2007 Cadillac XLR-V Overview

XLR-V

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2007 Cadillac XLR-V Overview

If you're shopping for a high-performance sport convertible, the 2007 Cadillac XLR-V delivers. Cadillac has packed a 443-horsepower, 4.4-liter, supercharged Northstar V8 under the long, elegant hood of the XLR-V, a sizable increase over the 320-hp V8 in the standard XLR. That supercharged powerplant makes the XLR-V the fastest vehicle in the Cadillac stable for 2007, and it follows that it's also the most expensive Cadillac, with a price tag in the six figures.

That puts the XLR-V firmly in the realm of other high-performance convertibles from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Porsche, including Mercedes' AMG models and BMW Ms. It's certainly admirable to have a domestic car playing with the big boys from Europe, but the question for many drivers is, how does the XLR-V stand up to the competition?

The answer, for the most part, is fairly well. Critics and drivers alike give mostly high marks to the XLR-V's powerful engine. Handling, stability, and balance also get positive marks, thanks to such features as a StabiliTrak electronic vehicle stability enhancement system, Magnasteer rack-and-pinion steering, and performance-tuned Magnetic Ride Control. Even the XLR-V's six-speed Hydra-matic automatic transmission has been singled out for its smooth shifting.

If there's any component of the XLR-V that seems to fall short, it's the vehicle's interior space, which feels cramped to some. Trunk space is also limited when the top is down. (For the record, the XLR-V's automatic retractable hardtop takes less than 30 seconds to retract and stores in the trunk.) Some also note that the steering isn't as responsive as expected for a car in this league.

As far as the exterior design is concerned, the XLR-V builds on the angular look that's been perfected by Cadillac over the past few years, and both drivers and critics have responded positively. Overall, the XLR-V gets high marks, with many calling it a fun car to drive. In fact, many note that the biggest drawback of the XLR-V is that six-figure price tag.

Of course, you get plenty for your money, including a deluxe leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum and Zingana interior wood accents, a Bulgari-designed instrument cluster, and a nine-speaker Bose AM/FM stereo system with a six-disc in-dash CD player and DVD-based navigation on a 6.5-inch color display. Plus, the XLR-V is American-made, and for many that's an asset that makes this speedy luxury roadster well worth the price.

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