2007 Cadillac SRX

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Review: 2007 Cadillac SRX

By Dan Jedlicka of MSN Autos
Rating: 8

Bottom Line:

The latest SRX is more refined, with a continuing emphasis on luxury more than sportiness.
Pros:
  • Roomier
  • New hand-crafted interior
  • Strong V8
Cons:
  • Average V6 highway performance
  • Steering a little slow
  • Wheel openings hinder rear entry/exit

Hand-crafted interiors once were found only in exotic cars such as Aston Martins, but the 2007 Cadillac SRX crossover vehicle has one. Thanks go to Bob Lutz, the General Motors product chief who griped for years about average GM vehicle interiors.

The SRX could be called a luxury crossover vehicle or a posh tall station wagon—or maybe even a luxurious midsize SUV. I'll go with "crossover" because most crossover vehicles are based on cars, and the SRX is based on Cadillac's CTS sedan. However, the SRX has a longer wheelbase and is taller and longer overall, with a wider track.

The SRX is recognizable as a Cadillac, with vertical headlights, knife-slash taillights and sharp body character lines. It doesn't look like anything else.

Special Interior
The interior has an instrument panel that uses Cadillac's new "cut-and-sew" hand-crafted assembly process. It also has new hand-wrapped upper trim, center stack (dash area ahead of the console), door and wood trim, analog clock and steering wheel. A new streamlined center console contributes to a bit more interior room.

The SRX comes with a 320-horsepower V8 and a 255-horsepower V6. The V8 has a new electronic 6-speed automatic transmission, up from five speeds. The V6 works with a 5-speed automatic. Both engines are sophisticated, and both transmissions are responsive.

A kid-size third-row seat is optional. It's power-operated to fold flush with the cargo floor when not needed.

A new sport package for both SRX trim levels has items including a unique grille and interior trim, dual polished exhaust tips and, most importantly, 20-inch wheels with performance tires—if ordered with all-wheel drive.

Two Drive Systems
The V6 and V8 trim levels come with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, which provides better handling and traction, but isn't for rugged off-road use.

The V6 with rear-wheel drive costs $37,110, and the V8 with rear-wheel drive is $43,315. All-wheel drive costs $1,900 extra for either version.

The standard sound system has been improved, and there is a Bose 5.1 digital surround sound option and a "theater" option package with Bose 5.1 digital surround, along with navigation and rear-seat entertainment systems.

Nicely Equipped
The well-equipped SRX has leather upholstery and virtually all the comfort, convenience and safety features found in luxury sedans.

Useful options include GM's magnetic Ride Control, which provides continuously variable damping at each wheel for a smoother ride. However, the standard suspension provides a nice ride, assisted by the SRX's long wheelbase. Still, the ride doesn't match that of luxury sedans.

Key standard safety items include anti-lock brakes, front-seat side airbags and side-curtain airbags that cover the first two seating rows.

Plenty of Sky
An optional Ultraview Plus sunroof glass roof slides open over first- and second-row seats, and features a glass roof over the available third-row seat.

The V8 provides strong acceleration under all conditions, but the V6 delivers only moderate performance above 65 mph because the SRX is rather heavy with all its luxury equipment; the lightest model is the rear-wheel-drive V6 version, at 4,229 pounds. The V6 also is noisier during hard acceleration than the V8.

Estimated fuel economy with the V6 is 16 mpg in the city and 24 on highways with rear-wheel drive and 16 and 23 with all-wheel drive. The V8 delivers 15 and 22 with either drive setup. The V6 only needs regular-grade fuel. Cadillac says premium fuel is "recommended but not required" for the V8.

Faster Steering Needed
While precise, the steering is a little slow to react when, say, turning from a street onto another street or into an alley. I often found myself turning the steering wheel a little more than I initially thought I had to under such driving conditions to safely complete a turn.

The SRX doesn't have the quick, sure moves of a BMW, but handling is generally good because it's got 50/50 weight distribution and a fairly low center of gravity.

Key Stability System
GM's standard StabiliTrak electronic suspension system improves handling and enhances stability, while reducing the likelihood of spins. The system coordinates subsystems such as braking, suspension, steering, traction control and powertrain controls to optimize vehicle stability and control.

It takes a little extra effort to enter or leave the SRX because it has a moderately high floor. Five tall adults fit in the first two seating rows.

The front row has supportive bucket seats and there's a comfortable split-folding, sliding second-row seat. But rear wheel openings partially hinder entry and exit, although all doors are plenty long. Gauges can be quickly read, but rather small sound and climate system controls take getting used to.

Large Cargo Area
The cargo area has a wide opening. Cargo space is tight with the third seat in its regular position, but is spacious with the third seat folded into the floor and the second-row seatbacks flipped forward. Three covered, moderately deep rear storage bins are a smart feature, and the power rear liftgate is handy.

The hood swings open on a hydraulic strut to reveal a neatly designed engine compartment with easily reached fluid-filler areas.

The SRX has been well-received. Let's see if it at least holds its own in the crossover vehicle market, which is becoming more crowded and competitive.

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BB05 - 9/16/2014 6:50:15 AM