2013 Cadillac SRX

2013 Cadillac SRX Review

Cadillac's crossover takes aim at Lexus.

By: Tim Healey

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: March 21st, 2013

Cadillac's SRX crossover has plenty of competition, but only one is the main target. Sure, SUVs like the Acura MDX are in the SRX's competitive set, but the Lexus RX is the king at which everyone takes aim.

Cadillac takes its shot with a mix of luxury and performance. The performance comes from a 3.6-liter, 308-horsepower V-6; while the luxury comes from a revamped interior and new infotainment system.

  • Performance

    At over two tons, the SRX is too heavy to be a rocket, but the 3.6 does a nice job in urban commuting and it has the pull for highway passing. Only 265 lb-ft of torque are available, but the peak is at a low 2,400 rpm, meaning it doesn't take much throttle to get to the engine's sweet spot. That makes a difference when merging.

    The SRX handles a little better than most crossovers, with a suspension that feels tuned to sport. It still has some flaws, like a tad too much bodyroll. The heavy weight doesn't do it any favors either, it makes the SRX feel a tad portly when trying to push through a corner. The sporty feel comes from the suspension and a nicely weighted steering wheel. A diet would do wonders.

    The SRX rides a bit stiffly sprung, but it's not a bother on good pavement. Bad roads make their presence known, however.

  • Exterior

    Exterior changes are limited to different upper and lower front grilles and new front fender vents with LED lighting, so the SRX retains its overall angular look that fits in with Cadillac's so-called "Art and Science" design theme.

  • Interior

    Cadillac gave the interior a makeover for 2013, installing Cadillac's CUE (Cadillac User Experience) infotainment system as standard. That means the instrument cluster and steering wheel get redesigned to accommodate CUE's controls.

    We've had mixed feelings about CUE every time we've experienced it, and the SRX is no exception. We like the new instrument cluster's design, but we aren't fans of CUE's tendency to transition too slowly between menus. We also find some of the menus to be unintuitive, and the touch screen doesn't always respond properly.

    Otherwise, the cabin is generally a fine place to do business. Materials are class appropriate, and headroom and legroom up front are generous enough to accommodate taller drivers.

  • Final Thoughts

    Crossover customers are looking for space, cargo utility, and fuel economy. The SRX is mid-pack in all these areas. It performs well, but a BMW X5 offers V-8 power. That power comes at a cost, but luxury buyers probably can be persuaded to stretch their monthly pavements.

    That makes the SRX a kind of jack of all trades, but a master of none. It performs better than a RX, but not as well as an X5. It's got luxury chops, but it doesn't stand out in any significant way, good or bad.

    Automakers want their crossovers to stand out in a crowded field, and buyers want them to stick out in the strip mall. But at this price point, being middle of the pack isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    Now, about that CUE system.

  • Specs, Features, and Prices

    Engine: 3.6-liter V-6

    Transmission: Six-speed automatic

    Drive Wheels: Front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive

    Fuel Economy: 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway (16/23 w/ AWD)

    Base Price: $47,715

    As-tested price: $50,250 (includes $875 destination fee)

    Available Features: CUE infotainment system, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, remote start, Bluetooth, USB port, auxiliary port, satellite radio, navigation, sunroof, rearview camera.

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