2011 SRX New Car Test Drive
The 2010 Cadillac SRX is all-new for the 2010 model year.
There's nothing left of the original SRX but the name. Whereas the original SRX used a rear-wheel-drive platform with a longitudinal engine and a choice of V6 or V8, the new version is built on a front-wheel-drive platform with a transverse-mounted V6 engine.
Where the old SRX was a three-row, seven-seat SUV, the new one has two rows and five seats. And, although GM has been known for its global platform-sharing way of doing things, this vehicle shares its underpinnings with only one other vehicle, the Saab 9-4X, which has not been introduced yet.
The exterior design is all new, crisper and sharper than the original, with a lot less of the slab-sided look. The interior shares much of its technology and some of its design with the 2010 Cadillac CTS sedan, which we count as a good thing.
The Cadillac puts the SRX in the midsize luxury sport utility vehicle segment, one of the largest and fastest-growing segments in the industry at about 25 percent of the total sales. Cadillac counts as the SRX's direct competitors the Acura MDX, Lexus RX 350, Mercedes-Benz GLK, Audi Q5, and BMW X3.
Initially, all SRX models will be powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine, the same engine that powers the Cadillac CTS, and will come with a Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission. All models come standard with front-wheel drive.
In the fall, Cadillac will add an optional 2.8-liter turbocharged V6 engine sourced from Saab, an engine rated at 300 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque, with a completely different Aisin-Warner six-speed automatic transmission capable of handling the higher power and torque of the turbo engine.
The changes are welcome. We found the luxurious new SRX cabin beautiful and comfortable. Though loaded with features, everything is easy to use and the SRX is very quiet underway.
Underway, the handling and braking are very good. The new SRX feels like a high-riding CTS sports sedan. We preferred the responsiveness of the 20-inch wheels and tires over the standard 18-inch setup.
We found the engine lacking in power and on the loud side. The 3.0-liter V6 gets an EPA-rated 18/25 mpg with front-wheel drive.
The available Haldex II all-wheel-drive system is excellent, among the world's best. It makes the SRX highly capable in the winter or on unpaved roads or when encountering a slippery corner. It also tames the handling on dry roads, and we recommend getting it.
The 2010 Cadillac SRX comes in four models: SRX ($33,330), SRX Luxury ($36,910), SRX Performance ($41,350), and SRX Premium ($43,895). All-wheel drive comes on SRX Luxury AWD ($39,405), SRX Performance AWD ($44,995), and SRX Premium AWD ($47,540).
SRX comes standard with leatherette upholstery (vinyl), dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control, multi-function tilt steering wheel, power windows, mirrors and locks, 18-inch aluminum wheels, AM/FM/CD with auxiliary plug, iPod compatibility, and four speakers.
SRX Luxury upgrades to leather upholstery, wood trim, seat heaters for the front seat, an eight-way power passenger seat, a sunroof, a power sunshade, Park Assist, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, remote starting, power liftgate, and other features.
SRX Performance gets a navigation system, rearview camera, upgraded steering, adaptive suspension, 20-inch wheels, upgraded audio with 10 speakers, integrated fog lights, adaptive xenon HID headlights with auto-leveling.
SRX Premium upgrades with three-zone automatic climate control, rear audio controls, heated rear seats.
Safety equipment on all models includes six air bags: front, side-impact, and curtain. All come with anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control, StabiliTrak yaw control, OnStar emergency notification.