Video: Despite tweaks, Cadillac SRX loses ground to the competition

Consumer Reports News
May 31, 2013
Video: Despite tweaks, Cadillac SRX loses ground to the competition

Since it was introduced for 2010, the SRX has seen ongoing changes to equipment, packaging, and powertrain. Problem is, the SRX still isn't what it should have been at launch, and it continues to lose ground to better competitors.

The Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Lexus RX all impress, with refined manners and rich accoutrements, whereas the Cadillac SRX continues to feel like an SUV with its potential unrealized.

For instance, continued evolution hasn't been able to address a chief flaw: Poor visibility. The SRX is saddled with large pillars that obstruct forward and rearward visibility. Technology comes to the rescue with a blind-spot warning system, cross-traffic alert, parking sensors, and optional rearview camera. However, we'd simply like to be able to see out of the windows.

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The Cadillac has long sought the right powertrain to motivate this heavy vehicle. The latest offering is the best so far: a direct-injected 308-hp, 3.6-liter V6. This is the engine the SRX should have had in the first place. Objectively, it is quicker and more fuel efficient than the old 3.0-liter V6, yet it still feels sluggish due to the engine needing to rev to deliver much oomph and the transmission being slow to downshift.

The ride has improved slightly over time, and for the most part, the SRX feels supple with subdued motions. But while the SRX is fairly agile, pronounced body lean does erode driver confidence.

This latest tested SRX lost serious points for its complicated controls, thanks to the CUE infotainment system. The sleek glass and piano black dashboard might be a stylist's dream, but it doesn't improve function over normal controls. Fonts are generally large and the displays are usually uncluttered. But the screen's touch-inputs aren't well calibrated—sometimes you touch something, and the selection just below it activates. And sometimes it takes a rather firm tap to activate the screen.

Despite the tweaks, our latest SRX saw its score drop beneath the threshold to be Recommended. It doesn't miss the cutoff by much, but the modest overall test score does highlight that there are better alternatives.

Check out the video below for more highlights, and read our detailed Cadillac SRX road test for complete details and ratings.

—Jeff Bartlett

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