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    William Maley

    2013 Cadillac SRX Performance Collection

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    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    April 30, 2013

    The last time we reviewed a Cadillac SRX, it came with the choice of two different engines, an interior lifted from the Cadillac CTS, and coming close to being second in sales in the small luxury crossover arena. Fast forward two years and the SRX has undergone a bit of a change; there is now one engine, a revised exterior and interior, and coming very close to the Lexus RX in sales... (RX: 95,381 units. SRX: 57,485 units)

    A revisit it seemed was in order. That’s what happened a few weeks ago as a 2013 Cadillac SRX AWD Performance Collection was dropped off for a week’s evaluation.

    gallery_10485_648_146250.jpg

    The overall design of the 2013 Cadillac SRX hasn’t changed much since its introduction back in 2010. The model wears the ‘Art & Science’ design language very well with a number of sharp angles and creases throughout the shape. The only real changes for 2013 include a new front grille and side vents with new LED lighting.

    Inside the 2013 SRX, Cadillac revised the interior greatly with a new dashboard layout and instrument cluster from the smaller ATS sedan. Materials are in tip-top shape with a mix of leather, wood trim, and black acrylic for the touch capactive touch buttons. Build quality was excellent on this low mileage tester.

    gallery_10485_648_116206.jpg

    I had two disappointments with the SRX’s interior. One was the uncomfortable seats. Getting onto them for the first time, I felt like I was sitting on piece of concrete wrapped in leather. Not what I would call luxurious. The other problem was back seat room. While legroom is decent, headroom comes at cost thanks to a sloping roofline and the standard panoramic sunroof on the Performance Collection.

    Not disappointing is Cadillac’s CUE (Cadillac User Experience). Since we last tried CUE in a ATS back in December, Cadillac has issued an update to squash some of the bugs and improve the performance of the system. My test SRX came with the update and the system was noticeably smoother. Inputs on the screen and the capacitive touch buttons registered most of the time and moving around the system was snappy. Now Cadillac just needs to work on making the system somewhat less distracting.

    Powering the SRX is a 3.6L V6 engine with 308 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. That is mated to six-speed automatic transmission to either the front-wheels or all four wheels. Compared to the outgoing 3.0L and 2.8L turbocharged V6 engines, the 3.6L sits in the middle. Low-end power isn’t the 3.6L’s strong suit, but get above 2,000 RPM and the power comes smoothly in. The six-speed automatic provided smooth shifts and didn’t need to downshift as much when I stepped on the accelerator, something that couldn’t be said of the 3.0L.

    gallery_10485_648_544538.jpg

    One place where I wished the 3.6L was better was fuel economy. The EPA rates the SRX 3.6L AWD at 16 City/24 Highway/18 Combined. During my week, I averaged 17.2 MPG in mostly suburban driving. Out on the highway, fuel economy rose to 24.2 MPG. Why the low MPG numbers? Part of the blame goes to AWD system in the SRX, but a good majority is to the 4,442 lb curb weight.

    Driving around in the SRX, my impressions were that Cadillac had focused more on the comfort than the sport. The FE2 suspension absorbs bumps and road imperfections with ease. A bit surprising since the SRX I was rolling in had twenty-inch wheels as standard equipment. Steering is very precise, despite the heavily boosted feeling I was getting. My biggest gripe dealt with the brake pedal. Whenever I put my foot on it to stop the SRX, it feels like I’m pushing through quicksand. This means you’re either not going slow down as fast as you like or come to a panic stop. Not pleasant at all.

    gallery_10485_648_1546234.jpg

    My test SRX AWD Performance Collection rings up at $49,085, which is a steal when you consider that includes CUE, a Bose surround sound system, keyless entry with push button start, twenty-inch wheels, blind spot monitoring, cross traffic alert, and a number other features as standard equipment.

    Its very easy to see why the 2013 Cadillac SRX is one of the best sellers in the segment. It offers the right blend of luxury, features, and value in a handsome package. While the SRX will not be coming anywhere close to toppling the Lexus RX in sales (so far in 2013, the RX current holds a 8,548 unit lead over the SRX), Cadillac should be very pleased that they have a very credible alternative.

    gallery_10485_648_876033.jpg

    Disclaimer: General Motors provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gasoline.

    Year - 2013

    Make – Cadillac

    Model – SRX

    Trim – AWD Performance Collection

    Engine – 3.6L SIDI V6

    Driveline – All-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic

    Horsepower @ RPM – 308 @ 6,800 RPM

    Torque @ RPM – 265 @ 2,400 RPM

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/23/18

    Curb Weight – 4,442 lbs

    Location of Manufacture – Ramos Arizpe, CZ Mexico

    Base Price - $47,715.00

    As Tested Price - $49,085.00* (Includes $875.00 destination charge)

    Options:

    Black Ice Metallic Paint - $495.00

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Great write up mud, Love the style of the SRX but have to admit that after test driving the car myself. There are two deal breakers for me, all 6'6" tall of me.

    Once I am set in the front seat, the back seat has NO leg Room or Head room. No one can sit behind me.

    Two is the metal trim on the dash, it reflects badly on the front glass on a sunny day and is very distracting.

    I wonder if the performance package has stiffer seats as I thought the seats were very comfy but firm. This would explain the cement wrapped in leather feel you got.

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    I don't get this truck. It's neither sporty nor comfortable. If I wanted something plush and spacious, I'd get an RX450h, and if I wanted good driving dynamics, I'd get an X3 or Q5.

    And 16 MPG city is inexcusable for an errand runner like this. The BMW and Audi have 25% better fuel economy around town, while the Lexus hybrid beats it by 85% (though more like 50% in the real world).

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    Nice ride but showing its age. The new one will address the weight and the issues of size as this one is pretty large for this segment. It also may have a lot of back seat room but at the expense of the rear cargo area. It will be interesting to see how GM updates this segment.

    While the Caddy is nice the GMC is a better deal unless you catch a break on the SRX that they do once in a while.

    The MPG is expected as you have well over two tons here to move. The 3.6 has improved the MPG too. The TT V6 would have the ability to get a little better MPG but also provide worse the way many driver drive with this amount of weight. The TT would be better suited for a 3500 SRX vs. this one.

    Edited by hyperv6

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    I wonder if the performance package has stiffer seats as I thought the seats were very comfy but firm. This would explain the cement wrapped in leather feel you got.

    I'm highly doubting it.. I've talked to a couple other people who drove the SRX as well and they have the same complaint.

    I don't get this truck. It's neither sporty nor comfortable. If I wanted something plush and spacious, I'd get an RX450h, and if I wanted good driving dynamics, I'd get an X3 or Q5.

    And 16 MPG city is inexcusable for an errand runner like this. The BMW and Audi have 25% better fuel economy around town, while the Lexus hybrid beats it by 85% (though more like 50% in the real world).

    RX 450h is on my list of vehicles to get in.

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    I don't get this truck. It's neither sporty nor comfortable. If I wanted something plush and spacious, I'd get an RX450h, and if I wanted good driving dynamics, I'd get an X3 or Q5.

    And 16 MPG city is inexcusable for an errand runner like this. The BMW and Audi have 25% better fuel economy around town, while the Lexus hybrid beats it by 85% (though more like 50% in the real world).

    While the numbers might say the audi and bmw are better, real world shows they are equal to the SRX. I work with a number of people who have all 3 of these CUV's and they are not seeing better gas mileage compared to the SRX.

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    The Seats are subjective.

    I see the same comments on the Terrain. Most like the seats but some complain they are hard.

    In the last year I am ok with them. I am use to stiff seats in most of the cars I have owned as most have had performance seats. Now if you were coming from a DTS or the like you may no like these.

    The younger you are the more inclined you will be to feel they are fine.

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    I don't get this truck. It's neither sporty nor comfortable. If I wanted something plush and spacious, I'd get an RX450h, and if I wanted good driving dynamics, I'd get an X3 or Q5.

    And 16 MPG city is inexcusable for an errand runner like this. The BMW and Audi have 25% better fuel economy around town, while the Lexus hybrid beats it by 85% (though more like 50% in the real world).

    While the numbers might say the audi and bmw are better, real world shows they are equal to the SRX. I work with a number of people who have all 3 of these CUV's and they are not seeing better gas mileage compared to the SRX.

    The numbers say the audi and bmw are better, real world shows they are better than the SRX. I work with a number of people who have all 3 of these CUV's and they are all seeing better gas mileage compared to the SRX.

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    Had the 2012 SRX Performance FWD version of this car on vacation in Georgia last September, and we loved it.

    Definitely smaller by design than mom's Terrain, but a more performance edge and quieter ride as well. Different ambiance with the interior and panoramic roof. We enjoyed it and the 3.6L was nice, my main complaint was the rubber band feeling 6-spd FWD transmission. Combination of the 3.6L wanting to rev and the transmission feeling tuned/set up to "waaaaaaaa...." then slowly shift. Similar to almost all transverse GM 6-speeds with the V6, though mom's new 3.6L AWD Terrain seemed sharper to me.

    Great car. Not necessarily the RWD based engineering marvel magazines loved like the last one, but this one real people actually buy and enjoy, and repeat buy again.

    Now if they'd only get rid of those terrible looking silver painted base 18" wheels that for 4 years have remained and look worse and department store hubcaps...

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    My experiences with the SRX have been initial disappointment followed by a quick warm up and appriciation for it.

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    GM needs to move a lot of their vehicles to a new universal platform to replace all these thetas and epsilons.

    Regals, Malibus, and many other epsilons have had size issues in different dimensions, and weight issues. None of the Vues (cmon this is a fatter Vue) Captivas, Equinox, SRX have been light or optimally packaged.

    GM could likely move a dozen or more vehicles in a new properly sized and lighter platform in the future and this is one of them.

    In the meantime, they have made pretty well with what they have. A biturbo would be perfect for this.

    Hopefully the next SRX looks less squashed and more sleek, has more room, and is about 500 pounds lighter.

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    I'm hoping the next SRX is on Alpha... not because I favor RWD over FWD (clearly I don't, and I don't feel it is a requirement for this segment), but because of lightness and advancement and flexibility in that platform.

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    I believe that once GM moves the bulk of their auto's to a new Universal Plug and Play frame, body and engine design, they can lower cost, increase profits and reduce weight to increase MPG and performance.

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    I'm hoping the next SRX is on Alpha... not because I favor RWD over FWD (clearly I don't, and I don't feel it is a requirement for this segment), but because of lightness and advancement and flexibility in that platform.

    :yes: as well as economies of scale in Alpha components, giving Cadillac extra exclusivity compared to the other GM offerings, and (forgive me for the teenager side resurfacing up at age 36), because Alpha is such a kick ass development in the way GM approached platform development!

    A Cadillac BRX and a Cadillac SRX (I think the names should not be connected to the sedan/coupe/wagon names), respectively on SWB and LWB Alpha, would be perfect in the rounding up of Cadiilac's portfolio. IMHO...

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