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Cadillac XLR vs. Mercedes-Benz SL

2

Comments

  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    A Cadillac that falls on its face, give me a break. These are all excellent cars and discrimination against one brand because it doesn't meet your needs or you admire another auto is uncalled for. You may find more to your liking on the Mercedes forum.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,602
    Wow, what a flurry of activity! I guess summer's over and folks are back to the keyboard...

    Anyway, Phil, what kind of real-world mpg are you getting with your V? And thanks for the write up...

    I think I'm much further away from grabbing my mid-life crisis car as the evil wife has announced that she wants to buy a lakefront home in New Hampshire or Vermont within the next year or two. Actually, so would I. God's Country are the Northern New England states. Dropped my skis off at the shop for a tune up, looking forward to Ma Nature making up for the dearth of snow last winter this year.

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

  • Yeah, I had a busy summer and wandered in here to see if the Mercedes brigade was still pissing on the V's shoes. I thought of it when I saw the odo roll past 9,000 miles.

    Real world mileage? I live in L.A. I often have an entire tankful of fuel consumed at an average speed of 26 mph when I can't arrange driving time outside of the expanding "rush hour" on our freeways and city streets. When I have a tank like that, I get 16 mpg. On a tank of solidly mixed off-peak freeway and on-peak city streets driving, I get 19/20 mpg. And when I have been able to track mileage on sustained highway runs at speed, I get 24-26mpg. Example: I recently finished a meeting in south Orange County after midnight and had to drive home on the northwest side of Los Angeles. It was 88 miles. Knowing I'd have clear running, I filled up before I left, and then topped off at destination. 88 miles at average speed of 82 mph yielded 25.2mpg.

    I...uh....can also say that I know exactly how to drive mileage down to 12 mpg, but doing so is a deliberate indulgence of unfriendly acceleration.

    I'm happy with the mileage given 443 hp in a 3800 lb. car.

    A couple of weeks ago, I was helping a friend evaluate cars. I have to say that if I were more cash limited and wanted a mid-life crisis machine, the only other car today under $100,000 that can match the XLR-v's sheer charisma and presence is the Shelby GT500, especially in coupe form. Simple, competent, poised, sensational. Otherwise, when you buy that lake house, sneak in a just-off-lease XLR-v in 2007/8.

    Phil
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The initial quality study is very important and gives a good reflection on the cars build quality.

    True and I don't think I've ever said that MB was perfect in this regard. However this year JDP changed the criteria because MB went from 5th to below average and that didn't happen due to a sudden drop in quality either.

    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.

    Must be a magazine not published here on earth. No issue of Car and Driver has ever said anything near that, in fact it was just the opposite. The XLR has lost each and every time it faced the SL and not by a small margin. In this recent comparo they pretty much said the BMW 650i barely edged out the XLR, not the SL. The XLR hasn't raised that head of anyone that matters, buyers. GM has a huge supply of XLRs and they are simply put, slow sellers.

    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.

    Not! GM uses the same plastics in the XLR as they do their other cheapo cars. I give the XLR credit for being something no other American brand can touch, but that isn't saying much since Chrysler and Lincoln have nothing even remotely similar. The problem is that GM doesn't sweat the details and a 100K is all about the details.

    You look at GM's new Kappa twins, the SKY and Solstice. I had to stop and look at one up close on a dealer lot because I couldn't believe how sloppily the top fits on these cars when the top is raised. Whoever signed off on that should be fired, but hey that it typical GM. They'll introduce something with great potential and even get the engine right, but then muck it up in cheapo details.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    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.

    The XLR is no sports car and neither is the SL, they are GT cars. Big difference.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    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.

    True, but who should I believe as far as the XLR goes? A biased person who has the car and thinks it is so superior to everything else in the class or the professional reviewers? Not just one, but all of them say the same thing about the XLR. I have driven the current SL a many times, thank you. This nonsense about handling and weight is the about most ridiculous thing I've seen harped about for a long time. When is it going to sink in that even if the XLR were a superior handler (which it isn't) that handling is not the sole criteria for buyers with these cars! So what if the XLR is a better handler, it still is skinny-tired and very much an aquired taste for many and it doesn't have an interior worthy of it's sticker.

    You keep harping about handling yet you'll then turn around and say that these are not sports cars. Which is it going to be? If you're going to make the case for the XLR and it's handling advantage (which no one else has found) then that is ok, but that doesn't outweight the rest of what is wrong with the car, especially the 100K version of it.

    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.

    So what? Mercedes didn't set out to build a "sports car" from the SL platform. I mean really is it that bad to the point where we have to debate shoulda/woulda/coulda been built from the SL platform. Now the XLR is a sports car again?

    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.

    Ok, to you, no one else. Fine, but that doesn't put the XLR over the SL. Seconldy why do I have to put Corvette rubber on a XLR? They aren't going for the same market, yet another "wait until next year" type apology. My bias didn't set in until I saw the reviews of the car because honestly I thought (initially) the SL would really have some competition, but it doesn't in either the market or on the road, at least not from Cadillac.

    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.

    Putting 100K on a Corvette has what to do with the XLR? I don't expect any car to have problems relating to it's structure nowadays. The XLR has more things to go wrong than a Corvette every had so if you can put 100K on a XLR and nothing goes wrong, bravo. Until then the previous mileage racked up on car as bascially simple (relative to the XLR) is matterless.

    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 in other words your bias is there before you've driven the thing? How hypocritical is that? The new XKR shares absolutely nothing to do with the last generation car, nothing. Totally new chassis/platform etc, only the engines carry over so some of your own "until you drive it" advice would be in order for you here! I fully expect the XKR to trounce a XLR-V in handling if not in a straight line.

    Anyone who thinks it isn't worth $100K is essentially saying the brand is their issue, not the car.

    Bingo! Cadillac hasn't built anything in the last 30 years that even comes close to putting them in the position to ask 100K for one of their cars. You're right it is a brand issue that is supported by a car that simply doesn't feel like a 100K car.

    No one thinks the XLR, XK or SC are too expensive for the market.

    Not true, obviously buyers think the XLR is too expensive going by its lacklust sales performance, then again it could be the whole thought of sinking 100K on a Cadillac that won't be worth half that in a few years. In short Cadillac's comeback wasn't yet up to the level of being able to charge 100K for anything yet. All the the other cars have proven themselves to some degree, especially the SL. I share you're dislike of the SC430 as a GT car, but the car reeks of quality build, construction and materials, that is what puts it over. The previous Jaguar XK, while totally an antique until this new 07' model came along, was so gorgeous to the point where it could sell on looks alone.

    I can't take any of your dynamics argument seriously if you're going to say this:

    ..lacking the ponderous dynamics of the SL and SC..

    The SL is a lot of things, but ponderous it isn't one of them and to place it on the same level as the sedan-like driving SC430 tells me you simply don't like the SL because this claim is just plain untrue and ridiculous. The SL can run rings around a SC430 and you know it.

    M
  • You just don't like paying attention.

    1/ I'm not biased. I came to my decision about the XLR-v over the rest of the class BEFORE I bought it. I did so based on an objective survey of the class, driving each car under nearly identical real-world conditions. I was prepared to buy any of them, except for the SC. So yeah, you can believe me at least as much as a bunch of jaded magazine jockeys who are perpetually blinded by brand.

    2/ Handling matters as much to a GT's competence and suitability as a sporting car as handling matters to a pure sports car. The difference is that you tolerate some compromises to get more comfort and amenities in the GT for extended travel. But WITHIN the class, handling is as important a criterion for selection. A retractable hardtop GT roadster/coupe is a peculiar multi-function GT, but you still want it to handle and be agile.

    3/ I never said the weight and handling advantage of the XLR-v is the only reason to buy the car. It's a big reason. I did plainly say that the useless extra mass of the SL is the elephant in the room, and that the XLR-v has the best balance of compromises of any car in the class. It has the most progressive, dramatic and impactful aesthetic design, best interior ergonomics, best architecture, best mass-efficiency in its platform, and is competitive in every other area.

    4/ The XLR/XLR-v are built on a sports-car-derived platform and inherit those advantages. This doesn't make them sports cars, but does help to make them more sporting GTs -- especially the V.

    5/ You don't have to put Corvette rubber on your V, but the option exists, just as people put bigger wheels/tires on their SLs and every other car in the class. Point is, Cadillac could have spec'd tires tilted more to ultimate handling/stopping. They did not, because they chose to use the quietest run-flat to both preserve GT properties and give drivers the security of not having to change a tire on the freeway. Any owner who wants to shade the factory's chosen balance of factors is free to do so. In practical driving, the Eufori's grip will exceed the gumption of most drivers. Conventional performance rubber will certainly transmit less road rash NVH into the car.

    6/ Corvette is the platform basis, the body panel basis, the ancillary systems basis, and the automatic transmission is now the same between the two cars. From a reliability standpoint, the top mechanics, the DOHC hand-built SC engine and the engine management computer are the primary differences where things can go wrong. Corvette platform experience is a good harbinger of the V's integrity. But time will tell for sure.

    7/ I'm going to drive the XKR with an open mind of course. Note that I said I have driven the current XK, so I know what the platform characteristics are. I also know the difference between the prior XL and XK-R, and Ford's approach this time is very much the same, in terms of engineering differences between the new versions or XK and R. Having driven the base car, and being thoroughly familiar with the results to the "R" upgrade approach, it's not hard to extrapolate some expectations. The new XK aluminum platform is an excellent upgrade over the old platform. But modern Jags are shaded more toward comfort than sports traits than I think they should be. The XK-R will be in the $90sK like the last one. Will it be worth that? In the context of what cars cost today, sure, but not for its handling as its strong suit. Perhaps they will surprise me. In any case, there are other reasons for some folks to prefer that car.

    8/ The prior damage to the Cadillac brand had no bearing on my willingness to pay the price, because the car itself earns its place. I'm happy to be part of rebuilding the brand perception. No one considering a $100K car really cares financially whether it cost $10K less or $10K more. I can't imagine the V costing less than $90K retail in any sustainable scenario for Cadillac, so 90, 94, 98, 100K -- who cares? It's the most holistically advanced car in the category. It's worth it.

    9/ Yes, the SL runs rings around the SC even without a driver present. The SL and SC certainly have different dynamics, but both are indeed ponderous, though differently. Forgetting the design for a moment, the SC is both fat and sloppily sprung. It's aggressively un-incisive. Not a serious car in the least. The SL is a serious entry in the class, sure. It is made ponderous by virtue of the fact that compared to the lighter V, you can feel all its dynamics management systems constantly fighting the weight. Yeah, the tires stay planted. But the pendulum effects of that extra quarter ton....well, there's no getting away from it. It feels needlessly heavy in any situation other than straight-line travel at steady speed.

    Let's put this weight issue into further perspective. NONE of your vaunted magazine writers would agree that more weight is a good thing when you can engineer less. They all diss mass in cars they don't like. And then they don't hold DCX's feet to the fire. Cadillac delivers a retractable hardtop luxury 2-seat GT at 3810 lbs, using a hydroformed perimeter box-tube frame with rigid spine and torque tube. It surrounds this stiff driveable chassis with modern lightweight, ding-resistant, composite body panels. Jaguar delivers a ~3800 lb. cloth top convertible using an aluminum unibody with subframes, very modern manufacturing too. Maserati gets in there with steel. Mercedes saddles their short-wheelbase/long overhangs steel body car with 400 - 500 pounds more. Nice paint though. Imagine how good the SL could be if MB exercised the imagination to engineer that quarter ton OUT of the car and get down to the new class weight? If undercapitalized Jaguar can make the investment and "the world's on my shoulders" GM can innovate, why not DCX? Heck, I want to see the XLR-v get lighter too! Let's get Corvettes down to 2800 lbs., and XLR-v down to 3200 lbs. with all the luxury stuff. I didn't like the overwrought cabin of the SL, and the brand itself doesn't appeal to me. But if the car itself had been best-in-class in enough categories, I might have bought it. The big sore thumb of the SL's ponderous extra mass was distracting and disturbing to appreciation for the car. And I have to draw a line somewhere: any reasonably advanced automobile company ought to be able to keep a 2-seat perfrmance GT roadster under 4000 lbs. When you're looking at a 2 seat GT that packs the weight of a Lincoln Town Car, something's gone very wrong in product planning.

    Anyway, I live amongst a sea of SLs and I experience them first-hand routinely. Nothing about an SL prompts a single regret about owning a V, but owning the V confirms for me every day that I made the right decision.

    Phil
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    1/ I'm not biased. I came to my decision about the XLR-v over the rest of the class BEFORE I bought it. I did so based on an objective survey of the class, driving each car under nearly identical real-world conditions. I was prepared to buy any of them, except for the SC. So yeah, you can believe me at least as much as a bunch of jaded magazine jockeys who are perpetually blinded by brand.

    This I can buy, that you actually drove them all and decided what was best for you, never doubted that.

    Handling matters as much to a GT's competence and suitability as a sporting car as handling matters to a pure sports car. The difference is that you tolerate some compromises to get more comfort and amenities in the GT for extended travel. But WITHIN the class, handling is as important a criterion for selection. A retractable hardtop GT roadster/coupe is a peculiar multi-function GT, but you still want it to handle and be agile.

    And the SL has been judged by everyone but you to have equal or better handling than the XLR, period. This nonsense about how much better the XLR feels and handles hasn't helped the car at all in the marketplace because buyers of 100K GT are lookig for the whole package. Something you seem to completely miss. You act as though the SL can't handle and that my friend is BS, especially that about the SL and the SC having anything in common as far as dynamics. For what most people buy these cars for the Jaguar and Mercedes top the Cadillac without question. Want something more serious than the XK or SL550, the XKR and SL55 are waiting. Cadillac has no advantage on these cars except for weight, but the thing is none of these cars are true lightweights. The XLR being light for it's class is the same thing as when the mags say a heavier car handles good for it's weight. Either way you're spliting hairs.

    I never said the weight and handling advantage of the XLR-v is the only reason to buy the car. It's a big reason. I did plainly say that the useless extra mass of the SL is the elephant in the room, and that the XLR-v has the best balance of compromises of any car in the class. It has the most progressive, dramatic and impactful aesthetic design, best interior ergonomics, best architecture, best mass-efficiency in its platform, and is competitive in every other area.

    However in reality of marketplace and the type of buyer that usually goes for one of these cars they're looking for features and luxury not just some far-fetched notion about the XLR's handling being superior. That about the XLR's interior is your opinion, no where else have ever seen anything to support it either. The interior is the weakest link of any GM car! Where have you been? This about a different design ethic is just hilarious. A Jaguar has the same thing, but it ain't cheaply made. When oh when will that sink in? You can be different in every way regarding inteior design/function/layout etc, but the materials need not be of the cheapo variety as in the XLR. Period.

    The XLR/XLR-v are built on a sports-car-derived platform and inherit those advantages. This doesn't make them sports cars, but does help to make them more sporting GTs -- especially the V.

    Yet this has yet to amount to anything real advantage in either the market or to the press. Talk about much ado about nothing.

    You don't have to put Corvette rubber on your V, but the option exists, just as people put bigger wheels/tires on their SLs and every other car in the class. Point is, Cadillac could have spec'd tires tilted more to ultimate handling/stopping. They did not, because they chose to use the quietest run-flat to both preserve GT properties and give drivers the security of not having to change a tire on the freeway. Any owner who wants to shade the factory's chosen balance of factors is free to do so. In practical driving, the Eufori's grip will exceed the gumption of most drivers. Conventional performance rubber will certainly transmit less road rash NVH into the car.

    A grand excuse plain and simple.

    Corvette is the platform basis, the body panel basis, the ancillary systems basis, and the automatic transmission is now the same between the two cars. From a reliability standpoint, the top mechanics, the DOHC hand-built SC engine and the engine management computer are the primary differences where things can go wrong. Corvette platform experience is a good harbinger of the V's integrity. But time will tell for sure.

    What modern car is going to have trouble with body panels? All the other stuff that is shared between them I'm fully aware of which is one reason why a XLR is simply not worth 75K not to mention 100K. Secondly the XLR has a few extra features like a folding hard top and those ridiculous electronic door latches that could prove troubleseome, not saying they will, but those are some of the differences between the XLR and the Vette.

    I'm going to drive the XKR with an open mind of course. Note that I said I have driven the current XK, so I know what the platform characteristics are. I also know the difference between the prior XL and XK-R, and Ford's approach this time is very much the same, in terms of engineering differences between the new versions or XK and R. Having driven the base car, and being thoroughly familiar with the results to the "R" upgrade approach, it's not hard to extrapolate some expectations. The new XK aluminum platform is an excellent upgrade over the old platform. But modern Jags are shaded more toward comfort than sports traits than I think they should be. The XK-R will be in the $90sK like the last one. Will it be worth that? In the context of what cars cost today, sure, but not for its handling as its strong suit. Perhaps they will surprise me. In any case, there are other reasons for some folks to prefer that car.

    Again you haven't driven the car so all this about the previous version is matterless. WOW! Wait a minute you'll condem the Jaguar based on what Jaguar/Ford has done before, but I'm supposed to believe that GM has totally changed their normally laggard ways when turning a Corvette into a Cadillac? That is pretty rich don't you think? Hypocritical, very hypocritical!

    The prior damage to the Cadillac brand had no bearing on my willingness to pay the price, because the car itself earns its place.

    Apparently not, but it hasn't earned anything and Cadillac certainly hasn't. They just stopped building junk just a few years ago.

    cont....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    No one considering a $100K car really cares financially whether it cost $10K less or $10K more. I can't imagine the V costing less than $90K retail in any sustainable scenario for Cadillac, so 90, 94, 98, 100K -- who cares? It's the most holistically advanced car in the category.

    True, 94, 98 or 100K wouldn't make a difference, but when you have a Cadillac to cost that much it certainly does because the brand doesn't have the reputation to command such money anymore. The regular 75K XLR is expensive enough compared to other Cadillac, but 100K is ridiculous for any Cadillac or GM product IMO and apparently buyers feels the same way since Cadillac can't catch any of the other cars in this class in sales. 80, 90K whatever over 65-70K is too much for a Cadillac that will drop like a rock at resale time.

    Yes, the SL runs rings around the SC even without a driver present. The SL and SC certainly have different dynamics, but both are indeed ponderous, though differently. Forgetting the design for a moment, the SC is both fat and sloppily sprung. It's aggressively un-incisive. Not a serious car in the least. The SL is a serious entry in the class, sure. It is made ponderous by virtue of the fact that compared to the lighter V, you can feel all its dynamics management systems constantly fighting the weight. Yeah, the tires stay planted. But the pendulum effects of that extra quarter ton....well, there's no getting away from it. It feels needlessly heavy in any situation other than straight-line travel at steady speed.

    What? The only part I agree with here is that about the SC430. Now their different types of ponderous? Again, the weight advantage the XLR has hasn't showed up likely due to it being under tired to begin with.

    Let's put this weight issue into further perspective. NONE of your vaunted magazine writers would agree that more weight is a good thing when you can engineer less. They all diss mass in cars they don't like. And then they don't hold DCX's feet to the fire.

    That is because all the cars in this class are somewhat heavy and they aren't sports cars! Plus, plus, plus the weight of the SL has been largely checked due to various engineering solutions. I get the XLR is lighter, but it is a lightweight in features and build quality compared to the SL and none of the other cars in this class had the option of taking a true sports car and fattening it up with wood and leather. You act as though GM has made some type of break out innovation when they've been doing platform sharing for years!

    No one but you cares about the SL's extra weight once they drive it and your continual harping about this is just plain ridiculous when the XLR has faults that you just dismiss with some excuse about it having a different design "asthetic". Specious.

    M
  • Now the problem here is that you say the XLR-v is cheaply made, and I'm telling you it isn't. When you have driven the car, you can then detail with some measure of credibility how the car is cheaply made. So far, you have only asserted over and over that others say the car is cheaply-made. You haven't said how you, personally, experience this or arrived at this conclusion.

    Now, we do know a lot about the platform because it is shared with the Corvette. Between the two cars, Corvette and XLR/XLR-v, I haven't ever read anything indicating that the structure, engine, transmission, brakes, body, or any other system in either car is "cheaply made." The only, ONLY, references to cheapness in the car have been about the interior. This is a canard.

    Yes, there are differences between the various class-competitors' interiors. These differences are minor, with the exception of the Maserati, which puts everyone else to shame. If you're not buying a Maserati, or let's also add the Aston V8 Vantage, then you're in the same realm of plastic/wood/leather/metal in all these cars. From a design and ergonomics standpoint, I prefer the masculine straightforwardness of the Cadillac. The materials are fine. Fit and finish of the interior on my car are fine. I don't see the problem. Can everything be further improved? Sure, this is true for every car in the class. Even the Maserati can stand an upgrade to some of its switchgear. In my car, everything works, everything feels good, plastics are fine, there is 360 degrees of leather, wood and metal are used appropriately. I don't see any aspect of this car that is "cheaply made."

    Mercedes has trouble delivering working electronics. Jaguar gets criticized for the "cheapness" of using some Ford switchgear and materials. Cadillac gets painted with a "GM interiors suck" brush by people who pay no attention to what's actually in the XLR-v. Frankly, I prefer to have electronics that work, presented in straightforward clean design, through materials at the touch points that feel honest, luxurious and last.

    You will understand the weight advantage of the XLR-v when you drive one. It has been amply detailed for you here.

    The Corvette, by the way, has the electronic door latch actuators too. The system is reliable, but a mechanical safety override is at your fingertips by the seat. I didn't say anyone in the class has "trouble with body panels." I pointed out that Cadillac uses lightweight composite panels and these have the added advantage of resisting dings compared to metal.

    On the Jag, you didn't assimilate my point. I don't condemn Jaguar for anything. They always produce an interesting beautiful car. I don't prefer the tuning of modern Jags on the handling/comfort axis. The relevance of the old platform to the new is that Ford's formula for R-ifying the standard XK is the same now as then. Supercharge the engine, larger wheels/tires/brakes, retune the suspension elastomers, spring rates, dampers, add appropriate cosmetic distinctions and you have an R. Pretty easy to guage where you'll end up if you've driven the base car and are waiting for the new R.

    Whatever you think about GM, no one considers the Corvette a laggard car, and no one has said the XLR-v, which is derived from Corvette, is junk.

    Phil
  • There's ponderous and then there is ponderous. The SC and SL don't feel the same by any means and the SL is the vastly better car. The SC is ponderous because it's squishy and imprecise. The SL feels ponderous because it is just plain heavy, and it's obvious when driving it that the car's dynamics systems are constantly fighting the mass.

    The car mags complain about weight in trucks, SUVs, sedans, sports cars and GTs alike. Of course they are inconsistent. A 4300 lbs. Town Car is heavy but they are mute about a 4300 lbs. SL or the ridiculousness of an aluminum Audi wieghing in over 2 tons. Weight is weight, and more isn't good when you can have less and still meet safety and structural requirements. The engineering solutions to manage the excess mass of the SL are band-aids that cannot conceal the weight itself. They only manage it. You feel this awkwardness in ever change of speed or direction in the SL.

    The design aesthetic of the XLR-v isn't related to your critique. It's a superior design aesthetic to me. You are carping about other things that I don't agree are true, or I don't think they are important to the selection of which car to buy in the class. That you know of few others who understand the penalty that 500 extra pounds imposes on the SL isn't my fault. But the weight penalty is still there for anyone to experience. Whether or not brand fealty blinds someone to it, my view remains the same. The XLR-v is a great car and the innovator in the class.

    Phil
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Now the problem here is that you say the XLR-v is cheaply made, and I'm telling you it isn't. When you have driven the car, you can then detail with some measure of credibility how the car is cheaply made. So far, you have only asserted over and over that others say the car is cheaply-made. You haven't said how you, personally, experience this or arrived at this conclusion.

    I don't have to drive the car to know that the interior is cheap and feels like any other GM car. There is no way that interior feel and quality is that much better than other GM cars that costs thousands less. I don't have to drive anything to know that the interior is typical GM in construction and material quality. There are few upgraded pieces here and there, but they missed the entire effect by a country mile. People at the Detroit show were wowed when they found out that the XLR-V costs 100K, no one there felt that the interior was up to 100K. Has nothing to do with driving it. Nothing at all.

    Now, we do know a lot about the platform because it is shared with the Corvette. Between the two cars, Corvette and XLR/XLR-v, I haven't ever read anything indicating that the structure, engine, transmission, brakes, body, or any other system in either car is "cheaply made." The only, ONLY, references to cheapness in the car have been about the interior. This is a canard.

    True, which is why I don't know why you keep bringing this up. Again, again, I don't expect the XLR to have any problems relating to anything it inherited from the Corvette, again, it is the other parts of the car that could, and I say could prove troublesome. Things like the top and those silly electric door latches. That was my point there, didn't have anything to do with the hardware or structure. Right, the interior is the cheapened part.

    You will understand the weight advantage of the XLR-v when you drive one. It has been amply detailed for you here.

    Yeah adnausem, mainly a lot of bunk, IMO. Feeling lighter doesn't mean better handling as the various test prove. The numbers don't lie and at the end of the day all you're getting with your XLR is a better "feel" at handling, not any differences in times or ability.

    I pointed out that Cadillac uses lightweight composite panels and these have the added advantage of resisting dings compared to metal.

    A fancy way of saying that a 75K-100K car has totally plastic body panels. Not something I'd tout.

    The relevance of the old platform to the new is that Ford's formula for R-ifying the standard XK is the same now as then. Supercharge the engine, larger wheels/tires/brakes, retune the suspension elastomers, spring rates, dampers, add appropriate cosmetic distinctions and you have an R. Pretty easy to guage where you'll end up if you've driven the base car and are waiting for the new R.

    Spin and twist it any way you like, you haven't driven the car and you can't form an opinion on it until you have, at least that is what you tell me. The XK is a totally new car and what they did with a 25 year old platform previously has nothing to do with it, unless you're going to say that they do things the same way each time. Careful because if that applies to Jaguar it applies to GM and their interiors, which it does by the way regarding GM.

    Whatever you think about GM, no one considers the Corvette a laggard car, and no one has said the XLR-v, which is derived from Corvette, is junk.

    We're not talking about the Corvette here, a car I'm crazy about as a matter of fact. We're talking about the XLR and it isn't junk by any means, but it isn't superior to the SL, which is my point. No one else has found any of the handling, schmandling bunk to be true or have any affect on actual results and everyone has found the interior to be lacking, all total opposites to what you're written here.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    There's ponderous and then there is ponderous. The SC and SL don't feel the same by any means and the SL is the vastly better car. The SC is ponderous because it's squishy and imprecise. The SL feels ponderous because it is just plain heavy, and it's obvious when driving it that the car's dynamics systems are constantly fighting the mass.

    Then please don't put the SC in the same category with the SL. The SL is another league as you seem to imply here. Secondly if that is the case with the SL then they've done a good job with those systems for it to be able to match and/or exceed the handling of your much lighter XLR. That and IMO a vastly better interior and styling, along with more safety features makes the SL a big winner in the market place something the XLR isn't.

    The car mags complain about weight in trucks, SUVs, sedans, sports cars and GTs alike. Of course they are inconsistent. A 4300 lbs. Town Car is heavy but they are mute about a 4300 lbs. SL or the ridiculousness of an aluminum Audi wieghing in over 2 tons. Weight is weight, and more isn't good when you can have less and still meet safety and structural requirements. The engineering solutions to manage the excess mass of the SL are band-aids that cannot conceal the weight itself. They only manage it. You feel this awkwardness in ever change of speed or direction in the SL.

    Time to turn the record over. The reason why the mags complain about weight in those cars because it either is managed too good or the weight is blatantly obvious. The SL's weight is well managed and not even you can spin that around. You keep missing the point of these cars which is why you're so hung up on this weight/feel issue. These are GT cars not sports cars and most buyers don't care about this a tenth of what you do, they want style, luxury, features, speed and good handling and the SL has the latter, so the XLR's advatange (in your mind) hasn't meant a hill of beans. Why can't you see this? If the XLR truly had such an advantage don't you think it would have caught on by now? Or is the fact that the Cadillac name is still mud to a lot of folks that keeps them from buying the "superior" XLR?

    The design aesthetic of the XLR-v isn't related to your critique. It's a superior design aesthetic to me. You are carping about other things that I don't agree are true, or I don't think they are important to the selection of which car to buy in the class.

    I'm sorry but this is bs. Design ethic could be whatever you want it to be, doesn't have to be done with cheap materials and poor fits.

    That you know of few others who understand the penalty that 500 extra pounds imposes on the SL isn't my fault. But the weight penalty is still there for anyone to experience. Whether or not brand fealty blinds someone to it, my view remains the same. The XLR-v is a great car and the innovator in the class.

    Actually isn't who I know it is the automotive press, they're clueless I guess. All of them are saying the same thing. What you don't get is that this weight advantage doesn't show up for most buyers and the cheap interior and poor reputation Cadillac has and those are the two main reasons why the XLR is a non-starter. You don't even take into account what the SL has in the way of features over the XLR as part of that weight difference, a difference that you try to hype by saying a 1/4 ton, like the SL is some lumbering SUV. Pluhease. The XLR hasn't innovated anything, it trails the class in what matters to most buyers in this class. These aren't sports cars and most luxury GT convertible buyers in this class aren't looking at weight specs, they're looking at the interior finish, material quality and other things that you dismiss or gloss over with that design ethic nonsense.

    The bottom line is that whatever handling advantage you think the XLR has over the SL doesn't matter enough in this class of car and said advantage DOES NOT outweigh the XLR's other faults, those faults being in more critical areas to the average buyer of this type of car.

    M
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Some people have a heard time getting over the perception of quality and are slow in catching on.
  • Yeah, I read the C/D comparo. What's written there doesn't correspond with my experience having driven the cars involved.

    Price? The Cadillac is competitive. Their comment on price was a matter of it being Cadillac's first 6-digits car and the writers were still getting used to that. No doubt some people feel that way. But it's an irrational reservation having nothing at all to do with the car itself.

    On interior, wrong again. All the cars have interiors distinct from one another. The Caddy's is the most straightforward, cleanest in design aesthetic, has best ergonomics for its functionality. As for materials, well, there's leather, aluminum, wood, and high-grade plastics in appropriate places, just like in the other cars. The interior issue is a red herring, unless you're comparing all the cars to a Maserati.

    Phil
  • Actually, you do have to drive the XLR-v to understand that the interior isn't the same as other GM products. You might have noticed that all GM interiors are improving rapidly with new model introductions. But if you haven't been in the car, then you don't know what you're talking about when you claim the interior can't be better than other GM interiors. Everything, every material and touch point, is better than interiors in less expensive GM cars. There is one exception -- the carpet and mats. I've said this before. The carpet/mats are not what they should be, no doubt. This isn't enough reason not to buy the car, to get the superior aspects of style and low mass with resulting handling character, compared to the the SL.

    Phil
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Actually, you do have to drive the XLR-v to understand that the interior isn't the same as other GM products.

    Wrong, driving a car has absolutely nothing to do with judging the quality and build of the interior, uless you're looking for squeaks and rattles.

    You might have noticed that all GM interiors are improving rapidly with new model introductions. But if you haven't been in the car, then you don't know what you're talking about when you claim the interior can't be better than other GM interiors.

    Yeah GM interiors are improving and guess what, they're still behind the competition in most areas, as are Cadillacs. Again, I've been in the XLR/V more than a few times and I've examined the interior several times and it doesn't pass for 100K, it isn't even close.

    This isn't enough reason not to buy the car, to get the superior aspects of style and low mass with resulting handling character, compared to the the SL.

    For you maybe not, but this bs about low mass and a non-existant handling advantage isn't reason for many buyers to pick the XLR over its competitor eithers or so the sales numbers prove. You gloss over the interior issue with this design ethic excuse and trump up weight and some handling advantage that hasn't shown up anywhere yet. You've got the average buyer's priorities for this segment backwards!

    M
  • I own an SL and have owned the Jag convertibles. Every now and again, I look for a change. I looked at the Cadillac and could not buy it ... and I was very open to it. It is certainly good looking and I never own a car long enough to get off warranty, so why didn't I buy it?

    The XLR is too much of a toy and not practical. Our kids are grown. My wife drives a sedan and I drive the convertible. The XLR has no storage room and therefore, is almost a 3rd car ... a toy! They need storage behind the seat and a trunk big enough with the top down to go away for a weekend with the wife or go shopping.

    Many of us better off empty nesters use these luxury convertibles as our only ride. The storage area in the XLR is just enough smaller than then the others to make it almost unfunctional.

    Just some thoughts.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,602
    Greetings:

    Did you drive the XLR? How did it compare/contrast to your (which model/year) SL? Ride, handling, NVH?

    A great bone of contention: The XLR interior. Your thoughts?

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

  • This is such a rediculous error on behalf of GM. I think its the only mistake they made with the car. THe interrior has almost no storage, and this really sucks. The good news is that I think its got the biggest trunk with the top up, but the deign of the car/top/whatever means that when stowed, it kills that room. And what about interrior storage elseware? At least provide something. I understand this is Cadillac's ultamate car but a little storage would be helpful.

    Anywhay, part of me hopes the Merc guy, and C&D precail, and many people overlook the car. In terms of style/perfoaance, and value this is head and shoulders above the Mercedes. Then the value goes down and I may be able to own one. It is the best car in the class if you travel light, or with the top up untill you get to the hotel :P

    In terms of weight, acceleration, and everything else this is a better car. It is so many thousands cheaper (XLR-V vs SL55) that you must be hysterical to think the mercedes is better. The same is true for the base cars.

    Its just better, get over it.
  • trimastertrimaster Posts: 163
    In terms of weight, acceleration, and everything else this is a better car. It is so many thousands cheaper (XLR-V vs SL55) that you must be hysterical to think the mercedes is better. The same is true for the base cars.

    Its just better, get over it.


    No it's not. I know this is an old thread, but I found it interesting. Here's the latest review from Edmunds:

    http://www.edmunds.com/cadillac/xlr/review.html

    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. Furthermore, 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.
  • ny3uvl714ny3uvl714 Posts: 3
    I've always enjoyed XLR's unique style and sporty driving attitude. :shades:
    The interior and powertrains need more polish to strongly challenge europe's best. XLR's interior is pleasant, but not deluxe enough for 80-100k.
    The engines are strong, but not powerful enough to make the Cadillac stand out from the competition.
    Cadillac had a chance to rectify this for 2009 but chose a mild refresh instead.

    http://www.leftlanenews.com/cadillac-xlr-future.html

    I suspect this mild update allowed GM to skip costly crash certification.
    If XLR received a truly new front, rear end, interior and bigger engines, NHTSA guidelines and crashworthiness would have to be re certified. This costs of millions of dollars per test!

    Too bad GM didn't at least slap some wood trim around the interior. BEFORE YOU FOLK SAY HOW TACKY THIS INTERIOR IS :P - be aware- I don't like the color of this wood or the extra piece on the bottom of the steering wheel.

    http://www.lgtautomotive.com/popup_image.php?pID=1760&image=1

    http://www.lgtautomotive.com/popup_image.php?pID=1760&image=2

    I think with darker richer wood finishes and expensive looking metal/billet pushbuttons instead of grey plastic, a dress up job like this would liven up the XLR interior.
    It wouldn't cost much more than the simple 2009 interior changes and would show some effort on Cadillac's part.
  • jlmartinjlmartin Posts: 7
    Before you read my comments regarding some of my comparative evaluations between Cadillac’s XLR and Mercedes-Benz’s SL550, it is worth saying, both of these luxury performance roadsters are world class and depending on your luxury sports car requirements either could be your purchase choice. For my requirements, Cadillac’s XLR ranks #1 for purchase easily over Mercedes Benz’s SL550.

    In my comments on Cadillac’s XLR and Mercedes-Benz’s SL550, I will address my key reasons why Cadillac’s XLR has a commanding purchase preference for my requirements in the luxury performance roadster segment.

    Let’s start with the basics, some of Cadillac’s XLR most advance technologies begin at a very fundamental level with chassis and body design. Cadillac’s XLR utilizes GM’s patented Performance Car Architecture, a pair of hydroformed rails with structural center tunnel, along with advance compound composites used in the XLR balsa floor construction and body panels. Additionally, extensive use of light metal alloys in aluminum and magnesium are designed into the XLR’s cockpit, suspension and roof. The key advantages of Cadillac’s XLR chassis and body design is, it is one of the most rigid, lightest high styled luxury performance roadsters existing in the world today, delivering one of the very best broad ranging dynamic driving experiences available.

    Another real life advantage of advance compound composite body panels are their durability and dent resistance properties when compared to steel or aluminum. In contrast, Mercedes-Benz’s SL550 unitized steel chassis and body panels create a superb rigid design. However, a SL550 similar optioned to Cadillac’s XLR, weighs in as the heaviest of the group and Cadillac’s XLR is the lightest by 400-600 pounds. In fact for comparison, Mercedes-Benz’s SL550 optioned similar to Cadillac’s XLR weighs more than Cadillac’s STS V8. On this design criterion alone, many would consider Cadillac’s XLR a superior design over Mercedes-Benz’s SL550.

    An additional key design benefit for the XLR other than weight savings is in Cadillac’s design decision to use advance compound composites for the XLR body panels. Cadillac’s XLR exterior design is simply breathtaking. In fact, some of the exterior styling of the Cadillac XLR is so exotic in their crisps lines, it would be virtually impossible to perform this in metal.

    When one does a visual walk around of Cadillac’s XLR and you see its gorgeous lines are uninterrupted, not even door handles intrude on the XLR exterior styling, it does create a formidable impression. GM’s engineers integrated all antennas within the composite body panels, again enhancing the exterior clean styling and modern design. In contrast, Mercedes-Benz’s SL550 displays traditional door handles and power antenna mast that exemplifies its more classic look in exterior design. In comparison to Cadillac’s XLR exterior design, the SL simply does not reach a level of exotic design in my view. Instead, the SL exterior design strikes me as a beautiful, sleek Mercedes-Benz coupe, not an exotic luxury sports car. Cadillac’s XLR exterior lines set a standard in contemporary exterior design and for my requirements; Cadillac’s XLR achieves a level of exotic style and design and is my first preference over any comparable luxury performance roadster.

    Lets transition to Cadillac’s interior, Cadillac designers and engineers have achieved an interior design in the XLR that exemplifies modern understated sophistication. This modern theme continues from the XLR’s exterior styling into its design of its interior. The XLR interior looks like no other, it is fresh and contemporary in its style with a mix of authentic soft and rich materials designed in such a way to enable a complex array of features and advance technology to feel simple and serene in its operation. No other luxury performance roadster so vividly creates such a wonderful experience with its understated graceful interior design as Cadillac’s XLR.

    Another design benefit, Cadillac’s XLR comes fully optioned which offered their designers and engineers a clear advantage by designing Cadillac’s XLR full complement of features and advance technology into the XLR’s exterior and interior without compromise. This is one of the key interior design advantages of Cadillac's XLR over the Mercedes-Benz’s SL550 that I evaluated. When you compare Mercedes-Benz's SL for example, the standard features with Cadillac's XLR are optional with Mercedes-Benz's SL550. This is not a problem per say, but as you add the optional features to the SL, some are integrated very well and others drastically change the appearance of the interior's operational controls and switch work, creating a more complex feel and in some cases it has an add-on appearance, feeling like an afterthought in its design. When I evaluated these performance luxury roadsters, Cadillac’s interior design is the most modern interpretation with minimal buttons and switchgear with some of the highest level of advance technology and features.

    Let’s continue on with advance technologies where Cadillac’s XLR strikes a powerful contrast to Mercedes-Benz SL550 in systems integration. Incorporating the world’s most advance technologies into useful and easy to use luxury, performance and safety features is one of the key indicators of superior engineering and the ultimate recognition of excellent design. And in my evaluation of Cadillac's XLR and Mercedes-Benz's SL550, both are world class in this regard. However that said, there are differences in Cadillac’s design approach versus Mercedes-Benz. In my case, again Cadillac’s XLR is my preference over Mercedes–Benz’s SL550.

    Some of the key applied technologies that enable an authoritative design for Cadillac’s XLR are in its advance body and chassis technologies with MRC (Magnetic Ride Control), Magnasteer and Stabilitrak systems integration. Advance Telematics designed by OnStar offering some of the most innovative features on the market today. Image information technology in the color Head Up Display (reconfigurable four color display), Driver Information and LCD Touch Screen Displays. Infotainment systems with its incorporation of Cadillac’s XLR advance seat design which utilizes Bose’s Personnel Surround Sound with True Space technology formulated to the XLR’s specific acoustic environment. These seats incorporate ceramic materials to offer another exclusive technology of cooled versus ventilated seats. And a real enrichment to some of these advance features in comparison to Mercedes-Benz’s SL550, is that some are exclusive in how Cadillac’s designers and engineers integrated them seamlessly into the XLR.

    And the result, Cadillac’s XLR displays a painstaking, highly integrated, easy to operate intuitive design in contrast to Mercedes-Benz’s SL550 more complex looking, old world styled design that can be complicated in its operation and does not integrate its features as we
  • jlmartinjlmartin Posts: 7
    Continued... well as it should in my view. This is where Cadillac’s XLR interior design excels in that Cadillac’s XLR has some of the most advance features available in this segment, but its interior remains an inviting experience that is pure in its uncomplicated modern design elegance.

    I have mentioned before, for my requirements, Cadillac’s XLR is my #1 purchase choice over Mercedes-Benz’s SL550. In fact, based on my most recent comparative evaluation, Jaguar’s XK Coupe (with Aston Martin’s Vantage coupe as my preferred exotic sports car) has replaced Mercedes-Benz’s SL550 as my # 2 purchase choice from a style and design perspective. Mercedes-Benz’s SL550 is the least attractive to my tastes and with their 2009 styling updates; Mercedes-Benz's SL550 is no longer on my final purchase list.

    In my examination, Cadillac’s designers, engineers and builders have created a stellar luxury performance roadster in the XLR that is exotic in its design.

    JLM
  • ny3uvl714ny3uvl714 Posts: 3
    .... is where Cadillac’s XLR interior design excels in that Cadillac’s XLR has some of the most advance features available in this segment, but its interior remains an inviting experience that is pure in its uncomplicated modern design elegance.

    You dont get it do you? :confuse:

    I agree that the XLR interior neatly intergrates its advance features.
    However, at 80-100k the interior design looks unfinished.
    XLR's interior motif looks like it belongs in a 45k SRX or the 30k first generation CTS.

    Back in 2003 I felt the XLR was sharp, but not impressive enough to compete strongly against luxury imports.

    Sales figures of XLR have proven what i knew 5 years ago.

    The standard $80k XLR should have the current 443hp XLR-V engine and equipment

    The $100k XLR-V should add the 550hp supercharged CTS-V
    engine paired up with an automatic.

    Both should have an ultra luxury interior copied directly from Cadillac’s Sixteen concept.

    This may seem like overkill, but during the last 20 years Cadillac has lost much prestige and money. :sick:
    To regain prestige, Cadillac must go above and beyond what the competition is doing at the same price.
  • jlmartinjlmartin Posts: 7
    I do get your point, we simply do not agree. For my comparative evaluation Mercedes-Benz's SL550 should offer more than an interior that looks like a coupe, a nice coupe, but so common and familiar. And again when you option the SL550 to the level of Cadillac's XLR, the SL550's interior becomes a sea of buttons and for my requirements that does bode of a better interior design, but less. Mercedes-Benz’s SL550 is my least favored interior design of what I have evaluated. I very much wanted to like and purchase Mercedes-Benz's SL500 over Cadillac's XLR, but every time I compared these two wonderful luxury sports cars, Cadillac's XLR simply impressed me as the better design.

    I wish Cadillac all the sales success, but quite honestly I do not select my luxury performance roadster on who sells the most cars, but instead on the best designed luxury sports car, bar none. Cadillac's XLR was my first preference in 2005 and I purchased it over Mercedes-Benz's SL500. Now, fast forward to 2008 and my mission is to replace my 2005 Cadillac XLR with a new luxury performance roadster. So I evaluated Jaguar's XK convertible and Mercedes-Benz's SL550 and I prefer the styling of the new Jag over the SL550. But the Jaguar XK is missing some key features, and advance technology. Jaguar does not offer a hardtop convertible only a softtop and telematics are not offered at all, which is surprising when you consider Jaguar's XK is latest platform to hit the market. So, the Jaguar's XK is eliminated early and now this leaves again a purchase decision for 2009, Cadillac's XLR or Mercedes-Benz's SL550

    For my comparative evaluation, I reviewed Mercedes-Benz's SL550 again and for 2009 there are some styling changes for the SL550, but less appealing than the previous year, in my view. I will give credit the new front end looks more aggressive and less common compared to last year’s model, but it looks less refined. The rear exhaust design is refine and simply gorgeous. In order to evaluate what Cadillac has to offer in the XLR, I attended the 2008 Cadillac XLR Rendezvous III in Bowling Green KY. This annual Cadillac XLR owner event was the world preview of Cadillac's 2009 XLR. From a styling perspective, Cadillac's designers created changes that are subtle but stunning. From the new Cadillac XLR Platinum front end to the functional vents to the absolutely gorgeous rear end and exhaust design, Cadillac has somehow enhanced the beautiful and exotic styling of the XLR. So again from my perspective Cadillac's XLR offers a more modern, exotic exterior design.

    Power remains unchanged for Cadillac’s XLR and Mercedes-Benz’s SL550 for 2009 and both offer competitive performance to each other in driving experience. But again, Cadillac offers the better design with the XLR ‘s Performance Car Architecture and Magnetic Ride Control which translates to a luxury sports car that is quiet, smooth riding, but handles your favorite twisty roads with precision. Mercedes-Benz’s SL550 is just as quiet, smooth riding and handles your favorite twisty road with precision. The difference between the Cadillac XLR is it feels better to drive than the Mercedes-Benz’s SL550 to my taste. I strongly suspect it is the 400-600 additional pounds the SL550 has to carry, which again I evaluate as the lesser design when compared to Cadillac’s XLR.

    After attending the 2008 Cadillac XLR Rendezvous III event and returning home to Connecticut, I called my Cadillac dealership and informed them I would be replacing my 2005 XLR with a 2009 XLR model. For me, I simply want to purchase the best designed luxury roadster that meets my requirements and Cadillac’s 2009 XLR is my first preference.

    JLM
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,602
    I appreciate your thoughts on this topic. Of course, you are absolutely correct in your reviews/opinions and I envy that you are able to purchase such lovely toys!

    Former Ct. resident here. Did you drive the XLR year round? I'm guessing not...

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

  • jlmartinjlmartin Posts: 7
    Hi laurasdada,

    Thank you and I actually do drive the XLR all year but not as much when snow falls except when the streets are clear. Driving the car all year long is a real benefit in my view.

    JLM
  • Im disappointed but not surprised that our Cadillac XLR has been cancelled as of February 2009.

    I've enjoyed Cadillac convertibles for 34 years, ever since Grandma drove me to the beach with the top down way back in 1975. It was the weekend after she bought her new Eldorado and my first ride in a convertible. Eight years later I turned 16 and Grandma gave me the Eldorado.

    Currently own an 04 XLR and a 93 Allante and love them both. Having followed Cadillac for most of my life and being painfully aware of its recent history, I've always felt our XLR needed more refinement and marketing support to avoid following in Allante’s footsteps as a short lived one generation car.

    When the XLR came out I caught a lot of flack for my first post:

    4-10-2003 Next Generation Northstar Needs MORE POWER!!!

    I am pleased to see Cadillac going after the 2 seat hi-lux market segment with its XLR.
    I am displeased that Cadillac still thinks it can get away with putting in merely adequate horsepower in a flagship model.
    The pretty but flawed Allante had only 200 hp until 1993(last year of production), its competitors featured 300+ hp V8 and V12 engines. Cadillac’s balky manual top, FWD and modest performance made Allante seem half assed.
    This time Cadillac has: correct for its segment RWD and an automated convertible hardtop. Unfortunately 315 hp is not enough when you pay $75,000! Currently 400+hp is the class standard.

    Again someone is asleep at the wheel.

    WAKE UP CADILLAC!!! In order to regain market share you have to WONDERFULLY OUTDO THE COMPETITION while providing the same price point.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite Cadillac's shortsightedness I bought my XLR anyway and enjoy it daily.

    Last summer I felt XLR was endangered and received disagreement for this post:

    6-19-2008

    Back in 2003 I felt the XLR was sharp, but not impressive enough to compete strongly against luxury imports.
    OF COURSE I GOT LOTS OF GRIEF from folks with their heads in the clouds or worse.

    Sales figures of XLR have proven what i knew 5 years ago.

    The standard $80k XLR should have the current 443hp XLR-V engine and equipment

    The $100k XLR-V should add the 550hp supercharged CTS-V
    engine paired up with an automatic.

    Both should have an ultra luxury interior copied directly from Cadillac’s Sixteen concept.

    This may seem like overkill, but during the last 20 years Cadillac has lost much prestige and money.
    To regain prestige, Cadillac must go above and beyond what the competition is doing at the same price.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I caught even stronger disagreement when I spelled out my concern about the XLR's future:

    6-20-2008

    What no one seems to admit here is that Cadillac has lost tons of prestige and sales and is now playing catch up in its own domestic market.
    To regain that credibility, GM must go over the top with its newest Cadillac models. Yes the XLR weighs less and looks better at the curb than the europeans. However it is not over the top enough in performance or interior presentation to stand high above the competition. For XLR to succeed and continue production, just being competent wont cut it. Class leading road performance, reliability and interior decor are crucial. Without these attributes and generous amounts of smart advertising /promotion/PR , Cadillac will continue as an also ran in its own home market and the XLR will go away . I want Cadillac to be #1 in the US luxury market.

    I am passionate about American cars, especially Cadillac and have always been concerned for the jobs of those making American cars. I have never bought an imported/import branded car. My XLR despite its shortcomings has been a very good car, it would have been a pleasure to buy another one.

    What puzzles me are the negative or strongly dissenting forum responses to my pointing out areas where our cars could stand some improvement.

    Is it that some of our folks here are in denial, just like GM has been for so long?
  • jlmartinjlmartin Posts: 7
    Greetings All,

    I share agreement in the opinion Cadillac required more advertising of the XLR, due to the segment of this market is very limited and I view this to be the weak link for XLR sales, not the product itself. That is not to say more power and improvements are not required to remain competitive and superior in this segment of luxury performance roadsters. That said, recently I evaluated Cadillac's 2009 XLR Platinum, Jaguar's XK Convertible, Mercedes-Benz's SL550 and Aston Martin's Vantage Convertible to replace my 2005 Cadillac XLR. All of these luxury performance roadsters are world class products.

    From a pure design perspective, there are only two luxury performance roadsters that reach to the level of exotic and they are Aston Martin's Vantage Convertible and Cadillac's XLR Platinum. I simply adore both of these designs and for different reasons they are my first place picks. Cadillac’s XLR Platinum advance engineering, technology, systems integration and features are superior. The Aston Martin’s Vantage Convertible detail interior craftsmanship, palate selection of color and materials are superior. But clearly the performance design of Aston Martin’s Vantage Convertible is more in line with Cadillac’s XLR-V. However, both give up a small measure of ride comfort and overall refinement for the performance advantage. This brings me back to Cadillac’s XLR Platinum. It embodies all of the best attributes of an exotic designed sports car GT coupe, luxury performance roadster and one of the most advanced technology sports cars produced on the planet.

    I have decided to replace my 2005 Cadillac XLR and the best luxury performance roadster for my requirements is the 2009 Cadillac XLR Platinum. I placed my order with my Cadillac dealer and we take delivery today. For my requirements, I simply want the best the world has to offer in a luxury performance roadster and Cadillac’s 2009 XLR Platinum gets the sale.

    JLM
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