Review by Jacob Black, photos by Jonathan Yarkony
The Cadillac SRX is the luxury domestic brand’s less-known foray into the wonderful world of SUVs. Eclipsed in every way by its far larger sibling, the Escalade, the SRX is almost the forgotten son of Cadillac. That meant that when Senior Editor Jonathan Yarkony and I spent a week tag-teaming the SRX there was plenty of room for surprises – both good and bad.
For example, we both re-discovered the hidden Cadillac bin behind control panel just below the 8.0-inch touchscreen. Jonathan put his sunglasses in there. I found them a few days later. I still haven’t told him.
Other discoveries were more subtle. The interior is not just a GM interior with slightly better materials; it’s its own Cadillac-specific layout with surprising material quality.
“For some inexplicable reason, I carried in my mind the notion that the Cadillac SRX interior was a mere centre stack and leather seats removed from its Chevrolet Equinox cousin,” Jonathan remembers.
“I should know better. First of all, the Equinox rides on a highly modified version of GM’s Theta architecture, essentially exclusive to Cadillac. But most importantly, the level of quality throughout the interior impressed. The leather is supple and the seats comfortable, the wood genuine and the polish of the infotainment layout appealing, if not entirely free of ergonomic and usability quirks.
“But even beyond the main focal points of activity, I was impressed that Cadillac’s fit and finish is still not only acceptable but inviting. Where the leather and soft-touch plastics end, even the hard plastics have a subtle matte finish that makes them look refined, and they feel decent, without burred edges or loose fitment. It’s details like this that earn the luxury cachet.”
The aluminum trim was fake yet convincing enough that it took serious inspection for me to reach that conclusion, the wood grain was impossible to distinguish – especially as it is behind about an inch of lacquer. The seats, as Jonathan said, were great, but why the memory buttons are sequestered down to the left of the driver’s seat where they’re all but inaccessible while actually sitting in the seat I’ll never know. Quibble quibble.
Our initial walkaround highlighted generous rear seat legroom and a flat floor. That means the middle seat is actually usable, though the centre console does intrude into legroom for that space. Still, the SRX has less legroom than the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz M-Class and Lexus RX. It has less passenger volume than the two Germans but more than the Lexus. It pips the Q5 by just 4 mm in front legroom but is dead last in rear legroom by 12 mm. This is another classic case of domestic vehicle external girth going missing between the door skins. At 4,834 mm long it is 20 mm longer than the next longest, the M-Class and at 1,910 mm wide is wider than all but the M-Class, which is 16 mm wider. So on balance it’s the bigger of the quartet, but has the smallest interior room. For my 5’6” frame I could still sit beside myself with ease however, so the differences are academic.