2015 Cadillac SRX Review

Consumer Reviews
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2018
The Car Connection
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
May 26, 2015

The 2015 Cadillac SRX offers class-leading technology and excellent interior appointments in a uniquely American luxury crossover.

The 2015 Cadillac SRX is a smaller, more carlike counter to the macho, super-luxurious Escalade. At the same time, it takes aim at a completely different crowd—those who want a comfortable, manageable utility vehicle that performs well but is more mild-mannered and economical to drive and own.

The SRX is the most dated model in the Cadillac lineup, yet it still still does manage to look contemporary. It wears the edgy Arts and Science design that we've come to know from Cadillac, and its upscale interior harkens more to the brand's newest sedans than any of GM's lesser vehicles.

Power for all SRX models comes from a 308-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine, with a six-speed automatic transmission. You can get this vehicle with front- or all-wheel drive, and the all-wheel-drive models use a Haldex system with electronic limited-slip differential; the latter is a great choice for snowy climates and bad weather. Overall, though, the SRX isn't as quick or nimble as you might guess for this size of a vehicle with more than 300 hp; that's because of rather tall gearing and a hefty 4,500-pound curb weight. The engine makes its peak torque at 2,400 rpm, so the setup is relaxed enough, and the dash to 60 mph takes just seven seconds. It's from a standing start, or in passing maneuvers where the SRX doesn't feel as quick on its feet as the Acura MDX, Lincoln MKX, or even Lexus RX 350.

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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.

Compared to its top-selling rival, the Lexus RX 350, the SRX is a striking outlier, inside especially, even if it doesn't carry the swept-back, long-hooded proportions of those sedans—or quite enough of the panache and presence of the new Escalade, in our opinion. It fits in with other luxury crossovers on the outside, while the details and the overarching design of its interior make it its uniquely Cadillac.

The 2015 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 Top Safety Pick status from the IIHS; and last year Cadillac added an array of radar-, camera-, and sensor-based safety systems, including adaptive cruise control, cross traffic alert, a safety alert seat, and automatic front and rear braking assist. Last year Cadillac has added its Intellibeam headlamps as part of the Driver Awareness Package.

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 eight-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 touch-screen is motorized and can flip up to reveal a hidden storage cubby. CUE can pair up to ten Bluetooth devices, and incorporates all the latest technology including standard HD radio, Bluetooth audio streaming.

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.

New for this year is OnStar's inclusion of 4G LTE connectivity, with the ability to create an in-car WiFi network to utilize the data plan.

7

2015 Cadillac SRX

Styling

It may not be as seductive as some Cadillac cars, but the SRX crossover has a top-notch interior.

The 2015 Cadillac SRX stands out in the mid-size luxury crossover segment, thanks to its familiar, chiseled Cadillac design and handsome, high-tech interior.

Cadillac revamped the interior in 2013, where all the models received the brand's CUE interface; essentially, it replaced the old layout with an eight-inch capacitive touch screen front and center, with slick proximity sensing and slider controls for some features. Combine that with the hand-cut-and-sewn coverings on the instrument panel and ambient lighting and you have an environment that's not only richly appointed but tech-forward. 

Relatively short front and rear overhangs, vertically stacked headlights, and a trapezoidal chrome grille give the right level of detailing to match. Especially of note is the powerful character line that runs from the trailing edge of the front wheel well through to the taillight lens, while the tail lamps themselves extend—to aerodynamic advantage—like vestigal tailfins. An integrated spoiler on the rearward edge of the roof also extends the sleek lines and further improves aerodynamics; although we see the exposed rear wiper, which could have been tucked underneath, to be a design miss on a luxury vehicle. This year, the eighteen-inch wheels have been redesigned, and 20-inchers are offered; illuminated sill plates and piped lighting are among the touches of class.

Even if it doesn't carry the swept-back, long-hooded proportions of Cadillac's sedans—or quite enough of the panache and presence of the brawny Escalade, in our opinion. It fits in just enough with other luxury crossovers on the outside.

Compared to the top seller in the class, the Lexus RX 350, the SRX looks less cookie-cutter, with strongly sculpted, dramatic sides to complement the sharp front and rear appearance. Although the proportions aren't beautiful, there's absolutely no boring angle.

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7

2015 Cadillac SRX

Performance

A smooth powertrain makes up for typical crossover handling in the SRX.

The 2015 Cadillac SRX never feels lazy, thanks to its 308-horsepower V-6, but it's not necessarily all that inspiring or quick, either.

Sprightly and nimble are again not terms that really apply to the way the SRX handles; it feels heavier than you might expect if you pitch it hard into a corner. It's a bit disconcerting in that its center of mass feels higher (because of your seating height) even if it isn't. But the hydraulic-assist power steering is weighted nicely, and unwinds as predictably as in most sport sedans, and the powertrain always feels refined--settling to an almost imperceptible purr at idle, while it revs with a silky tenor, and none of the intake gurgle and whoosh of GM V-6s of the not-so-distant past. One criticism is that the brakes tend to feel spongier than we’d like, and the impression is cemented with significant nosedive.

Where does the fizz go? Part of the problem is that the SRX is geared quite tall, but the other issue is sheer weight; the 3.6-liter V-6 makes its peak torque at 2,400 rpm, so it's a relaxed combination, but even with the responsive six-speed automatic transmission the SRX just isn't that quick on its feet when a quick burst of power is needed. That said, in all-out acceleration, the SRX will make it to 60 mph in a respectable seven seconds—in the same ballpark as the Acura MDX, Lincoln MKX, or even Lexus RX 350. 

You can get this vehicle with front- or all-wheel drive, and the all-wheel-drive models use a Haldex system with electronic limited-slip differential; the latter is a great choice for snowy climates and bad weather.

Larger wheels usually tend to make the ride worse, and they don't always improve handling; but the 20-inch wheels are fine here. We recommend the optional FE3 suspension, with an active suspension and Continuous Damping Control, which reads the road and other inputs, adjusting every two milliseconds.

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8

2015 Cadillac SRX

Comfort & Quality

The SRX's first-class feel comes from very comfortable front seats, and four-adult space.

There are some vehicles available that squeeze a third row in, where the 2015 SRX only has cargo space, but this Cadillac offers excellent utility and comfortable seating for up to five passengers.

We find overall usefulness to be about the same as any other mid-size crossover. The 60/40-split back seat can fold flat, and a power liftgate and an cargo-anchor system are on the options list.

What sets the SRX apart from mainstream crossover models, other than its feature set, is in the details. Its design holds up well, with materials, fits, and finishes that feel as good or better than other vehicles in the class, and a level of detailing that closely parallels what you see in the new XTS flagship. There's a sense of solidity throughout.

With either of the suspension setups, ride quality isn't pillowy soft, but it's tight enough for crisp handling without being too jarring. Your passengers will be happy, and this is actually a decent vehicle for realtors or others who want to impress clients but not be too over-the-top.

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. There's also remarkably little noise from under the hood.

The interior has just two rows of seating, but it's really for the better; 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. As such, the interior is roomy, nicely detailed, lavishly appointed, and one of the nicest in this size and price range.

Especially from one of the front seats, there's a lot to like. The driving position is upright, and front seats are nicely contoured and well bolstered—even with extendable thigh bolsters for taller drivers. Back-seat passengers will like the long moonroof, which gives the interior an airy feel. Head and leg room back there is a little tight, but good contouring and long cushions saves it.

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9

2015 Cadillac SRX

Safety

The Cadillac SRX has earned some great crash-test scores.

The 2015 Cadillac SRX hasn't yet been rated by the agencies that crash-test vehicles, but with minimal changes for the new year, we expect the same excellent ratings to carry over.

Head-curtain side airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, and OnStar roadside and emergency assistance are included in all SRX models, as well as stability control and anti-lock brakes. Also, an available adaptive headlight system helps illuminate around dark corners. And structurally, the SRX is one of only a few vehicles, according to GM, to use Martensitic steel, one of the strongest available, to help prevent against intrusion in a side impact.

The SRX's forward collision prevention systems were also among the top-rated ones on the market, as tested by the IIHS; it was one of just seven models to earn the new 'superior' rating in the IIHS front crash prevention ratings.

It's earned top five-star ratings from the federal government as well as Top Safety Pick status from the IIHS. And last year Cadillac added an array of radar-, camera-, and sensor-based safety systems, including adaptive cruise control, cross traffic alert, a safety alert seat, and automatic front and rear braking assist. Last year Cadillac added its Intellibeam headlamps as part of the Driver Awareness Package.

We do caution that there's one issue: Take a look over your shoulder and note outward visibility. There are front and rear parking sensors, and a rear camera system, but depending on your height lane changes might not be so confident.

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9

2015 Cadillac SRX

Features

CUE infotainment is a recent addition to the well-featured SRX.

The 2015 Cadillac SRX offers a strong value proposition for those seeking high-tech connectivity or traditional luxury, especially with this year's inclusion of OnStar's 4G LTE data package, as well as the ability to create a WiFi network in the car. The SRX also offers a whole slew of active safety and entertainment features, and it comes with one of the industry's most advanced instrument panels, too.

Even if you dodge most or all of the options, the SRX comes extremely well equipped. Keyless entry, cruise control, heated mirrors, steering-wheel audio controls, and a CD/MP3 sound system with XM Satellite Radio remain among the many standard features. Bluetooth compatibility is standard, as is OnStar's turn-by-turn navigation service for buyers who do not opt for the navigation system.

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.

Top Premium Collection models include navigation, Bose surround audio, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated mirrors, a heated steering wheel, a Sapele wood-trimmed interior, remote start, tri-zone climate control, rear-seat audio controls, adjustable pedals, fog lamps, and rain-sensing wipers.

With the new CUE infotainment system included across the model line, you get enhanced steering-wheel and instrument-panel controls, plus an eight-inch capacitive screen interface with proximity sensing. The touch-based controls feature both haptic feedback and proximity sensing technology to ensure consumers know when a command has been registered. And the touch-screen is motorized and can flip up to reveal a hidden storage cubby. CUE can pair up to ten Bluetooth devices, and incorporates all the latest technology including standard HD radio, Bluetooth audio streaming.

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6

2015 Cadillac SRX

Fuel Economy

The Cadillac SRX is barely mid-size, but its gas-mileage ratings are disappointingly low.

The 2015 Cadillac SRX isn't the greenest option in the luxury crossover category.

Depending on whether or not you choose to buy an all-wheel-drive model, EPA ratings for the Cadillac SRX land at 16 to 17 mpg in the city and 23 or 24 mpg on the highway. That's a stark contrast compared to the highway figures in the upper 20s or low 30s earned by models like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 in their base form. Yes, both of those models have turbo four-cylinder engines, but they're about as quick. 

And considering that a number of larger crossovers—like GM's own full-size SUVs such as the Buick Enclave, or even the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid—get around the same, with much more passenger space, or towing ability, it's impossible to call the SRX fuel-efficient.

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September 27, 2015
2015 Cadillac SRX FWD 4-Door Luxury Collection

Great Upgrade

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Just replaced my 2011 SRX with a 2015 SRX. I loved my 2011, but the new model blows it away. The CUE system with Navi gets me everywhere I need to go and I love the voice recognition feature. Lets me enter an... + More »
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September 18, 2015
2015 Cadillac SRX FWD 4-Door Luxury Collection

Luxurious and powerful. It is like driving in a comfortable chair in your family room. Quick responder.

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Quiet, smooth, elegant, reliable, fun to drive & extremely comfortable. Best car i have ever had.
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July 15, 2015
2015 Cadillac SRX FWD 4-Door Luxury Collection

VERY UNCOMFORTABLE SEATS

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I HAD DTS AND COULD DRIVE THE CAR FOR HOURS ON LONG TRIPS, 10-12 HOURS , AND BE COMFORTABLE. I CANNOT DRIVE THE SRX FOR MORE THAT 2 HOURS WITHOUT EXTREME DISCOMFORT. Cadillac NEEDS TO fix THEIR SEATS
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June 17, 2015
For 2015 Cadillac SRX

its stylish comfortable and very fast!!!!

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I my opinion. It's a high performance luxury car. It's got the best of both worlds
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April 28, 2015
2015 Cadillac SRX FWD 4-Door Luxury Collection

GM's best kept secret

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This SVU drives like a sports car, has the comfort of a luxury sedan and all the bells and whistles you could dream of. I feel save on curves, at highway high speeds and enjoy the good visibility and safete... + More »
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