2010 Cadillac SRX
The wreath and crest's RX
By Edward Loh

WE LIKE: Intuitive infotainment system, CTS-inspired interior, turbo whoosh.
WE DON'T LIKE: Jittery ride, big-outside/small-inside package, anemic performance.

Though they share the same three letters, Cadillac's new SRX is such a departure from the first generation, it is an entirely different vehicle. It's stubbier, less wagony, with visual cues pulled from big brother Escalade, yet is decidedly not a truck; gone are the rear-drive platform, third-row seating, and optional 4.6-liter V-8.

For 2010, the SRX directly targets the Lexus RX 350 with a two-row, five-passenger CUV based on a new FWD/AWD platform shared with the Saab 9-4x. Saab also shares the torque-vectoring AWD system and electronic LSD it developed with Haldex. Two new powertrains are on offer, a standard 3.0-liter, direct-injection V-6 and an optional 2.8-liter turbo V-6.

Even with 300 turbocharged horses, the turbo SRX takes 7.6 seconds to hit 60 mph and 15.9 seconds to cover a quarter mile, which is mediocre when compared against the Audi Q5 3.2 quattro, Lexus RX 350 AWD, Mercedes-Benz GLK 4Matic, and Volvo XC60 T6. Braking and skidpad performance are more in line with the pack as the optional turbo engine option mandates AWD and sporty FE3 suspension, which includes variable-ratio steering, continuously variable dampers, and, ironically, 20-inch wheels.

While these goodies help generate competitive numbers, they do not contribute to ride quality. Jittery is how Lassa describes the SRX turbo. "As if it's running on Peet's French Roast. I didn't find the production 3.0-liter [which uses the more softly sprung FE2 setup] quite this stiff," he says.

"Feels heavy; in corners, it's unsure of itself," says St. Antoine who also cites the SRX for "anemic" performance off the line. "Engine feels way under its claimed 300 horses, maybe it's just all that mass," he concludes. Lago concurs, "I love the turbocharger whoosh, but delivery is lumpy. It feels like the SRX is choking."

Some on our staff gagged on the styling as well. "Just another generic blob. Looks huge outside for how little room you get inside," says St. Antoine, though Lassa is not so sure. "This SRX has attitude, something the Lexus will never match." Perhaps, but even with that attitude, the SRX is not our SUV of the Year.


2010 Cadillac SRX
Base price range $34,155-$49,640
Price as tested $49,640 (2.8T)
Vehicle layout Front engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
Engine 2.8L/300-hp/295-lb-ft turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curb weight (f/r dist) 4595 lb (58/42%)
Wheelbase 110.5 in
Length x width x height 190.3 x 75.2 x 65.7 in
0-60 mph 7.6 sec
Quarter mile 15.9 sec @ 90.7 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 128 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.82 g (avg)
MT Figure Eight 27.2 sec @ 0.63 g (avg)
MT observed fuel econ 14.2 mpg
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 15/21 mpg (est)
CO2 emissions 1.13 lb/mile (est)
RATINGS
Engineering ***
Design ***
Interior/Functionality ***
Performance **
On-road refinement ***
Off-road ability **
Value ***
BOTTOM LINE
Looks like a CTS, but it doesn't impress like one.