The Cadillac XLR-V is a luxury roadster, bold in its styling and performance. Competitors from abroad have ruled over the roadster market over the last decade and Cadillac took a bold step in competing with the introduction of the Cadillac XLR-V in 2005. While the XLR, the base version of this vehicle, fails to live up to the luxury Cadillac promises, the XLR-V has more than its fair share of power, comfort, and style.
Body Styles: Convertible
Engines: 4.4-liter V-8
Transmissions: six-speed automatic
The XLR-V is reduced to a single trim line in 2009, removing the Alpine White Edition from the lineup. Like the XLR, the front and rear fascia of the vehicle is updated. Additional luxury items are added to the interior including Bluetooth connectivity and parts of the interior dashboard, which are redesigned for clarity including instrument graphics.
The Cadillac XLR-V has a handsome appearance. The hardtop of the vehicle is retractable. Unlike some convertibles, the hardtop on the XLR-V is easy to use. The sheet metal of the XLR-V has lots of sharp angles, which gives it a cat-like appearance: sleek but with a lot of musculature.
The car is fitted with painted 19-inch alloy wheels. The vehicle has intermittent wipers and a rear defogger to keep visibility clear. The mirrors are power controlled and heated to keep off frost. The mirrors also have a reverse tilt during parking.
The interior of the XLR-V has a lot to offer. Leather and wood trim add a touch of class. Standard technology features include nine Bose speakers, XM radio, DVD navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, and OnStar. The bucket seats have eight-way power adjustments, heating, and lumbar support.
Although the features in the XLR-V are abundant, the six-figure price tag would suggest a bit more care going into the design. The cockpit is a bit cramped for tall drivers. Controls on the steering wheel and turn signal lever are a bit cramped. The trunk space, although a decent 11.6 cubic feet while the hardtop is up, shrinks to 4.4 cubic feet when the hardtop retracts.
Performance & Handling
The Cadillac XLR-V is fitted with a supercharged 4.4-liter, V-8 engine that produces a whopping 443 horsepower with 414 lb-ft of torque. The car can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.
Although the car practically flies, the enjoyment derived from such speed is seriously hindered by the suspension and handling. The car feels spongy in curves, leaning into a roll during hard turns. Although not as bad as the XLR, the XLR-V doesn’t perform as you would expect a speedy roadster would do.
Braking is a little long in comparison to the competitors. Even worse, the nose tends to dip during braking due to the spongy suspension.
When left to a smooth coast, the Cadillac XLR-V does ride smooth and enjoyable. With the top down, the ride is extremely pleasant. Maybe Cadillac had the smooth, long runs of American roads in mind when designing the vehicle. The XLR-V would be quite out of place in the winding roads of Europe.
The XLR-V is full of safety features. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are standard. Dual front airbags with head protection and side-mounted air bags are standard as well. The passenger airbag is deactivated when the passenger seat is empty. A post-collision safety system is included in the unfortunate case of a crash. A remote alarm system is installed as a courtesy as well.
EPA Fuel Economy
XLR-V: 14/23 mpg city/highway
- Fancy hardtop
- Handsome exterior
- Endless array of luxury features
- Strong V-8 engine
You Won't Like
- Cramped cockpit for tall drivers
- Uncomfortable seats
- Big steering wheel
- Controls feel cluttered
Handles a lot like a Cadillac sedan.
If You Like This Vehicle
- BMW M6
- Jaguar XKR
- Mercedes SL-Class