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2006 Cadillac XLR-V

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2006 Cadillac XLR-V

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Available in 1 styles:  2006 Cadillac XLR-V 2dr Roadster shown
Asking Price Range
$22,136–$41,688
Estimated MPG

15 city / 22 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 2 of 3

By 

Boston.com
Gazing out over the long, sharp-edged hood of the 2006 Cadillac XLR-V, you might ask: Is this a sports car?

Sitting as low as you do in the car's firm leather driver's seat, the answer has to be yes.

Yet considering you are at the wheel of nearly 2 tons of steel (and lots of aluminum just to keep from adding even more weight), you have to wonder how it is possible.

But then hit the gas -- hard. The supercharger that force feeds the 4.4-liter Northstar V-8 engine whines and those 2 tons leap forward, as though it were a far lighter car.

It's true, Cadillac has indeed built itself a world-class sports car, which is what it set out to do in 2004 with the XLR. That car was not as powerful as this one, and did not have such a firm suspension, but it was nonetheless a good attempt. The V model, however, is another beast entirely.

Keep in mind that this is essentially a tweaked, reskinned Chevrolet Corvette, the world-class sports car that may be the best buy on the planet, considering its high quality. Of course, for the $100,000 you would pay for the XLR-V, you could nearly put two Vettes in the garage.

But for all that cash invested in the Cadillac, you will get lots of standard gear. There is a six-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually -- which is recommended when you set out to play in this car. The transmission lets you be in charge, a good thing.

The XLR-V also features General Motors' magnetic ride control, which senses what sort of driving you are doing and adjusts the ride accordingly.

Basically, magnetic ride control features a liquid that contains metal filings. During gentle driving the liquid remains soft, and so does the suspension. Get aggressive, however, and a computer watchdog orders the fluid's magnetic properties to stiffen up, turning it into a rigid mass.

This means that the same system that was letting you float softly down the highway also holds the car stiff and flat if you get into hard cornering.

Stability and traction controls are standard on the SLR-V, as are front- and side-impact air bags, adaptive forward lighting that ``looks" around the corners as you turn into them, and run-flat tires.

The Cadillac's hard convertible top goes up and down in less than 20 seconds and, while there is decent trunk space with the top up, two people on vacation looking forward to drop-top driving will have to travel light.

The front seats are heated and cooled and have an eight-way power adjustment. XM satellite radio is standard, and free for the first three months. Voice-recognition navigation is also standard.

The car starts with the push of a button, and an adjustable display on the windscreen feeds the driver performance and utility information in a way that is not intrusive.

Like most Cadillacs these days, the XLR-V's outer appearance is distinct. In fact, the sharp edges designers have sculpted onto today's Caddies may work best on this two-seater.

On the road, the interior was relatively quiet, with just a bit of wind noise and the inevitable soft sound of the supercharger when it kicked in. But it was a pleasant accompaniment to the raw power -- so unexpected that it sets you back in your seat, even accelerating from highway speeds.

There were times when it did actually feel like a 2-ton car, particularly in slower maneuvering. It also had a tendency to feel just a bit off-center when steering into corners, feeling at times like it wanted to plow ahead.

It was a risk for General Motors to step into this high-class realm by developing a sporty Cadillac, but for those loyal to the brand -- and who would not be caught in a European sports car -- this is fine American luxury with more performance than imaginable -- until you actually drive the car.

Royal Ford can be reached at ford@globe.com.



    Expert Reviews 2 of 3

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