The 2012 Cadillac SRX arrives at dealerships next month with upgraded features, minor trim changes and, most importantly, a new engine under the hood. Cadillac recently announced updates to the midsize SUV for the new model year along with final pricing, which starts from just over $36,000, including destination.

The SRX's most important update for 2012 is the addition of a new 308-horsepower 3.6-liter direct-injection V6 under the hood. Borrowed from Cadillac's midsize CTS sedan, the technologically-advanced new engine replaced both of last year's six-cylinder powerplants and is expected to boost fuel economy and improve acceleration.

While the new engine headlines revisions to the 2012 SRX, other detail changes will also help keep the SUV competitive among a growing group of challengers. Cadillac says Bluetooth is standard on all models for 2012 rather than optional like last year, and a heated steering wheel is newly available across the board. A new color, xenon blue metallic, debuts in the fall, and a new all-ebony interior with contrasting stitching is available immediately. Finally, Cadillac says the SRX's 20-inch wheels will receive a new finish option.

"We're taking a winning product in the SRX and reaching higher," said Don Butler, Cadillac's vice president of marketing. "The crossover category is one of the biggest and most important segments in the luxury market. SRX has performed very well and is the best-selling Cadillac worldwide, but out approach is not to leave well enough alone."

Indeed, the SRX continues to post stellar sales figures. Last month, the SUV recorded 3,951 sales, showing an increase of more than four percent versus June 2010. And with more than 26,000 units sold through the first half of the year, the SRX is more popular than competitors like the Lincoln MKX, Infiniti FX, BMW X5 and Mercedes ML-class. Undoubtedly, updates for 2012 will only help the SRX find more buyers.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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