Cadillac launched the SRX midsize luxury sport utility vehicle as an early 2004 model. Bridging a gap between luxury sedans and powerful SUVs, it was the first luxury "crossover" model from Cadillac. Rivals include the league-leading Lexus RX 330, as well as the Acura MDX, BMW X5, Volkswagen Touareg and Volvo XC90.
Built on General Motors' Sigma platform, which is also used for Cadillac's CTS sedan, the SRX promises a lower center of gravity than most of its competitors. The automaker says this improves ride and handling "without compromising [the] driver's commanding view of the road." Two engines are available, and the SRX can be equipped with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
For 2005, darker privacy glass is offered, a new instrument cluster adds chrome accents, and a trailer-towing package is available for the V-6-powered model.
Cadillac promotes the driving dynamics of the SRX. Magnetic Ride Control (MRC), Cadillac's active suspension system, is optional. MRC applies electrical current to a coil in the damper's piston, thus varying the viscosity of the fluid, which holds iron particles.
The SRX's 116-inch wheelbase is 9 inches longer than the one on the Lexus RX 330. The SRX is 9 inches longer overall, too. Weight distribution is near 50/50, front to rear.
The SRX may be fitted with either 17- or 18-inch aluminum wheels. For 2005, a new exterior paint color called Sand Storm replaces Cashmere.
Seven occupants can fit inside the SRX if an optional, powered, flip-folding third-row seat is installed. Without it, passenger capacity is five. All passengers sit higher in the SRX than in a luxury sedan but lower than occupants in a typical SUV. An optional UltraView roof offers 5.6 square feet of open space above the first and second rows. The available UltraView Plus setup adds a fixed glass roof over the third row, which has a power sunshade.
Maximum cargo volume totals 69.5 cubic feet versus the Lexus RX 330's nearly 85 cubic feet. Side storage bins are installed in the cargo area. Available features include GM's OnStar communication system, a navigation system, XM Satellite Radio and a DVD entertainment system.
Under the Hood
Either a V-6 or V-8 engine is available, and each features variable valve timing. The 3.6-liter V-6 produces 255 horsepower and 252 pounds-feet of torque. Cadillac's 4.6-liter Northstar V-8 generates 320 hp and 315 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines team with a five-speed-automatic transmission that has a manual shifting provision.
Cadillac's all-wheel-drive system relies on the traction-control system to shift torque from the wheels that are slipping to those that have grip. In normal driving, torque is split 50/50, front to rear.
Cadillac's StabiliTrak electronic stability system and four-channel antilock brakes with brake assist are standard. Side-impact airbags mounted in the backrests of the front seats provide torso protection, while side curtain-type airbags protect the heads of outboard occupants in the first two rows.