The crossover Cadillac SRX is the bestselling model in the Cadillac lineup, and there’s good reason for it — beautiful styling, a luxurious interior, a smaller footprint and superb handling.
The SRX design is unmistakably Cadillac, with its multi-piece shield grille and iconic vertical headlights. It has a wide stance, minimal overhangs and the wheels are pushed out to the corners. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard on the Base and Luxury Collection and 20-inch wheels are standard on Performance and Premium Collections.
About the only knock on the SRX since it first appeared two years ago is that it was underpowered. But Cadillac has moved to correct that with a new 3.6-liter V-6 direct injection engine. The new V-6 — the same one that powers the Cadillac CTS — is the only engine available for the SRX lineup and it replaces the 3.0-liter and 2.8-liter engines of the previous generation.
This new 308 hp powerplant delivers a smooth, quiet and very responsive performance. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available for all models but the base.
There also is a new Eco mode for the sixspeed automatic transmission. With the push of a button, you can get up to one mpg more in fuel savings while cruising at speeds up to 50 mph (17/24 mpg for front-wheel-drive vehicles; 16/23 mpg for all-wheel-drive models), and the engine is Flex Fuel capable and runs on regular unleaded gas, which will save you some bucks at the pump.
On the inside, the SRX is roomy, comfortable and luxurious. Upgrades this year include standard Bluetooth hands-free connectivity on all models and a heated steering wheel. Interior door lock switches have been added to the door panels, supplementing those on the center console. The 20-inch wheels on upper trim levels have a new finish for 2012.
There’s an optional Pet Guard Cargo Net behind the front seats to keep your dog in place and prevent cargo from shifting, while a rear floor rail system uses adjustable sliding bars to hold your gear in place.
Base SRX ($35,185) comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and 18-inch wheels.
Luxury Collection ($39,715) gets leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, power-folding mirrors with auto dimming on the driver’s side, autodimming rearview mirror, automatic wipers, keyless entry, remote start and a power tailgate with adjustable height.
Performance Collection ($43,530) upgrades the wheel size to 20 inches and adds adaptive xenon headlights, fog lamps, an adaptive suspension system, navigation system with real-time traffic, and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system with digita music storage as well as iPod and USB ports.
Premium Collection ($45,975) gets venti lated front seats, heated rear seats, three-zone climate control and rear seat audio controls.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261 or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.