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Cadillac XLR and XLR-V

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  • 213xlrv213xlrv Posts: 38
    Some things are just so lame it makes you wonder. Like calling the LS2 V8 "truck grade" because it has pushrods. Even the Euro-weenie car press doesn't think the LS2/LS7 are anything less than world class engines with huge character specific to them. So we'll ignore that bit of nonsense.

    A business acquaintence needed a ride from the airport yesterday. He drives an SL55, which has caused him no end of glitch torture. Anyway, he got in my XLR-v, not being familiar with the car. After a couple of miles, his first comment about the car was "What the hell is this? It feels way more nimble than my SL55." His second comment, looking around the interior was, "This is a Cadillac? They did a beautiful job on this car!" He agreed with me that the carpet should be upgraded.

    Premium gasoline hit $3.32 last night in SoCal. I had a late business dinner and then had to drive from Orange County back to L.A. I filled up before I left. 71 miles of night freeway driving, average speed of 82 mph, my gas mileage was 25.2 mpg. Not bad for a 443hp car with a juice drive.

    I've had the car 2 months as of today, 3000 miles. Like high-end audio gear and new guitars, the car benefits from break-in, so new owners should be patient about little extraneous noises. They all emanate from the top. Little chatters on rough pavement caused by glass-to-weatherseal interfaces and new seal-to-seal interfaces. I've heard the same thing from new SLs and Lexi too. But at about 6 weeks suddenly the seams settle in and the car quiets down. During this time if you need any assurance that the car is rock solid, put the top down and you'll hear that nothing moves that isn't supposed to.

    Another thing is that people just love this car. It gets nothing but favorable attention and response. The German luxury brand mindset has attracted so much social arrogance to it that many people resent a Porsche, BMW or Merc. Not this car. Like a Mustang, a Mini, a Ford GT, everyone has a soft spot for it. It is unifying rather than polarizing. Drivers of Bentleys, slammed Acuras, Mustang GTs, BMWs, Mercs, F150s, Mini Coopers and Ferraris give the car smiles and thumbs-up. The real arbiters of street cred, the Latino valet crowd, love this machine. I get more favorable lot position for the XLR-v than anything short of a Maranello or Gallardo.

    Weight is a problem in any car with sporting intentions. 500 lbs extra in the Merc! Ridiculous. Even the guy yesterday had to observe, "Makes my SL feel positively fat." Yeah. Looks it too. Side by side, the SL just looks old and in the way. Anyway, if you can't understand how deleterious a surplus quarter ton is to the character of a 2 seat GT with performance aspirations, I suppose no words will move the ball upfield.

    Not one of those larded up German cars "easily" outperforms its V series match. As another poster already illustrated, the vast differences you claim are fiction. In either car, the superior driver wins.

    My point about Audi vs Town Car mass was not to compare the cars but to point out that to make an aluminum car as heavy as a body-on-frame all steel behemoth is truly a reflection of overengineering run amok. It's just a shame so many clueless brand seekers don't have the sense to reject this approach. I recognize the missing 500 lbs. in my XLR-v in the arc of every turn.

    Phil
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,704
    Nice update on the XLR-v. I'd be pleased w/ 25+mpg as you describe. Premium here in Boston (home of the future World Champion Red Sox) has well crested $3/gallon. My TL is consistently returning 23 mpg in mixed driving that averages around 30mph. I'd guess at an avg. of 82 I'd get ~30mpg.

    Accepting the fact that interior beauty/quality is in the eye of the beholder, I thought I'd just paraphrase what I found to be a humorous quote from Bob Lutz. I believe it was printed in Autoweek some time back and Lutz was responding to the "cheap" interior materials used in the CTS. To paraphrase, "The materials we used are actually of high quality and expensive. We just made them look cheap..." Not sure if it was tongue-in-cheek or an admission of guilt!

    Good to see this thread active. I appreciate the XLR updates. And enjoy the Phil/Merc banter...

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

  • 213xlrv213xlrv Posts: 38
    Let's talk about interior materials for a moment, since the XLR/XLR-v seem to take flak on this. There was a time when GM interior plastics were cheap and flimsy. At Chrysler they still are. Ford was the first domestic manufacturer to seriously address this problem. But no more. I think Lutz' comment was disarming and acknowledgment that in the CTS GM hadn't come quite far enough in perception of quality. The materials are fine and reflect a specific techie aesthetic. However, they don't conform to a tactile and visual aesthetic championed by the Euro makers and mimicked by the Japanese, and to some extent by Ford. However, unlike many European and Japanese car interiors, I expect the CTS-v and XLR-v interiors to be quite durable.

    As one who has traveled extensively for business, I've always been amused by the premium perception of Mercedes and BMW brand status here in the US. Here, there are no cloth-seats in a Mercedes. But land in an airport in Germany or Belgium, for instance, and slip into a clattering Mercedes E or BMW 5 scummy rattlebox with cloth seats and a stick, and you see how little they differ from "ordinary" cars. You never look at a Mercedes as a status brand again, when you come back home. I've seen these cars much worse for wear than a 250,000 mile Crown Vic in New York. The interior plastics to me have appeared to wear poorly, not matching the durability of many high-mileage American interiors of late.

    Then of course, here in L.A. there are a gazillion used German cars with years and miles piled up on them, up and down Lincoln Boulevard. Take a look in some of those cars and you'll be disabused of any notion that BMW, Mercedes, Audi interiors are something special beyond the first 2 years of their life.

    As Ford and GM pull back from fleet sales to rental car companies, Toyota is now diluting their brand with godawful strippers at the airports. But when you do get a Chevy or a Cadillac, its interior is invariably less worn than a Toyota's. It's shocking sometimes how quickly a Toyota interior loses its luster from rental abuse, when the odo reads 3,000 miles.

    Are German car interiors "better"? Well, they have developed a specific tactile character for touch satisfaction and many people have embraced that soft-touch, sanded finish as a reference for luxury. However, it has become light-soaking and boring, and not particularly durable based on what I see when time and miles accumulate.

    But in a market where many US buyers of luxury cars like the XLR-v and SL lease for short terms or buy them outright for brief inclusion in the family fleet, the initial owner only has perhaps a 2 year perspective on the interior or the rest of the car. The Cadillac techie interior aesthetic is a departure from the superficial coddled norm established by the Euro makers. That introduces friction for market acceptance at the same time it lubricates acceptance by people looking for a fresh alternative. Based on the materials I see in the CTS-v, I think that interior will show very little wear in 4 years, with the possible exception of the suede inserts on the seat upholstery, and even that might surprise me. For a real step up, you'd bypass the poseur Germans and go straight to Maserati, if interiors are foremost of your car criteria.

    Phil
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Are you looking at the new M5 or the old one? Big difference. The new M5 will scorch a CTS-V, period.

    M
  • katcarkatcar Posts: 3
    I am seriously shopping for a hardtop convertible. I've pretty much narrowed it down to the SLK and the XLR. My hsb likes the XLR but I'm not convinced yet (it's my car). I was immediately impressed with the XLR styling but also love the new SLK look.

    I'm concerned about the lack of trunk room in the XLR. I look forward to long weekend drives but need room for at least small luggage. When I examined the XLR with the top down there seemed to be no trunk space at all. Am I wrong?

    From the Edmund's consumer feedback it seems the SLK has some trunk space with the top down. I still need a looksee on this car.

    I'm also concerned with the price difference. Is the XLR worth the additional funds compared to the SLK?

    Would love to hear some feedback.

    Thanks!
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,704
    Hello, Kat:

    "I'm also concerned with the price difference. Is the XLR worth the additional funds compared to the SLK? "

    I hate to be master of the obvious, but only you can answer that question. What do you need/want/desire/value and how much are you willing to pay to fulfill those variables? Is the XLR worth many more $ than a Corvette convertible, it's kissin' cousin?

    While I've casually shopped both, I never noted top-down trunk space, but I don't think you'll get much more than 6 cu ft. in any HT convertible with the top down. I think you are correct, though. With top down, the trunk is quite limited in the XLR. But not as miniscule as the Lexus SC430.

    Have you investigated the new Volvo C70, VW Eos and rumored BMW 3 series and Lexus IS HT convertibles?

    Lovely choice you get to make, though. Be sure to post as you compare/contrast and buy.

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

  • katcarkatcar Posts: 3
    Laura,

    I have a lovely choice & a lovely husband! I've been observing various models on the road to see what visually appeals to me. I've also looked at the XLR @ the dealership but not the SLK- yet. I recently researched Edmunds on hardtop convertibles which was extremely helpful.

    The hardtop is my number one factor follwed by reliability, comfort and power (I like my horses!).

    I previously owned a '86 Fiero GT - great style, excellent engine quality, great horsepower - it was an exception to the Fiero rule. I'd like to experience the sporty feel & performance of this car but with more comfort since I'm no longer in my 20s!

    I have looked at the Volvo but it's not sporty enough. Actually Motorweek on PBS had a segment on it last week. I'm not a VW person and for the money I'm spending I want something a little more unique than the BMW 3 series. Also, half our execs have the BMW roadster- too common.

    My hsb thinks the XLR is worth the difference but I'm more practical-minded. I'm not convinced yet but hoping.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,704
    It's interesting that you mention reliability and are shopping a GM vs. Mercedes! GM with its (probably well deserved since the '70s, but getting better?) less than stellar reputation for building reliable cars and Mercedes with its somewhat recent well-publicized quility woes.

    Having written that, I think Cadillac has been building better cars for the last couple of years. Maybe XLR owners here could chip in on the build quality/relibility of their cars. I just re-read a lux convertible comparo (on-line, forget which of the Big Three car mags it was and it was a couple of years old) and the XLR was the only one that had top operation glitches (they had to manually fold in one of the small rear windows, if I recall, when lowering the top). The XLR did fare well overall, but the MB SL came out #1.

    My only Fiero story (well, mentally I'm still in my 20s...!) was catching a ride with my friend Lori who had a black Fiero. Driving along and suddenly the driver's side window just fell into the door! "Not again!" she said. I think, unfortunately, she had a typical Fiero... ;)

    I, too, went the practical-minded route in my most recent purchase. I was shopping Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans (darn family!), the usual suspects. And the MB E Class. I really wanted the E, but my practical New England tendency got the best of the "just go for it" voice in my head. Voila, very happy owner of an '05 Acura TL. Nice car, the E. But I just didn't see the extra $20k. I'll take the savings and apply it to my mid-life crisis toy. I actually think I'm a bit late for the crisis?! :blush:

    Anyway, looking forward to your shopping reviews and decision process.

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

  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 979
    Folks, if you'd like to compare and contrast the features of the XLR vs. German or other autos, you're welcome to start another topic for that purpose. This topic's for discussing the features of the XLR/XLR-V. Continued off-topic posts will be removed, as will disrespectful ones.

    MODERATOR
    Need help getting around? claires@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • 213xlrv213xlrv Posts: 38
    None of these 2-seat retractable hardtop roadsters have much trunk space with the tops stowed. When I travel for a weekend with my wife we usually do not have the top down for the freeway drive to the destination so it doesn't matter. With the top up, the XLR/XLR-v cargo space is comparatively vast out back. With the top down, we can carry two soft overnight bags and one small additional item if nothing is overstuffed. Two briefcases or computer bags are no problem. For a day trip I see no impediments to making it with only top-down space available.

    Is the XLR or V worth the extra money over an SLK or Corvette? The SLK is cramped and feels like a toy to me -- not remotely comparable as an automobile. The XLR shares the Corvette's underlying platform and the Vette is much lighter because it is a sports car, not a luxury GT. Which you want more is up to you. If you want pure performance, the Vette is your ride. If you want a luxury sporting GT, the XLR is the better variant, but with less ultimate grip and power-per-dollar.

    Phil
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    A business acquaintence needed a ride from the airport yesterday. He drives an SL55, which has caused him no end of glitch torture. Anyway, he got in my XLR-v, not being familiar with the car. After a couple of miles, his first comment about the car was "What the hell is this? It feels way more nimble than my SL55." His second comment, looking around the interior was, "This is a Cadillac? They did a beautiful job on this car!" He agreed with me that the carpet should be upgraded.

    Such a convienent story don't you think. This about the car feeling so nible and he wasn't driving is nonsense. I can make a Bentley feel nimble to a passenger if I throw the car around hard enough!

    The entire world has seen Cadillac's interiors for what they aren't - up to the standards of the competition.

    Weight is a problem in any car with sporting intentions. 500 lbs extra in the Merc! Ridiculous. Even the guy yesterday had to observe, "Makes my SL feel positively fat." Yeah. Looks it too. Side by side, the SL just looks old and in the way. Anyway, if you can't understand how deleterious a surplus quarter ton is to the character of a 2 seat GT with performance aspirations, I suppose no words will move the ball upfield.

    True and if the SL was a sports car you'd have a point. As a luxury GT this weight problem you keep talking about is all in your head and isn't shared by any of the professional reviewers that have put the SL at the head of this class time and time again. If you can't understand that weight isn't the main concern of a GT car then there are no words to convey this.

    Not one of those larded up German cars "easily" outperforms its V series match. As another poster already illustrated, the vast differences you claim are fiction. In either car, the superior driver wins.

    Ahh..the art of doing proper research. That poster quoted figures from the old M5, not the new one. That model beat the CTS-V and the new one destroys it.

    My point about Audi vs Town Car mass was not to compare the cars but to point out that to make an aluminum car as heavy as a body-on-frame all steel behemoth is truly a reflection of overengineering run amok. It's just a shame so many clueless brand seekers don't have the sense to reject this approach. I recognize the missing 500 lbs. in my XLR-v in the arc of every turn

    The comparision is absurd. An Audi A8 has way more features than a Linc TC and the A8's interior furnishings alone would give it more weight over the cheap interior of the TC, plus the A8 has AWD. The overall cheapness of the XLR's interior is just as noticeable.

    M
  • 213xlrv213xlrv Posts: 38
    GT, sports car, sports sedan -- any car of any configuration that has performance pretensions is compromised by excess weight. There's no justification for an extra quarter ton of mass in a same-function car, and Cadillac's excellent design and materials decisions put the porkiness of the SL in sharp relief. Read the array of SL reviews -- excess mass is a common criticism. That some reviewers then brush it off in an "oh, well..." comment is no matter to me - I can't control their foolishness. Point is, GT to GT, the XLR-v sets the standard for weight and vehicle dynamics appropriate to the class.

    No, you can't make a Bentley feel nimble to a discerning passenger. It's quite easy for a passenger to sense car dynamics without being behind the wheel. The Bentley can be surprising for its size and bulk, but neither will be disguised to even a mildly experienced driver -- or even a licenseless passenger who simply retained his or her high school physics. My story was only convenient in that it happened coincident with our participation in this thread. I suppose I should have hit the record button on the car's voice recorder to upload the unvarnished commentary. I've met a lot of people recently who are unhappy with their Merc.

    The old recent prior M5 was in virtually a dead-heat with the CTS-v. That the new one half-a-model-cycle later is a little quicker is no surprise, especially given the price. When the next Cadillac is introduce half-a-model-cycle beyond the new M5, things will be even or exceeded again. Still, I've driven the new M5. The V10 is a pointless change, the car feels heavy once again, the power advantage is inaccessible in normal driving, and the current V is more involving. It's really not an interesting car other than as an abstraction, like an engineering concept with no known utility. Better to buy a sports car, or step up to something emotionally engaging like a Quattroporte Sport.

    I live in Los Angeles. Every luxury, exotic or sports vehicle offered in the US is a routine sight for me on any day's drive to the office. I work in an industry where those cars are the norm. A Maserati, Mercedes, Audi, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, BMW, Aston or Roller interior gets no special recognition. We've been in and out of all of them. Yawn. People who have moved from SLs to XLRs/XLR-Vs have not felt compromised by the Cadillac interior. They appreciate -- as I do -- its straightforward ergonomics, handsome design and honest materials. Metal, leather, cloth and plastic as appropriate to purpose. Carpet is the singular interior oversight, IMO. Everything else stands up to the Germans, and everyone else stands behind the Italians and perhaps Aston-Martin.

    More to the point, being in the car now for 3 months and 4000 miles, I like the interior better still with time and familiarity, and the SL interior -- which I am subjected to far too often -- seems in poor taste by comparison.

    And BTW, M, it's clear the absurdity of Audi's aluminum unibody sedan coming in at about 4400 lbs. is completely lost on you. But what else can I expect from someone who thinks a surplus quarter ton of useless bulk in a 2-seat Mercedes is something to turn a blind eye to? Oh...forgot to mention I saw three more new gold-badged Mercs in the last 24 hours. Love to see the superior taste of that brand-seeking Mercedes crowd.

    Phil
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,704
    Hi, Phil:

    I'll guess that, as your an Angelino, you are in the same biz as my brother (As I could have been had I tried. Or had talent... :cry: ). Your taste in cars, well that you don't have in common with him. His pilot was just picked up, he celebrated by buying a 1987 Chrysler Lebaron Convertible. Quite an upgrade from his '72 Buick Convertible! And, as I often lament, he can afford to buy all the cars I want but he buys the cars I can afford!

    You and Merc both have good thoughts, points and opinions. What I find to be in your favor is that after comparing/contrasting, you put your $ where your pen is and bought the best car for you. Can't dispute or argue with that decision.

    So, no issues to report with the XLR, nice. I think the revamped center stack in the '06 (base) has done a bit to improve the interior. But, dime a dozen and overweight or not, to me the SL takes the style prize. Both interior/exterior. But the relative exclusivity of the XLR is quite an allure to me.

    If only my tech stocks would return to their 2001 levels I could fulfill my mid-life crisis desire. Or maybe I should hit my brother up.... Nah, given his auto knowledge, I'd ask for a Caddy GT convertible and he'd send me an Allante...?!

    Keep posting XLR updates.

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

  • 213xlrv213xlrv Posts: 38
    Before working in my current business, I had a long-term marketing and advertising career. Design sensibility and taste are intrinsically important. To me, all Mercedes cars from about 1974 - ~1997 were unexceptional from a sheer design standpoint and mostly inelegant. The sober, slab-sided Mercedes vault styling of that era was heavy-handed and not even really handsome. Just blunt and uninspiring. That the look was embraced by the moneyed class speaks more to the power of the brand about telegraphing success, than anything about the cars. This included the SLs of that era, a car which was formerly interesting.

    During that time, of course, Cadillac style devolved from exuberant to bland to downmarket until a return to taste was established by the Allante and the '90s STS and Eldo.

    The Allante was mechanically wrong, being FWD, but it was a looker in the day, the Pininfarina body lean, well-proportioned and much more expressive than the corpulently brick-like SL. In its last year it actually became pretty good, given the dynamics imposed by the platform and it still makes a stylish cruiser. I see some of them in virtually new cosmetic condition here in SoCal.

    Mercedes' stylists woke up to show some life in the late '90s and Cadillac got courage on the same front with the '99 Evoq show car. When the current SL form factor showed up, it wasn't ugly, nor bland, but it nevertheless has a certain deformed element to its shape that was overlooked at the time, due to the absence of anything more interesting, and the contrast with the simply strange latest Lexus SC.

    It's having the context of the XLR/XLR-v that reveals what's wrong with the current SL's design. Its wheelbase is 100.8" against overall length of 178.5". For the XLR/XLR-v, the same figures are 105.7" against 177.7". The extra 5 inches of wheelbase within a slightly shorter overall length looks much more modern, leaving the Mercedes looking '90s Camaro-like by comparison. The old-school (pre-1970) Mercedes expressiveness in the SL design has drama that the prior cars lacked completely, but the look is melted and droopy next to the chiseled XLR, and leaves the Merc with a very unflattering fat tail. Alone, the Mercedes keeps its dignity. Juxtaposed with an equally-well-maintained XLR-v its datedness stands out like 4 inch collars and mutton-chop sideburns. It's prettier than the Mercedes most people today grew up with, but no longer forward-looking or beautiful.

    The Merc interior borders on tasteless. It just tries too hard to impress without having the design sensibility of the Italians. I don't like it at all. The XLR-v gives me plenty of leather and the most straightforward, masculine presentation of the car's functionality of anything in its class. Really, I don't see the problem. I think most of the carping about the interior is reflexive defensive criticism by people who don't like to admit the crediblity of Cadillac's technical achievements with this car, which threaten their view of the market order. No matter, the drivetrain, platform, suspension and the notable lack of mass compared to the class reinforce all the reasons for buying the car in the first place.

    The car gets more enjoyable with use and time, and it gets just the right amount and kind of attention. Kids on crotch rockets to Moms in Range Rovers to performers in Bentleys seem to uniformly respond enthusiastically to the XLR-v. And by the way, while your brother's LeBaron is as pedestrian as it gets here, at least the top drops. And that '72 Buick drop-top can carry some serious street cred if it's shined up and not spewing blue smoke or black puffs from the tailpipes!

    Phil
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    GT, sports car, sports sedan -- any car of any configuration that has performance pretensions is compromised by excess weight. There's no justification for an extra quarter ton of mass in a same-function car, and Cadillac's excellent design and materials decisions put the porkiness of the SL in sharp relief. Read the array of SL reviews -- excess mass is a common criticism. That some reviewers then brush it off in an "oh, well..." comment is no matter to me - I can't control their foolishness. Point is, GT to GT, the XLR-v sets the standard for weight and vehicle dynamics appropriate to the class.

    Until you know why that extra weight is there or have experienced the car fully then you're just shooting in the dark here. Isn't that what you've been telling me about the XLR? There is no way that the SL is compromised by a few extra pounds to the point of which you hype it up because if it was ALL the sources that have reviewed the car and compared it to the XLR wouldn't have put the SL over the XLR. Clearly someone would see the XLR as being superior if it truly were. Now you can't have it both ways. If the automags say that the XLR is a good handling car that is a worthy competitor you can't turn around and say they don't know what they're talking about regarding the SL.

    No, you can't make a Bentley feel nimble to a discerning passenger. It's quite easy for a passenger to sense car dynamics without being behind the wheel. The Bentley can be surprising for its size and bulk, but neither will be disguised to even a mildly experienced driver -- or even a licenseless passenger who simply retained his or her high school physics.

    Something tells me you can with the person you claimed felt a huge difference between the SL and the XLR just by riding in the XLR.

    I suppose I should have hit the record button on the car's voice recorder to upload the unvarnished commentary. I've met a lot of people recently who are unhappy with their Merc.

    Probably so. There are lots of people unhappy with any car on the market, this is nothing new. Not even all Lexus owners are completely happy!

    The old recent prior M5 was in virtually a dead-heat with the CTS-v. That the new one half-a-model-cycle later is a little quicker is no surprise, especially given the price. When the next Cadillac is introduce half-a-model-cycle beyond the new M5, things will be even or exceeded again.

    Until it happens it doesn't mean much.

    The V10 is a pointless change, the car feels heavy once again, the power advantage is inaccessible in normal driving, and the current V is more involving. It's really not an interesting car other than as an abstraction, like an engineering concept with no known utility. Better to buy a sports car, or step up to something emotionally engaging like a Quattroporte Sport.

    Well I haven't driven the M5, I was just pointing out to that poster about the differences in performance and that that were indeed looking at the previous M5's numbers. Interesting you should bring up the Quattroporte, now that is nothing but 4-door Ferrari in all but name. Something we can agree on. Love that car!

    People who have moved from SLs to XLRs/XLR-Vs have not felt compromised by the Cadillac interior. They appreciate -- as I do -- its straightforward ergonomics, handsome design and honest materials. Metal, leather, cloth and plastic as appropriate to purpose. Carpet is the singular interior oversight, IMO. Everything else stands up to the Germans, and everyone else stands behind the Italians and perhaps Aston-Martin.

    Sorry, but this will never have any merit with me so no need to keep repeating it. The XLR has a cheapo interior compared to the Germans and calling the materials "honest" doesn't change it. You're spinning here.

    And BTW, M, it's clear the absurdity of Audi's aluminum unibody sedan coming in at about 4400 lbs. is completely lost on you. But what else can I expect from someone who thinks a surplus quarter ton of useless bulk in a 2-seat Mercedes is something to turn a blind eye to? Oh...forgot to mention I saw three more new gold-badged Mercs in the last 24 hours. Love to see the superior taste of that brand-seeking Mercedes crowd.

    It is equally clear to me that the reasons why the A8 would weigh that much is completely lost on you, especially if you're going to compare it to a relic like the Lincoln Towncar. None of this surprises me either when it comes from a person that can see the obvious cheap-out GM did on the XLR's interior compared to its rivals. Taste, design all of that is up for debate for sure, but the materials are cheap and that you can't hide or dismiss by saying that the materials are "honest". Since you're such a stickler for low-weight and obviously don't care about interior furnishings you should buy a Lotus Elise.

    Did I mention that the local Cadillac dealer has several DTS models with cloth tops sitting on their lawn? Good to see the blue-hair brand is still being true to its roots.

    I see you've mentioned the Allante in another post. That car was a piece of pretty junk! A fwd roadster with a 140hp V8 upon introduction and GM couldn't figure out why it failed miserably in the marketplace. The Allante was one of Cadillac's worst moments in history. When the R129 SL came upon the scene in 1990 it sealed the coffin of the Allante.

    Really, I don't see the problem. I think most of the carping about the interior is reflexive defensive criticism by people who don't like to admit the crediblity of Cadillac's technical achievements with this car, which threaten their view of the market order.

    No, I have given credit where it is due for Cadillac and their V series cars, its the nonsense about weight is where we disagree. The implication that someone buys or seeks out the XLR because of lower weight how that somehow makes these Cadillacs all-superior. How these Cadillacs are so much better in every respect because they're lighter when you're really ignoring the fact that luxury cars (which is what these cars are) are supposed to do more than just be agile or peform, they're supposed to pamper also. That is where the XLR falls down hard, it doesn't feel the part interior wise and that I maintain more important to the average buyer in this segment, not whether or not the car is tossable. That is what you simply don't get. How many people you think push these cars to know the difference to the point of seeking out a Cadillac over a Mercedes. Now in your case, seriously if that is what brought you to the XLR then that is ok, but this ongoing nonsense about weight is just that because these cars are more about luxury than they are running slaloms though both cars can do it fairly easily.

    M
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,704
    No, the '72 Buick was more along the "blue smoke" lines than "shined up!" But he doesn't care, for whatever reason he goes out of his way not to express any indication of wealth. It always made me smile when we visited him on the lot to see his car amonst the, well, more what one would expect to see. Just a normal guy in a sea of abnormality, I guess, my bro.

    While I can't argue with your opinion of the ext/int designs of the SL/XLR I can, of course, disagree. I'm no fan of the "Mr. Peanut" headlights of the SL, but overally I find it to be a very handsome, elegant design. The interior may be a bit overwrought, but I prefer the flow/cockpit feel. And, to me, the XLR tail, while "chiseled" is no less flattering than the SLs rounded derriere. Beyond material choice, the desing of the XLR interior is what least impresses me about the car. The center stack is just too plain and obtrusive, a slab. Also, the vast and unadorned expanse of plastic facing the passenger. Just too much, inelegant. As I mentioned, the '06 upgrade of the XLR center stack helps immeasurably, imo.

    To me, the XLR is the most successful execution of the Caddy "Arts & Science" theme. Followed by the SRX (a handsome Station Wagon). The CTS started it all off, a wildly overdone design to me. The STS is a somewhat toned down CTS, dull. The C pillar back just looks very wrong to me. Nicer interior, though. But, too each.

    And, again, overall I find the XLR a desireable package (noting I've not driven either XLR or SL, why torture myself!) which is why I continue to hang around here. I look forward to XLR owners postings because one of these days...

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

  • 213xlrv213xlrv Posts: 38
    Merc,

    On the weight issue I am not shooting in the dark. I've driven the SL500, 600 and SL55. It's an informed observation. I elected to buy the XLR-v. I accept the weight penalty for the category of vehicle -- the XLR-v is 600 lbs heavier than the higher performance and less expensive Corvette Z06! Cadillac is setting the current standard for controlling weight penalty in such a car. The Z06 is on the same platform, and comparable to a Porsche in mass, so that's the baseline to establish how much weight penalty is necessary to accept for luxury retracting hardtop GT. The further quarter ton incurred by the SL is just useless, pointless, accumulated pork. We know why it's there. It's just that the XLR/XLR-v architecture demonstrates by its very existence the lack of good reason for it. It's 500 pounds of penalty no matter how you slice it. If I were claiming 1100 pounds of penalty compared to true sports cars, you'd have a point. But I'm not. I'm only pointing out the unmistakable flaw imposed by all that extra mass that has no purpose. It exists only because Mercedes is too lazy or complacent to engineer it out.

    I've driven all the cars. I surely can say that the auto mags don't know what they're talking about or that their priorities are a miss. Are you kidding???? You think the auto mag reviewers are beyond reproach somehow? What they write are nothing more authoritative than their subjective impressions. If they choose to ignore a 500 pound penalty that infects the entire experience of driving the car, that's there call. But it gets no special reverence from me.

    There's no spin in characterizing the XLR-v interior as "honest." It's what I think, plain and simple. I prefer it. I have 360 degrees of leather, sourced from a euro supplier who also supplies your brands. The plastics are comparable quality to anyone else's. The metal and wood touch points require no defense. And on design, the Cadillac wins. The rest of whatever difference you cite -- and you really haven't cited exactly what those differences are -- is ephemeral.

    But we agree Maserati knows how to make an interesting car that successful people want to spend time in. Good for that.

    However, you still miss the point about the aluminum Audi. I'm not suggesting a Town Car and an A8 are equivalent vehicles other than both being large 4 doors. But AWD or not, an aluminum unibody ought not to exceed 2 tons. That's just lazy engineering again. No one builds a 500hp car without performance in mind. So citing weight as a non-issue in the class is specious. The XLR-v has no shortage of "pampering" assets, yet it's dynamically more agile due in part to its lower mass. Sure, for lots of people these are nothing more than ego cruisers. I'm not interested in those people, and neither is Cadillac's V division. The marketing is clearly performance directed. In the XLR/XLR-v, Cadillac leveraged a very strong but lightweight world-class sports car platform from elsewhere in GM, and built a new take on the luxury retractable hardtop GT. It's sensationally effective and I'd feel much less progressive and entertained in the corpulent SL range.

    Phil
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    And I'm telling you that buyers in this segment don't care about weight as much as you do so your point isn't of the majority and it likely the smallest minority possible. The majority of buyers simply don't care about this weight issue that you're saying is so terrible and makes the German cars so awful to drive. It is a rediculous argument when taken to this extreme.

    I've driven all the cars. I surely can say that the auto mags don't know what they're talking about or that their priorities are a miss. Are you kidding???? You think the auto mag reviewers are beyond reproach somehow?

    No of course I'm not suggesting that, but how can all of them be wrong about two competive cars is what I'm asking. You keep forgetting that there are many factors when evaluating 75-90K luxury GT cars, not just their handling how much weight they don't have. You're using this single viewpoint, something that most buyers don't care one whit about, to claim superiority for the Cadillac when in reality most people buying car of this ilk care about features, styling, luxury and other things with handling being in the mix for sure, but it isn't the primary criteria for these cars.

    There's no spin in characterizing the XLR-v interior as "honest." It's what I think, plain and simple. I prefer it. I have 360 degrees of leather, sourced from a euro supplier who also supplies your brands. The plastics are comparable quality to anyone else's. The metal and wood touch points require no defense.

    Sure there is because like I said before, design, looks all that jazz is debatable, but when I see cheapo parts from a 20K GM car in the 75K XLR there is a problem. Saying that the materials are "honest" is a cop out plain and simple. GM's plastics have never matched their competition in anything they've built, especially in their expensive cars like the XLR.

    But we agree Maserati knows how to make an interesting car that successful people want to spend time in. Good for that.

    Yeah its a interesting car - agreed. Not sure what you're trying to imply with the "successful people" part. Let me guess though, we're back to the Benz/BMW buyers are pretenders again? While Cadillac buyers are the real deal?

    However, you still miss the point about the aluminum Audi. I'm not suggesting a Town Car and an A8 are equivalent vehicles other than both being large 4 doors. But AWD or not, an aluminum unibody ought not to exceed 2 tons.

    Says who? Where is this written, in the Automotive Engineering Handbook? You won't allow yourself to possibly think what an A8 would weigh if it were not made from aluminum. Could they have done better with it overall in the weight department? Sure, but to say that Audi is lazy is the "specious" part.

    No one builds a 500hp car without performance in mind. So citing weight as a non-issue in the class is specious.

    True to a degree, but the problem is that in reality that statement isn't always that cut and dry. Just because a car has 500hp doesn't mean it has to be some type of lightweight either. You miss the point about the SL or XLR, they're GT cars not sports cars. Luxury sedans have 500hp nowadays and they aren't light either. Now because Cadillac decides to dress up a Corvette they're supposed to be considered some type of brilliant innovator? Not.

    The XLR-v has no shortage of "pampering" assets, yet it's dynamically more agile due in part to its lower mass. Sure, for lots of people these are nothing more than ego cruisers. I'm not interested in those people, and neither is Cadillac's V division.

    See this is my point exactly. How would you know who Cadillac's V division is interested in? You act like Cadillac's V series cars are seen at the local autocross and are only driving by the most elite real-world drivers in the country. This is nonsense because the XLR is indeed nothing more than another luxury GT crusier for the overwhelming majority of its buyers just like any other luxury GT in the price range. I can't believe you actually think that most or even a majority of XLR buyers look at the XLR like you do and that this somehow makes all the other cars in the class irrelevant or how all the rest are driven by pretenders and badge seekers.

    Buyers of the XLR-V and SL55 are probably a little more frisky at times than regular XLR and SL550 buyers sure, but they aren't racers either and most owers who pay 100K and 125K respectively for these cars aren't going to be ripping and racing all over the place. You might catch them taking a few ramps or curves at speed and doing a few high-speed runs on a good stretch of freeway, but this about what type of buyer Cadillac is and isn't interested in is just plain silly. The fact is that the XLR is a slow seller and Cadillac would love to sell one to anyone that wants one. Try selling this theory about who Cadillac is wanting to buy the XLR to a Cadillac salesman and see what the response is.

    M
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,704
    From watching Ebaymotors auctions: This weekend a low mileage '05 w/no reserve (Atlanta area) appeared to go in the mid/high $40s. It appears that more the norm for '05 prices are now dropping into the $50s. A few '06 are being offered "Buy Now" price around the "Employee Pricing" of last year, ~$69-70k.

    Unfortunately, the stock market is falling a lot faster than XLR pricing... :cry: :sick:

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

  • then those are very lucky people,

    B/c the XLR seems to be holding its own in terms of pricing, GM is keeping volume low.

    Also, I bet you can get equally lucky with an SL, since there are so many of them. I prefer the style in side and out of the Cadillac, add in the weight advantage and mercedes becomes outdated.

    I wish the rest of GM's divisions could have such an advatage in the marketplace.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,704
    I'm not sure it's just ebay as the local dealers here (Boston)are discounting '06 too.

    As far as GM keeping volumes low, I don't think that is by choice. When the XLR debuted as an '04, they were building 23/week. Due to lack of demand (imho due in no small part to the wildly high msrp and, as perceived by some, an interior not suited to that high price point) production was basically halved to 12/week.

    There is no shortage of MB SL for sale, but I don't think they are depreciating quite as fast as the XLR.

    As per my posts in this thread, I too, like the style of the XLR. Not as much as the SL, to be honest. But given the $ advantage and relative exclusivity I'm considering it as my mid-life (well into it, by the way. Wife won't let me have a proper one, though!) crisis-mobile.

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

  • GM quality has been improving for the passed decade, and especially in recent years. Buick is in the top 3 or 4 of JD power and Cadillac in the top 10 I believe.

    Most GM brands get above the industry average, the quality situation is, like you said, perception. If a GM car has issues "OH WELL, THIS IS WHAT I GET FOR BUYING CRAP" if a toyota has issues "I AM SO STUPID, I MUST HAVE BROKE IT". So, in reality this is not an out of topic discussion.

    And you really cannot compare cadillac quality to Jaguar, the only reason they did so good in the last JD power is probably b/c they SOLD SO FEW jaguars that the results did not matter.

    I only new cadillac i notice having problems is the CTS, withwheel aligment issues and a limited but strange case of one of the front suspension components flying off, smacking the whole car on the pavement. These are rare issues but people think its with every car.

    While not a lexus yet in terms of quality, Cadillac is getting there fast.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,704
    0% financing for 60 months + $4000 trunk money + 1 wife who says, "No way, Jose" = continued frustration re: mid-life crisis! :confuse:

    How y'all doing? And, of course, Happy Birthday, USA!

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

  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 979
    A new Cadillac XLR vs. Mercedes-Benz SL topic has been opened. You may notice that the most recent posts comparing these two vehicles have been moved there.

    MODERATOR
    Need help getting around? claires@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,704
    So, back from a week in SoCal: Santa Monica, Westwood, Pacific Pallisades, Malibu and San Diego. I saw 'em all: Bentleys, Aston Martins, Ferraris, Lamborghini, Porsches, Mercedes of all shapes and sizes, BMW-a-gogo, Vipers, Vettes and Prius'! Even a Qvale Mangusta! But not one XLR! Not one!

    What's up with that? Where are y'all?

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

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,704
    Say hello to the Allante...

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

  • MOST LOVE IT,few dont i go with those who do its a six star car its a topdog
    anad clubs have spawned up so dont critize a great value$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    GREG BERLIN RENO NV. PROUD OWNER N CHIEF
  • caddilistcaddilist Posts: 6
    when i read i or 2 sentences in negitivity on this car it TELLS! me a bored 19yr
    old out of beer saw an xlrv and decided he dont like them! GREAT!!!!!!
    keep ,it that way and rich carbuffs like me will show n go each time i drive it!
    oh you will have too look hard i dont drive it daily!!!99% of all folks who get
    close enough gawk in awww(kind of shock n aww)quote ex president!!!!!!!!!!
    so roll on kids its past your beertime i mean bedtime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GREG BERLIN RENO NV. :)
  • ccclarkeccclarke Posts: 1
    With prices for used XLRs dropping every month, there's never been a better time to own one. Over-priced when new, these awesome vehicles are so unique, most drivers have no clue they're Cadillacs. Mine has started more conversations at gas pumps than every car I've owned combined.

    The '04s had a few bugs, but if repaired with the upgraded parts, will be as reliable as every subsequent year. Things to watch for are bad radiators, (replaced with upgraded "V" parts) problematic roof sensors, and melted DRL headlamp bezels (they're all over eBay.) Having up-to-date software in the car is a must.

    Driving this car is sheer delight. While it handles well, (tweaked on Germany's famed "Ring") it isn't a Corvette, but then it doesn't pretend to be. An easy and inexpensive upgrade for non-V's is a rear-mounted stabilizer bar.

    Top-down driving gives this car a dual personality. It looks great as a coupe or roadster The fast-acting magnetic suspension is never harsh, and the seats comfortable, especially on hot days when the cooling option is enabled. The stereo is excellent, with 10 speakers surrounding the cockpit, including both sides of the headrests. The nav system could be better, but does an adequate job. The car has been a pleasure to drive on the two long-distance trips I've taken in it.

    The voice-command feature eliminates the need to take my eyes of the road to look for the right switch, button or select a destination on the nav system.

    The HUD, radar cruise control and keyless entry are features I wish my other cars had.

    Over the 6 years of its production, there weren't too many upgrades, but then how much more can be added to an already extensive list of standard features?. A heated steering wheel, second gen magnetic suspension, XM antennas in the side mirrors, movable headlights and a leather dash came out later. The last year's model has a different front and rear fascia, with chrome heat extractors on the rear of the front quarter panels. Different colors were available each year. The supercharged "V" series model was available in '06 for those who need more power.

    Ownership has its price. Without a warranty of some kind, these are awfully expensive to repair. Headlights are $1000 each! But for the few who own one, (and only around 15,000 were produced) the experience is worth the price. Are there better vehicles? Sure. But if you want to drive something unique and rare, the XLR might just be for you.

    CC Clarke
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