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 Car of the Year -- Cadillac XLR

American Woman Road and Travel's highest award, Car of the Year, has gone to some pretty outstanding automobiles in recent years, but none that so passionate, so captivatingly styled and so incredibly significant as the gorgeous new Cadillac XLR.

Its knife-edged styling turns more heads than a topless Pamela Anderson. Its exhilarating performance speaks in the legendary Corvette's native tongue. And its ultra-luxurious interior (replete with Bose audio and Bulgari gauges) rivals those of the world's most lustworthy roadsters, including the awesome Mercedes-Benz SL and the Porsche Carrera. Furthermore, next to those cars-and others in that echelon-the $76,200 Cadillac XLR is an indisputable bargain that also reestablishes the American brand as one of the world's most prestigious automakers.

With its lusty looks, faultess road manners, luxury accoutrements and cache for days, then, the Cadillac XLR is Road & Travel's Car of the Year for 2004.

Honorable Mentions:

Mazda RX-8
With four doors, four seats and an incredible new rotary engine, the Mazda RX-8 reminds us that Mazda is still focusing on doing what it knows best: building cars that are fun to drive and easy to live with as well. Factor in the fact that is costs little more than a mid-size sedan and you have a seriously compelling sports car that effectively doubles as a family sedan.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class
With new wagon and all-wheel-drive models, the enhanced Mercedes-Benz E-Class lineup offers excellent matches for even more luxury-minded consumers this year. Also, the E55 AMG variant is a rocketship disguised as a sport sedan. Yum.

ROAD & TRAVEL's 2004 Sports Car of the Year -- Cadlilac XLR
Nothing ignites our passions like a sexy sports car. And we've gotten more than a little aroused in recent years with some truly compelling sports cars. But none so compelling so as to win not only our Most Sex Appeal category, but our Car of the Year award as well. But the incredible new Cadillac XLR has done just that.

Its sports car credentials start with its eye-catching styling, which is arguably the most luscious example yet of Cadillac's art-and-science form vocabulary also seen on the SRX sport wagon and the CTS sport sedan. Sure, its folding metal top is a work of art. And sure, its luxurious interior could just as easily belong in a Maserati or a Mercedes-Benz.

But we believe that a sports car wouldn't be worth a drop of fuel if it didn't have an incredible engine, and the XLR's 320-hp V-8 indeed is one incredible power plant. Mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, the throaty V-8's 315 lb-ft of torque twist the rear wheels with enough accelerative power to hurl the luxury roadster to 60 mph in under six seconds. And based as it is on a future Corvette chassis, the XLR generates near-supercar handling numbers.

With the XLR, it's safe to say that Cadillac is back at the top of the heap. And now it has the awards to prove it.

Honorable Mentions:

Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG
The unbelievably powerful 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG starts where the beautiful, graceful but more luxury-minded SL500 leaves off. The ace up the SL55's sleeve is the hand-built, supercharged, 469-hp V-8 engine that catapults the roadster forward with the alacrity once found only in Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Sure, its price is in the nosebleed section, but no one ever said that dream cars like these come cheap.

Chrysler Crossfire
An unexpected offspring of the Daimler-Benz/Chrysler merger is the alluring and sporty Crossfire coupe, which blends the best of the solid Mercedes-Benz SLK platform with expressive styling such that Chrysler designers are known for. Not only is the Crossfire a feast for the eyes when standing still, it is a feast for the soul when charging down your favorite twisty two-laner. And at less than $35K to start, it won't feast on your wallet, either.


International Car of the Year
Car of the Year
Cadillac XLR

Most Sex Appeal
Sports Car of the Year
Cadillac XLR

Most Respected
Luxury Car of the Year
Jaguar XJ

Most Dependable
Sedan of the Year
BMW 5-Series

Most Spirited
Entry-Level Car of the Year
Dodge SRT-4

Most Compatible
Minivan of the Year
Nissan Quest

Most Versatile
Crossover/Sport Wagon of the Year
Chrysler Pacifica
Most Memorable
Classic Car of the Year
Chevrolet SSR
Most Athletic
Pickup Truck of the Year
Ford F-150 FX4

Most Likely to Survive
SUV of the Year
Volkswagen Touareg

Class of 2004 ~ 8th Annual Awards Links