One of the things that have hurt Detroit manufacturers for the last two decades was unreasonable pricing. While over simplified, here's how companies like General Motors would arrive at the pricing for new vehicles; some marketing wonk would look at the competitive set, find the average price of similar vehicles, and price the GM model to fit somewhere in the mix, usually near the most expensive.
This gave the world Chevy Cavaliers that were priced like Toyota Corollas, even though the Cavs weren't nearly equivelant. The market knew it. One product succeeded while the other suffered.
2009 Cadillac SRXEnlarge Photo
As evidence of how things have changes, at least at General Motors, Cadillac has realized that to gain consideration from all in-market shoppers, their products need to be more competitively priced. Look out world, because the all-new 2010 Cadillac SRX launches later this summer with a base price of $34,155. This MSRP is for a front-wheel-drive SRX with standard trim.
This price (which includes destination charges), is $7,080 under the base V-6 version of the 2009 Cadillac SRX. More importantly, the new price is under the base price of a front-wheel-drive 2010 Lexus RX350, which stickers for $37,625 with shipping.
2010 Lexus RX 350Enlarge Photo
Talking with a Cadillac representative, I also learned that a well-equipped all-wheel-drive 2010 SRX will come in at $40,230. This price should also be competitive with the AWD Lexus RX350, that starts at $39,025 before any options.
2010 Cadillac SRXEnlarge Photo
Based on my first drive in an SRX late this spring, Cadillac is on to something with this pricing strategy. If the price gets people in the doors, driving the 2010 SRX should seal the deal, especially compared to the terribly tame Lexus RX350.
The 2010 SRX stands out from the crown jewel of the Lexus line (the RX is the best-selling Lexus model, and has been since it was first introduced) in so many areas. First, the styling of the SRX is more evocative. But arguments over styling are for people who would rather look at cars as opposed to drive them. This is where the new SRX really shines. The standard 3.0-liter V-6 pumps out plenty of power, and the Stabilitrak electronic stability control is programmed to enhance, not intrude on, your dynamic driving pleasure. The result is a crossover that handles more like a sports sedan (think Cadillac CTS) than a crossover.
Catch more details about the 2010 Cadillac SRX in our just-completed Bottom Line. There you'll learn more about the shorter but wider body, the improvements in fuel economy, and the continuation of Cadillac's styling transformation.