KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 3/1/2012
Once overlooked by the majority of luxury crossover shoppers, the Cadillac SRX is now a force to be reckoned with and asserts its rightful place as one of Cadillac's top sellers. The 2012 Cadillac SRX addresses prior grievances concerning its uninspiring powerplants with a brand-new 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to a revised 6-speed transmission with a fuel-saving "Eco" feature. While the segment-leading Lexus RX models deliver unrivaled comfort and practicality, the improvements made to the 2012 SRX help secure its place as a top contender in the category.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you are looking for a luxury crossover with distinctive styling, car-like handling, an overabundance of available features and an appealing base price, the 2012 Cadillac SRX is worth a closer look.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If sizeable adults regularly occupy your rear seats, a Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Lexus RX or BMW X5's superior headroom dimensions may better suit your needs. Additionally, the SRX's unique design and thick roof pillars hinder outward visibility.
What's New for 2012
For 2012, a new 3.6-liter V6 replaces the two previous engine choices, and a new Eco feature is added to the current 6-speed transmission for increased fuel economy. Additional refinements include an available heated steering wheel, new Xenon Blue exterior color and ebony interior trim. Bluetooth hands-free phone technology is now standard across all trims.
Although it lacks the previous generation's V8-engine option, the 2012 SRX remains true to the spirit of a performance crossover. In terms of standard horsepower, the 2012 SRX's new 3.6-liter is a large improvement over last year's engine choices. 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 sports-car feel and feedback with strong on-center feel. We found the SRX a delight to drive in town, on high-speed highways and especially on twisty 2-lane roads, thanks to the available continuously variable real-time damping system that automatically adjusts suspension damping to specific road conditions and driving situations.
Pop-Up 3-Dimensional Navigation
We love the optional, user-friendly pop-up navigation system with its sharp 3-dimensional imaging... and the fact that accurate "Turn by Turn" spoken directions are readily available through GM's OnStar service.
Advanced All-Wheel Drive
The SRX's available advanced all-wheel-drive system available 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 for optimum dry and wet performance.
While exterior preference to a vehicle is subjective, few would disagree that the SRX's interior design is nothing short of spectacular. Navigation-equipped models include a modernistic pop-up navigation display featuring brilliant graphics, 3-dimensional imaging and various infotainment functions. Sometimes the simplest feature delivers the greatest emotional impact – in this case, it's the SRX's available Ultraview sunroof that covers nearly 70 percent of the roof. The 5-passenger 2012 Cadillac SRX helps you get the most out of the 61 cubic feet of cargo space with its configurable cargo area and clever storage features like an under-floor storage compartment.
Coinciding with Cadillac's revered design language, the 2012 SRX's bold front end features Cadillac's signature multi-piece, shield-style grille and massive vertical headlights. Base and Luxury models ride on 18-inch split-spoke wheels while fender-filling 20-inch wheels outfit the Premium and Performance trims. While we admit the SRX's striking design is also its most persuasive attribute, our sole objection to the exterior styling is Cadillac's unsuccessful attempt to spice-up the SRX's dynamic profile with a pair of faux fender vents.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2012 Cadillac SRX's extensive list of standard features includes an 8-speaker Bose sound system with a USB port for your MP3/WMA player, heated power outside mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, a full-color vehicle information display, 8-way power driver's seat, tilt and telescoping leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability, 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, and a 1-year trial subscription to OnStar's emergency and concierge services.
Notable Optional Equipment
Among the significant SRX options are advanced all-wheel drive (AWD) with an electronic limited-slip differential that splits torque left-to-right between the rear wheels, a hard drive navigation system with an 8-inch display and 3-dimensional graphics, adaptive forward lighting that swivels to follow the steering direction, a power liftgate with a programmable height setting, a dual-screen rear entertainment system capable of simultaneously playing media from two sources,, a 10GB hard drive for music storage, 20-inch wheels and a tow package good for up to 3,500 pounds.
Under the Hood
The 2012 SRX's new direct-injection 3.6-liter V6 churns out an additional 43 horsepower over the 2011 model's standard 3.0-liter V6. While its horsepower figures are comparable to the outgoing turbocharged 2.8-liter engine, the SRX's new V6 delivers superior fuel economy. All 308 horsepower is transmitted to the wheels via a 6-speed transmission with a driver-selectable Eco mode that adjusts shift points for improved fuel efficiency
308 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
265 lb-ft of torque at 2,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg (front-wheel drive), 16/23 mpg (AWD)
The 2012 Cadillac SRX has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $36 000, with the fully loaded Premium all-wheel-drive model topping out close to $57,000. The SRX's entry-level price undercuts the Lexus RX 350 by about $4,000, the BMW X3 by $3,000, the Mercedes-Benz ML350 by a whopping $13,000, and all other contenders except the Acura RDX and Audi Q5. The available all-wheel-drive package adds a bit over $6,000. To get the best deal on your SRX, be sure to check KBB's Fair Purchase Price 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.