Though they share the same three-letter moniker, Cadillac's all new SRX is such a significant departure from the first generation, it is an entirely different vehicle. It's shorter, stubbier, less wagon-looking, with visual cues pulled from big brother Escalade. Yet it's decidedly not a truck; gone are the CTS-based, rear-drive platform and options like third-row seating and the 4.6-liter Northstar V-8.
Instead, the 2010 SRX is pure crossover and aimed squarely at the market's 800-pound gorilla, the Lexus RX 350. The SRX apes Lexus this time around, offering a two-row, five-passenger SUV based on a new front-/all-wheel-drive 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. The standard is a 3.0-liter, direct-injection V-6 (as in the CTS) that makes 265 horsepower and 223 pound-feet of torque. In place of the V-8 option, Cadillac offers a brand new 2.8-liter turbocharged V-6, though only in AWD trim. Different six-speed transmissions come with each engine: The 3.0-liter receives a hydra-matic 6T70 while an Aisin AF40 distributes output from 2.8-liter turbo.
So, with all of these significant changes, how does Caddy's top-step SRX 2.8 turbo fare in the hotly contested midsize-luxury SUV field?
Not particularly well in terms of acceleration performance. Even with 300 turbocharged horses, the SRX takes 7.6 seconds to hit 60 mph and 15.9 seconds to cover a quarter mile, which is exceptionally mediocre. The Audi Q5 3.2 quattro, Lexus RX 350 AWD, Mercedes-Benz GLK 4matic, and Volvo XC60 T6 are all significantly quicker. Braking performance is more in line with the pack; the SRX's 13.6-inch front and 12.4-inch rear discs help haul it to a stop in 128 feet.
The skidpad is even more forgiving. Checking the turbo engine option mandates AWD and sporty FE3 suspension, which includes variable-ratio steering, Sachs continuously variable dampers, and, ironically, 20-inch wheels. As equipped, the SRX turbo lays down 0.82 g of grip and runs our figure-eight course in 27.2 seconds at 0.63, which puts it just above average in the aforementioned quartet.
Cadillac estimates the SRX turbo will return 15 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway, placing it on the thirsty end of the competitive set. In comparison, its chief rival RX 350 AWD gets 18/24 mpg on the same cycle.