Strengths and weaknesses:
- enhanced cargo capacity and elevated step-in of any such vehicle
- tight legroom on driver’s side
Cadillac SRX puts a premium on wagon
"SRX delivers on all the major selling points of the segment."
Our test 2012 Cadillac SRX, blingged up to Premium trim and painted with the new model year’s latest available color (“Xenon Blue Metallic”, which looks very snappy indeed), shows how out-of-touch I am with today’s modern marketplace.
I don’t “get” the whole luxury-crossover segment. Crossovers themselves make a lot of sense to me, with their carlike size and handling and larger cargo capacities, in essence delivering the best of the car/truck worlds. But when it comes to filling them up with techno-toys and leather and standing the vehicles on 20-inch, shiny wheels, the point begins to elude me.
Don’t get me wrong; the SRX delivers on all the major selling points of the segment; my test model boasts all-wheel drive (as do all SRX models except the absolute base trim) and very good power from its new engine – a 3.6 litre powerplant, flex-fuel capable and offering 308 horsepower and 265 lb.-ft. of torque that comes on at a low 2400 rpm and makes it a sporty vehicle to drive.
A light-touch feel to the power steering will make it familiar to folks who are used to Cadillac’s larger cars, as will the styling, inside and out.
The exterior is all angles and corners, with a very geometric, faceted appearance that is a hallmark of today’s Cadillac design. If you like the distinctive Caddy look, you’ll like the body of the SRX.
The cabin of my Premium trim tester is leather-upholstered; naturally, sporting heated and ventilated front bucket seats (and once you’ve had seats that can be cooled as well as heated, you’ll never want to go back) and a driver’s perch with a decent range of adjustment and lumbar support. I didn’t discover it right away, but the driver’s chair also offers manually adjustable thigh-support, which makes the ride a lot more comfortable once tailored to an individual butt.
There’s ample headroom in both passenger rows, lots of light can be allowed into the cabin with the power glass moonroof, and entry and exit from either row is an easy affair.
A pop-up touchscreen for adjustment of most onboard electronic functions adds the necessary James Bond element for vehicles sold as upscale luxury rides; and the screen can be put away at the touch of a button for those who find it distracting.
The stereo module stays state-of-the-art with the usual array of Bluetooth connectivity, separate rear-seat audio controls, satellite radio (and mp3/iPod jack/voice recognition features), and puts out very good sound from its 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system.
The aforementioned cargo capacity of the crossover is enhanced with a configurable rail rig in the rear that helps divide the flat floor into manageable space; so smaller goods don’t roll around in the back when the full capacity isn’t required.
Keyless start and entry are inclusions you would expect from a premium-segment vehicle, as is the power rear gate, rain-sensing wipers and remote start (all standard equipment on this trim).
Overall, the SRX joins a number of similarly sized and equipped automobiles from competitors across the board. Everybody’s offering an up-market ute, and Cadillac’s entry is priced to compete.
But here comes another part I don’t get, and I’ll need you to tell me, Gentle Reader: is the enhanced price tag for a vehicle of this type worth it? I’m a cheap and cheesy man in real life, so anytime I see a sticker that pushes the 60K mark, I emit a little squeal. However, the SRX is in line with the pricing of similar rides (Lincoln’s MKT, Infiniti’s FX35, the Lexus RX350, etc.).
The sticker price of my tester, in Premium trim with optional 20” wheels and trailer prep, came to $56,525 before freight and taxes.
Certainly, the bigger wheels and Caddy badge have a certain cachet, and the styling is unique, but does it set the SRX (or any of its competitors) above many other, similar products (including those from the same manufacturer, like Chevy’s Traverse or the GMC Acadia)?