2009 Cadillac XLR

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2009 Cadillac XLR Review

Note: This review was created when the 2009 Cadillac XLR was new.

The 2009 Cadillac XLR is a fast and powerful sports roadster. However, it can't keep pace with the competition's combination of visceral performance and super luxury.


Pros & Cons

  • Powerful 320-horsepower V8 engine
  • Accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds
  • Bold design features a power-retractable hard top
  • Long list of modern convenience features
  • Criticized for prioritizing ride comfort over sports performance
  • Subpar cabin materials disappoint
  • Low-slung cabin is hard to enter and exit

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Cadillac XLR has a score of 7.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 54 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 7.2
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 7.0
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Cadillac XLR Overview

The XLR was introduced in 2004 to compete with such super luxury sports roadsters as the Mercedes-Benz SL. Lending credibility to this endeavor, the XLR shares its chassis with the powerful Chevy Corvette. Test drivers, however, report time and time again that the XLR can't quite match the sporty handling dynamics of other competitors in this class. Nevertheless, it's still a powerful, fast and exciting ride.

If you've got your eyes on a new XLR, now is the time to act fast. Having recently filed for bankruptcy, General Motors is working to restructure its holdings. As such, it has decided to discontinue the XLR at the end of 2009. Commenting on the Caddy's poor sales, the Orlando Sentinel writes, "I'd submit that the XLR is more a victim of the times than anything else, because it's an excellent car." Buy a 2009 model before November 30 and take advantage of GM's new 60-day money-back guarantee.

There are two trims of the XLR: the Platinum and high-performance XLR-V.

  • "Built alongside the Chevy Corvette to which it is closely related, the XLR is a limited production folding-hardtop roadster that distinguishes itself with its crisp styling and its exclusivity. The XLR can't quite match the refinement of the Mercedes-Benz SL, but it costs a lot less." -- Car and Driver
  • "The 2009 Cadillac XLR boasts respectable performance and a fine highway demeanor along with its eye-catching design. Still, its lackluster handling and hit-or-miss interior craftsmanship put it at a disadvantage in the very competitive luxury roadster segment." -- Edmunds
  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The XLR is a fine luxury sports car for those to whom style and panache are important. While the Corvette is still the champion of American high-performance sports cars the XLR is its mighty sophisticated cousin -- just the right choice to explore the Gold Coast on a summer day." -- The Auto Channel

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