By KBB.com Editors
In today's economy, playing in the luxury Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) segment is not easy. Money from consumers isn't flowing freely like it used to and, with a number of well-established players – such as the Lexus RX 350, BMW X3 and Mercedes Benz GLK350 – fighting for customers, Cadillac's newly-redesigned SRX is in a tough market. Still, the SRX has a lot going for it with CTS-inspired styling, lots of Caddy chrome and a handsome cabin. But the SRX's ace in the hole is its size. Although priced in line with the X3 and GLK, the SRX's dimensions are closer to (and in some cases bigger than) the much more expensive BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz ML CUVs. And, while there is no V8 option, there is a turbocharged V6 good for 300 horsepower that should satisfy all but the most fanatical speed freaks.
If you're seeking an artful blend of style, utility, car-like comfort, ride, handling and surprisingly fuel-efficient performance (on regular-grade gas), all in a luxury CUV, it will be difficult to overlook the SRX.
If exhilarating performance and razor-sharp handling are high on your list, you may be happier with a BMW X3 or X5, Mercedes GL or ML, or even the Acura RSX.
New standard features for 2011 include a rear backup camera and Cadillac's Premium Care Maintenance program that covers, at no charge, scheduled oil changes, tire rotation and replacement of engine and cabin air filters for four years or 50,000 miles. Full keyless access is now standard on Luxury and Performance models.
Driving Impressions Although it lacks the previous generation's V8 engine option, the 2011 SRX remains true to the spirit of a performance CUV. The standard 3.0-liter V6 performs well, but it's the...optional 2.8-liter turbo that offers V8-like muscle with V6 economy. With its hydraulic speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering (not the energy-efficient but often-numb electric power steering found in many competitors these days), the SRX delivers sport-sedan feel and feedback with strong on-center feel. And, because our test car was equipped with the continuously variable real-time dampening suspension, we found the SRX a delight to drive in town, on high-speed highways and especially on twisty two-lanes.
Pop-Up Three-Dimensional Navigation
We love the available, easy-to-use pop-up navigation system with its nifty-looking three-dimensional imaging and 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.
Inside the SRX is room for five adults although, in all honesty, four is a more reasonable figure. The SRX's cabin is bathed in rich leather, French-stitched seams and wood appliqués. The instrument panel wears hand-cut-and-sewn coverings, and subtle ambient night lighting lends an atmosphere of opulence and attention to detail. Winged air vents flank the center console, which features large buttons and three rotary knobs for easy control of the A/C, audio and available navigation system. The navigation option features a large LCD screen that rises from the console's top surface. Equally impressive are the Cadillac script logos in the front-door sill plates that illuminate when the doors are opened. The ninth-generation OnStar system now features flexible speech recognition software that understands common phrases such as, "I need to make a phone call." It even recognizes different dialects.
The 2011 SRX's 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. The car's bold face is dominated by Cadillac's iconic shield-shaped grille and vertical headlamps that wrap over the front fenders. At the rear, an integrated spoiler on the back edge of the roof extends the roofline while improving aerodynamics. The most striking SRX features are a crisp side accent crease that sweeps upward from the tip of a chrome front fender vent to the rear door handle, and another that runs horizontally from the bottom of the vent, curves over the rear wheel and then continues to the rear bumper.
The 2011 Cadillac SRX's long list of standard features includes an AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 eight-speaker Bose sound system with an auxiliary audio jack, rear backup camera with rear-view mirror display, cruise control, heated power outside mirrors, 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 controls 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.
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: 15/22 (estimated)
By Joanel on Thursday, February 26, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Best car I've ever owned!"
Cons: "Always buy 4WD!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"2011 SRX Cadillac SUV -- bought new from Cadillac dealer in FL, drove to CT. Should have bought 4WD and this Winter is proof of that certainty. 13,000 Actual miles and no problems -- still under warranty -- what a great vehicle! I don't think I'm going to sell after all. Talked myself into keeping this baby. Sure you can buy smaller and cheaper for better gas mileage, but hey, if you don't have a "long run" to worry about, stay with what you enjoy driving. I'll just have to buy snow tires next Winter! ;)"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Mr. Phelps on Friday, February 06, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "there is NOTHING wrong with this Caddy SRX !"
Cons: "not a single one"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Garage kept. Scheduled maintenance done at Cadillac dealership. In Perfect condition both exterior & interior..no flaws,dents, scratches. Professionally detailed every 6 months. Pearl White exterior with Cashmere all leather interior. Very low mileage...26,255 tires show no signs of wear..just installed new battery with a 5 year warranty.."
9 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By Wilf on Tuesday, February 03, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,600overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Again, a great driver, fair gas mileage."
Cons: "Chrome 20" wheels; no blind spot mirrors."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"Does not hold its value.... 20" wheels with chrome plating over plastic is terrible idea and expensive to maintain. Auto memory seats does not work automatically (have to push memory button until set) Navafation can not be updated without purchasing a new disc..called "a maintenance item".. $179. No blind spot mirror available. Information center is very useful and helpful. Could use more horses under the hood"
13 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By Walter on Sunday, February 01, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,250overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Supper Stylish, Keyless entry and start"
Cons: "Front Blind Spots."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car replaced my 03 deville. I was sad to see it go but I was very impressed the first time I drove it. My driving mostly consists of going 20miles to high school and back. It is very quick witch helps when I'm going to be late for school. The sound system is great and the double moon roof is amazing. I love how I can start it with my iPhone while I'm waiting in study hall for school to get out (I live in Iowa and remote start is like a must in the winter). Everyone complements on how nice it is and how cool the headlights are. The one and only complaint is the front pillars that divide the windshield and front doors create an annoying blind spot on both sides so I have to lean forward sometimes when making a left turn. It has the perfect spot to put my iPhone charging dock. The pop up navigation screen is a impressive feature. I also like how I can leave the key in my pocket and never have to take it out to start it open the back hatch or doors or to lock the doors. This way I don't have to waist time trying to figure out what pocket I put my keys in and I don't have to put the dam key in and turn it which is like supper annoying when alls I want to do is simply go home. Some people don't know this but the back seats actually recline, just pull on the handle like you would to fold them down but push the seats back instead of froward and it will go back about 4 inches! All in all this is a very nice car and is part of my motivation to get up and get ready in the mornings because I know this car is waiting in the garage for me :)"
8 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Mike on Wednesday, January 28, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very comfortable"
Cons: "Front wheel drive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"There is a learning curve for the touch screen controls. Once mastered it becomes very easy to use. The SRX is quite comfortable on trips and around town. The vibrating warning alerts built into the drivers seat is an exceptional system and needed on this car. There are blind spots at the front posts and rear quarter panels. The car has plenty of power but the motor sounds like it is laboring. If purchased again would get the all wheel drive."
8 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By summer on Friday, January 09, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "heated steering wheel, reliable auto start"
Cons: "blind spot front windshield on left and right,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I bought this car with 21k on it. Love the heated steering wheel and the auto start, very reliable. however i wish i did more suv research uncomfortable seats, and looking out to the right and left front major blind spots, it also could have more power which they improved in 2012 the navigation is unreliable. All in All for the price too high should come with AWD standard and cooled seats. I purposely got the 2012 because the newer models have the touch screen which is very temporomental and tacky looking. Live and Learn and keep reading reviews!"
17 people out of 33 found this review helpful