At a passing glance, it is easy to mistake the SRX for a fancied up Saturn Vue (RIP).  A closer inspection reveals subtle details like the 1950s-era taillight fins, the Cadillac crests inside the headlight bezels and the arching creases running the length of the body. The 20-inch chrome wheels wrapped in P235/55R20 all-season tires are pure Cadillac, but not my style.  They give the already chromed-out SRX an over-the-top feel.

Test Drive: 2012 Cadillac SRX AWD car test drives reviews luxury cars cadillac
Test Drive: 2012 Cadillac SRX AWD car test drives reviews luxury cars cadillac
Test Drive: 2012 Cadillac SRX AWD car test drives reviews luxury cars cadillac
2012 Cadillac SRX AWD. Click image to enlarge

Inside, the vehicle is all class, but the interior is set up with passengers in mind, and not so much the driver.  The navigation screen is a trick piece that rises out of the dashboard and impresses your passengers. The lack of tilt adjustment once in place, however, put it at a weird angle for me to view properly.  That said, there never was an issue with glare.  I took my in-laws on an extended trip and they were very comfortable in the back and appreciated the heated seats and their dedicated rear audio/climate controls.

Soft-touch materials dominate interior surfaces and look as luxurious as they feel.  The heated steering wheel was love-at-first-touch and rivaled only by the HID headlamps featuring GM’s Adaptive Forward Lighting System (the lights turn when the front wheels are steered). The front seats were uncomfortable and difficult to adjust to my liking, though It’s hard to put a finger on why, other than they just didn’t work for me.  It’s surprising, too, since almost every inch of the seat was power adjustable and the telescopic steering wheel with adjustable power pedals only added to the overall flexibility.

As should be expected in a crossover, cargo space is generous,  with 826.8 litres of storage space behind back seats, and once folded down, the cavernous cargo hold grows to 1732.4 litres.  While on the topic of the SRX’s size, I found it odd that one option missing from the checklist was a blind-spot detection system.  The SRX is by no means a behemoth, but the steeply-raked C-pillars are crying out for a little blind-spot assistance.  Size also affects fuel economy, and the Cadillac achieved a 13.9 L/100 km average in its week with me.  That is off the already unimpressive 13.2 L/100 km city and 8.8 L/100 km highway government ratings.

As mentioned earlier, this is not a driver’s vehicle.  Feedback from the road is mediocre at best and the overall feel far from sporting.  The engine thrashes at high rpms and emits unpleasant groaning noises.  The steering is stiffer than expected in a vehicle of this class, and the brakes feel like you are stepping on a rock.  They are not sporty-stiff, just stiff.  One co-worker of mine joked that this is GM’s reaction to years of complaints about their spongy brakes of old.

Overall, the Cadillac SRX ends up being a plush people mover devoid of driving excitement; think of it as the nice Italian leather sofa of crossovers.  For those who regularly transport four full-size adults and put luxury ahead of driving experience, this vehicle will exceed your needs.  Those who need to move four adults but still require driver engagement, stay tuned for the BMW X3 review.

Pricing: 2012 Cadillac SRX ‘Premium Collection’ AWD
  • Base price: $54,580
  • Options: $1,845
  • A/C tax: $100
  • Freight: $1,595
  • Price as tested: $58,120

    Specifications
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2012 Cadillac SRX

    Competitors
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2012 Audi Q5
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2012 BMW X3
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2012 Infiniti EX
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2012 Lexus RX
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2012 Lincoln MKX
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2012 Volvo XC60

    Crash test results
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)



  • About Mike

    Mike Schlee is the former Social Editor at Autos.ca and autoTRADER.ca. He began his professional automotive writing career in 2011 and has always had a passion for all things automotive, working in the industry since 2000.