I truly expected to have some problems with this car being limited production and a new design with complicated electronics and top but to my amazement it has been totally trouble free for 16,000 miles now with hundreds of top down cycles. I was considering a Vette when I found this, much better choice for comfort while not giving up much in handling or performance.
I looked hard at the Mercedes SLK55 and the SL500. I couldn't afford the SL500 (ouch). The regular SLKs (350, 280, etc) didn't have enough horsepower to really compare. The SLK55 was almost impossible to find used with fairly low miles. Although the SLK55 is a great car, it just seemed too small for me. My daughter said "you look like an elephant riding a peanut" (referring to the short wheel base and short overall car length). Mercedes made a big deal out of their hard top retracting in 19 seconds vs. 30 seconds for the Caddy. My only trouble on the Caddy has been the computer thinking the top isn't fully locked when you hit a hard bump. That has been fixed now via some reprogramming.
Frankly, I must be naive. Thinking GM- the large bank that also makes cars- could compete with the finest autos from Lexus, BMW and Mercedes reveals a sudden lapse in judgment. Yes, the Eucalyptus wood is beautiful but the bin doors are pure Cavalier quality. Sure the design is provacative, but evidently engineer imagination must have been worn out by the time they got to the wheels. I mean do all new Cadillac shoes have to look the same? But the biggest clue to engineering misfires evidenced itself on a recent 1,200 mile trip in which the heat from the transmission tunnel fused my vitamins together in the trunk. And getting it to recognize the FOB so that I can start it is a hope/prayer.
I have previously owned Lexus products including the SC430 and I feel that the Americans, specifically Cadillac have hit the mark on the XLR. It is more powerful, more advanced and certainly more fun to dry than the Lexus. This is remarkable considering that the Lexus is one of the best cars in the world. I feel that the XLR proves that American automakers can, when they want, build a car that is second to none.