8.09.2011

2011 Cadillac SRX AWD Premium Review

Front 3/4 view of 2011 Cadillac SRX on wet winding road
The 2011 Cadillac SRX in its natural habitat. A winding road.

The picture above is a good illustration of the kind of use a Cadillac driver might have for the all-wheel, rather than the front-wheel-drive version of the Cadillac SRX. Not rock climbing or stream fording, but road holding...in wet, cold weather on twisty roads.

Crossovers of this size generally don't inspire enthusiastic driving (with the exception of the Mazda CX-9), but the Cadillac SRX definitely does.

Our most recent week in one was courtesy Lund Cadillac in Phoenix, Arizona. And it reminded us just what a strong contender the SRX is. It's a CTS with more space. A sport sedan you can fold the back seats down in and carry stuff home from the big box store. And it's simply a ball to drive.

Rear 3/4 view of 2011 Cadillac SRX with hatch open
The 2011 Cadillac SRX has a 3-position power hatch.

Start with the SRX AWD Premium. Immediately you're at $49,370. But look at what that gets you: a 3.0-liter V6 making 265 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission, an electronic limited-slip differential, sport suspension, continuously variable real-time chassis damping (which includes the FE3 sport suspension),  speed-sensitive, variable effort rack and pinion power steering, and a dual stainless-steel exhaust with chrome tips. Plus 20 inch aluminum wheels, a tire inflation kit, a double-sized glass sunroof, chrome roof rails, Xenon HID headlamps with adaptive forward lighting, washers and leveling, fog lamps, heated, power-adjustable, power-folding outside mirrors (the driver's side dims automatically when headlamps approach) rain-sensing wipers and a liftgate that you can set to open to different degrees.

Interior shot of 2011 Cadillac SRX
Like the CTS, the 2011 Cadillac SRX has one of the best interiors in the automotive biz.

And then, you've got one of the nicest interiors in the biz in which to do your biz. And the standard features keep piling up: Memory seats and outside mirrors, real wood trim on the door, center stack, steering wheel and shift knob, a 10-speaker 5.1 Bose surround audio system with navigation, AM/FM/CD/DVD/mp3/SiriusXM, a 40gb hard drive for music storage, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, and a rear-view camera.

Not done. There's also rear seat audio controls, 8-way adjustable power front seats (with ventilation as well as heat), heated rear seats, a three-zone climate control and more. You could stop right there and have a killer ride for $49.370 plus destination.

And we nearly did. In fact, the one we had on loan from Lund had only three options: The color (Platinum Ice Tricoat) for $995, the rear-seat entertainment system (a dual-screen DVD setup with wireless headphones and remote control) for $1,295 and 20" chrome tech aluminum wheels for $450.

So the total tab is $52,935. And worth it. The SRX may be a crossover, a term that implies compromise and part-this/part-that, but it's all Cadillac.

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