2010 Cadillac SRX 3.0 AWD
2010 Cadillac SRX 3.0 AWD. Click image to enlarge

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General Motors of Canada

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Review and photos by Chris Chase

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2010 Cadillac SRX

Ottawa, Ontario – Introduced in 2004, the SRX was Cadillac’s first attempt at selling what’s known in marketing circles as a “mid-luxury” crossover. It met with limited success, possibly because it looked too much like a station wagon version of the CTS sedan with which it shared its underpinnings.

Now that there is a genuine CTS wagon for 2010, Cadillac has moved the SRX – also redesigned for 2010 – in a new direction: smaller, leaner, more efficient.

The SRX uses a unique platform that shares components with that of the Chevrolet Equinox, and size-wise, is a much better fit with key import competitors from the likes of BMW, Audi, Benz, Acura, Lexus… you get the point. This is a crowded segment, full of appealing vehicles, so Cadillac had its work cut out coming up with a vehicle that would be competitive.

2010 Cadillac SRX 3.0 AWD
2010 Cadillac SRX 3.0 AWD. Click image to enlarge

Replacing the old SRX’s 3.6-litre V6 and 4.8-litre V8 engines are a pair of new V6s. The base powerplant is a 3.0-litre direct-injected V6 with 265 horsepower, while the upgrade is a turbocharged 2.8-litre with 300 horses; both engines are available with front- or all-wheel drive. While both are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, techy types will be interested to know that the 3.0-litre engine gets GM’s own Hydra-Matic 6T70, while the turbo motor is mated to an Aisin AF40 gearbox.

My tester was an all-wheel drive 3.0-litre model, optioned out with the Luxury & Performance Collection. This essentially combines the otherwise distinct Luxury and Driver’s packages, bringing together the Luxury Pacakge’s wood trim, UltraView sunroof, cargo security shade, power adjustable pedals, automatic wipers, pushbutton start, power liftgate, front and rear parking assist and chrome roof rails, and the Performance Package’s Continuous Real Time Damping suspension, 20-inch wheels, speed-sensitive variable assist steering, fog lamps and xenon adaptive (steerable) headlights with washers.

The SRX starts at $41,575 for a basic front-drive model, with all-wheel versions starting at $44,875. My tester’s MSRP was $50,875, to which GM added an expensive $1,295 Crystal Red Tintcoat paint job and a set of chromed 20-inch wheels for $1,190 (these replace less-flashy silver-painted 20s). Including freight, the as-tested price was $54,880.

2010 Cadillac SRX 3.0 AWD
2010 Cadillac SRX 3.0 AWD
2010 Cadillac SRX 3.0 AWD
2010 Cadillac SRX 3.0 AWD. Click image to enlarge

If you want to add navigation – Cadillac’s system uses a screen that cleverly slides down into the top of the centre stack – that’ll be a whopping extra $5,285 for a setup that includes a 40-GB music storage hard drive, a rear-seat entertainment system and a 10-speaker Bose stereo. It’s worth noting that the navigation and upgraded stereo are standard in the $57,775 SRX Premium model.

The SRX’s front seats are comfortable, but don’t have much in the way of lateral support, which is a bit surprising given the SRX’s sporty pretenses. The seating position is generally good, but the low windshield header obstructs the view up to see traffic lights at intersections, particularly if you’re tall or like to sit up high. Rear seat space is good, with long bottom cushions that provide nice thigh support.

The dash is generally well laid out, my only complaint being that the climate controls’ temperature buttons are too low on the centre stack. Like the exterior, the SRX’s interior styling is similar to that of the CTS sedan’s. However, the look is a bit overwrought in the SRX, which I think makes it look less expensive inside than some of its European competitors. That said, the interior ambient lighting, which hides strip lights in the doors and dash, is a classy touch.

Cargo space is generous and usefully shaped; eighteen cases of Girl Guide cookiesfit without having to stack any above the height of the rear seat. The rear seat is a 60/40 split fold setup, and folds completely flat. Cargo capacity is 826 litres with the rear seats in place, and 1,732 with them folded down.

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