Auto Review: Cadillac’s best-seller
By Bill Heald - ReminderNews
Featured Article - posted Thu., Dec. 29, 2011
This week’s review auto is hauling a few surprises, starting with a very interesting sales statistic. In the month of November 2011, the SRX Sport Utility was Cadillac’s best-selling model. In fact, the handsome vehicle has given the popular CTS sedan a run for its money all year, and shown that the versatility and all-weather capability of the SUV platform helps garner sales even in the luxury segment. This is made even more impressive when you consider that the original SRX (2004-2009) was not that popular – even though its rear-drive, V8-powered architecture was considered desirable and unique in the segment. The new SRX has either front- or all-wheel drive, and is powered by a state-of-the-art V6 aimed at balancing performance with good fuel economy. So what’s making this angular, futuristic Cadillac so popular? Let’s take a look and see.
I mentioned the ultra-modern styling of the new SRX, and this is largely a result of basing the design on the sharp-edged look created by Cadillac’s Evoq concept vehicle in the late 1990s. This aggressive approach is now synonymous with the Cadillac nameplate, and may be a big reason buyers have gravitated to it.
That new V6 I mentioned earlier (called “LFX” and sporting Direct Injection technology) is the lone engine available, and displaces a modest 3.6 liters, yet generates 308 horsepower. This mill is mated to a six-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission and, despite the lack of V8 availability, our SRX scooted to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds. The all-wheel drive on our tester had no center differential lock, but did feature an electronic rear limited-slip differential for excellent traction no matter how bad the road conditions.
The ride quality is firm (surprisingly so, in fact) and a far cry from the floaty, cruise ship wallowing that for decades was a Cadillac trademark. This ultimately translates into flat cornering and good control over rough pavement, and, as always, StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control is on board to help you maintain your course during extreme handling situations. Trailer stability control is also standard, and you can tow a 3,500-pound trailer when equipped with the optional Towing Package.
Inside, the cabin is modern Cadillac fare with a variety of materials used to create a comfortable, upscale environment. Our Premium trim level included heated leather seats (front and rear), as well as a heated steering wheel and massive Ultra View power sunroof. Rear seat room is good, with a flat floor and seatbacks that fold forward to increase the 29 cubic feet of cargo space to 61 cubic feet. The latest Bluetooth-compatible Bose 5.1 sound, along with the optional rear seat DVD system, provides entertainment, making long days on the road a pleasure instead of a chore. The more you look at all these features, it becomes no real surprise this Caddy is as popular as it is.
The 2012 Cadillac SRX AWD Premium is EPA-rated 16 MPG city/23 highway and has a base price of $48,785. With options, our sticker came to $51,550. www.cadillac.com