Cadillac Adds CUE Functionality to Rear Entertainment System

The 2013 Cadillac SRX's Cadillac User Experience system will control two optional 8-inch screens behind the front seats that can play separate media — a video game and a movie, for example — for rear passengers via Bluetooth-paired smartphones, SD cards, MP3 players or a USB port.

Functionality falls short of CUE's dashboard setup in the brand's small luxury SUV, which enables touch-screen control over all media. Load up whatever you want to watch and a "kid-tested" backseat remote modeled after a video-game controller (from the 1990s, it appears) controls playback via a CUE-like interface, Cadillac says. The system can pair up to 10 mobile devices via Bluetooth and play Blu-ray movies — a first for the brand. Touch-capacitive climate controls sit behind the front storage console, but that's about the only CUE interaction backseat passengers get.

The remote doesn't dock in a recharging port — as some entertainment-system remotes do — but needs its own batteries, Cadillac spokeswoman Jordana Strosberg told us. The CUE-based rear entertainment system is available now as an option on all but base SRX trim levels. But its $1,595 price makes a tough proposition against iPads and other tablet computers, which could spell the decline for rear entertainment systems from any automaker.

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Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price.  Email Kelsey

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