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TheCarConnection.com team presents this comprehensive take on the all-new 2010 Cadillac SRX. TheCarConnection.com has also compiled competitive write-ups on the five-passenger crossover, arranged in a Full Review, while here the editors provide a thoughtful synopsis of this stylish utility vehicle to help you make a smart purchase decision.
Available in August, the 2010 SRX is a five-passenger, mid-size crossover. The design forgoes the rear-wheel-drive architecture of the old SRX in favor of a transverse-engine, front- and all-wheel-drive-capable chassis that is about the same size as the popular Lexus RX 350.
Editors at TheCarConnection.com agree that the look of 2010 Cadillac SRX is a huge improvement over the outgoing model, a vehicle that looked too tall and too long for its narrow width. The new SRX is more than six inches shorter and two inches wider than the outgoing model. Importantly, there's less front and rear overhang. This combination helps tighten up the crossover's proportions.
Vertically stacked headlights and a trapezoidal chrome grille give the SRX a Cadillac family look without it appearing cookie cutter. The dramatic side sections outdo Lexus's popular RX in terms of style. A powerful character line beginning at the trailing edge of the front wheel well culminates at the taillight lens. These lens looks to be vestigial tailfins, but unlike the fins of the 1950s, this design actually helps aerodynamically by breaking the airflow from the body. An integrated spoiler on the rearward edge of the roof extends the sleek lines and improves aerodynamics. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard and 20-inch wheels are offered. Design misses includes the too-heavy-seeming rear hatch and the opportunity they had to hide the rear wiper up under the rear spoiler; the look is less clean than it could be.
Inside the 2010 SRX, hand-cut-and-sewn coverings on the instrument panel and ambient lighting make for a rich environment that continues Cadillac's commitment to top-flight interiors. An integrated center stack houses controls for climate and audio systems, while the optional NAV system rises from the center of the instrument panel just like it does on the Cadillac CTS. The Cadillac's extra width (compared to some other new mid-size crossovers such as the Volvo XC60) helps the rear seats feel more spacious. A newly developing required bling feature, an illuminated logo glows through the front door sill plates when the doors open (but like lights in refrigerators, how do we know that they turn off?).
Following the trend TheCarConnection.com sees with many manufacturers, the 2010 SRX is doing more with less in the performance department. The outgoing 2009 SRX offered a 3.6-liter V-6 and a 4.6-liter V-8. The 2010 SRX comes standard with a new, 265-horsepower 3.0-liter direct-injected V-6 engine that Cadillac expects to deliver 25 mpg on the highway (certified figures aren't available for this post) and about 18 mpg city. In the SRX, the new 3.0-liter produces more horsepower and gets better fuel economy than the 3.6-liter in the outgoing model. GM's 2.8-liter turbocharged V-6 is optional for 2010. Horsepower for the single-turbo 2.8-liter is expected to be 300 even. The engine performs beautifully in Saab applications and should provide plenty of thrust for the SRX when it becomes available late in 2009. The powertrain provides a useful maximum tow rating of 3,500 pounds.
Both engines utilize a six-speed automatic that powers the front wheels. All-wheel drive by Haldex is optional and includes an electronic limited-slip rear differential that delivers excellent poor-weather grip. Our test drive happened on a snowy, cold spring day in Michigan, and the SRX plowed through as if the roads were dry. Some drivers may miss the availability of paddle shifters on the steering wheel. We didn't.
During our enthusiastic drive over twisting roads in southern Michigan, we learned that the chassis of the 2010 Cadillac SRX is stiff, which means the shock absorbers and springs can be tuned more softly, delivering a comfortable, though still responsive ride. Two suspensions are offered: the standard tune and the optional FE3 that features Continuous Damping Control, aka an active suspension that reads and adjusts every two milliseconds. The SRX's ride, even with 20-inch wheels, is smooth. Better yet, steering response is more akin to a sport sedan than what you'd experience in many other crossovers, including the Lexus RX 350. Our only complaint is that at high engine speeds (over 6,000 rpm), the engine is too loud for this level of luxury vehicle. At all other engine speeds, the engine is appropriately quiet and plenty powerful.
The 2010 SRX features numerous electronic gadgets and systems. Highlights include adaptive forward lighting that swivels the headlamps in sync with vehicle steering; a power liftgate with adjustable height setting (it won't hit your garage door if opened while parked inside); an integrated hard disc drive for audio storage; and a dual-screen video system for rear entertainment. Bluetooth compatibility is standard, as is OnStar's turn-by-turn navigation service for buyers who do not opt for the car's navigation system option.
The 2010 Cadillac SRX carries all of the safety equipment one expects in a premium crossover: standard head-curtain side airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, safety belts with dual pretensioners and load limiters, and OnStar. The SRX also introduces the use of Martensitic steel, one of the strongest available. It helps protect against intrusion during a side impact, while also maintaining the structure during front and rear crashes. The SRX hasn't been tested by the government or the IIHS, but we'll keep you posted on results as these tests are completed.