Now in its third model year on the market, the Cadillac SRX undergoes a few minor changes. The suspension has been lowered slightly to provide what Cadillac touts as the lowest step-in height in the segment. The move further enhances the vehicle's handling by lowering the center of gravity. A new standard power liftgate, an enhanced optional interior wood trim package, a Cashmere interior scheme, and new exterior colors are other changes for 2006.
Cadillac helped pioneer the Midsize Premium Crossover Utility market when it debuted the SRX in 2003. Its success has prompted other carmakers to jump into the fray with similarly designed crossovers that combine the cargo-carrying capability of a conventional truck-based SUV with the driving dynamics of a refined luxury sedan. The SRX is based on GM's highly praised Sigma vehicle platform and is available in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive. Its long wheelbase, low center of gravity, strong powertrain options, and sophisticated stability technologies create a driving experience that is difficult for truck-based SUVs to match.
The SRX comes in two trims based on engine choices: V-6 and V-8. V-6 trims come with a 250-hp, 3.6L engine, leather seating, side air bags for front occupants, head curtain air bags for the first two rows, and OnStar. V-8 versions come with the same amenities, but replace the V-6 with a 320-hp, 4.6L Northstar engine and add seat heaters, a power front-passenger seat, power-adjustable pedals, wood trim, and a 6-disc CD changer. Both engines feature variable valve timing and a five-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode. The V-8, however, offers 25 percent more torque, which contributes to the SRX's maximum 4,520-pound towing capacity.
Four-channel StabiliTrak stability control is standard, while an electronically controlled, magnetic-fluid based, real-time suspension damping system (called Magnetic Ride Control) is optional. Cadillac says that this system is the world's fastest-reacting suspension control system; the system reads the road surface and makes adjustments-up to 1,000 times per second-and is imperceptible to the driver. The SRX also boasts the largest available sunroof system in the segment, called UltraView. It provides 5.6 square feet of near-convertible open air above the first two rows. Those opting for the power-folding, two-person, third-row bench can also get a separate glass roof over it. Both overhead systems come with power shades.
Eleven models comprise the Midsize Premium Crossover Utility Vehicle segment in which the SRX competes, with more entrants expected during the 2006 calendar year. This relatively new segment caters to those who desire the handling and fuel economy of a luxury sedan, coupeed with the utility value of an SUV or minivan.
Outpacing every vehicle in the segment is the Lexus RX Series, with 108,775 units sold in 2005, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM Next closest was the Acura MDX, with 57,948 sales, followed by the BMW X5 with 37,598. Cadillac sold 22,999 units of the SRX in calendar year 2005. New additions in 2006 include the 2007 Audi Q7 (on sale now) and Lincoln MKX (available Fall 2006).
|V6||5 speed automatic||$36,270||255-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||16/23|
|V8||5 speed automatic||$44,270||320-hp / 4.6L 8-cyl||15/21|