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2016 Cadillac SRX: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader October 2015

There's a lot to like about the 2016 Cadillac SRX. The standard 308-horsepower V6 engine, for instance, offers enough muscle and passing power to make the SRX a pleasure to drive. Cadillac's CUE system is mostly intuitive, and we appreciate that it's now standard in every SRX trim level. We also appreciate the SRX's styling, and we're grateful for the SUV's long list of standard equipment.

Admittedly, we have a few gripes here and there. The biggest one is visibility. Owing to the SRX's bold styling, the window's belt line comes up extremely high near the back of the SUV, resulting in a challenge for rear visibility. We also know we're not alone when we wish the SRX had a third row in back like the original model, and we think the rear seats can feel cramped. The SUV's design is growing older, lacking the most efficient engine and the latest in interior and exterior styling.

Still, the SRX has a lot to offer, even as its replacement -- the fully redesigned XT5 -- readies to go on sale next spring.

What's New for 2016?

With the new-for-2017 XT5 on its way, the SRX is unchanged for the 2016 model year.

What We Like

Long list of standard features; advanced CUE infotainment; nice styling; superb engine and transmission

What We Don't

High belt line means tight visibility; back seats are cramped; needs a third row

How Much?

$38,600-$49,900

Fuel Economy

The SRX's sole powerplant is a 3.6-liter V6 engine, which makes 308 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. It's mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available.

Although Cadillac uses the same engine in its CTS sedan, the heavier and less aerodynamic SRX isn't as fuel efficient. It's rated at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway with two-wheel drive or 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 Cadillac SRX comes in four trim levels: an unnamed base model, mid-level Luxury and Performance trims, and an upscale SRX Premium.

Even the base-level SRX ($38,600) has a lot of standard equipment. Features include 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic headlights, front and rear parking sensors, leatherette upholstery, new Wi-Fi hot spot capability and Cadillac's CUE system. There's an 8-in touch screen with apps, GM's OnStar system and Bluetooth connectivity.

Step up to the SRX Luxury ($44,600) and you'll have keyless access with a remote starter, a rearview camera, a panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, a power liftgate and a rear cross-traffic alert system for backing out of tight parking spots. The SRX Luxury also includes dual power seats with driver memory, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. That's a lot of equipment for the money.

Next up is the SRX Performance ($47,000), which offers a sporty flair. It boasts 20-in alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension for improved handling, fog lights, a Bose audio system and adaptive headlights that swivel when the wheel turns. Performance models also include Cadillac's voice-activated navigation system as standard equipment.

Topping the lineup is the SRX Premium ($49,900), which adds the optional Driver Awareness package as standard equipment. You'll have Cadillac's IntelliBeam lighting system, along with a lane-departure warning system, a forward-collision warning system and a safety-alert driver seat that lets you know if you're drifting into another lane. SRX Premium models also boast heated rear seats, ventilated front seats and tri-zone automatic climate control.

On the options list, there's a rear-seat entertainment system with dual rear screens, a towing package and the Driver Awareness package, available on Luxury and Performance models.

Safety

The SRX comes standard with anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, front and side airbags and OnStar's immediate response system. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the SRX received a Good rating in all areas. In government testing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the SRX a perfect five stars, giving it five stars in side-impact tests and four stars in frontal and rollover assessments.

Beyond its standard features, the SRX can also be equipped with optional driver-assistance technologies, such as lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control and Cadillac's IntelliBeam technology. Another newly available feature, Cadillac's safety-alert seat, provides the driver with warnings without alarming others in the vehicle.

Blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a backup camera are included on all but the base model.

Behind the Wheel

The SRX seems to be among the nimblest and sportiest offerings in its class. Steering is responsive, yet light enough for easy in-town driving. The transmission does a great job of keeping the engine in its optimal power range. When a downshift is needed, the transmission is happy to oblige, even in automatic mode. If you'd prefer to take control, there's a manual mode that lets you select the gears. There's also a Sport mode that provides a lively driving style while letting the automatic transmission do the shifting.

Fit and finish inside the SRX is quite good, which has become the standard for Cadillac. There's plenty of technology, especially with the addition of CUE as standard equipment. Materials are soft to the touch anywhere the hand can fall.

Legroom is ample in both front and back, and headroom is decent, as well, unless you opt for the panoramic sunroof. It's a nice addition and provides a great view of the outdoors, but the pocket needed to hide the expanse of glass noticeably cuts into rear headroom. Six-footers will find their head touching the headliner, and even those who are shorter may feel cramped.

Speaking of cramped, the high belt line that gives the SRX its aggressive exterior look leaves little room for windows. The interior feels slightly claustrophobic and visibility is compromised, too.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Acura RDX -- With a base price of just over $36,000 with shipping, the Acura is less expensive than the SRX. It's a little smaller, offering less passenger room and a smaller cargo area.

2016 Audi Q5 -- The Audi's price is nearly the same as the SRX's, but at each trim level, the SRX offers more for the money. While the Q5's interior finish is hard to beat, the Cadillac packs more advanced technology.

2015 Lexus RX 350 -- The new RX is hard to beat, offering class-leading technology, improved driving dynamics and reasonable pricing. If you don't mind the unusual styling, the RX is hard to beat.

Used Cadillac Escalade -- If you like the SRX's Cadillac badge but want more room and brawn, you may want to consider the larger Escalade. It's currently the only way you can have a 3-row Cadillac, but steep prices mean you may have to consider a used model.

Autotrader's Advice

If you're looking for a sporty crossover, we recommend the SRX Performance model. It includes navigation and is eligible for a long list of extras, from the optional Driver Assistance package to the rear entertainment system, a must for family road trips. Our next choice is the Luxury model. One step down from the Performance trim, it includes helpful features like a backup camera and front and rear parking sensors. Also, its power liftgate and memory seats are must-haves on a luxury crossover like the SRX.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Cadillac SRX: New Car Review - Autotrader