2004 Cadillac XLR Road Test Specs | Edmunds

2004 Cadillac XLR - Road Test Specs

2004 Cadillac XLR Convertible

(4.6L V8 5-speed Automatic)


Model year2004
Base MSRP$75,385.00
As-tested MSRP$76,200.00


Drive typeRWD
Engine typeDOHC 32-valve V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in)4.6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)320@6000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)310@4400
Transmission type5-speed automatic


Suspension, frontIndependent with magnetic ride control
Suspension, rearIndependent with magnetic ride control
Steering typespeed-proportional power rack and pinion
Tire brandMichelin
Tire modelPilot
Tire size, frontP235/50R18
Tire size, rearP235/50R18
Brakes, front4-wheel disc

Track Test Results

0-45 mph (sec.)3.7
0-60 mph (sec.)5.9
0-75 mph (sec.)8.3
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)14.19@100.23
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)28.5
60-0 mph (ft.)118.10
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)61.7
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)Not tested
Sound level @ idle (dB)Low
@ Full throttle (dB)80
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)75

Test Driver Ratings & Comments

Acceleration commentsThe XLR's powerband is something of a conundrum. The car is undeniably quick, but it doesn't feel particularly quick — until you floor it and the RPMs rise above 3,000 rpm, then it feels quite fast indeed. It's like Cadillac didn't want the XLR to have a high-strung feel, so it almost masks its power until you really need it, at which point it rockets ahead like a pure sports car, betraying its Corvette roots (not that this is a bad thing). Upshifts occur right at the 6,500 rpm redline and the engine's roar (like its power) only gets better as the revs climb. The shifts themselves are very positive, and our best time came with a power-brake launch at 2,000 rpm. One item to note: the XLR never had a traction problem, even with traction control disabled. In fact, it seemed nearly impossible to smoke the tires on this car -- though the target audience likely won't notice or care.
Braking ratingExcellent
Braking commentsWith the exception of some considerable front-end dive during each braking run, the XLR felt as confident at the Corvette it's based on. After three runs, total distance increase by just over one foot, and all stops were below 120 feet from 60 mph. Those are solid numbers for hard-core sports cars, let alone a 3,700 pound luxury car. With almost no ABS noise or vibration, and confident, straight stopping, there's little to complain about.
Handling ratingExcellent
Handling commentsOnce again, the XLR performs better than the wreath-and-crest on the grille would have you believe (though we all know the heart of a Corvette beats inside this vehicle). A quick steering ratio, minimal body roll and prodigous torque made acclerating out of the final cones easy, as did the car's predictable nature at the edge of adhesion. It's biggest limiting factor came from the long, sharply-angled hood that made placing the XLR a constant challenge (many a cone was sacrificed before generating a clean run). While traction control and stability control can be turned offer separately, we found that by simply disabling traction control the remaining electronic nannies would not interfere with our slalom efforts (and it was nice to know that stability control was waiting out there somewhere in case things got severely out of hand). The Mercedes-Benz SL still has an advantage in terms of pure at-the-limit handling capability, but the advantage is smaller than the price difference between these two models.

Testing Conditions

Elevation (ft.)Not tested
Temperature (°F)Not tested
Wind (mph, direction)Not tested

Fuel Consumption

EPA fuel economy (mpg)17 City 25 Highway
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)18

Dimensions & Capacities

Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3647
Length (in.)177.7
Width (in.)72.3
Height (in.)50.4
Wheelbase (in.)105.7
Legroom, front (in.)42.6
Legroom, rear (in.)N/A
Headroom, front (in.)37.6
Headroom, rear (in.)N/A
Seating capacity2
Cargo volume (cu-ft)4.4 cu. ft.
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)12 cu. ft.


Bumper-to-bumper4 years/50,000 miles
Powertrain4 years/50,000 miles
Corrosion6 years/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance4 years / 50,000 miles
Free scheduled maintenanceNot Available


Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsStandard
Head airbagsNot Available
Antilock brakesStandard
Electronic brake enhancementsStandard
Traction controlStandard
Stability controlStandard
Rollover protectionNot Available
Emergency assistance systemStandard
NHTSA crash test, driverNot Tested
NHTSA crash test, passengerNot Tested
NHTSA crash test, side frontNot Tested
NHTSA crash test, side rearNot Tested
NHTSA rollover resistanceNot Tested

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