The SRX boasts many of the upscale appointments of the 2007 Cadillac Escalade with as-standard leather seats surrounded by burled-ebony accents. Its interior has had something of a makeover for the 2007 model year, with extra wood trim on the doors and across the dash providing a stylish upgrade to the black plastic in the 2006 model.
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For an extra $1,800, the SRX comes with a huge UltraView motorized panoramic sunroof, which stretches way back over the back seats to give rear passengers in the second row a view of the heavens. Also available is UltraView Plus, a vented glass panel, which extends over the available third-row seating, and turns the SRX into a greenhouse on wheels.
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One feature we particularly liked about this head unit is its ability to display detailed audio information and a GPS navigation map in split screen configuration.
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Active safety systems include ABS, Stabilitrack, traction control, and a limited-slip differential. An LED-based rear ultrasonic parking sensor is an elegant and cheap alternative to a back-up camera, although the latter would have been nice to help maneuver the SRX's rear end when parallel parking.
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SRX Drivers can take the five-speed transmission into their own hands thanks to the SRX's Driver Shift Control, which is activated by a flip of the shifter to the right and enables clutchless manual shifting.
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However, we found the XM satellite radio interface to be frustrating in more ways than one. First, while the touch screen allowed us to scroll through music genres with the touch of a button, the selection of individual stations within each category had to be made either with the knob to the right of the display or the rocker switch on the right-hand side of the steering wheel. Secondly, the screen lists only the name and song of the station that is currently playing, so drivers have to scroll through each station to find out what's on:
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Our review model came with the optional touch-screen navigation and CD/MP3/WMA/DVD in-dash multimedia head unit with auxiliary input jack, although without the available rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
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Our SRX was motivated by the base-level 255-horsepower V-6 engine, which handled the SRX's 4,000lb-plus bulk adequately around the city, and gave it adequate pickup on the freeway, albeit with a whining sound track. As maximum torque is reached at 2,800rpm, the SRX feels nippy in urban situations, but mid- to high end performance is more sedate. For those willing to spend an extra $6,000 to haul the family around with a bit more gusto, Cadillac offers the option of a Northstar V8 engine, which puts an extra 65 horses in the stable.
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Aside from the XM Satellite Radio interface, the standard stereo in the SRX is versatile and easy to use. MP3- and WMA discs played without incident, and all ID3-tag information showed up on the LCD screen. It features an auxiliary-input jack handily located in the front of the head unit, which makes it far more accessible than those for which we have to dig around in the glove box or center console.
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We must admit to having had some issues with the power liftgate: on numerous occasions we pressed the trunk-release key-fob button and waited in vain for anything to happen, eventually resorting to the tried and trusted manual method of opening the hatch.
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Similar to the Escalade, the SRX boasts a voice recognition system that is programmed to understand around 40 commands, enabling drivers to switch between audio sources and map views without taking their hands from the wheel. While the system doesn't support destination entry via voice command, it does let you "voice tag" destinations that have been manually entered on the map.
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