By KBB.com Editors
Combining the sure-footed stability of a performance sedan with the versatile utility of an SUV makes the 2009 Cadillac SRX one of the automaker's more attractive offerings. The SRX has the power, moves and luxury trappings to compete with such favorites as the BMW X5 and the Infiniti FX, while offering a number of unique amenities such as Magnetic Ride Control and a huge "UltraView" power sunroof. Capable of carrying up to seven passengers, the SRX is a viable alternative to a full-size SUV, although those who need to tow heavy loads will require more than the SRX's 1,000-pound base tow rating. For those who don't care about towing or off-road ability, the SRX's low step-in height, manageable dimensions and respectable fuel consumption should hold strong appeal.You'll Like This Car If...
If you like the feel of a sports wagon but would prefer to sit up a bit higher, the 2009 Cadillac SRX will fit you like a glove. In addition to its agile handling and powerful optional V8 engine, the SRX returns a smooth, controlled ride and can accommodate lots of cargo.You May Not Like This Car If...
With its optional third-row seat, the SRX can carry seven people, but in doing so loses most of its cargo space. People who have big families or need a higher tow rating would be better served by the full-size Escalade.What's New for 2009
No major changes for 2009.Driving It Driving Impressions
On the open road, the 2009 Cadillac SRX glides serenely without veer or vagueness. Some SUV suspensions don't deal particularly well with curvy roads, but not that of the SRX, which negotiates corners without giving the impression it has a somewhat higher center of gravity, even when loaded down with people and cargo. The steering feel is light at first, but quickly firms up as the speed rises, and it operates with commendable precision, with dead-on straight-line tracking and confident predictability when turning into corners. On the whole, the SRX easily rivals the handling characteristics of the Volvo XC90 and may be just slightly short of matching the BMW X5. When fitted with the V6, the SRX's acceleration feels strong, but lacks the sense of urgency provided by the V8.Favorite Features
The optional UltraView sunroof is composed of a huge glass panel that covers a five-foot section of the roof, effectively exposing the first and second rows to the sun.
Unobtrusive DVD Screen
The SRX's optional DVD entertainment screen is mounted on the back of the center console, not the roof, allowing the vehicle to be fitted with both the DVD system and the UltraView sunroof.
After undergoing a major makeover in 2007, the Cadillac SRX interior has changed very little. The seats are firm and supportive and the handsome dash is straightforward, with softer edges and simplified audio and ventilation controls. The center touch-screen operates the audio and climate controls, as well as the optional navigation system. The second-row seat offers the most legroom in its class, and the improved step-over makes entry and exit easier than in previous models. The optional power-folding third-row seat folds flush to create a level cargo hold.Exterior
The 2009 Cadillac SRX is a sharp-looking vehicle. Since the SRX is not quite fully an SUV and not quite a station wagon, it might fit into the same category as Ford Taurus X – if it were not so loaded with luxury features and a big V8 engine. The SRX's short front and rear overhangs make it relatively easy to park and maneuver in tight spots, and a thoughtful standard feature is the power-operated rear liftgate.Notable Standard Equipment
Standard equipment for the two-wheel-drive models includes dual-zone air conditioning, front side-impact airbags, remote start, front and rear side-curtain airbags, leather seats, Ultrasonic Rear Park Assist, power rear liftgate, Bose audio, StabiliTrak stability control, leather-covered tilt wheel with touch controls, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) and cast aluminum wheels. The V8 model adds a six-disc in-dash CD changer, 18-inch wheels, eight-way power passenger seat with power lumbar support, limited-slip rear differential and Magnetic Ride Control.Notable Optional Equipment
Popular options include a 5.1 Bose Surround Sound audio package, a Sport Package that adds a body-colored grille with V-Series mesh insert, 20-inch wheels and tires, a limited-slip rear differential and all-wheel drive. Other options include the UltraView power sunroof, power adjustable foot pedals, DVD navigation, OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation, third-row power folding rear seat and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.Under the Hood
The V6 engine has its pros and cons. While powerful enough to move a loaded SRX around town, it lags somewhat when you need a quick launch or speedy passing maneuver. On the other hand, its fuel economy is slightly better than the more potent V8, a point that may become more relevant as fuel costs continue to rise.
255 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
254 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 (RWD), 14/22 (AWD)
320 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
315 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/20 (RWD), 13/20 (AWD)
The two-wheel-drive V6 SRX's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) ranges from the $41,000 range for the base model to over $50,000 when fully loaded. All-wheel drive adds another $2,000 to the bottom line. The SRX V8 ranges in price from around $48,000 to a high of $54,000 for a fully loaded all-wheel-drive model. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows the typical transaction price being paid for the SRX in your area, so be sure to check it out before you begin negotiations. As for resale, owners can expect only an average return on their investment, with the SRX scoring well below the projected resale values of the Mercedes-Benz ML, Acura MDX, Lexus GX and BMW X5.