton heavier, comparing the SL to a beached whale is an insult to the whale. It's 500 pounds of lack of engineering imagination any way you cut it. The SL55 has torque, in the way that the 5.7L pushrod Chevy small block had a twist advantage over the 4.6L OHC Mustang mod motor. But it feels like even more of a pig than the SL550. It gets out of its way maintains traction, but the pendulum of that quarter ton degrades everything about the experience in motion. In 8 or 10 years when MB finally re-architects the car, maybe they'll come up with a modern lightweight structure. Nah....maybe not.

    You're bench comparing the opinions of magazines that are packed with as much bias as you'll find on any internet board. I've actually driven the cars. When you do, you can come back and talk about winning or losing comparos. I'm in a position to say, and my verdict is XLR-v leads this class of car. And yes, it is the most sports-car like of the category, which is one of the reasons it wins for me.

    Phil
  • I don't think I've ever represented what a magazine has to say as proof of their credibility. In the past I've made a few citations because you seemed to assign credibility to content on coated stock. Sometimes a writer gets something right! Point is, when someone points out that the Cadillac is light and feels agile and then they criticize the interior and the brand image, at least I know they have taken the time to holistically present their view of the car. When someone writes about MB technology, quantified performance, and brand value (mostly to the unthinking and unimaginative today) but they ignore the ruined kinetics of the car due to brontasaurus mass in a 2 seat sporting GT, and the extra cost and engineering all that extra mass requires just to tame it, then I know they are willfully not analyzing the car holistically.

    They might still say, "The MB SL is wildly overweight in its class but we like it anyway." Then I can say it's an honest review and the writer's priorities are woefully misordered.

    Anyway, no I did not ever think magazine reviewers of any employ were worthy of influencing my perception of a vehicle. And yes, the current SL is antediluvian with respect to its designers' nonchalance about useless mass. I wouldn't want to be associated such lack of progress.

    Phil
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Never did I say that the XLR-v is a sports car. If I wanted a sports car, I would have bought a Z06. Still might add one. I said the V is a sporting GT and it is the leader in architecture, design and agility in its class, not least because it is designed to avoid the useless bulk of the SL.

    Again the same ole same ole, and yet this advantage hasn't shown up anywhere. Why is that? It doesn't exists because someone at GM didn't take advantage of it. Ok you say the mags are wrong I could respect that if, and only if you hadn't praised them before when the tested the XLR by itself and found it to be a good car. Now just because they didn't put it ahead of the SL or any other car in the class, now they're just wrong. You can't have it both ways.

    If you look at my posts, I wrote repeatedly that the XLR-v is a sporting retractable hardtop GT. My position is entirely consistent. You're misrepresenting the facts.

    Actually you are because for the fact that XLR weighs less hasn't turned up any advantage in handling. You're the one trying to turn a slight weight advantage into something heaven sent and it has proven to be anything but that.

    At a quarter ton heavier, comparing the SL to a beached whale is an insult to the whale. It's 500 pounds of lack of engineering imagination any way you cut it.

    Wrong again, the exact weight difference is 380lbs, not a 1/2 ton, yet another inaccuracy you've given here and to say that SL has a lack of engineering imagination is really ridiculous. The SL has more featurs than the XLR to begin with such a a pop-up roll over protection system that adds weight and yet they've managed to "engineer" it to handle better than the lighter, gussied up Corvette known as the XLR. Imagine that.

    You're bench comparing the opinions of magazines that are packed with as much bias as you'll find on any internet board. I've actually driven the cars. When you do, you can come back and talk about winning or losing comparos. I'm in a position to say, and my verdict is XLR-v leads this class of car. And yes, it is the most sports-car like of the category, which is one of the reasons it wins for me.

    Sure and until then keep thinking that you're found something superior when the industry experts are saying otherwise and as far as C&D goes they didn't even think enough of the XLR-V, a 100K top of the line Cadillac to put it over BMW or Jaguar either, so Mercedes is about the least of your worries. Cadillac ain't superior, heck they ain't even at the front of the class. They're bringing up the rear as most GM cars do.

    The only reason I find most of what you say to be bunk is because you think that the XLR is superior in every way and there is no car in this class that is superior in every possible way over the competition, such a notion is absurd and this bs about weight and what not is really special because it hasn't turned up anywhere. If what you say were true wouldn't someone else agree with you about it? The mags can't be smart and all-knowing one minute, but they next they're cluess.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I don't expect a magazine to decide what car is right for you, my issue here is that you're making a 380lb weight difference to be the world and that is somehow turns the XLR into some type of superior sporting machine when it doesn't.

    Put aside who won what for a moment and just look at what is being said about the handling between the two cars. Your weight advantage theory just hasn't held water.

    Sure the SL is heavier and could stand to be lighter, but if you can't see the effort that MB put into making the car drive smaller than it really is then there is no point it talking to me about how light a Cadillac is either. The SL's weight has been dealt with using their ABC active suspension and they've done a superior job at it.

    Now as to what feels more agile that is arguable for sure, but this nonsense about the SL not beng able to handle or that is someone this poor handler and the Cadillac is so much better is just plain BS, regardless as to which car won the overall comparo.

    All the while you seem to have forgotten that this class of car isn't decided upon by dynamics like sports cars are, that is why even if the XLR were a superior handler (which it isn't) it still wouldn't top the SL. The XLR is cheaply made and doesn't come anywhere near feeling like a 100K car.

    M
  • You miss my point. I've already said it's evident MB had to put additional engineering into the car to manage its weight. To make it "drive smaller" as you put it. Which of course also adds a little further weight. This doesn't impress me when it would have been much more creative to design the car to avoid that weight in the first place. That 380 lb difference, which grows to 500 lbs. with the SL55, is the additional mass of adult males in a two seat car!!!

    The GM active suspension is at least the equal of MB's, so no points for DCX, especially since the GM method is simpler, lighter and more elegant from an engineering point of view.

    I never said the MB doesn't handle or can't put up the numbers. I said the experience is degraded by the weight and that ruins the kinetics from the driver's perspective, relative to the Caddy. Yes, the SL keeps the tires planted. No, it doesn't feel as composed doing it. The only small definciency that Caddy V has experientially is the very slight sideways bump in a potholed or bumpy curve, which is a characteristic of every Corvette with a transverse-glass-leaf suspension. I kinda like it. Feels fun and doesn't actually disturb the car's stability. I'll take that over a car you can feel fighting to manage its own mass.

    This class of car is certainly a sporting class of cars and dynamics in motion are among the criteria for success. Certainly very high for me and others who own the V. If I only cared about cruising, there are Buicks to buy along with the myriad Mercedes choices. How about a Buick with a V8?

    As I said, I am still waiting for this allegation of cheap build to evidence itself in my V. Relative to everything else that costs $100K, the V feels like a hundred Large to me. The Jag XKR doesn't handle well enough for $100K. The Aston V8 Vantage isn't quick enough for its price. The Mercedes SL feels too ponderous and pretentious. The wonderful Maserati Grand Sport's clunky transmission undermines its price with every shift. Uh...let's see.....the XLR-v has leather, wood and plastic inside just like everything else put to shame by the Italians. And none of it seems to be wearing in the slightest. It runs in the 4s right out of the box. stops and turns on a dime. Stone cold reliable. Gets as much attention as any car I see here in L.A. at any price. Comfortable. Sports car dynamics. But the plastic surrounding the nav screen and a few buttons come up short in some people's eyes? Hmmm....in a world where every competing car is imperfect in a meaningful way, I think I can hack the 6 square inches of untextured plastic and enjoy my car while Cadillac revises the cabin on v2.0.

    Phil
  • If you look at my posts, I have cited the quarter-ton difference in weight as being relative to the more peer-correct SL55. The nearly 400 lbs. against the SL550 is bad enough and not "slight."

    Didn't I cover the mags? I'll cite them for people who seem to respect them. I won't for people who don't use them as "evidence." I've explained how a writer gets my respect and attention, and it isn't the conclusion but how they get to it and whether they are holistically evaluating the car in question.

    I also never said the XLR-v is "superior in every way." I've said it is on balance the best car of its car in its class. Nobody in the class has a perfect polar graph of selection attributes.

    The Maserati has easily the most beautiful interior in the class, the loveliest paint, and it has a fab naturally-aspriated Ferrari-derived engine (my preference over supercharging), but it also has a cloth top, a clunky tranny, a strange driving position, and spotty service distribution. I almost bought one.

    The Jag and Aston have the second best leather in the class, lightweight aluminum structures, and rich British interiors but both are down on power, handling is too soft, and structural rigidity on convertibles (which are cloth tops) trails the Cadillac.

    The Lexus loses in every respect. There isn't a single redeeming aspect of the car I'd prefer over the XLR-v.

    The Mercedes SL55 has more displacement and a large torque advantage set in a dated but torsionally-stiff architecture with long overhangs, short wheelbase, and a quarter ton of excess weight that reflects a lack of design imagination. Interior materials are high quality. Interior design is overwrought and functions are obscured by poor ergonomics. Its suspension technology is the only one in the class to approach GM's in efficacy. The Mercedes is monstrously overpriced and is common as dirt where I live.

    The SL550 shares the traits of the 55 AMG, but sheds some ponderous weight though it is not engineered to drive as sharply as the AMG. Both have a nice transmission.

    On balance, the V's only area of real, common, criticism relative to the class is the interior. I don't agree it is meaningfully deficient, and I am here to tell you it works and wears just fine, and makes the right impression on people who get in the car. Let Maserati loose on the V interior, and all the carping about the car would go away in a flash. The V's interior ain't a reason not to choose the car now, however. No doubt the next version will be better still.

    And by the way, other people do agree with me. The XLR/XLRv owner boards are full of people who bought the car for the same reasons I did, after having owned MB, Lexus, Jag, et al. And most of them never owned a Cadillac before, many never having previously owned an American car, either

    Phil
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The GM active suspension is at least the equal of MB's, so no points for DCX, especially since the GM method is simpler, lighter and more elegant from an engineering point of view.

    Well that is IYO, and it doesn't give the XLR any advantage in handling either. If this was true, that suspension combined with the weight savings should enable the XLR-V to run rings around the competition and it doesn't. Period. No points for GM and the handling advantage still winds up on the competitor's car.

    I never said the MB doesn't handle or can't put up the numbers. I said the experience is degraded by the weight and that ruins the kinetics from the driver's perspective, relative to the Caddy. Yes, the SL keeps the tires planted. No, it doesn't feel as composed doing it. The only small definciency that Caddy V has experientially is the very slight sideways bump in a potholed or bumpy curve, which is a characteristic of every Corvette with a transverse-glass-leaf suspension. I kinda like it. Feels fun and doesn't actually disturb the car's stability. I'll take that over a car you can feel fighting to manage its own mass.

    And what I'm telling you is that no one has found anything to support this advantage you keep talking about. These are professional drivers who have been testing cars for years and they all say the same thing regarding the handling of the SL and the XLR, one is good and the other is better, the latter being the SL. This nonsense about how the XLR feels and what not isn't enough to put it over the SL and the others in this class because the rest of the car is lacking.

    This class of car is certainly a sporting class of cars and dynamics in motion are among the criteria for success. Certainly very high for me and others who own the V. If I only cared about cruising, there are Buicks to buy along with the myriad Mercedes choices. How about a Buick with a V8?

    Here we go again, you're missing the point. Of course dynamics are a point of reference in this class, but the XLR falls down on its face in other areas which you'll all of sudden dismiss. The feel of the materials, design and quality of the XLR/V say cheap GM car, not 100K blueblood. That is why the XLR-V could have the best handling in the world and still come up short, heck it already outrun the SL550, 650i, and XK yet that didn't carry as much weight as the details, which is where GM is clueless still.

    As I said, I am still waiting for this allegation of cheap build to evidence itself in my V. Relative to everything else that costs $100K, the V feels like a hundred Large to me. The Jag XKR doesn't handle well enough for $100K. The Aston V8 Vantage isn't quick enough for its price. The Mercedes SL feels too ponderous and pretentious. The wonderful Maserati Grand Sport's clunky transmission undermines its price with every shift. Uh...let's see.....the XLR-v has leather, wood and plastic inside just like everything else put to shame by the Italians. And none of it seems to be wearing in the slightest. It runs in the 4s right out of the box. stops and turns on a dime. Stone cold reliable. Gets as much attention as any car I see here in L.A. at any price. Comfortable. Sports car dynamics. But the plastic surrounding the nav screen and a few buttons come up short in some people's eyes? Hmmm....in a world where every competing car is imperfect in a meaningful way, I think I can hack the 6 square inches of untextured plastic and enjoy my car while Cadillac revises the cabin on v2.0.

    Yeah let me guess, every other car has flaws except the XLR? Right? You kill me with all this about other cars yet you can't see the glaring cheapness of the XLR's interior. Driving the car for 8K miles doesn't prove anything IMO, any 100K can stand up to 8K miles of use. You've got to be kidding if you think that 8K is some type of milestone that proves quality!

    Now wait a minute, you've driven the XKR to know that it doesn't handle well enough for 100K or are you going by something you've read? I honestly feel for you if you think a XLR feels like a 100K car.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    If you look at my posts, I have cited the quarter-ton difference in weight as being relative to the more peer-correct SL55. The nearly 400 lbs. against the SL550 is bad enough and not "slight."

    Yet the SL gets the nod in handling. Go figure. Either someone is harping about nothing or the entire industry doesn't know what they're talking about.

    The Lexus loses in every respect. There isn't a single redeeming aspect of the car I'd prefer over the XLR-v.

    The only thing we agree on! The SC430 is for the pinky-ring set.

    I also never said the XLR-v is "superior in every way." I've said it is on balance the best car of its car in its class. Nobody in the class has a perfect polar graph of selection attributes.

    Your last sentence contradicts the first one. The XLR-V isn't even close to being the best car in this class, as it can't even beat a base SL550.

    The Mercedes SL55 has more displacement and a large torque advantage set in a dated but torsionally-stiff architecture with long overhangs, short wheelbase, and a quarter ton of excess weight that reflects a lack of design imagination. Interior materials are high quality. Interior design is overwrought and functions are obscured by poor ergonomics. Its suspension technology is the only one in the class to approach GM's in efficacy. The Mercedes is monstrously overpriced and is common as dirt where I live.

    Gotta love personal opinon on design passed off as some type of flaw. Just say you don't like the SL and this would make sense. Again your cited weight advantage hasn't proven squat in handling prowess in favor of the XLR. Gotta love the "common as dirt" comment too, i.e. Cadillac doesn't and can't sell anywhere near as many XLRs so I'll knock the Benz for being a commercial success. I love it when people who champion slow selling cars try to hint or imply that they are somehow more exclusive when the truth of the matter is the car in question is 10 or 10 times a sales dud! Exclusive is when you can sell more, but won't or when you only build a set number and that is it. GM could crank out XLRs all day long if the market warranted, but it doesn't so please spare me the hint or implication that the XLR is somehow exclusive when the reality of the matter is very few people want or would even consider a 75-100K Cadillac. The Caddy name doesn't warrant or carry nearly enough clout to sell a 100K car in any real numbers today.

    The V's interior ain't a reason not to choose the car now, however. No doubt the next version will be better still.

    IYO. Wait till next year or next time, a classic GM defense. GM never delivers a complete car, it is always wait until next time, which by then the competition will have moved the goal post.

    And by the way, other people do agree with me. The XLR/XLRv owner boards are full of people who bought the car for the same reasons I did, after having owned MB, Lexus, Jag, et al. And most of them never owned a Cadillac before, many never having previously owned an American car, either

    Seeing as how they sunk 75-100K into a market lagging American car they literally have no choice but to tell themselves this, otherwise they'd have the worst case of cognitive dissonance in the recorded history.

    M
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    The initial quality study is very important and gives a good reflection on the cars build quality. Depending on which magazine write up you read the Cadillac XLR is raising a lot of heads. I believe it was Car & Driver last year that had it being barely edged by the Mercedes with four cars being tested. The Cadillac is a tremendous car in every way and you have to get over your bias toward American cars. Cadillac uses a better quality plastic than Mercedes does as far as the noxious fumes that it doesn't give off. Other than that plastic is plastic and few people really notice the differences which are very minor.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    The XLR is considered a sports car as much as the Mercedes is, but just not in the same sence as a Corvette, Porche or Lotus; keep in mind that these cars are also considered roadstars like the Miata, Solstice, and M3.

    A sports car is classified as a two seater with rear wheel drive.
  • You continually cite magazines. I've already said I think what they think is irrelevant. The thing is, you haven't driven the XLR-v. You may not have even driven a contemporary SL. WHEN you actually drive these cars under varying conditions, you might have something worthwhile to say about this weight and handling issue. Until then, you're putting a skidpad number up against real-world experience. It's pointless. Driving the two cars contradicts what the magazines are writing. I experience no handling advantage for the Mercedes. Quite the opposite, the handling advantage conclusively rests with the XLR-v.

    More to the point, it would be impossible to build a sports car from the SL platform. It's stupidly heavy. Yet the light-for-class XLR-v is built on a platform that with the luxury stuff deleted and bigger stickier rubber added becomes a 3100 lb world-class sports car. The XLR-v comes from the factory tuned to a specific state of compromise. If you want to shift that mix this way or that, it's easy to do, and you'll be doing it with a quarter ton advantage over the porky SL55.

    Plainly, the XLR-v feels more incisive and gives me more information about the tire-road interface than the SL. Everything about the car is more communicative. It's not my fault if this isn't obvious to magazine jockeys. Want to really make the point? Put Corvette rubber on a V. Drive one, please, before you use someone else's opinion again to justify your own bias.

    "...because the rest of the car is lacking." This is not my experience.

    Now, I agree with you that 9,000 miles doesn't prove the long-term reliability of the V. But given the role of infant failure of componentry in gizmo-loaded luxury cars as a class, it's a good harbinger. Having put well over 100,000 miles on a prior generation Corvette, without so much as an upholstery scuff, I have confidence in the long-term stalwartness of the V. The basic durable goodness of the platform is routinely evidenced in harder-driven Corvettes in larger numbers. The long-term questions TBD are in the small-displacement supercharged engine and the top's mechanism. I'm expecting my car to be in my hands well into 6 digits.

    Haven't driven the new platform XKR (not sure it's shipped yet) but have driven the current XK. Extrapolating from that experience, and having driven the two cars in last gen and knowing that version's R difference, I don't think Jaguar's convertible handles like I expect 100K worth of car to handle. It has other merits to justify its price however. All these cars, even at 100K, are specific compromises.

    So having driven everything I can think of in this peculiar class of retractable hardtop luxury sporting GTs, plus the ragtop contenders adjacent to this category, every one is imperfect and every one makes a specific impression. On an absolute basis, none of these cars are worth $100,000, but that's a reflection of prevailing conditions. But in a world where an SLK 55 AMG starts at $61,000, a Lexus SC costs $70K, an XLR is $74K, a Jag is similar, and a Mercedes SL is $92K, yes the XLR-v is worth its price. No one thinks the XLR, XK or SC are too expensive for the market. For another $25K over the those, you get a hand-built semi-racing grade engine with added 123hp, bigger brakes, material upgrades in the interior, better transmission, larger wheels with more aggressive rubber, greater performance in every parameter. Sure, it's worth $100K in that context. Anyone who thinks it isn't worth $100K is essentially saying the brand is their issue, not the car. I don't have a problem with a $100K Cadillac at all. I didn't buy the car to make an obvious point about personal wealth. I bought it for its competence, power, comfort, fit, feel and intrinsic progressive emotion, compared to the other more flawed entries in its class, along with being the most agile performer lacking the ponderous dynamics of the SL and SC.

    Phil
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