New & Used Cadillac SRX: In Depth
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The Cadillac SRX is a mid-size crossover that has the option of front or all-wheel drive. Its stylish design has helped the SRX become Cadillac’s best selling model, competing with the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, Audi Q5, and the Lexus RX.
With only two generations and about six years of production behind it, the Cadillac SRX is one of the youngest vehicles in Cadillac’s range. When it first debuted, 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. The second generation just made its debut last year, but already its aggressive design is proving 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-only engines available. It’s built on its own platform, but shares elements of the underpinnings of the upcoming 2010 Saab 9-5 and 2010 Saab 9-4X. More high-tech options and a more refined interior were also the hallmarks of the new SRX. 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.
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. We found the 2012 Cadillac SRX to be considerably more confident and relaxed, yet a stronger performer, with the new engine. All else was carried over from the 2010 and 2011 model years, with the 2012 SRX achieving both IIHS Top Safety Pick status and a five-star overall score from the federal government.
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.