Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2005 Cadillac XLR VS 2005 Mercedes SL Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2005 Cadillac XLR

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2005 Mercedes SL

Safety Comparison

Compared to metal, the XLR’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mercedes SL Class has a metal gas tank.

Both the XLR and the SL Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

The XLR’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and 50,000 miles longer than the SL Class’ (6/100,000 vs. 4/50,000).

There are almost 5 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the XLR’s warranty.

Engine Comparison

The XLR’s 4.6 DOHC V8 produces 18 more horsepower (320 vs. 302) than the SL500’s standard 5.0 SOHC V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Cadillac XLR is faster than the SL500:


SL Class

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

14.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101.4 MPH

97.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The XLR gets better fuel mileage than the SL Class with its standard engine (17 city/25 hwy vs. 16 city/23 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Cadillac XLR uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The SL Class requires premium, which can cost 25 to 50 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the XLR’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the SL Class:


SL Class

Front Rotors

12.8 inches

12.28 inches

Rear Rotors

12 inches

11.81 inches

The XLR’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the SL500 are solid, not vented.

The XLR stops shorter than the SL Class:


SL Class

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the XLR can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The SL Class doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XLR’s wheelbase is 4.9 inches longer than on the SL Class (105.7 vs. 100.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XLR is .6 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the SL Class.

The XLR goes through Road & Track’s slalom faster than the SL500 (64.9 vs. 64.6 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

The Cadillac XLR may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 850 pounds less than the Mercedes SL Class.

As tested by Road & Track while at idle, the interior of the XLR is quieter than the SL500 (49 vs. 50 dB).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The XLR has a larger trunk with its top down than the SL Class with its top down (4.4 vs. 7.3 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The XLR’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The SL Class does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The XLR has a standard heads-up display which projects speed and turn signal readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The SL Class doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The XLR’s standard power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The SL Class’ standard power mirror controls are on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

The XLR’s standard air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. An air conditioned front seats costs extra on the SL Class.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the XLR owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the XLR will cost $820 less than the SL Class over a five year period.

The headlight lenses on the XLR are made of plastic to be lighter, more resistant to damage and less expensive to replace than the glass headlight lenses on the SL Class.

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