A few years ago, my Aunt traded in her Toyota Sequoia for a fully loaded Cadillac SRX V8. And when I say loaded, I mean it. She got everything: ultraview sunroof, navigation radio, climate controlled seats, dual zone HVAC, chrome wheels and of course, the 320HP
V8 engine - which nowadays in Ford and GM cars is on the endangered species list. In her $2 Million, park slope Brooklyn brown stone, where parking spaces are a rarity and almost all the local streets are one-way with one lane of traffic, the SRX was perfect. All the luxury of her climate controlled, leather couched, wood paneled home neatly inside a comfortable SUV that didn’t take up as much space as an Escalade would. Perfect for taking long road trips with her two pre-teen sons.
I used the car a few times to run errands. The V8 let loose fantastic 0-60 times and the station wagon body handled exactly as it looked – like a high super mommy wagon. It didn’t handle as tightly as a car, like the CTS, which it was meant to, but, while I was used to driving a high-center-of-gravity Escalade and Ford Expedition, the SRX offered a great driving experience that didn’t feel as awkward as driving full sized SUV’s. The 3rd row seat was good for nothing more than a child seat, and the interior design was mostly cheap plastic dominated by a huge Nav screen and huge buttons, but, the Ultraview sunroof and the spacious driver position made up for that.
And now I’ve come to the 2010 SRX which it seems GM has redesigned to systematically destroy everything I loved about the original, while attempting to invent something new and better. EXTERIOR
It seems that GM’s answer to the new crossover vehicle is the same as most other auto makers: “Lets build an RX350”. The 2010 SRX has lost all of its original Escalade/CTS design and has now moved to a Lexus silhouette with just enough design elements from the Provoq concept to keep it in Cadillac’s “F22 stealth fighter” design theme. It seems as if all the designers used was a ruler.
The rear spoiler adds a slightly sporty look, but, its straight RX. Where the original’s tail lamps used to join the rest of the body the new model’s jut out to resemble tail fins from the 1950’s.
This is not to say that the SRX looks bad. It looks great and luxurious due to its large glass fixtures and massive grill / air dam; killer chrome 20” wheels and chrome outlined everything. INTERIOR
Whatever excitement is generated by the exterior will be far surpassed by the interior. Just like the redesigned CTS, the new SRX gets hand sewn/ stitched leather seats, door panels and dashboard sections - with more than obvious seams - to go along with the chrome outlined everything from dials to gauges to switches.
The interior quality is top notch and easily looks better than every other crossover on the market. It is so shiny and so well pieced together, it feels like driving jewelry.
The gauges for the driver are large, easy to read and feature a digital as well as analog speedometer and the standard leather wrapped steering wheel has all the buttons required to access the radio and driver information center in the digital speedometer. The colorful digital LCD speedometer can also display tire pressure, door ajar, oil life and featured Cadillac’s advanced speed limit system which has the ability to display the actual speed limit of the zone you are in (even if there are no posted signs) and then set the cruise control to obey it. Red indicators show you how close you are to the speed limit if driving without cruise control on. It’s a cool feature, but, if you choose not to follow its advice, it becomes superfluous.
A major downside to the new SRX is the lack of a 3rd row seat. In fairness, my aunt’s model’s 3rd row was fit for little kids/car seats only, but, at least it was included. When used, it left very little cargo space – not even enough for my camping bags. But, you could lay it flat if not in use and get enough cargo space for heavy Walmart shopping. In this SRX, the rear compartment features a bin in the floor large enough to store a jack, a battery jumpstarter and an electric air pump. For more storage space, you can fold the 2nd row flat with the 40/60 split bench. That compartment actually stores a few cargo rack bars which can be attached to the metal points in the floor to help lock stowage in place. It works very well.
The driver’s position doesn’t have as much space as the outgoing model, partly due to the lower roofline and the overall car being shorter than the outgoing model. Smaller framed women might like it, but it definitely loses points with me. TECHNOLOGY
The base models come with an 8 speaker BOSE system a CD player that reads MP3 encoded disks and a tuner that is ready to get XM or connect to my iPhone through USB (as well as other MP3 players).
For $300 more, you can have a 10-speaker BOSE system with 5.1 surround sound. $2400
buys you the must-have Navigation display with the rearview backup camera that displays in the screen; with a 10GB Hard Drive (for ripping CD’s), XM-Nav traffic (for avoiding accidents and heavy delays) and allows you to record and playback radio or XM radio. Um, excuse me…what happened to the 40GB HDD from the CTS?
Some intelligent features include an analog switch on the driver’s seat to determine how high the liftgate automatically opens (so as not to damage it on a garage door) and the Navigation screen which pops up when in use, but retracts out of sight if desired – while still allowing you to see important info such as the station, date and time.
Some silly design issues include lack of a fully power adjusting/telescoping steering wheel and door lock/unlock buttons on the center console rather than the doors. Why? $1295
gets you the aforementioned seatback installed DVD player screens for the rear passengers and includes wireless headphones and RCA jacks to plug in toys like SONY PSP or even consoles like the XBOX360 or PS3. You’d still need a power inverter to use a console back here, and I’d also suggest car makers get ready to implant optional BLU RAY players rather than simple DVD models.
The Navigation system and rear seat entertainment are the only high ticket items and with them, you can expect the cost to rise to $44,000
before taxes. POWER & DRIVING
While a 300HP 2.8 Liter Twin Turbo V6 is coming near the end of this year, for the time being, there is just one engine choice across trims. A 3.0 Liter V6 that produces 265HP – 223 torque @5100 RPM.
It is simply insufficient.
The engine roars as it struggles to move over 4300 pounds (not including the driver, fuel, passengers, etc) in a manner that squarely suggests the stupidity of discontinuing V8 engines unless for turbocharged ones. The 2010’s weight is actually over 60 pounds heavier than the outgoing model.
0 – 60 takes around 9 seconds because it doesn’t produce its peak torque until the revs are in the 5000 range. Getting it there is a laborious process. At highway speeds, it takes considerably long periods of time to pass other drivers in between 55 and 75.
In fairness, the steering is as sharp as it is in the CTS, but, that’s undercut by a busy ride quality which offers too much pitch and yaw to allow this to be considered a “luxury” ride.
Transmission feel isn’t much better. Shifts are smooth, but, inconsistent. Upshifts come too easily and downshifts take too long. Coupled with the anemic engine, which actually has less displacement than the 3.6L LLT on the smaller, lighter CTS I’m left wondering why the Hell Caddy didn’t just use that
engine in the first place? This is a Cadillac. Its supposed to be a luxury car and not supposed to be this slow - especially when you compare it to the larger, heavier Escalade which rockets to 60 with its 400-plus horses. I’m supposed to be able to race people with this.
I’m also not happy that the SRX has de-evolved from the original RWD/ AWD platform to this new Front Wheel Drive/ AWD design.
In the FWD model, there isn’t much torque steer, but, then again, there isn’t much torque – which is probably why GM didn’t throw in the more powerful engine from the CTS. The All Wheel Drive system adds weight and decrease fuel economy from the Sticker 18city/25highway
to sticker 17/23
. The only bright spot is that the AWD system delivers enough power to the rear to help pull the rear around street corner turns. OVERALL
Until the 2.8T proves different, the 2009 SRX V8 is the way to go. I loved the interior quality of this model but besides that, it did absolutely nothing to impress me.
The highest end model has plummeted in price from the $50,000 - $60,000 range to the mid 40’s where it has to compete with other, better
cars such as the RX350, the GLK, the Q5, the X3 and even fully loaded versions of the Ford Edge, Toyota Venza and Chrysler Pacifica.
If the 2010 SRX had been an AWD car launched with a more powerful engine, or God-forbid, the CTS-V’s 550 HP monster optional, I’d easily give it the thumbs up. But when you have a crappy transmission with pathetic power even your top-shelf interior doesn’t save you.
I’m not asking for a Lamborghini Murcielago… I’m asking for confident passing power and enough power to justify spending $45,000. OTHER CADILLACS
2nd Generation CADILLAC CTS - http://www.epinions.com/content_401977282180
3rd Generation ESCALADE - http://www.epinions.com/review/2007_Cadillac_Escalade_54089880/content_241990143620
ESCALADE EXT - http://www.epinions.com/review/2007_Cadillac_Escalade_54089880/content_242008362628
Amount Paid (US$):
Model and Options:
AWD - automatic