2007 Cadillac XLR

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2007 Cadillac XLR Review

By KBB.com Editors

Cadillac's only convertible may have gotten off to a slow start, but as high scores in customer satisfaction begin to emerge, the XLR appears to have found an audience. Of course, the premium convertible market is a small slice of the pie and with new competitors emerging (like the new Jaguar XK8) the XLR will have to fight for every sale. Not that this Caddy drop-top doesn't have the goods to play ball. 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. About 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 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 2007

There are two new Limited Edition trims: Platinum and Passion Red. On the technical front, a new six-speed automatic replaces last year's five-speed, while the seventh-generation OnStar service is added to the standard-equipment list.

Driving the XLR
Driving Impressions

The XLR's powerful NorthStar V8 jumps to life with the muffled burble that only a V8 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.

2007 Cadillac XLR Details

The 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. 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.

2007 Cadillac XLR photo

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 clam shell. 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/cooling seats, DVD navigation/entertainment touch screen and keyless entry and start.

Optional Equipment

The only options are the Platinum and Passion Red editions.

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 it was available with a manual transmission option.

4.6-liter V8
320 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
310 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/27

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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