Road & Travel Magazine

Auto Advice & Tips
Auto Buyer's Guides
Car Care Maintenance
Climate Views & Videos
Auto Awards Archive
Insurance & Accidents
Legends & Leaders
New Car Reviews
Planet Driven
Road Humor
Road Trips
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Teens & Tots Tips
Tire Buying Tips
Used Car Buying
Vehicle Model Guide

Travel Channel
Adventure Travel
Advice & Tips
Airline Rules
Bed & Breakfasts
Cruises & Tours
Destination Reviews
Earth Tones
Family Travel Tips
Health Trip
Hotels & Resorts
Luxury Travel
Pet Travel
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Spa Reviews
Train Vacations
World Travel Directory
Bookmark and Share

Road & Travel's 2004 Sexy Car Buyer's Guide

Cadillac XLR                           
2004 Cadillac XLR

It's not quite Aston Martin altitude from the folks down the block, of course. But you could envision Cadillac's new XLR claiming title as the must-have luxury road conqueror in the newest James Bond film -- even with the secret out that longtime 007 portrayer Pierce Brosnan really can't maneuver a standard transmission. (Bummer. But not enough to blur the image.)

Surely one could hide some high-tech weaponry along its deep set fascia scoop. And wrapped on the same foundation as the sixth generation Vette, with a lunging-forward forever-in-motion look, it has the marbles to back up the claim it has staked.

As the third in a three-punch design spectrum from Cadillac, following the CTS auto and SRX crossover, there's nothing apologetic about XLR.

Built on a performance rear-drive chassis, it is undergirded with the elite of technological advancements to give it road-hugging authority without losing panache. As expected, it gains its top-down roadster presence from a power retractable hardtop that disappears to retain a polished look.

Gadgets missing from simpler roadsters are, in high-tech counterspy tradition, pleasingly present: GM's first-ever Adaptive Cruise Control to help prevent nasty run-intos with no detriment to driving fun; the head-up display to keep a potential foe on target without losing sight of the road; hands-free mic for chatting or barking nav system orders; a pocketed key fob to open doors and launch the push-button start.

Tasting the ultimate luxury in a roadster comes with price tag to match. But Cadillac keeps it somewhat affordable (for the six digit crowd, at least) at $76,200 including everything but a $325 XM radio option. This rear- or all-wheel-drive sizzler with GM's refined 4.6-liter Northstar V-8 drives to new excitement heights. Without apologies and only mildly tongue-in-cheek, we'd have to call the XLR a "bonding" experience.