- Strong, smooth power
- A rolling technology showcars
- Interior is distinctive, luxurious
- Brakes feel soggy
- Fuel economy is below average
- Heavy driving feel
The 2016 Cadillac SRX smooths out the road ahead with a luxurious ride, smooth V-6 power, and the mixed blessing of touchscreen controls.
The 2016 Cadillac SRX carries over unchanged for the 2016 model year, with the XT5 replacing the nameplate for model year 2017.
The SRX is GM's luxury five-seat crossover SUV. It's a counterpart to the big, truck-based Escalade, but they're as different as they can be when it comes to capability and road manners. The Escalade is all about blingy bluster, and for some, heavy-duty work—the SRX is geared to toting four or five adults around town, through whatever weather comes its way.
The SRX tucks a conventional crossover-SUV shape under Cadillac's usual array of stark angles and sculpted curves. It's the oldest model in the Cadillac lineup, but still looks fresh and tasteful—especially in light of what we've seen of its upcoming replacement, the XT5. The Art & Science styling theme is more muted here than on past Cadillacs, but the SRX is still an edgy outlier when compared with vehicles like the Audi Q5, BMW X3, even the new Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class—which Cadillac considers to be rivals for the SRX.
Inside, the SRX's cabin is a contemporary, classy blend of big touchscreen interfaces and handsome, traditional details like stitched leather trim.
The SRX comes in a single powertrain configuration, with a choice of all-wheel drive overriding standard front-wheel drive. Power comes from a 308-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine, coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is respectable—0-60 mph happens in the seven-second range—but the SRX doesn't feel so light on its feel. That comes down to the transmission's tall gearing but, even more so, the SRX's substantial 4,500-pound curb weight.
Among Cadillac models, the SRX is perhaps the one most focused more toward space and versatility than performance. Although the interior has just two rows of seating, there's ample space for five, with well-contoured seats front and back—plus extendable thigh bolsters in front and what most adults will find to be a great seating height. A new active noise cancellation system introduced last year uses a microphone to detect ambient noise and counteracts harshness; with it or not, the SRX cabin is a very quiet, comfortable place for the commute or a long road trip.
The 2016 SRX remains at the front of its class for safety, whether you judge that on occupant safety or active measures. It's earned top five-star ratings from the federal government as well as very good marks from the IIHS. Cadillac recently added an array of radar-, camera-, and sensor-based safety systems, including adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, a safety alert seat, and automatic front and rear braking assist.
The SRX has one of the most advanced instrument panels on the market, with the CUE infotainment system included across the model line; it includes enhanced steering-wheel and instrument-panel controls, plus an 8.0-inch capacitive screen interface with proximity sensing—giving you more options only as your hands approach. The touch-based controls feature both haptic feedback and proximity sensing technology to ensure consumers know when a command has been registered. And the touchscreen is motorized and can flip up to reveal a hidden storage cubby. CUE can pair up to 10 Bluetooth devices, and incorporates all the latest technology including standard HD radio, Bluetooth audio streaming. CUE can be frustrating, but its touch-and-swipe interface is more familiar than some of the illogical roller-controller systems on the market.
The SRX's OnStar system now includes 4G LTE connectivity, with the ability to create an in-car wi-fi network to utilize the data plan.
Luxury Collection, Performance Collection and Premium Collection models add many more features, including three-zone climate control; adaptive forward lighting that swivels the headlamps in sync with vehicle steering; a power liftgate with adjustable height setting; and a dual-screen video system for rear entertainment.
The EPA rates the 2016 SRX at 17 mpg city, 24 highway, 19 combined for front-drive models. With all-wheel drive, the numbers drop to 16/23/18 mpg.