The car also uses its LCD to show the back-up camera view, useful in a vehicle like the SRX. Along with showing distance and trajectory lines, the SRX displays a triangular warning icon on the screen over any objects it senses. This feature comes in handy when backing up in low-light conditions.
Features the SRX is currently lacking are an around-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot detection-- all of which are cropping up on competitors. As the Buick LaCrosse does have blind spot detection, we expect GM will soon extend this feature to the SRX.
A small V-6
This 2010 SRX is powered by a V-6, but unlike every other six-cylinder engine currently on the market, this displaces less than 3 liters, weighing in at only 2.8. V-6es this small haven't been used in years.
Of course, Cadillac fits it with a turbocharger so the SRX will have the kind of power you would expect. The turbo gets its output up to 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. By contrast, the direct injection 3-liter V-6 SRX we tested last year made only 265 horsepower and 223 pound-feet of torque.
This turbocharged engine represents GM's efforts to get more power out of smaller engines, efficiency technologies aimed at better fuel economy. With the turbo SRX, the EPA fuel economy comes out to 15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. We came up with 19 mpg in freeway-biased driving, which is not a bad number for an engine with that amount of output.
But we can't say that 300 horsepower was apparent from launch. Slamming down the gas led to uneven acceleration, turbo lag making itself felt. The car's initial acceleration is good, but not breathtaking. North of 40 mph, though, the car continues to accelerate, the turbo keeping it from running out of breath.
Recent Cadillacs have been good sport drivers, so we put the SRX through a mountain course of winding roads. The six-speed automatic transmission's sport mode proved aggressive, downshifting rapidly as we braked at the end of a straightaway, giving the engine plenty of revolutions per minute for the ensuing turn. This transmission also has a manual mode, although no paddle shifters, which was a little disappointing.
The suspension was adequate for cornering, using antiroll components to keep the SRX on its feet. Lacking an adaptive suspension to actively fight body roll, however, this crossover proved too tall for truly excellent cornering performance. SRX's with the turbocharged engine come standard with all-wheel-drive, which helped in cornering, but not to the extent that a torque vectoring system could.
Cruising down the freeway or over rough city streets, the ride quality was good, but not what we would really want in a Cadillac. It damped out the bumps reasonably well, but didn't glide over them. However, the suspension was not tuned too softly either, providing a decent, nondramatic ride.
There are some very good elements to the 2010 Cadillac SRX's cabin tech, such as the navigation system, with its traffic avoidance feature, and the stereo system. OnStar also provides useful services. But the Bluetooth phone system is very basic and we would like to see more driver aid features, especially a blind spot warning system.
Cadillac's use of a small V-6 with a turbocharger is intriguing, and we like that it squeezes out 300 horsepower while getting reasonable fuel economy. Cadillac also made a good choice with the transmission, which reacts well in sport mode. With its conventional suspension, the SRX isn't one of the best-handling crossovers we've driven.
The cabin tech interface looks good, and is very usable. We particularly like that you can use hardware control for menus and the like, and touch-screen control for alphanumeric input. The SRX also displays the Cadillac design language well, even if it looks a little homogeneous toward the rear.
|Model||2010 Cadillac SRX|
|Trim||2.8L V6 Turbo Premium|
|Powertrain||Turbocharged 2.8-liter V-6|
|EPA fuel economy||15 mpg city/22 mpg highway|
|Observed fuel economy||19 mpg|
|Navigation||Hard drive-based system with traffic|
|Bluetooth phone support||Standard|
|Disc player||MP3 compatible single DVD/CD player|
|MP3 player support||iPod integration|
|Other digital audio||Onboard hard drive, USB drive, satellite radio|
|Audio system||Bose surround sound 10 speaker system|
|Driver aids||Back-up camera|
|Price as tested||$53,980|
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