2008 Cadillac XLR

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$3,930–$61,894 USED Shop local deals
(3.5) 6 reviews
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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
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Reviews
Safety & Recalls
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Key Specs

of the 2008 Cadillac XLR. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Engine:
    443-hp, 4.4-liter V-8 (premium)
  • Drivetrain:
    Rear-wheel Drive
  • Seating:
    2 Seats
  • Transmission:
    6-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Superior road manners
  • Nearly stunning acceleration
  • Comfortable ride
  • Impressively precise steering
  • Good headroom with top up

The Bad

  • Scant trunk space with top down
  • High sills and low driving position
  • Mundane-appearing instruments

Notable Features of the 2008 Cadillac XLR

  • New special edition for 2008
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Retractable hardtop
  • DVD navigation and entertainment
  • Head-up instrument display
  • Radar-operated adaptive cruise control
  • Magnetic Ride Control
  • Supercharged XLR-V

2008 Cadillac XLR Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
After going more than a decade without one, Cadillac added a two-passenger sports car to its lineup for 2004. Named the XLR, the retractable-hardtop coupe gave Cadillac a luxury roadster with a performance-oriented chassis and structure. Changes for 2008 include a heated steering wheel and a limited edition Alpine White XLR in addition to last year's Platinum edition.

Cadillac promotes the "harmonious blend of technologies and materials meant to add pleasure, not complexity, to the driving experience." A long list of technical features includes a head-up display, radar-operated adaptive cruise control and an electronic stability system.

Cadillac has revised the XLR's Magnetic Ride Control. The system provides magnetic-fluid-based real-time damping and has been retuned to improve ride and handling, Cadillac says. Keyless Access with push-button start permits true no-key operation. For safety's sake, the engine will not start unless the remote fob is in the car and the driver is depressing the brake pedal.
(Skip to details on the: XLR-V)


Exterior
Cadillac says stealth fighters inspired the XLR, which serves as "a contemporary expression of Cadillac's heritage of landmark design and advanced technology." Its linear form hints of the marque's history. The XLR's vertical headlights are part of Cadillac's current design philosophy.

The roadster has a rear-mounted transmission that makes the weight distribution close to 50/50. Cadillac ...
Vehicle Overview
After going more than a decade without one, Cadillac added a two-passenger sports car to its lineup for 2004. Named the XLR, the retractable-hardtop coupe gave Cadillac a luxury roadster with a performance-oriented chassis and structure. Changes for 2008 include a heated steering wheel and a limited edition Alpine White XLR in addition to last year's Platinum edition.

Cadillac promotes the "harmonious blend of technologies and materials meant to add pleasure, not complexity, to the driving experience." A long list of technical features includes a head-up display, radar-operated adaptive cruise control and an electronic stability system.

Cadillac has revised the XLR's Magnetic Ride Control. The system provides magnetic-fluid-based real-time damping and has been retuned to improve ride and handling, Cadillac says. Keyless Access with push-button start permits true no-key operation. For safety's sake, the engine will not start unless the remote fob is in the car and the driver is depressing the brake pedal.
(Skip to details on the: XLR-V)


Exterior
Cadillac says stealth fighters inspired the XLR, which serves as "a contemporary expression of Cadillac's heritage of landmark design and advanced technology." Its linear form hints of the marque's history. The XLR's vertical headlights are part of Cadillac's current design philosophy.

The roadster has a rear-mounted transmission that makes the weight distribution close to 50/50. Cadillac says the XLR's steel hydroformed frame rails couple with an aluminum cockpit structure and balsa-cored composite flooring to provide "rigidity without bulk." Run-flat tires eliminate the need for a spare.

Built on a 105.7-inch wheelbase, the XLR is 177.7 inches long overall. Retracting the hardtop takes less than 30 seconds. Made of aluminum and magnesium, the top structure features composite exterior panels, a heated glass back window and glass rear-quarter windows.

Eighteen-inch wheels are standard. The new Alpine White and the Platinum edition will receive special chrome wheels and grille, though tire sizes remain the same. For 2008, the XLR is available in six interior/exterior color combinations and has a hand-crafted leather interior.


Interior
Two occupants fit inside the XLR's luxurious interior, which can feature light or dark eucalyptus wood and aluminum accents. The seatbacks and cushions are heated and cooled. For 2008, the steering wheel is also heated. The DVD navigation/entertainment system has a 7-inch screen in the upper center console, but the entertainment system operates only when the gear selector is in Park. The XLR also comes with a head-up display that projects information for the driver onto the windshield.

A nine-speaker Bose audio system includes an in-dash six-CD changer. XM Satellite Radio and GM's OnStar communication and navigation systems are standard. Trunk capacity is 11.6 cubic feet with the top up, but space drops to 4.4 cubic feet when the roof is retracted.


Under the Hood
A 4.6-liter Northstar V-8 with variable valve timing produces 320 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 310 pounds-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. Premium fuel is recommended. The XLR has a six-speed automatic transmission that incorporates a manual-shift mode.

Safety
Side-impact airbags are installed in the seats. The seat belts have powered pretensioners. Four-channel all-disc antilock brakes, traction control and a stability system are standard.

Driving Impressions
With a low driving position like Chevrolet's Corvette, the XLR is one sweet road machine. Acceleration for passing is close to stunning, and the XLR is also quick from a standstill. Ride comfort beats most sports cars by a mile, and steering is tight and impressively precise. High sills demand some twisting to get inside.

XLR-V
The performance-packed V edition of the XLR is fitted with a supercharged 4.4-liter V-8 that develops 443 hp at 6,400 rpm and 414 pounds-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm. A six-speed automatic transmission incorporates Performance Algorithm Shifting and Performance Algorithm Liftfoot systems, along with Driver Shift Control for manually selected gear changes.

The XLR-V will be available in a new color, Elektra Blue, for 2008. Unique XLR-V design features include polished wire-mesh upper and lower grilles, a sculpted hood and four stainless-steel exhaust tips. The interior has Zingana wood trim and aluminum accents on the wheel. It also has a rear stabilizer bar and a larger front stabilizer bar. (Back to top)



Latest 2008 XLR Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.2)
Performance
(3.8)
Interior Design
(3.5)
Comfort
(3.7)
Reliability
(3.0)
Value For The Money
(3.0)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Corvette for baby boomers

by chart from warwick,ny on April 27, 2018

The car is beautiful, fast and comfortable. All the amenities as you would expect in a Cadillac. The hard-top roof disappears into the trunk and changes into a beautiful convertible. Read full review

(3.0)

Mercedes

by Mo from Cullman Alabama on November 23, 2017

It’s good and I would love to own one again They need to make it v6 It was bad on gas but it’s fast car Also many people interested to have this car The space for the passengers and driver need to be ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2008 Cadillac XLR currently has 1 recall

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2008 Cadillac XLR has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The XLR received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker