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

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General Motors Canada

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By Grant Yoxon; photos by Grant Yoxon and Jil McIntosh

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2010 Cadillac SRX

White Plains, New York – It is a leaner, more efficient General Motors that is emerging from the economic distress of 2009 and already we are seeing the impact of catastrophe as GM moves quickly to realign its products with the expectations of consumers and expectations of its new government owners.

A case in point is the 2010 SRX, Cadillac’s entry in the competitive and popular luxury crossover utility segment. The new SRX is so completely new that it is difficult to compare it to the outgoing model.

It is completely different in every dimension. It is not as long and not as tall as the 2009 SRX, but it is wider – by 68 mm or about two and a half inches. It no longer has a third row seat but seats five more comfortably than before, with better rear leg room and an enormous amount of space for tall or big drivers. Cargo capacity suffers a bit as a result.

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

However, a deep bin in the cargo floor, cargo tie-downs and grocery bag handling make this space very functional. And the power liftgate – available on all but the base model – can be set to lift to whatever height you want.

Overall, the interior is a big improvement with a dose of real wood and aluminum-like trim, attractive black on white gauges, a tidy centre stack above which the navigation screen emerges when needed and disappears when not, soft ambient lighting and Cadillac script logos on the front door sills.

Its more diminutive size provides a crisper exterior accented by short overhangs, sharp lines, Cadillac’s standard vertical headlights and a tapered rear silhouette. Whereas the old SRX somewhat resembled a cross between a minivan and an SUV, this new SRX has the sporty look that consumers want in a crossover utility vehicle.

While the previous SRX used a rear-wheel drive platform with all-wheel drive optional, this SRX is a front-wheel driver with AWD optional. Naturally, the suspension is completely changed for a front wheel drive platform.

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

It is much more nimble than previously and rides a shade on the comfortable side of firm. Though heavy – despite being 138 kg lighter in AWD trim – it does not feel ponderous and corners with limited body roll. Steering feel and feedback are relatively good. Compared to its competitors, the SRX is more like the Lexus RX 350 than the Acura MDX and BMW X5, putting more emphasis on comfort than sportiness.

The all-wheel drive system is also new technology. It is a full-time, active system that continuously distributes torque between the front and rear wheels and, via an electronic limited slip differential, between the rear wheels. The system monitors input from 20 sensors throughout the vehicle and is active in both dry and slippery conditions to not only enhance traction, but to improve stability in cornering or emergency manoeuvres.

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