2007 Cadillac XLR

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2007 Cadillac XLR Review

Great looks, but it lacks the performance and quality to match.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2007 Cadillac XLR continues the company’s push into the performance arena in an effort to match European rivals. It does not mark as successful an attempt as some of Cadillac’s impressive luxury sport sedans, but it makes for a sharp looking roadster that offers some driving fun.

The XLR uses a powerful engine and a solid suspension, but still falls short of the high-performance and handling standards of German rivals made by BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The XLR makes an interesting choice in this segment, but the market offers better options.

The Range

Body Styles: roadster
Engines: 4.6-liter V-8
Transmissions: six-speed automatic with manual-style shifting
Models: Cadillac XLR, Cadillac XLR Passion Red Limited Edition, Cadillac XLR Platinum Edition

What's New

The 2007 Cadillac XLR remains mostly unchanged, save for a few alterations. It offers a new six-speed automatic transmission, a pair of color-themed special editions called Passion Red and Platinum, and like most GM vehicles, the powertrain warranty extends to five years or 100,000 miles.

Exterior

The 2007 Cadillac XLR two-seat luxury roadster with a retractable hardtop comes in base, Passion Red Limited Edition, and Platinum Edition trim levels. The base XLR comes standard with many luxury features, including 18-inch alloy wheels with run-flat tires, and adaptive xenon HID headlights. The Passion Red Limited Edition XLR adds in a bright red paint job along with chrome wheels, a chrome grille, and an individually numbered plaque that identifies its place in the 200-unit production run. Available with either Liquid Amethyst or Raven Black paint, the XLR Platinum Edition adds in unique 15-spoke wheels, special door sill plates, and ""Platinum"" exterior badging.

Interior

Standard gear for the XLR’s cabin includes a navigation system, eight-way power and heated leather seats, Bose audio with satellite radio and a CD changer, OnStar telematics, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry and ignition, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display. The Passion Red trim adds nothing to the cabin while the Platinum Edition features different wood and metal cabin accents.

The XLR’s interior makes a clean presentation, but not plain, because it features exotic wood trim, aluminum accents, and comfortable leather seats. Like many roadsters, the cabin feels a bit cramped for taller occupants, but offers decent space otherwise. The build and material quality meet with the standards set by class rivals, making the XLR cabin suitable for its segment.

Performance & Handling

A powerful and refined 4.6-liter V-8 that produces 320 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque powers the 2007 Cadillac XLR. A six-speed automatic that allows manual-style shifting sends power to the rear wheels. The XLR focuses on performance, like most roadsters. It completes the zero-to-60-mph sprint in less than six seconds, while high-speed cruising on the highway remains quiet and effortless. The shifting feels quick and precise, while the engine roar appeases performance enthusiasts who enjoy a full-throated engine throttle. Braking performance is also impressive. A stop from 60 mph takes just 118 feet and shows no fade, even after successive panic stops. The XLR marks a solid performer, as it should, since it uses a Corvette platform.

Cadillac does well with its plan to make cars that compete with the performance of German rivals. Unfortunately, the XLR doesn’t offers as much as some of Cadillac’s sedan performers. Since the XLR borrows much form the Corvette, expectations run high, and the XLR falls short of those expectations. It experiences body roll, and the handling doesn’t feel as precise or nimble as it should. While the XLR offers a comfortable ride, it doesn’t marry a smooth cruise with road-chewing maneuvers like the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class or other performance Cadillac models.

Safety

A solid list of safety equipment graces the XLR. This list of standard gear includes run-flat tires, anti-lock disc brakes, a tire-pressure monitor, stability control, side airbags (that offer head as well as thorax protection), and rear parking sensors. The safety equipment list must suffice because the XLR has not undergone any crash tests.

EPA Fuel Economy

Cadillac XLR: 15/24 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Unique design
  • Ride quality
  • Convenient hardtop
  • Almost all luxury features come standard

You Won't Like

  • Subpar interior for price range
  • Lacks sportiness, despite Corvette platform
  • Cargo space
  • Cramped for taller drivers

Sum Up

Great looks, but it lacks the performance and quality to match.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • BMW M6
  • Jaguar XK-Series
  • Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
  • Porsche 911
  • Aston Martin V8 Vantage
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