Car Review

2012 Cadillac SRX: Used Car Review

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Used 2012 Cadillac SRX Luxury
Used 2012 Cadillac SRX
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author photo by Ron Sessions August 2016

The 2012 Cadillac SRX luxury crossover SUV receives a big improvement under the hood with a new standard 308-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 that boosts performance and responsiveness in all traffic conditions. Bluetooth phone connectivity is also added as standard equipment for 2012, and the console-mounted power door lock switches are joined by the ones on the doors. In 2012, the SRX continued as Cadillac's best-selling model, hitting a bull's-eye in the hot entry-level luxury-crossover-SUV market.

Taking Cadillac's angular Art and Science exterior design to a new level, the 2012 SRX is smaller, less expensive and more fuel efficient than the full-size Escalade. It's only available in a 5-passenger model and cedes the optional third row and V8 engine to larger competitors. It comes equipped with a full array of safety gear, including dual front, overhead and front-seat side airbags, OnStar crash notification, anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes, and traction and stability control. While it doesn't have the Escalade's ability to carry extra passengers or tote big cargo, the compact SRX offers up to 29.2 cu ft. of cargo space behind the rear seat and 61.2 cu ft. with the rear seat folded. It's rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds.

What We Like

Brisk performance; stylish exterior; quiet interior; 3.6-liter V6 uses regular fuel or E85; good handling; pop-up navigation screen

What We Don't

Hard seat cushions; harsh ride impacts; poor outward visibility; no spare tire

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2012 SRX is upgraded to a direct-injected 3.6-liter V6 that produces 308 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. This engine considerably improves all-around performance and negates the need for the previously available, peaky 2.8-liter turbo V6, which is now dropped from the powertrain lineup. Equipped with front-wheel drive, the 3.6-liter V6 is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, while all-wheel-drive models receive 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy. This is a flex-fuel engine that uses regular unleaded fuel or E85. A 6-speed automatic is standard. Maximum tow rating is 3,500 pounds. A driver-selectable Eco mode delivers earlier upshifts to save fuel.

Standard Features & Options

The 2012 SRX comes in base, Luxury, Performance and Premium trims.

The base SRX is front-drive only and features standard Bluetooth phone connectivity, OnStar with turn-by-turn directions, SiriusXM radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with remote audio controls, remote keyless entry, an 8-speaker Bose AM/FM/CD stereo, automatic headlamps, a power driver's seat, a leather-wrapped shifter and steering wheel, 18-inch alloy wheels, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, a split folding rear seat with a cargo pass-through, power doors, power windows and heated power mirrors.

Moving up to Luxury adds the option of all-wheel drive, plus standard leather seating, Sapele wood interior trim, heated power front seats with driver's-seat memory, a heated leather-and-wood steering wheel, a power moonroof, a power lift gate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, adjustable pedals, rain-sensing wipers, keyless access, a garage-door opener, interior ambient lighting, chrome roof rails, a cargo shade and cargo management system, front and rear park assist and a backup camera. Popular options include a 10-speaker DVD audio system, 2-screen rear-seat DVD entertainment with headphones and a navigation system with a 7-in touchscreen.

The Performance trim gains a standard adaptive suspension, fog lamps, navigation, Bose 10-speaker surround-sound DVD audio, a rear camera, HID headlamps with adaptive forward lighting, variable-effort speed-sensing steering and 20-in wheels.

The Premium trim includes the same offerings as the Performance package, plus rear air conditioning and audio controls, heated rear seats and ventilated front seats.


Entry-level luxury crossovers are a hot commodity in the new-car market, and that popularity makes clean, low-mileage used versions equally desirable. For a good idea of the SRX's price range, check out the used-car values at You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the following safety recalls for the 2012 SRX:

An undertightened rear-suspension toe-adjuster link may cause instability at speed, and if the link fastener fails, the driver may lose control, increasing the risk of a crash.

A bolt for the height-adjusting mechanism in the power driver's seat may fall out, dropping the seat to the lowest position and affecting the driver's ability to control the SUV.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, they'll fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2012 Cadillac SRX five stars overall: five stars for frontal and side-impact performance and four stars for rollover resistance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2012 SRX Good scores for moderate-overlap front and side impacts, as well as roof strength, head-restraint and seat crash performance. It also named the SRX a 2012 Top Safety Pick.

Cadillac covered the 2012 SRX with a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance and a 6-year/unlimited-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.

Cadillac certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles can't have more than 50,000 miles on the odometer and must have entered service within the last 4 years. Every CPO Cadillac SRX undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those that pass receive bumper-to-bumper coverage that extends the factory warranty to 6 years or 70,000 miles from the original in-service date. CPO status also includes 3 months of SiriusXM radio and OnStar coverage, roadside assistance and trip-interruption coverage. The warranty is fully transferable.

Other Cars to Consider

2012 BMW X3 -- All new for 2011, the X3 looks and performs like a baby X5. The powertrain lineup includes a buttery-smooth naturally aspirated 240-hp 3.0-liter 6-cylinder and a 306-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter six, both hooked to an 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive and a panoramic sunroof are standard.

2012 Lexus RX 350 -- The strong-selling Lexus RX was the first of the car-based luxury crossover SUVs. It continues with a peppy 275-hp 3.5-liter V6, but a smooth ride comes at the expense of handling precision. The RX offers generous cabin and cargo space, and its fit, finish and materials are top-notch. It's available with front- or all-wheel drive, as well as a gas-electric hybrid version, dubbed the RX 450h and EPA-rated at 30-32 mpg city/28 mpg hwy.

Autotrader's Advice

It's hard to imagine a Cadillac without leather upholstery, power front seats and a moonroof, or a luxury crossover without all-wheel drive and a concert-hall sound system. For these reasons, the Luxury trim is our choice for a used 2012 SRX, as it offers smoother-riding 18-in tires, available navigation and rear-seat entertainment. As always, look for a well-cared-for, low-mileage example, and check with the dealer to make sure all applicable safety recalls have been performed.

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Used 2012 Cadillac SRX Luxury
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2012 Cadillac SRX: Used Car Review - Autotrader