New & Used Cadillac SRX: In Depth
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The Cadillac SRX is a mid-size crossover that is a rival for vehicles like the Audi Q5, Lexus RX, and Volvo XC60. A front-driver in base form, it offers optional all-wheel drive, both versions powered by the same V-6 and six-speed automatic.
With only two generations and about six years of production behind it, the Cadillac SRX is one of the youngest nameplates in Cadillac’s range--but in the midst of a slew of new Cadillac launches, it's now the oldest product in the lineup.
When it first debuted, the SRX was based on an entirely different architecture, the one that brought the first Cadillac CTS to bear. It was powered by V-6 and Northstar V-8 engines, featured five- and six-speed automatic transmissions, and was available in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. It won awards in its luxury SUV class, and performed well in safety testing, earning four stars in frontal impact and five stars in side impact ratings.MORE: Read our 2015 Cadillac SRX review
The second generation made its debut in 2010, and its aggressive design proved a hit with buyers.
Based on the Provoq concept's design, the new SRX is edgy, modern and more car-like than its predecessor. It’s also a bit more compact, with smaller V-6 engines the only ones offered. It’s built on its own platform, but shares elements of the underpinnings of the Chevy Equinox. The shift to the new platform also included a shift to either front- or all-wheel drive, ditching the rear-drive of the previous model.
At launch, the entry level model was actually the larger of the two, its 3.0-liter displacement generating 265 horsepower. The upgrade engine was a 2.8-liter turbocharged V-6 rated at 300 horsepower. This, along with the choice between front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, were the primary distinguishing factors in the second-generation SRX’s available configurations. For 2012, Cadillac completely revamped the SRX's powertrain lineup, dropping both the 3.0-liter V-6 and the 2.8-liter turbocharged V-6 in favor of a larger 3.6-liter V-6, making 308 horsepower. With this powertrain--still the current configuration--the SRX is considerably more confident and relaxed, yet a stronger performer.More high-tech options and a more refined interior are the hallmark of the new SRX. Whichever basic setup you choose, the SRX is available with a range of optional upgrade packages, though the front-drive vehicle’s upgrade path is skewed toward luxury features, while the all-wheel-drive SRX is pointed more toward a mixture of luxury and performance upgrades. Standard features across most of the range include dual-zone climate control, XM Radio, OnStar telematics, and tire pressure sensors. Optional upgrades add lots of potential, with a large UltraView sunroof, memory-setting seats, rearview camera system, wood trim, and a universal home remote available in many packages.
For the 2013 model year, Cadillac installed its CUE touch-screen interface--with capacitive controls, a reconfigurable instrument cluster, new steering-wheel controls, and extended voice controls--into the SRX. The system can connect up to ten smartphones or other media devices. Otherwise, the SRX got a couple of new active-safety packages, a new entertainment pack, and active noise cancellation was made standard throughout the model line.
New for the 2015 model year is OnStar's inclusion of 4G LTE connectivity, with the ability to create an in-car WiFi network to utilize the data plan.