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My SRX driving impressions...

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Cadillac was nice enough to invite me to an SRX test drive. Also available were the SRX's prime competitors: Lexus RX350, BMW X5 and Mercedes GLK.

Without getting into all the numbers, I'll just share my driving impressions of all four. First off, the SRX is a really nice crossover. Looks good, and it's interior is certainly right up there with the others - actually maybe even the best.

I had afew preconcieved notions going in. I was expecting the the SRX's 3.0L to be woefully underpowered. It wasn't as bad as I had expected, but it was a bit underpowered - actually more like under-torqued. The trans delivers beautifully smooth shifts, but sometimes finds itself flatfooted trying to figure out which gear to put the hardworking 3.0L into. 30-40 more ft/lbs of torque would fix all that I think. The exhaust note is very sweet, and it's steering and handling are spot on for it's segment.

Here are some surprises.

I really didn't like the RX350 - at all. It's numb and soft and completely uninvolving. It's interior is a step below the SRX's, and it's styling is bland.

The BMW X5 is the racecar of the group. Maybe, (oh man it almost hurts to say this), maybe even too much so. I mean, it's steering is very, very direct. It's chassis is firmly tuned. It's brakes very responsive. This is the crossover to buy if the SCCA ever creates an SUV road racing league.

The SRX splits the difference pretty well between the comatose RX and the maybe too eager to rock n' roll X5.

The GLK is as you would expect. Solid and vault like. It's steering is not as satisfying as the SRX, but it's motor feels much stronger, the strongest of this group.

All in all, my intial impressions are that the SRX is a very nice piece. If it could lose afew hundred pounds, it'd be untouchable. Since that's not going to happen, it's really screaming for more power. In my eyes, it totally outclasses it's primary competitor - the RX350.


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