2009 Detroit Auto Show: 2010 Cadillac SRX

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  • Competes with: Acura MDX, Lexus RX, Lincoln MKX
  • Looks like: Cadillac’s edgy design language at its best
  • Drivetrain: 260-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 or 300-hp, turbocharged 2.8-liter V-6 with six-speed transmission; front- or all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Mid-2009

We didn’t really have to imagine too hard about what the final production version of the SRX would look like. Cadillac had made it well-known that it would be nearly identical to the Provoq concept it showed at last year’s Detroit auto show, and wouldn’t you know, it does. That’s not a bad thing, as the new SRX is a handsome-looking SUV.

We’ll get into the name “SRX” and how little the new SRX shares with the old SRX, but first we have to address the new engines under the hood. There will be two distinct power plants with no differentiation in trim level. The base SRX will feature a smaller version of the V-6 engine found in the Cadillac CTS sedan. Here, the V-6 engine is 3.0 liters instead of 3.6 and will put out 260 hp instead of the 306 hp it makes in the CTS. It features direct injection and a six-speed automatic transmission to aid in fuel economy.

Optional will be an all-new 2.8-liter, turbocharged V-6 engine good for 300 hp. Why wouldn’t GM just give it the bigger V-6 from the CTS that produces 306 hp? We’re guessing it has to do with fuel economy, but at press time no mileage numbers had been provided by GM.

All-wheel drive will also be optional, and it features an electronic limited-slip differential that sends needed power to wheels on either side of the car as well as front and rear. With an optional towing package, the SRX can tow 3,500 pounds.

The interior is similar in design to the new CTS as well, with a navigation screen that rises up out of the dashboard. The top of the dash is also hand-stitched leather, a recent trend in Cadillac interiors. Bluetooth is standard, while options will include a built-in hard drive for music, a power liftgate, and a rear entertainment system featuring screens in both headrests.

The 2010 SRX rides on an entirely new platform from the current 2009 SRX and is 4.7 inches shorter but 2.5 inches wider. How does that translate to interior room? Nearly every dimension — headroom, legroom and hip room — is reduced in the new car, with the exception of shoulder room, which is up slightly. Cargo room is 29.2 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 61.2 with them down, versus 32.4 and 69.5 cubic feet in the 2009 SRX. That’s also less cargo room than the Lincoln MKX, the new Lexus RX and the Acura MDX. And there is no option for a third-row seat.

Pricing, mileage and an on-sale date that’s more concrete than “the second quarter of 2009” have not been released yet, but will prove to be mighty important in how well the SRX — no matter how good-looking it is — will do in a crowded field.

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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