2006 Cadillac XLR Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Cadillac XLR Convertible

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Cadillac XLR Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.6 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 320 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Cadillac XLR

  • Its design makes the 2006 Cadillac XLR stand out from the crowd, but its performance and craftsmanship aren't quite as extraordinary.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Eye-catching design, forgiving ride quality, hardtop convenience, nearly every feature is standard.

  • Cons

    Interior doesn't always reflect the price, not as sporty as its Corvette underpinnings might suggest, minimal cargo space, can be cramped for taller drivers.

  • What's New for 2006

    The XLR receives adaptive front headlamps, a first for Cadillac. Also new this year is standard XM Satellite Radio with a hidden antenna and redesigned wood treatment around the center stack.

Full 2006 Cadillac XLR Review

What's New for 2006

The XLR receives adaptive front headlamps, a first for Cadillac. Also new this year is standard XM Satellite Radio with a hidden antenna and redesigned wood treatment around the center stack.


Slowly but surely, Cadillac is effectively changing its image from a company that builds stodgy, old people's cars to a brand that offers exclusivity, style and a little attitude. If the Cadillac XLR can't drive that point home, maybe nothing can. While the XLR has it roots in the Evoq concept first shown at the 1999 North American Auto Show, its spiritual substance may date a little farther back than five years.

Cadillac's failed Allante convertible was by most counts a reasonably good car -- at the very least it was a step in the right direction. When the Allante really hit its stride in 1993, incorporating the then-new Northstar engine, GM killed it. The XLR can only be seen as the spiritual successor to the Allante, but this time Cadillac has pulled no punches in terms of power, style and features. The XLR shares the same basic platform as the sixth-generation Chevrolet Corvette. Normally, carmakers are eager to distance themselves from the platform-sharing formula, but with the XLR, Cadillac seems almost proud to hint at the car's roots. The company calls it a luxury roadster with performance car roots -- and who can blame it?

The Cadillac XLR is built alongside the C6 'Vette, but don't think of it as a gussied-up Corvette, rather think of the 'Vette as a slightly more aggressive XLR. Cadillac engineers utilized aluminum and magnesium composites to insure the XLR didn't turn into a bloated behemoth. Many suspension components are made of aluminum, and special composite body panels help keep the weight down. The XLR also offers cutting-edge technology like Magnetic Ride Control, an adaptive suspension system that provides nearly instantaneous response to changing road surfaces and driver inputs.

In actuality, the 2006 Cadillac XLR is no match for the Mercedes-Benz SL500 when pushed hard in turns, but it competes favorably with softer luxury roadsters like the Jaguar XK8 and Lexus SC 430. With liberal doses of style, technology and performance packed into such a small package, the XLR's premium price shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, but it does push Cadillac into previously uncharted territory. At almost $80,000, the 2006 Cadillac XLR is squarely in the territory of the high-dollar imports. Although its performance and interior furnishings aren't good enough for a run at the leadership, Cadillac's roadster is a solid entry in its class and worth a look if you want to pull up to the valet circle in something a little different.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Cadillac XLR is available as a two-door, two-seat roadster only. Its retractable hardtop is power-operated and goes from open to closed in about 30 seconds. Virtually every luxury feature comes standard, including a navigation system, traction control, stability control, adaptive high-intensity discharge headlights, rear parking sensors, headlamp washers, dual-zone climate control, a 250-watt sound system with an in-dash CD changer and a 7-inch touchscreen for driver information, entertainment and navigation system control. The XLR boasts an upscale cabin complete with Eucalyptus wood trim and aluminum accents in addition to leather seating.

Powertrains and Performance

The XLR comes with an advanced 4.6-liter Northstar V8 that uses variable valve timing and a low restriction intake to generate 320 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. To insure the noise from all that power stays under the hood, Cadillac developed a new acoustic engine cover that also gives the engine bay a perfectly finished look. Using a modified version of the five-speed automatic transmission found in the CTS sedan, the XLR offers both a shift-it-yourself feature and a fully automatic mode. The transmission is mounted in the rear to help achieve proper weight distribution.


The Cadillac XLR comes with a host of safety features, most designed to keep the car from getting into an accident in the first place. Four-wheel antilock disc brakes and stability control are standard, as are side airbags. Because the XLR is a two-seater, the passenger-side front airbag can be switched off to accommodate children in safety seats.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the Cadillac XLR aims for simple elegance. Clean-looking but certainly not bland, the XLR's interior is modern and warm. Standard features include such gee-whiz technology as a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, a voice-activated DVD navigation system, heated and cooled seats plus optional XM radio and a Bose audio system. The touchscreen is mounted high in the center stack and helps keep the dash uncluttered by eliminating the need for numerous single-use buttons.

Driving Impressions

As fast as the XLR is when pushed, those expecting a Corvette in Cadillac's clothing will be disappointed. Not only does the Cadillac XLR return less enthusiastic responses to the throttle than its corporate cousin, its soft suspension tuning results in considerable body roll during hard cornering and plenty of nose dive under heavy braking. Magnetic Ride Control shocks are standard equipment, but even with their split-second adjustability, the XLR still feels less willing to tackle the turns than an SL. An overly large steering wheel makes it feel all the more ponderous, but at least the level of steering assist isn't overly aggressive. Acceleration is excellent and the sound of the V8 at full throttle is as good or better than anything in its class. At highway speeds wind buffeting is intrusive with the top down, but not so much that it deters from the XLR's otherwise exemplary all-around performance.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A ten

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Cadillac XLR Star Black Limited Edition 2dr Convertible (4.6L 8cyl 5A)

i have owned over 150 autos and this car is the finest auto gm has ever built sorry it has been discontinued this is a great collectors car.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Truly a beautiful boulevard cruiser!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Cadillac XLR 2dr Convertible (4.6L 8cyl 5A)

The XLR has stunning looks inside and out. So many features. Love the retractable hardtop. With the top up, you have no idea you are in a roadster! It is so quiet. No problems with the car so far . Purchased on 7-8- 09 with 7295 miles. It is quite different from our 07 Corvette. We considered a 2010 Camaro...love the exterior looks, but inside was a disappointment (seats, dash, short windshield). Back to the XLR..CD player has awesome sound...love the cooled seats. Think this will be a collectible car. Got this like new 06 for about half of the original list. My wife says the car is "cool"!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Good looking junk

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Cadillac XLR 2dr Convertible (4.6L 8cyl 5A)

Bought mine off showroom floor for 83,000 dollars to go with my vette and escalade yes I owed gm a lot, best and worst car I've ever owned, great headturner, fun to drive, ALWAYS IN SHOP, I mean ALWAYS in my 40 months of owning it was in shop 33 times from headlights to horns to rubber fading, trans, water pump, oil pump, compressor, tire gauge, throttlebody, trunk, foglights, visors, radio replaced, navigation, radiator, blown speaker, push button door entry, lights on dash blown, periscope wheel, heads up display, wiper pump, rusted tailpipes, I am not making this up be warned, stupid thing is I still liked the car?

Rare fun car

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Cadillac XLR 2dr Convertible (4.6L 8cyl 5A)

A Rare car among more common luxury convertibles on the road. Plenty of power for a 2 seater, handles well. Smooth, stable ride on highway and side roads. Comfortable, well equipped interior. A Fun car to drive, especially on warm, sunny days with the top down. Eye catching exterior is noticed wherever you travel. Be warned.....this vehicle often attracts the interest of complete strangers but I've met some great people who enjoy unique, fun automobiles like the XLR as much as I do. Buy One and Have Fun!

Buy the benz

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Cadillac XLR 2dr Convertible (4.6L 8cyl 5A)

After looking for one of these since Nov 07, and reading all the reviews I bought anyway. I have had 2 weeks and its been in shop for 6 days, for heated/cooled seats, and horn. Going back tomorrow for fog lights and high beam flash. Make sure only buy certified and get vis records. These are very high maintenance cars and while they look good, they are not built like a 75k car. Buy the Benz, more money but you should actually get to drive it, instead of rental cars. Certification provides warranty, but doesn't mean they actually checked. I had not driven 2 feet after delivered certified when the above were not working. Don't feel sorry for gm or employees, they need to do job.

Great car, little nitpicks

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Cadillac XLR 2dr Convertible (4.6L 8cyl 5A)

Every time i walk into my garage i just stare in awe for a few seconds. With this parked next to my 2007 XKR it is a sight to see. The XLR is one of the best head turning cars period. It just looks incredible, and when you add the retractable hardtop thats reason enough to buy it. I have the regular XLR and it is quick, but one can tell it needs a little more power and desperately needs a better exhaust note. The interior is a little cramped, i'm 6 ft tall, and lacks storage. Personally i like the interior, its nice enough and is very user friendly, though it could be nicer. IT is just a great overall car.

Talk About The 2006 XLR

2006 Cadillac XLR Discussions See all Started By

http://www.edmunds.com/future/2006/cadillac/xlrv/100401893/previe- w.html?tid=edmunds.f.mmindex.content.num4.0.cadillac*...

a dude at work has an XLR. he said he bought it at a chevy dealer that just added the cadillac franchise too. he admits that he is very picky but is not fully pleased with his dealership. i can pro...

Candidates are the XLR, STS and Escalade."...

Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411