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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
Chassis was informative, reassuringly solid, and expert at controlling body motions
Car and Driver
Caddy estimates the AWD turbo will do 0-to-60 mph in about 7.5 sec.
Aside from boosting the 2010 Cadillac SRX's visual appeal, the smaller overall dimensions reinvigorate this crossover with a whole new level of handling performance. TheCarConnection.com's research shows that the new SRX Cadillac offers one of the most engaging driving experiences in the crossover segment, though most reviewers recommend opting up for the turbocharged engine.
In keeping with the downsizing theme for the SRX Cadillac, The Detroit News reports that the "SRX drops its 3.6-liter V-6 and 4.6-liter V-8 for a pair of V-6s: a direct injection 3-liter and a 2.8-liter turbo charged V-6." While the displacement and cylinder count may be down compared to last year, Motor Trend still says that "the base 3.0L gas direct-injection V-6, rated 265 hp, gives the SRX [the] best specific output in its class," while Car and Driver points out that an "optional, 300-horse turbo V-6, built in Australia for Saab and Holden, will arrive this fall." Unfortunately, despite the shaved dimensions for the 2010 Cadillac SRX, Car and Driver mentions that the crossover still "weighs 4505 pounds," which is "heavier than any of its leading competitors." The net result is performance that Jalopnik calls "quick, but unremarkable," while Autoblog reviewers feel that the Cadillac SRX feels "more sluggish off the line than its spec sheet would suggest." In terms of acceleration numbers, Motor Trend states that Cadillac estimates that the "turbo will do 0-to-60 mph in about 7.5 sec," while the naturally aspirated "3.0 covers it in just under 8 sec."
Regardless of which engine you choose for the 2010 Cadillac SRX, Car and Driver informs us that all of Cadillac's crossovers will come standard with "a six-speed automatic" that is rather poorly received by reviewers. Jalopnik says "the transmission is one of the weaker points of the SRX," as "in regular mode it's a bit slower than we'd like, but set that way in the interest of fuel economy." That transmission is able to drive either the front wheels or all four, depending on which drivetrain option you prefer. Motor Trend reveals that "Cadillac expects about half of the new [Cadillac] SRX's buyers will choose front drive over the Haldex AWD versions," although the AWD system is praised as one of the most effective on any production vehicle. The Detroit News raves that the "phenomenal drive system...can transfer as much as 100 percent of the engine's power from the front axle to the back even before you know you need it," and Automobile Magazine reports that the Cadillac SRX's AWD system "sends torque to the rear wheels when more than a dozen sensors suggest that's advisable."
As of this writing, the official EPA estimates for the SRX Cadillac's expected gas mileage are unavailable, but Motor Trend reviewers note that "Cadillac expects the SRX to match its archrival [the Lexus RX 350] in fuel economy." If that holds true, then Motor Trend says that, "with a 21-gal tank, range will top 500 miles." Meanwhile, Autoblog reviewers estimate that the front-wheel-drive SRX Cadillac will get "18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, while the all-wheel-drive model [should be] rated at 17/23." Those numbers aren't fantastic, but they probably won't scare away any potential Cadillac SRX customers, all other things being equal.
Crossovers aren't typically known for their sporty performance characteristics, but TheCarConnection.com's research reveals a noteworthy sporty streak for the SRX Cadillac. The Detroit News reviewers call the 2010 Cadillac SRX "exceptionally well-mannered," with a "hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering [that] was more precise than...expected—turning into corners very smoothly." Jalopnik agrees, claiming this is a "crossover [that] actually handles. We'll even go so far as to say it's a Caddy that zigs and even zags." In keeping with its luxury billing, the SRX Cadillac also boasts a composed ride, with Automobile Magazine contending that "the SRX's electronic dampers and rubber-isolated subframes provide a tightly controlled yet supple ride over Michigan's pockmarked pavement." Jalopnik is still at a loss to explain how the SRX Cadillac is so "bewilderingly solid," asserting that the crossover "soaks up...imperfections while feeling as solid as a German luxury wagon."
The 2010 Cadillac SRX is one crossover that might bring out the deviant in normally mild-mannered parents.