Like the automotive professionals at TheCarConnection.com, most reviewers find the on-road handling of the 2008 Cadillac SRX above reproach, but better when accompanied by the expensive Magnetic Ride Control option.
A 3.6-liter, 260-horsepower V-6 is the standard engine in SRX, teamed with a five-speed automatic. Its performance is fairly ordinary and so is its gas mileage. There's every reason to order the optional 4.6-liter, 320-horsepower Northstar V-8 engine, which gets a six-speed automatic for the 2008 model year. It's capable of much more impressive acceleration--it can launch the crossover to 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds--but fuel economy is an issue. Car and Driver characterizes both the V-6 and V-8 as "engines to be proud of," though they call the lower-powered 2008 Cadillac SRX trim option "merely adequate." Autoblog believes that Cadillac and SRX enthusiasts will enjoy the "smooth operation and responsiveness" of both 2008 Cadillac SRX engines. They declare the 2008 Cadillac offering of a "3.6L [as] very good--quiet but stout enough to move the SRX briskly." Edmunds reports, “The combination of the Northstar V8 and six-speed automatic transmission provides strong acceleration,” but adds that the V-6 is “adequate for most drivers.” MyRide.com notes the six-speed transmission as shifting "smoothly at all times."
The SRX is available in either rear- or all-wheel drive, and with either drivetrain, its 4,000-pound-plus heft cuts fuel economy to 13/20 mpg for the V-8 versions, and only 15/22 mpg for the V-6, rear-drive model. Unlike many other SUVs, the 2008 Cadillac SRX V-6 option impresses ConsumerGuide by using "regular-grade gas," while recommending "premium for the V8."
The 2008 Cadillac SRX handles nimbly, with either its standard suspension or GM's optional Magnetic Ride Control, which uses magnetic force to control the stiffness of the shocks. ConsumerGuide says the Magnetic Ride Control system is nearly essential; "without it, SRX suffers from lots of bounding and other unwanted body motions, even on mildly rippled pavement." Autoblog attests "in terms of overall ride and handling, [the Cadillac SRX] is nothing short of excellent." Kelley Blue Book declares the "2008 Cadillac SRX glides serenely without veer or vagueness." While the "steering feel is light at first," they go on to remark that the Cadillac SRX handling obviously and "quickly firms up as the speed rises." A hallmark of the crossover SRX, Cadillac designed a reasonable turn radius that makes it "relatively easy to park and maneuver in tight spots." MyRide.com, though, notes the SRX "tends to understeer heavily when entering a turn too hot, and the body leans more than a typical passenger car." Car and Driver contends the SRX “feels like a sports car among SUVs with predictable steering, athletic handling, and well-weighted throttle and brakes.”