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Cadillac SRX, SUV
#8 of 146 '10 SRX Walkaround
Sep 13, 2009 (4:38 am)
My dealership was not open for normal business today (they were doing a third annual DNA sampling of kids to assist law enforcement), but while I was there today I did get a chance to sit in the SRX and check out the details of the execution.
As an owner of a 2005 SRX, I've watched the original product launch in model year 2004, get refined for NVH in 2005, and then version 1.5 hit in 2007 when the interior was heavily revamped. The car was often lauded in auto magazines for its styling and handling, even though GM never really made a true sport version of this car (unless you count the 20 inch rim version they sold at the end). Despite the praise, this car was always a case study in flawed execution.
The original product launch was botched when GM incorrectly thought that the V8 Northstar version would be more popular than V6. The result was that dealerships were swamped with $55K V8 cars when 3/4rds of buyers wanted the cheaper V6 versions. The interior was taken straight from the 2003 CTS, which was controversial in that car. In the SRX, it looked truly downmarket compared to Lexus, Mercedes, Acura and everyone else.
The '07 interior upgrade went a long way in fixing the main interior issues but the proverbial damage had been done. While this was the interior the car should have launched with, buyers were looking elsewhere. And of course, the competition wasn't standing still. The competition was putting in even better materials and fit and finish by this time which made the SRX look like "close, but no cigar".
Finally, the original high-wagon design of the car endeared itself to some but turned it off for others. My wife and I personally love the design. It's a proper RWD/AWD car that's not too wide and quite long. This allows for a third row if you need it but in our family, we used it more for hauling stuff. The old SRX could easily fit 8-10 bags of mulch without having to fold down the 2nd row of seats. Trips to Costco were easy as the SRX swallowed most anything you threw at it without intruding on primary cabin space (where our second row holds two kiddie car seats).
So now I'm faced with the new car. How does it stack up? Well for one, the 2010 SRX is a completely different animal. As previously stated in press reports, the true competitive bogey is no longer the BMW X5 and is now the Lexus RX350. This means a FWD/AWD layout and much tidier dimensions. Walking around the car was a very recognizable Cadillac. The front clip apes the same large grill found in the CTS but curves in a many almost reminiscent of steam locomotive cow-catchers. This is not a bad thing as it lends a commanding image for the vehicle and hides the FWD dimensions. The side of the vehicle is where most of the criticism I've seen lies since GM has taken some of the Saturn Vue styling cues. But it's not enough that I consider it a real problem and the vehicle separated itself from the Saturn mostly past the b-pillar. The rear taillights are really cool as they make you forget that Lexus pretty much invented the oft-copied tail of many vehicles in this class. For the most part, I like the current Cadillac styling direction across all post '08 CTS products.
If I had to describe the interior, I'd say that it's appealingly evolutionary. Ever since the '03 CTS, Cadillac has been listening and learning. The '03 CTS's interior was a radical design and they deserved points for trying, but wide expanses of black plastic looked cheap even though it wasn't from a cost standpoint. The next mistake was repeating it with the original SRX even though there was an 18 month window in launch times between the products. But there were good things that came about. Parts of the XLR's dash design (the hand stitched overlaying soft materials) began to show up in other products (the '07 STS, the '07 SRX, the '08 CTS and now the '10 SRX). Likewise, mistakes with the XLR's dash (the cheesy Bvlgari branding, the HVAC cluster straight from a CTS) weren't repeated.
But the whole package seems to be well put together. It also seems that Cadillac has been paying a lot more attention to details that would have been missed in years past. For example, the cupholders in my car are mearly functional. The front ones work but the rear ones in the midseat arm rest seem almost like a cheap afterthought. In the '10 SRX, the front cup holder can be adjusted for both normal sized and super sized drinks. The rear cupholder is not only substansial but also attractive. The driver's seat now has adjustable thigh support, something that previously was only found on the expensive Recaro seats of the CTS-V. The cargo bay not only has the main underfloor hiding place that's been shown in photos but also a couple of smaller ones. And all of it is wrapped in a level of polish that Cadillac wasn't delivering in the 2007 model year.
If I had to complain, I'd talk about the transition between the center console tunnel and the main dash. On the CTS, this is a smooth transition from one surface to another, but not in the SRX. This was intentional, probably to give the dash more of a 3-dimensional view to the eye. But the unintended effect for my legs is that they tend to hit the transition point making it feel annoying. This is likely going to open happen to people like me given my excessive height. The car is wider than I expected (a good thing for my shoulders) but the room between the front seat and the rear seat is a bit less (not surprising, but the new thin seats make up for some of it).
The biggest loss from the old car is clearly cargo space. Compared to the old car, it's like someone cut the space in half. On my family vacation this past August, we were able to cram everything we needed for the driving trip into the rear. On this car, we'd need a roof carrier. There's still space for going to Costco, but anything really large might require a set folded down, which means the kids stay home. Cadillac has compensated by throwing in an available rail system to hold groceries and the aformentioned storage systems.
I won't get to drive this car probably for another few weeks. By that time, hopefully the dealership will get the CTS wagon in for comparison. That car carries the other half of the original SRX DNA to was bifurcated when the new SRX was designed. If the old SRX had to die, at least Cadillac is giving buyers a choice on what personality you want out of a people mover/cargo carrier. Choice is a very good thing. And as for the SRX, I expect Cadillac to sell a lot more of these cars. And that's good for GM as a whole.
#9 of 146 Re: Cadilac SRX - buy one if these if you are stupidI [dvpriem]
Sep 13, 2009 (4:29 pm)
Did you actually buy the 2010 version which is completely redesigned inside and out? what year car are you referring to that you bought?
#10 of 146 Re: Cadilac SRX - buy one if these if you are stupidI [dvpriem]
Sep 14, 2009 (7:12 am)
Dvpriem must be a frustrated Lexus fan. If you actually owned the car, those items would be fixed under warranty costing you nothing. "Everyone who has ever borrowed my car..."--this thing just hit the dealers a few minutes ago. You can't have owned it more than a few days if that. How many people could possibly borrow it?
Now that I read the post again, it seems he may have the old SRX. If that's the case, post in the correct forum. This is for the 2010 SRX, a completely and radically different vehicle.
#11 of 146 Re: 2010 Cadillac SRX [jenp123]
Sep 23, 2009 (8:47 am)
When you test drove the 2010 SRX did you notice any vibration? I have driven one here in Canada, ( yup, we get them here too!!!) and the car, an AWD Luxury edition has a vibration that seems to oscillate once you hit 100 kmh or 60 mph and above. AThe dealer has been checking for service bulletins and now they say they have parts coming to correct the problem. Any similar experience?
#12 of 146 Re: 2010 Cadillac SRX [gr8guy]
Sep 23, 2009 (8:58 am)
I have driven 4 different SRX's with no vibration issues. Maybe a wheel was out of balance? Was sunroof open? This can cause wind buffeting and vibration, especially at highway speed.
#13 of 146 Re: 2010 Cadillac SRX [rbirns1]
Sep 23, 2009 (12:49 pm)
The first test drive, the dealer found the rear tires were out of balance a bit. They did re-balance them, installed the small plastic air dam on the front below the bumper, but none of these things changed anything. The sun roof was closed tightly as were all other windows. The service manager took a ride with me and he acknowledges there's something going on. Sure hope they find the problem as I'd love to buy the car. The parts were supposed to be in today, so if the dealer can install the "fix" what ever it is, I'll post it here so otgher that may find themselves in a similar situation may find the fix on here rather than go through numerous trials.
#14 of 146 2010 SRX real world mpg
Sep 23, 2009 (3:52 pm)
I will be interested in hearing what owners of the '10 SRX are getting for mpg. So far, most of the car mags have ripped it for being overly heavy (~4300 lbs), resulting in quite a load for the 3L engine to move and yielding poor mileage. The Lexus RX350 is only a little lighter but has a larger 3.5L motor with much more torque and does not seem to labor as much. Anyway, you would think that with the push on all manufacturers to improve mpg, they would all be trying very hard to get the lard out of their cars.
#15 of 146 AWD 3L available yet?
Oct 04, 2009 (7:43 am)
I was looking around at the dealer inventory here in Atlanta and noticed that no one had a AWD 3L available. Are these just not being manufactured yet? I would really like to be able to test drive one with the AWD - but doesn't look like that is going to be possible in our area. This true nationwide?
#16 of 146 Re: AWD 3L available yet? [srjacobs]
Oct 05, 2009 (5:59 am)
I got an AWD 3L last week. Here in the NY area, that's pretty much all you can get. Guess they assume most people in the South don't want AWD.
#17 of 146 SRX Test Drive
Oct 07, 2009 (2:01 pm)
I test drove a 2010 SRX with Lux. pack. today,and had some observations on this vehicle. The inside was noticeably smaller than my 08' SRX, but the seats were very comfortable, and I especially liked the pull-out thigh support cushion. I found the dash a little busy, but seemed to work well with the rest of the interior. I also found the vertical A/C vents to be too small to cool the drivers side. Granted this was a 90+ degree day here in FL., but didn't seem to have decent air flow coverage. The car seemed to handle pretty well, but was seriously lacking on power, especially on the low end. I had to punch the pedal pretty hard just to get on the highway. The numbers don't lie with that 223 lb ft. torque coming high in the rev band. (5200). In comparison my 08' blows the doors off this engine. I guess where it's really supposed to make up for that short coming is in fuel economy. In the meantime i still have a cheap lease on my 08', and I'll see what happens when that's up in 17 months.