The 2010 Cadillac SRX is stylish and sleek both inside and out. This five-seat crossover manages to be compact without being too small and roomy on the inside without being burdensome. It's almost the perfect balance of design, functionality and performance.
Notice that I wrote "almost." While it hit every other mark, I was disappointed in the SRX's 265-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 engine. It didn't have much verve at all. Getting up and down the little hills in my Colorado town, which some refer to as the Rocky Mountains, was quite a chore for the SRX. That's a pity since I happen to drive up and down those hills a lot.
After a week with this luxurious, family-friendly car, I realized that maybe verve isn't what the SRX or even the Cadillac brand is about: It's about luxury and enjoyment. Maybe Cadillac's SRX marketing slogan should simply be, "Sit back and enjoy the ride." Who needs to go fast when you're cradled in such luxury? I like speed and power, but how often am I forced to slow down and enjoy something? Not often. The fact that the SRX forced me to do so turned out to agree with me. Of course, there's also a turbocharged SRX, which might be more my speed.
At any rate, the 2010 SRX hit all of the other marks. On a practical level, there was plenty of room for my whole family and our gear; even with my daughter's rear-facing infant-safety seat installed, the front passenger - aka, the hubby - had plenty of legroom. With an EPA-estimated 17/23 mpg city/highway, the SRX's fuel economy wasn't horrid; I averaged 21 mpg. Although between you and me, I wouldn't mind if this crossover's gas mileage was improved a bit.
From the front, the 2010 SRX lets you know that it is indeed a Cadillac - the same brand that inspired The Boss, The Clash and Pearl Bailey to sing about it - but it also lets you know that this isn't your daddy's Caddy. The SRX, redesigned for 2010, has the signature Cadillac logo and grille, but it's mixture of lines and curves make it decidedly contemporary.
The SRX looks like some of the other crossovers on the road, with an aerodynamic style that narrows the windows toward the back of the car, but it has a few points that help it to stand out. My test car had painted aluminum 20-inch wheels and chrome roof rails that gave it a more pronounced presence than other crossovers. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard on the base and Luxury Collection trims, but 20-inchers are standard on the Performance Collection and Premium Collection - my test car - trims.
Standard power heated folding side mirrors, front fog lamps, adaptive xenon headlights, a headlamp washer system, remote keyless entry and adaptive remote start combine to make the SRX something special.
My 3-year-old son couldn't quite open the SRX's doors on his own, but if that's the price I pay for a solidly built luxury mobile, I guess I can handle it. He could, however, climb up into his child-safety seat once I opened the door for him, so that was helpful.
I found the power liftgate with three programmable height settings to be convenient, especially when I had my hands full, which is most of the time. The rear cargo area is ample, with an extra cargo compartment beneath the floorboard.
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Great
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Good Times
The interior of the 2010 SRX made me swoon. It's beautifully styled and looks particularly lush at night when it's lit up by the ambient lighting. I especially enjoyed its smooth wood-trimmed steering wheel and front seats that cradled, heated and cooled me. The interior's layout and functionality made me feel comfortable at all times. Once I got over its lack of engine power, I loved driving this crossover because I loved sitting in it.
The ample legroom up front and in the second row is great. I could fit between my children's car seats without a problem - remember that I'm pregnant and getting bigger by the second, so this is no small feat - which translates into this truly being a five-person vehicle.
There are plenty of standard features that will make your life easier in this car, including standard Bluetooth; a 60/40-split second row that folds flat; a trunk pass-through; power-adjustable pedals; heated rear seats; and a fabulously large sunroof that your kids will dig looking through.
On a less practical but more fun level, the entertainment system knocked my son's and my socks off. The backseat's dual-screen video system often kept my son in the car long after we'd arrived home. My test car also was equipped with the optional pop-up navigation screen.
My only complaint about the interior is I'd have liked more than just four cupholders. I'd even settle for two more, maybe in the front doors. Between me and my kids, we have a lot of beverages on hand for any given trip, so more cupholders would have been nice.
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
For 2010, Cadillac improved the SRX's rear crash-test score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The 2010 SRX received a Good rating, the highest score; the SRX from the 2004-09 model years received a Poor rating in rear crash tests. Way to go Cadillac for improving rear-crash protection!
The SRX's Latch connectors are easy to find and use. I had no problems installing my children's car seats.
The SRX has standard antilock brakes, stability control, traction control and a year's subscription to OnStar with automatic crash response, vehicle diagnostic, roadside assistance and turn-by-turn navigation. It also has standard front- and side-impact airbags for the front row and side curtain airbags for both rows.
In Diapers: My daughter's rear-facing infant-safety seat fit easily into the second row without crowding the front passenger's legroom.
In School: Kids of all ages will love the fantastic rear entertainment system.
Teens: The SRX has all of the necessary safety features to keep a teen driver safe, but I'm not sure I'd willingly turn over the keys.