Review and photos by Tom Sedens

Test Drive: 2013 Cadillac SRX car test drives luxury cars cadillac
2013 Cadillac SRX. Click image to enlarge

If you want a Cadillac SUV and you don’t want to be seen in the horrifying Escalade, your only choice is the SRX. Cadillac’s SRX is the upscale cousin of the mechanical family that includes the Chevy Equinox and the GMC Terrain. Let’s have a closer look at what Cadillac does to set their model apart.

I like that the SRX dares to stand apart with its exterior styling. Visually, it shares a number of cues with its Cadillac stablemates and sticks closely to the corporate design philosophy. The bold creased look isn’t for everyone, but I like it and I think it allows the SRX to hold its own in a world of crossovers that all start to blend together.

The angular look gives it a bit of an avant garde hunchback silhouette, and although it’s a polarizing styling exercise, almost everyone who checked it out this week said they liked it.

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2013 Cadillac SRX. Click image to enlarge

The details make it look upscale, including the jewel-like HID headlights which integrate a waterfall LED strip (a la ATS), vertical LED tail lights, integrated exhaust outlets and lovely 20-inch rims shod in 235/55-size rubber.

I found the shape as interesting today as it was a couple of years ago when it was introduced.

Test Drive: 2013 Cadillac SRX car test drives luxury cars cadillac
2013 Cadillac SRX. Click image to enlarge

Under the hood you’ll find a 3.6L V6 churning out 308 horsepower at 6,800 rpm. The torque (265 lb-ft of it) is available at a surprisingly low 2,400 rpm. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, and sends the power out to all four corners via a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system.

Fuel economy isn’t the SRX’s strong suit. It’s rated at 13.2 L/100 km in the city and 8.8 L/100 km on the highway. Our week with it gave it quite a workout as we took it almost everywhere. Plenty of taxi duty, commuting, a number of freeway drives and even a couple of short highway sprints. I averaged a sobering but unsurprising (for a 2,015 kg CUV) 15.8 L/100 km during this time. The fuel tank holds 80 L, and thankfully it swills regular fuel.

The SRX’s interior is luxurious, modern and has a premium feel to it. Materials are excellent – soft-touch plastics cover almost every surface (many with stitching) and the fit and finish is very good. Although there are a few splashes of brightwork to dress things up, it’s still a pretty dark cabin.

The power-adjustable seats are upholstered in leather and are heated and cooled. I would have preferred more bolstering here – the seats definitely lean toward comfort and they’re great in that department. Headroom is very generous up front.

Test Drive: 2013 Cadillac SRX car test drives luxury cars cadillac Test Drive: 2013 Cadillac SRX car test drives luxury cars cadillac Test Drive: 2013 Cadillac SRX car test drives luxury cars cadillac
2013 Cadillac SRX. Click image to enlarge

The heated steering wheel has buttons for media, phone, hands-free, cruise control and driver information screen functions. I found the layout to be too busy and it took me a while to get used to. Behind the wheel sits a bin of gauges as well as the driver information screen, which I found quite interesting. The screen has separate, independently controllable sections for the left, the centre and the right. Each one can be programmed to display what you want to see – a speedometer, fuel economy, range, tire pressure, trip meters, what’s playing on your sound system (including cover art!), a compass, vehicle settings or your phone menu.

The centre stack puts Cadillac’s eight-inch CUE touchscreen system front and centre. It handles media, navigation, phone and vehicle settings. I found the screen to be beautiful and responsive. It uses haptic feedback – the screen pulses to let you know the command has been received. CUE displays the information critical to what’s happening and becomes active as you move your hand toward it, lighting up other functions and screen-based controls. Although I appreciate that Cadillac is trying to do something different here, I’m not convinced CUE is the best way to go about it – especially when I have experienced the incredible simplicity, ease of use and effectiveness of the system in the Chevy Impala.




About Tom Sedens

Tom Sedens is an Edmonton-based automobile journalist, husband, dad and driving enthusiast, as well as an accredited member of AJAC.