By KBB.com Editors
Cadillac has pursued a decade-long effort to elevate its products and image to compete head-to-head with top luxury imports. The first production vehicle resulting from this effort, the 2002 CTS Sedan, was followed by the XLR Roadster and the SRX luxury crossover utility vehicle (CUV). The first SRX was a credible attempt to blend Cadillac's aggressive new "art and science" styling with minivan utility, sport-sedan dynamics and SUV image and off-road capability. But, while the CTS was a hit, the SRX never quite caught on. It was too big, too heavy, and too fuel- and space-inefficient versus the segment leader Lexus RX, as well as several others. Now, for 2010, comes an all-new second-generation SRX, on a new front-drive platform and with better space efficiency and more fuel-efficient performance.You'll Like This Car If...
If a luxury crossover utility (CUV) is on your wish list, it will be difficult to match or surpass this very satisfying new Cadillac's artful blend of style, utility, car-like comfort, ride, handling and surprisingly fuel-efficient performance (on regular-grade gas).You May Not Like This Car If...
If the 2010 Cadillac SRX's aggressively angular styling is not to your taste, you may prefer the more conservative Lincoln MKX or one of the many luxury CUVs offered by rival European and Japanese makers.What's New for 2010
With the previous model's marginally useful third-row seat gone, the new 2010 Cadillac SRX's beautifully designed two-row interior is much more comfortably usable. And the new standard 3.0-liter direct-injected V6 and available 2.8-liter turbocharged V6 are more fuel-efficient than the outgoing base 3.6-liter V6 and 4.6-liter V8.Driving It Driving Impressions
The first-generation rear-drive SRX drew praise from enthusiasts for its (available) V8 performance and surprisingly sporty handling but was less appealing to utility oriented regular folks. This new one on a new front-drive/all-wheel-drive luxury CUV architecture preserves its predecessor's pleasing dynamics while improving on its dramatic styling, ride comfort, cabin quietness, interior roominess and fuel efficiency. Hydraulic speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering (not the energy-efficient but often numb electric power steering found in many competitors these days) gives sport-sedan feel and feedback with strong on-center feel. The standard 3.0-liter V6 performs well, the optional 2.8-liter turbo offers V8 muscle with V6 economy, and this new SRX is a delight to drive in town, on high-speed highways and especially on twisty two-lanes.Favorite Features
Pop-Up Three-Dimensional Navigation
We love the available, easy-to-use pop-up navigation system with its nifty-looking three-dimensional imaging. . . and the fact that accurate "Turn by Turn" aural directions are also readily available through GM's OnStar.
Advanced All-Wheel Drive
The SRX's advanced all-wheel-drive system available with the 3.0-liter engine features an electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) that enables it to distribute torque from side-to-side across the rear as well as front-to-rear, and it comes with continuously variable real-time damping that adjusts shock-absorber rates to road conditions.
The new SRX's artfully designed cabin blends new technology with old-world craftsmanship. The instrument panel wears hand-cut-and-sewn coverings, and subtle ambient night lighting lends an atmosphere of opulence and attention to detail. The center stack houses large, easy to use controls for climate and audio systems, while the available navigation screen rises on demand from its top surface. Especially impressive at night are Cadillac script logos in the front door sill plates that illuminate when the doors are opened.Exterior
The 2010 SRX's bold face is dominated by Cadillac's iconic shield-shaped grille and vertical headlamps that wrap over the front fenders. Its tightly sculpted body has a wide stance with its wheels at the corners and a rising shoulder that culminates in Cadillac-signature large, vertical taillamps. A crisp side accent crease sweeps upward from the tip of a chrome front fender vent to the rear door handle, while another runs horizontally from the bottom of the vent, over the rear wheel to the rear bumper. An integrated spoiler on the back edge of the roof extends the roofline while improving aerodynamics.Notable Standard Equipment
The 2010 Cadillac SRX's long list of standard features include an AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 eight-speaker Bose sound system with an auxiliary audio jack, dual-zone automatic climate control, programmable power door locks, eight-way power driver's seat, manual tilt and telescoping leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel with audio, air conditioning and cruise controls, heated power outside mirrors and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat with a pass-through for long objects. Among its important standard safety features are GM StabiliTrak stability and traction control, roll-over mitigation sensing, trailer stability assist, front, side and side-curtain airbags and GM OnStar with a one-year subscription.
Among the significant SRX options are advanced all-wheel-drive with an electronic limited-slip differential that splits torque left-to-right between the rear wheels, a navigation system with a pop-up screen and three-dimensional imaging, adaptive forward lighting that swivels to follow the steering, a power liftgate with a programmable height setting, a dual-screen rear entertainment system, a hard disc drive with 10 GB of music storage, 20-inch alloy wheels and a tow package good for up to 3,500 pounds.Under the Hood
The standard 265-horsepower 3.0-liter DOHC direct injected, variable valve timing, four-valve-per-cylinder V6 is a smaller version of the award-winning 3.6-liter DI V6 found in Cadillac's CTS sedan and other GM models, and the optional 300-horsepower 2.8-liter turbo V6 is derived from a family of GM engines used in luxury European models. Both drive the front wheels through six-speed automatic transaxles, the 2.8-liter turbo's with a driver-selectable "eco mode" that alters shift points to optimize fuel economy.
265 horsepower @ 6950 rpm
223 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 (FWD); 17/23 (AWD)
2.8-liter Turbocharged V6
300 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
295 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (estimated)
Cadillac's SRX is accurately aimed at domestic rival Lincoln MKX and a wide variety of import competitors, beginning with the class-leading Lexus RX. Yet with Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) starting just above $34,000, it undercuts the Lexus RX 350 by about $3,500, the BMW X3 by $5,400, the Mercedes-Benz ML350 by a whopping $12,400 and all other contenders except the turbocharged four-cylinder Acura RDX. The available all-wheel-drive package adds a bit over $6,000. To get the best deal on your SRX, be sure to check our Kelley Fair Purchase Prices to learn what buyers are actually paying in your area. On the resale value side, the SRX retains residuals similar to the ML350 over time, but trails the rest of its rivals.