Cadillac launched the SRX midsize sport utility vehicle as an early 2004 model, available with a V-6 or V-8 under the hood. A major interior upgrade for 2007 results in a new dashboard, instrument panel and audio system. In V-8 models, a six-speed automatic transmission replaces last year's five-speed unit.
Bridging the gap between luxury sedans and powerful SUVs, the SRX was Cadillac's first crossover — a model that features the attributes of more than one vehicle class. Rivals include the league-leading Lexus RX 350, as well as the Acura MDX, BMW X5, Volkswagen Touareg and Volvo XC90.
Built on General Motors' Sigma platform, which is also used for Cadillac's CTS sedan, the SRX promises a lower center of gravity than most of its competitors. The automaker says this improves ride and handling "without compromising [the] driver's commanding view of the road." The SRX can be equipped with either rear- or all-wheel drive.
Cadillac promotes the driving dynamics of the SRX. The automaker's active suspension system, called Magnetic Ride Control, is optional. MRC applies electrical current to a coil in the damper's piston, thus varying the viscosity of the fluid, which holds iron particles.
Styling features include a V-shaped grille and chiseled vertical taillamps. The SRX's 116-inch wheelbase is 9 inches longer than the Lexus RX 350's. The SRX is nearly 9 inches longer overall, too. Weight distribution approaches 50/50, front to rear.
Seventeen-inch wheels are standard on V-6 models, while the SRX V-8 comes with 18-inchers. Twenty-inch wheels are optional.
Cadillac has substantially remodeled the SRX's interior for 2007. Dashboard materials are much improved, and a curvy center stack, new climate controls and conventional, slatted air vents were added.
Seven occupants can fit inside when an optional, powered, flip-folding third-row seat is installed. Without it, capacity is five. All passengers sit higher in the SRX than in a luxury sedan but lower than occupants in a typical SUV.
An optional UltraView roof offers 5.6 square feet of open space above the first and second rows. The available UltraView Plus setup adds a fixed glass roof over the third row, complete with a power sunshade.
Maximum cargo volume totals 69.5 cubic feet versus the Lexus RX 350's nearly 85 cubic feet. Side storage bins are installed in the cargo area. GM's OnStar communication system is standard, as is a Bose stereo system. Available features include a navigation system, upgraded Bose 5.1 digital audio, XM Satellite Radio and a backseat DVD entertainment system.
Under the Hood
Both a V-6 and V-8 engine are available, and each features variable valve timing. The 3.6-liter V-6 produces 260 horsepower and 254 pounds-feet of torque. Cadillac's 4.6-liter Northstar V-8 generates 320 hp and 315 pounds-feet of torque. The V-6 teams with a five-speed automatic transmission. The V-8 gets a new six-speed automatic, which Cadillac says yields a 5 percent increase in gas mileage and a 7 percent increase in zero-to-60 mph acceleration. Both transmissions employ a manual-shift provision.
Cadillac's all-wheel-drive system incorporates a limited-slip differential and an electronic traction-control system to shift torque from the wheels that are slipping to those that have grip. In normal driving, torque is split 50/50, front to rear.
An electronic stability system and four-channel antilock brakes with brake assist are standard. Side-impact airbags mounted in the backrests of the front seats provide torso protection, while side curtain airbags protect the heads of outboard occupants in the first two rows.