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2009 Cadillac XLR

Overview
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2009 Cadillac XLR Review

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Continuing as Cadillac's only open-air offering, the XLR competes with other long-established premium convertibles in a battle to regain the company's world-class status. With a potent V8 engine, a Corvette-derived chassis and a retractable hardtop as slick as it is practical, the XLR is certainly a contender. But, in this league, name recognition is just as important as performance and price. Of course, the premium convertible market is a small slice of the pie and, with such a short list of competitors, XLR sales should continue to gain momentum. The only thing we can see holding back sales might be the high price tag some may feel the XLR has yet to earn.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you love the feel of the wind in your hair, but only once in a while, the 2009 Cadillac XLR's retractable hardtop should suit you just fine. Edgy styling stands out from the crowd, a bonus for those who like to be noticed.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need room for more than two, you're better off shopping the Mercedes-Benz CLK. Luggage room is greatly reduced with the top down, and the XLR's interior is somewhat reserved, lacking the polish found in Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz cars.

What's New for 2009

The XLR lineup is now comprised of two models: The ultra-luxury Platinum model and the high-performance XLR-V. Minor styling changes include revised front and rear fascias, new chrome side vents and a host of interior updates and improvements. The bulging hood previously unique to the V-Series is now featured on both trims.

Driving the XLR

Driving Impressions The 2009 Cadillac XLR's powerful NorthStar V8 jumps to life with the muffled burble that only a V8 engine can produce. Slip the transmission into gear and the XLR pulls...

away from stop signs with relentless authority. The XLR accelerates smoothly, with a nice, linear progression that continues to build well past any legal speed limit. There seems to be an inexhaustible supply of low-end torque, always on tap when you need to pass, merge or dart across a busy intersection. At high speeds, the XLR feels absolutely in its element, returning a marvelously level and controlled ride. Credit the XLR's Magnetic Ride Control Suspension, which adjusts the shock absorber settings at a rate of one thousand times per second and delivers an exemplary combination of ride comfort and handling response.

Retractable Hardtop Roof
The XLR's retractable hardtop roof tucks away in just seconds.

Keyless Entry
With the XLR's keyless entry and start, all you have to do is have the remote key fob in or near the car and it will unlock its doors and allow you to start the engine with a button.

2009 Cadillac XLR Details
2009 Cadillac XLR photo Interior

The 2009 Cadillac XLR's interior is neatly arranged, with a carefully placed combination of real wood, leather and brushed aluminum. You sit low in this car, with the doors feeling like huge protective walls. Storage space is reserved to a small storage console between the seats, the glovebox and two flip-out map pockets in the doors. For 2009, additional leather is added to the dash pad, while the instrument panel receives new trim rings and wood inserts. The XLR's seats are supportive, with a multitude of possible positions. Mounting the transmission in the rear provides abundant room in the foot-well areas, an uncommon feature in a rear-wheel-drive roadster of this size. A new OnStar package allows voice-requested driving directions to be downloaded to the car's DVD navigation system, eliminating the need to pull over and input the data.

Exterior

The XLR is molded in the new Cadillac aesthetic and makes a bold and provocative statement about the future of automotive design. With its long hood and short deck, the XLR retains the traditional roadster formula wrapped in a modern shell. The true design masterpiece is the folding hard top, which, with the push a button, begins a mechanical ballet almost as enjoyable to stare at as the car itself. The process is quick. The trunk lid positions itself high in the air, while the two-piece hard top collapses like a clamshell. The folded top is then remanded to the trunk, where it promptly consumes most of the usable luggage space.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The XLR has a retractable power hardtop roof, a 4.6-liter Northstar V8 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, side-impact airbags, Bose speakers, Magnetic Ride Control, Adaptive Cruise Control, Head-Up Display, heating and cooling seats, a heated steering wheel, Adaptive Forward Lighting, DVD navigation and entertainment touch screen and keyless entry and start.

Optional Equipment

With so much many features standard, options are limited to a chrome wheel package, an iPod interface and a Weather Veil Package that includes a custom-fit car cover and windscreen.

Under the Hood

The XLR offers only one powerplant: Cadillac's famed 4.6-liter Northstar V8. This thoroughly modern engine includes such state-of-the-art features as continuously variable value timing, variable intake and exhaust cam phasers and low-restriction intake and exhaust manifolds for better engine breathing. The Northstar V8 makes the XLR plenty quick and returns surprisingly good fuel economy. The enthusiast in us just wishes for a manual transmission option.

4.6-liter V8
320 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
310 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/24

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2009 Cadillac XLR Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.4
Out of 10

Based on 78 Ratings for the 2004 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.4/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.6/10
    Styling
    9.8/10

Fastest Car have Ever been in, most Fun too!

By on Saturday, September 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fastest Car i have ever been in, owned & driven"

Cons: "needs an iPhone/iPod interface for my iTunes"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Overlooking Puget Sound, top down and a Sunny Day

"used to Dream if i ever won the Lotto when the Cadillac XLR came out, i would own one. the XLR is better suited to us over 60 Year Old guys/gals, lot nicer than a Vette. the only way i would get rid of this auto would be if i had health problems (have trouble gettin In & Out of!) ...or if Cadillac builds a Roadster on the Corvette C7 or Mid-Engine frame, would trade it in."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Overlooking Puget Sound, top down and a Sunny Day

A Corvette thats been to all the right stores

By on Monday, April 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Exotic, fun to drive, great looking, convertible"

Cons: "Repairs costly."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I've had this car since new. The XLR is for someone who likes Caddys, likes Vettes, likes something different, exotic but with a practical side. Practical? You can drive it on trips and be able to get service on the road. Reliable, but a little on the high maintenance side. The car turns heads everywhere you go in it. Valets love it and the XLR is truly an American exotic. Think of everything you don't like in a Corvette and the XLR has done it better. I'll never get rid of it."

11 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Ultimate highway cruiser So much fun to drive

By on Friday, April 05, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Awesome driving experience, unbeatable sexy look"

Cons: "No Bluetooth or iPod connection"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Just purchased my XLR and love it. I sold a '95 Mercedes SL500 to buy the XLR and also own a '12 Corvette Centennial Coupe so i have had the good fortune to have driven other great cars. The XLR is much more sporty than the SL500 and every bit of fun to drive as the Corvette. It performs best on the open road and offers the best of all worlds...spirited driving experience as well as excellent comfort. The interior looks and feels great and even after 8 years doesn't feel dated. The car has timeless great lines and likely will hold its appeal as a sexy roadster well into the future. Love the option to push a switch and take the top down in 30 seconds and enjoy the open air. This car brings excitement to me every time i start it up. And if looks and driving experience weren't enough it gets 25+ mpg on the highway. What's not to like?"

20 people out of 21 found this review helpful

XLR- The breed between a Corvette and Cadillac lux

By on Monday, March 25, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,950

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Style, Features, Hard top convertible"

Cons: "gas milage, uncomfortable seats, outdated gps"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Last May I purchased a 2006 Cadillac XLR from a dealer here in GA and first I must say it looks even better in person. These cars are very low to the ground, very wide and the interior is pretty good, a few plastic here and there but overall a great interior. The exterior styling is amazing, I would not change a thing about how it looks. The only thing I would change about how it drives is I would make a more powerful standard engine to compete with the Corvette since you're paying 25k more. As far as the Interior, the seats aren't that comfortable over long trips so if you have a back issue you may only want to use this as an evening car. Overall I have only had top issues (a difficult time going up and down at times) and a small leak with coolant. So if you want a unique, rare sports roadster and demand attention this is the car for you! A real looker and a conversation piece at least."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great car all around

By on Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "A reliable sports car with the feel of luxury"

Cons: "Better change the batteries in your key FOB once a"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great car. Very reliable considering all the electronics needed for the convertible top, trunk, access,etc. Drives like a true sports car but feels like you have a high end Caddy. Cadillac did an excellent job when you compare it to my my other convertible."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

DREAM CAR

By on Saturday, November 10, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "LOOKS, HANDLING, PERFORMANCE"

Cons: "HUH??"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

DAY I BOUGHT THE CAR

"I've sold Cadillacs for 15 years. When the XLR came out in 2004 I was in LOVE! But at the $75K Sticker price, out of my league. I waited 8 long years to be able to afford this car. I bought a 2004 Silver with 44k miles for $22,950 I drove 850 miles to get it (texas to illinois) This car is the sexiest looking car on the market for the price. Neither the previous owner or myself have had any issues. I'm a autocross racer(not in this car)and this car lives up to my extreme demands for handling and performance. I highly recommend this car to anyone that wants a car that turns heads and hugs the corners!"

23 people out of 25 found this review helpful

DAY I BOUGHT THE CAR

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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