The SRX is offered in front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive models. A 300-horsepower, 3.6L V6 is standard, fitted to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The 3.6L engine has an all-aluminum construction and direct-injection, which allows it to produce more power than most other engines its size while still using regular fuel. Despite its displacement, the new engine is quite efficient, with an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 17 city and 24 highway in front-wheel drive models. A so-called "Eco" mode stretches efficiency to one additional mile per gallon.
The all-wheel-drive system in the SRX can move all available torque to either the front or rear wheels as needed, and it can also divide torque from side to side, so as to allow especially strong grip, even under power on slick roads. And with the base engine, the tow rating is 3,500 pounds -- enough for a small boat or a pair of jet-skis.
The driving experience in the SRX is sophisticated and refined, thanks to the available continuously variable real-time damping system, which adjusts shock rates to road conditions. Speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering gives a sporty feel of the road, and electronic stability control is standard, along with anti-lock brakes.
The SRX has space for five adults in its two seating rows. A cargo management system in back includes a retractable cargo fence to restrain smaller items, along with a track system. The back seats fold flat to expand cargo space when they're not in use.
Materials in the SRX include hand-cut and hand-sewn instrument-panel trim and soft leather upholstery, with matte-metallic accents. The SRX builds on the angular, beveled design theme that most Cadillac vehicles now have, with a prominent center control stack flanked by big, vertical vents.
Standard equipment on the SRX is very generous and includes dual-zone automatic climate control, heated outside mirrors, keyless entry, cruise control, steering-wheel controls and an MP3-compatible Bose 8-speaker CD sound system with XM tuner.
A Luxury Collection package adds lots more, including heated seats, more seat adjustability, wood trim, rain-sensing wipers, a sunroof, a power liftgate, heated steering wheel, remote start and LED lighting accents.
The Performance Collection package adds 20-inch painted cast aluminum wheels with H-rated tires and upgraded steering, plus a navigation system, a rearview camera, and Bose surround-sound audio with a 40GB hard drive, rear-seat audio controls and iPod interface.
A top-of-the-line Premium Collection adds ventilated seats, heated rear seats, 3-zone climate control and forward collision alert as well as a lane departure warning and adaptive headlights.
The CTS sedan has been a great success for Cadillac, garnering much praise from the automotive media. So it's no wonder that the 2010 Cadillac SRX leans heavily on the same cabin tech and bold design features that made the CTS so popular. In many ways, the new SRX looks like the CTS on stilts.
When this small SUV arrived in our garage, we were pleased to find cabin tech similar to what we liked so much in the CTS. There was the same LCD that partially stows itself in the dash, leaving a strip visible to show audio information. There was the hard-drive-based navigation system with traffic. The car even comes with the record button that saves radio broadcasts, essentially it works like TiVo for radio.
The Good The 2010 Cadillac SRX's navigation system uses bright, clear maps and it proactively warns you about traffic conditions. In Sport mode, the transmission is eager to downshift.
The Bad The Bluetooth phone system lacks an onboard phonebook and its iPod connection can't play music from an iPhone.
The Bottom Line The 2010 Cadillac SRX fits Cadillac's luxury reputation and combines a modern cabin tech package in a useful small SUV form.
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