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2013 Cadillac SRX Rocky Mountain Review By Dan Poler

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2013 Cadillac SRX

By Dan Poler
Rocky Mountain Bureau
The Auto Channel

The 2013 SRX represents the best-selling model in Cadillac’s lineup and received its last significant redesign in 2010. New for 2013 are a host of interior features, mostly designed around Cadillac’s User Experience (CUE) infotainment setup. We recently spent an enjoyable week with the 2013 Cadillac SRX and came away impressed with this little luxury crossover.

On the outside, the SRX is chunky and angular, definitely carrying the themes we see on Cadillac’s sedans. Stylish touches abound, such as LED lights around side grilles. An expansive sunroof – one of the largest we’ve ever seen – dominates the majority of the roof.

Inside we find a comfortable cabin – certainly the SRX is not the largest vehicle in its class and rear seat occupants may find their surroundings to be a bit cramped, and cargo space is somewhat limited as well. Cadillac, well, being Cadillac, has ensured that no detail is overlooked and the cabin is a lovely place to spend time, owing to classy details like ambient lighting following the curves of the dash and the seats.

Driving the SRX is a treat – the cabin is blissfully quiet and harsh roads are nicely smoothed by the suspension, yet steering is responsive and body roll minimal.

Our test vehicle came equipped with Cadillac’s Safety Alert Seat which uses vibrating motors in the driver’s seat that will pulse momentarily to indicate a situation requiring the driver’s attention – for example, should the Lane Departure Warning system sense you’re over the line to the right, the seat will pulse three times on the right, prompting the driver to correct. Although it sounds annoying, it’s one of the better driver engagement systems we’ve tested, and we found that it’s easy to adapt to and understand what the SRX is trying to tell us.

Power is provided by GM’s 3.6-liter workhorse, producing 308 hp in this configuration; although 308 hp sounds significant, one must remember the SRX’s curb weight of nearly 4,450 lb – the engine has a lot of car to haul, and acceleration is OK but won’t knock anyone’s socks off.

Handling is stellar, with comfortable steering and solid all-wheel drive that behaved predictably, especially on that wet slushy stuff we tend to find on our roads around this time of year.

We averaged 20 mpg overall during our time with the SRX using gasoline – a feature not often seen in this class, the SRX is a flex-fuel vehicle and will run on E85 as well.

As we mentioned, 2013 brings the addition of CUE to the SRX. This infotainment system combines climate control, entertainment, navigation, and other features into a single control touchscreen mounted in the dash. CUE is an interesting setup. While it’s not perfect – we encountered lag and operations which felt like they took far too many presses to accomplish – but it’s generally well organized and intuitive to anyone who’s used a smartphone, with nice features like haptic feedback confirming button selection. CUE additionally integrates with a customizable display in the instrument cluster enabling display of driving information like distance until empty or fuel economy alongside entertainment or navigation information. One of the overlooked and really appreciated features of this setup is the amount of room it frees up in the dash; CUE’s control panel tilts up at the touch of a button revealing a significant amount of storage space behind the panel.

In addition to the previously-mentioned Safety Alert Seat which integrates with safety features such as Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, and Cross-Traffic Alert, a number of additional safety features are included, such as antilock brakes, front side airbags, and side curtain airbags. OnStar provides automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote door unlock, and stolen vehicle assistance. In IIHS crash tests, the SRX received the highest rating of "Good" in the frontal offset, side impact, and roof strength tests.

All in all, Cadillac presents an excellent choice for a small luxury crossover and we enjoyed our time with the vehicle. Although CUE does take some getting used to, the SRX drives very well and is deserving of consideration.


2013 Cadillac SRX AWD Premium Collection
Base Price: $37,155
Price as Tested: $$53,520
Engine Type: Direct Injection VVT V6
Engine Size: 3.6-liter
Horsepower: 308 @ 6,800 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 265 @ 2,400 rpm
Transmission: 6-Speed Shiftable Automatic
Wheelbase / Length (in): 110.5 / 190.3
Curb Weight: 4,442
Pounds per HP: 14.4
Fuel Capacity (gal): 21
Fuel Requirement: Unleaded Gas / E85
Tires: Michelin Latitude Tour HP; P235/55HR20
Brakes: Ventilated Disc 
Suspension, front/rear: MacPherson Strut / Multi-Link
Ground clearance (in): 7
Drivetrain: All-wheel Drive
EPA Fuel Economy - MPG
city / highway / observed: 16 / 23 / 20
Towing capacity (lb): 3.500
Base Trim Price: $50,555.00

Options and Charges

Rear Seat Entertainment System, Dual Screen, Blu-Ray: $1,595.00
20” Polished Wheels: $495.00
Delivery: $875.00
Price as tested: $53,520.00