There are three interior trim combinations available on the '09 XLR-V. Ebony, Cashmere (used to be called Shale until '07) and Ebony-Cashmere Two-tone. The standard V-wheel is the painted 10-spoke 19". The Platinum (non-V) gets the chrome 9-spoked wheels. I know of no gold trim on any XLR in any year. I'm only aware of the burl wood trim for the '09 V.
You gain a different front/rear fascia, leather dash pad, and fake air extractors over the '08 models. Child-proof window switches were also added along with a rounded base/paddle-type mirror control. There are two differerent configurations of exhaust pipe tips. The standard double ovals and a pair of squared off pipes that fit nicely in the square recess on the rear fascia. It appears they were added mid-way through the '09 production run. The Bulgari logo around the IPC speedo and tach was dropped. An alcantra headliner was added. All '09s get the nice-looking power dome hood.
The lowest price I've seen for an '09 XLR is $59,999 with 20 miles on the odometer. 70k for a V with 7k mi. There were only 239 V's built during the last year, so the few new ones out there are still commanding prices in the mid-80's up to $105k. There's a regular '09 XLR in Atlanta now for <$53k with 3000 miles on it. Could be a sweet deal for someone.
Great deals can be had for low-milage V's from '07 and '06. The steering wheel design changed from a V shape to a more rounder, pillow-shape in '08 and includes heating. '08 introduced the 2nd generation Magnetic Ride Control.
Last but not least, you lose the Adaptive Cruise Control on the V, no matter what the year. (But get a lot more horsepower!) A standard cruise control is installed, but ACC is really nice once you've used it awhile.
Turns out, there were two aluminum trim levels for the final production year, Quartz (XLR Platinum Series) and Bermuda (XLR-V.) "Kinetic" aluminum trim is mentioned interchangeably. Looking at pictures of both models doesn't really give a feel for the differences, or shades. Someone here may have eyeballed both in person and can clarify this.
Also introduced in '09 was OnStar8 and Bluetooth capability.
I appreciate your reply. It is too bad that the '07s and '08s didn't have Bluetooth, since at this point I don't believe I want to pay the higher prices that the '09s are apparently still fetching. Got my eye on a couple of '08 XLR-Vs scattered around the country. Do you think offering under $60K is reasonable, given that it is the dead of winter?
Bluetooth (in)compatibility should be a minor concern. You can upgrade an older model XLR with aftermarket products to accomplish that.
Thanks to the internet, it's easy to buy an XLR without paying more than you have to if you are patient and do your homework. Since you are set on a V, here's my .02:
Go to autotrader.com and fill in the blanks for the XLR data and in the "where will you look?" input drop-down menu, enter "any distance." This gives you more of a reality check price-wise when shopping. Keep it simple by entering the start and stop year to the same year to avoid getting too many hits. You'll be surprised how many XLR-Vs with really low milage pop up. Due to the high intial showroom price, the owners are generally older and some rarely drive them. One of the great things about this site is that it gives you a high/low/average price for all the vehicles in your selection at a glance. I do this once a month for all years of XLR to look at general trends.
The good news: There has never been a better time to buy a used XLR! Why pay $100k for a new car when you can buy one that's a couple of years old for half (or less)?!! The XLR has always been over-priced, and I waited for mine until they reached a breakpoint that I thought was worth it. (That's the patience part I mentioned.) This is a good forum, but there are XLR-specific forums available that have much more information available. I can assure you that other than intermittent top issues, (-which are ususally sensor failures) the cars (in both flavors) have been pretty reliable overall.
Your choice is simply cost and color preferences; I would be as inclined to buy an '06 XLR-V as '08 reliability-wise, if the milage was agreeable to you. '07 was the last year for the "V"-shaped steering wheel, which I prefer over the rounded "pillow" type introduced the following year. Some owners have complained about the cashmere/shale interior cloth inserts in the doors and seats getting dirty over time, but that's to be expected with a lighter-colored interior. '08 got the heated steering wheel and 2nd generation magnetic ride control. So the changes (until '09) were very minor, and generally cosmetic.
Here's what you need to watch out for: It's a pretty safe bet to have an extended warrranty. The car has to be under the original to qualify for the GMPP warranty, which covers the top. There isn't much that can go wrong on an XLR that is cheap or you can fix yourself (unless you own a Tech 2.) For the price of an extended warranty, I bought the Tech 2 and a CANdi module, because I can always sell it later, unlike an expired warranty. The code readers available at auto parts stores aren't going to be of much help with the XLR which has two data buses. Whatever you decide, an '07 XLR is going to be close to falling out of warranty, unless the owner got a 6-year/100kmi. Everybody wants to sell you an extended warranty, but NONE I have ever seen will cover the top --except the GMPP available from your GM dealer.
eBay has some great photos of XLRs for you to get an idea of what color preferences you might like when shopping. When I finally bought my car, I knew I got the best deal available which made buying the car I had lusted after for so long even better! It's been a blast to drive and after sorting out the issues common to '04s, (which the previous owner had not) my problems with it have been minor. There weren't enough changes made to justify spending thousands more for a later model, so I'm more than happy with my purchase.
Whatever you decide, doing your homework will lead to a better ownership experience. Good luck with your quest!!
I greatly appreciate your sharing of extensive notes and thoughts. I'm still looking around for my '07-'09. Does anyone on this list have any experience with either of these two Cadillac dealers:
Delaware Motor Sales (Wilmington)
Chesapeake Cadillac (Cockeysville, MD)
The blue 2008 XLR-V in Wilmington has never been titled and has 6,731 miles on it -- clearly used as a demo by the dealer. Any thoughts on whether buying a demo car like this is like buying a car that's been used as a rental, or whether it is probably still in fine shape?
You're welcome. 6700 miles is high for a "demo" that has probably been been floored often to show it off. I doubt the majority of the milage was racked up by salesman wanting to take it home.
XLR-V's (and XLRs for that matter) have been overpriced since their introduction, and there are still new '08s to be found on the lots. All vehicles on a lot are demos; that's just a fancy way of calling it a used car that hasn't sold yet. If they could have sold it by now, they would have. The only real demos are the ones they build without VINs for testing and crush afterwards. Regardless, any used car is a gamble.
You can hedge your bet by having the dealer include a six-year 100k mile warranty as part of any proposed deal. Make sure you view the vehicle's maintenance history before you sign off an any XLR. As important as a warranty is, you're going to tire of the car pretty fast if it's in the shop all the time.