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2004 new car guide, model guide, new car reviews, by brand


2004 Cadillac New Car Model GuideCadillac, showcasing the best in styling and technical sophistication from General Motors, unwraps two all-new vehicles in a 2004 line that also includes a souped-up sports touring sedan and the largest and most powerful sport-utility wagon in the marketplace.

Recent Cadillac show-car designs with names like Evoq, Imaj and Vizon become the harbingers of a new age for Cadillac promising cutting-edge designs and high-tech gear for superior vehicular performance, stability and safety.

The two-seat Evoq, a hardtop coupe that converts to a daring convertible, is the first of these futuristic Cadillac concepts to spawn a street-legal production model and it's badged with Cadillac's new alphabetical nomenclature as the XLR. Built on the rigid rear-wheel-drive (RWD) platform that also supports Chevrolet's racy Corvette, the new Cadillac sports car wears sharp but clean body forms marked by angular shapes and crisp edges combining in a sleek package that looks like no other vehicle on the road.

The Vizon show-car wagon also comes to life as Cadillac's new SRX sport-utility raised on the unitized Sigma architecture used for the CTS sports touring sedan. SRX packs aboard as many as three rows of seats in a spacious cabin with either rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction and a choice of Cadillac's redesigned 4.6-liter NorthStar V8 engine or a new 3.6-liter V6 version.

The CTS also gets that new 3.6-liter V6, while a souped-up CTSv edition coming later in the model-year will push a high-performance V8 to make the most powerful Cadillac ever. Two familiar names in passenger cars - Seville SLS and DeVille - repeat in the 2004 line. DeVille earns heated and cooled seats plus a heated steering wheel, then spins off an armored edition for those who need security and protection when motoring.

The STS sporty version of Seville fades away for a year while a new version is developed on the RWD Sigma platform, and Seville's SLS luxury sedan remains in Cadillac's line through December of 2003.

Three different sport-utility wagons from Cadillac carry the name of Escalade but appear in different formats. Escalade the SUV rides on GM's full-size truck chassis and carries many mechanical weapons for road combat, along with every convenience in a leather-wrapped passenger compartment that seats seven in luxury. Escalade EXT has the big cabin of a four-door SUV but also the abbreviated bed of a pickup truck plus a link between cab and truck bed in the cabin's back gate.

Escalade ESV, stretched 22 inches longer than Escalade, amounts to a super-size SUV that compares to Chevrolet's Suburban in half-ton 1500 series but with all of Escalade's lavish features plus class-capping muscle.

Cadillac XLR
2004 Cadillac XLR

Cadillac's new two-seat sports car, dressed with composite body panels featuring chiseled forms and angular features, is a luxurious hardtop coupe that converts to an airy convertible through the push of a console toggle.

The conversion event, which consumes less than 30 seconds, drops sideglass windows, lifts the metal lid with electromechanical muscle and tucks it neatly into the trunk, leaving a smooth and flat bonnet trailing integrated roll bars positioned behind seatbacks.

The high-tech look foretells a high-tech slant to technical features. For instance, cruise control on XLR is a computerized system with on-board radar. It draws on the Doppler effect in radar to measure the distance to a car ahead in the coupe's path, then adjusts the throttle or applies brakes to maintain a pre-set minimum distance between the two vehicles.

Further, there are motion sensors all over XLR that detect lateral as well as linear slippage of the vehicle and communicate with a computer to magically correct the dangerous movements without direct steering or braking action from the driver. And XLR is the first GM vehicle with keyless technology. Just put the car's keyfob in a pocket or purse and the car will recognize you electronically. Driver's door unlocks automatically when you touch the door handle. To start the engine, simply step on the brake pedal and depress the Start button. Turn the engine off with the same button, and as you exit the fob will lock the doors.

Go power for XLR is best in class, thanks to a new version of Cadillac NorthStar 4.6-liter V6 engine with four-cam variable valve timing (VVT). It develops 320 hp through a new RWD-oriented five-speed automatic transmission with gated shifter stick on the console.

The two-person cockpit is a luxurious space featuring sculptured bucket seats clad in leather with trim work in polished aluminum metal and lacquered hardwoods. A driver may view instruments as reflected off the windshield in a head-up display that includes digital data indicating the vehicle's speed, real-world clock time and functions of the audio equipment and active cruise control.

Read our Review: Cadillac XLR

Cadillac SRX
2004 Cadillac SRX

A new midsize sport-utility wagon for Cadillac rolls out for the 2004 line with car-like driving traits and a luxurious cabin design in wood and leather with seats for as many as seven.

It looks bold and daring, applying Cadillac's new styling elements to an aggressive face featuring a signature egg-crate grille and piercing optics with stacked round projector-type headlamps that resemble camera lenses mounted on vertical corners. SRX rides on the RWD Sigma architecture also underscoring the CTS and is available in RWD and AWD applications.

With its car-based structure and weight distributed almost evenly over front and rear wheels, plus the low center of gravity and some juicy powertrain choices, SRX feels nimble and lively with a fun-to-drive attitude. Engine options include the new 4.6-L NorthStar V8 VVT also used for XLR or a new 3.6-liter V6 VVT shared with CTS.

A five-speed automatic transmission goes with each engine and adds a driver shift control (DSC) for clutch-less manual shifting. Layout of the cabin shows twin buckets in the front row and a bench for three on row two. An optional bench for two as a third row raises the rider count to seven.

Choose the UltraView sunroof, which spreads above first and second rows of seats, for the largest sunroof in this class.

Cadillac CTS
2004 Cadillac CTS

The CTS (Cadillac Touring Sedan) made history with its 2003 debut as the first RWD vehicle in Cadillac's fleet since 1979 and the first to offer a manual transmission on a rear-drive platform in half a century.

Package size for CTS measures to midsize proportions with the overall length held to less than five meters so CTS may compete on the global market. The RWD Sigma platform employed for CTS features an extended wheelbase and wide track with wheels set on outside corners for a sure-footed stance. Inside a spacious cabin fit for five, the exterior theme of chiseled forms and angular features is expressed in a monochromatic treatment on CTS that appears contemporary.

The base CTS continues with a V6 engine produced by GM in England that displaces 3.2 liters and makes 220 hp as linked to a manual five-speed by Germany's Getrag. For 2004, CTS with a four-speed automatic transmission earns the new 3.6-liter V6 VVT engine, which runs up to 255 hp in this application. A sport package with 17-inch wheels, variable assist steering, high-performance brakes and StabiliTrak vehicle controller becomes an option for any CTS trim.

At the end of 2003 the new GM Performance Division will release new CTS-V, the most powerful Cadillac production car ever with a version of Corvette's LS6 V8 stuffed under the hood and pumping up 400 hp.

Cadillac DeVille
2004 Cadillac DeVille

The name traces back half a century in Cadillac culture, but current issues of Cadillac's flagship sedan stock high-tech innovations of a contemporary vehicle with electronic controls and computer-managed mechanical systems to improve vehicle stability and safety, visibility, communications, even passenger comfort.

Three versions continue with a base DeVille stocking fabric seat upholstery on a bench-style front seat split in 40/20/40 sections with fold-down center armrest. The DeVille High Luxury Sedan (DHS) contains the same seat but piles on comfort and convenience items, while DeVille Touring Sedan (DTS) installs front buckets clad in leather.

Powertrains are the NorthStar 4.6-liter V8 tuned to 275 hp in DeVille and DHS but 300 hp in DTS. Heated and cooled front seats and a heated steering wheel are now standard for DHS and DTS yet available on DeVille. The base car also gains options like Night Vision thermal-imaging.

A new armored edition of DeVille - offered in standard length and a model with eight-inch wheelbase extension - has advanced features like ballistic steel and glass, run-flat wheel and tire system and a self-sealing fuel tank.

Cadillac Escalade
2004 Cadillac Escalade

Cadillac's prime wagon leads the luxury class as the most powerful full-size sport-utility. The top edition, outfitted with an automatic all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction device, promotes an enormous 6.0-liter V8 engine that produces 345 hp. Power is applied to all wheels through an AWD mechanism that's always engaged. Also automatic is the Z55 Autoride suspension with continuously-variable road-sensing damping and air-leveling shock absorbers for precise ride control.

Escalade totes every conceivable mechanical weapon for serious road combat, along with every convenience in a leather-wrapped passenger compartment that cradles seven in the lap of luxury.

New features for 2004 include a tire pressure monitoring system and the subscription-based XM satellite radio, with second-row bucket seats added as a no-charge option. Additional color selections appear on the chart with Blue Chip, Quicksilver and Red E.

Cadillac Escalade EXT
2004 Cadillac Escalade EXT

As a unique sport-utility truck (SUT), the EXT variation of Escalade the wagon can convert from a comfortable four-door and five-person sport-utility to a practical pickup capable of hauling cargo as well as passengers.

It resembles elite Escalade although the boxy rear bay has been eliminated in favor of the pared bed of a pickup. The back wall of the cabin also serves as a back door leading to the truck bed.

Refinements and more standard features mark this model for 2004, such as a trailering package and tire pressure monitoring system, as well as XM satellite radio. Muscle comes from a high-output 6.0-liter V8 ripped to 345 hp.

Cadillac Escalade ESV
2004 Cadillac Escalade ESV

Cadillac's new grand wagon measures even larger than full-size Escalade - by 22 inches in length with about 20 inches of extra space at the rear of a cavernous cabin. Call it the super-size SUV outfitted with all of Escalade's lavish features plus some class-capping muscle. It also develops the highest gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR) and top trailer tow numbers.

ESV gets Escalade's 6.0-liter V8 that's good for 345 hp. To translate all of that torque into propulsion, the engine employs a heavy-duty four-speed automatic transmission and all power is sent to all wheels through the constantly-engaged AWD mechanism.

Three rows of leather-clad seats provide room for seven people plus generous cargo space in the rear bay. A Platinum Edition applies premium features and materials, such as accents in walnut burl wood and chrome, with premium communications gear standard like OnStar telecommunications, a Bose audio system and DVD-based video kit for rear seat riders as well as XM satellite radio.

Four exterior colors mark the ESV Platinum: White Diamond, Black Raven, Quicksilver and Red E.

Read our Review: Cadillac ESV


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