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.
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.
I HAVE OWNED (9) Cadillacs over the past (14) and have been extremely satisfied with each one. In February 2004 I received my dream car, only it turned out being a nightmare. The problems started at 430 miles. Lights that did not work, windows switches defective, inability to start. XLR had to be towed on a flatbed twice, back to the delarship. One of the fuel tanks had to be replaced, "check fuel cap" message continuosly on drivers information center. Less than 13 MPG on open road and highway driving. Engine misfiring, engine leaking 1/2 - 1 pint of oil everytime it was shut off. Various other electrical problems. Navigation System works about 1/3 of the time. In the shop 40 days.