Car Review

2011 Cadillac SRX: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions July 2016

As the 2010 model was all-new, the 2011 Cadillac SRX continues with only minor changes. New for 2011 is a standard backup camera, a fence for the U-Rail system in the cargo area and full keyless access for Luxury and Performance trims. Also, the 3.0-liter V6 receives calibration changes to improve throttle response. In 2011, the SRX was 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 2011 SRX is smaller, less expensive and more fuel efficient than its 2005-2009 predecessors. 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

Stylish exterior; quiet interior; 3.0-liter V6 uses regular fuel; good handling; pop-up navigation screen; standard backup camera

What We Don't

Slow-shifting transmission; hard seat cushions; harsh ride impacts; poor outward visibility; questionable turbo reliability; poor fuel economy

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The SRX's base engine is a direct-injected 3.0-liter V6 that produces 265 horsepower and 223 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with front-wheel drive, it's rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, while all-wheel-drive models get 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy. This engine uses regular unleaded fuel. A 6-speed automatic is standard.

Optional is a Saab-based 2.8-liter turbo V6 with 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The turbo is much more responsive, but it requires premium unleaded gas. EPA estimates are a disappointing 15 mpg city/22 mpg hwy. A 6-speed automatic is standard.

Standard Features & Options

The 2011 SRX comes in base, Luxury, Performance and Premium trims.

The base SRX is front-drive only and features standard OnStar crash notification, SiriusXM radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, remote keyless entry, an 8-speaker Bose AM/FM/CD stereo, automatic headlamps, a backup camera, 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, power doors, power windows and heated power mirrors.

Moving up to Luxury adds the option of all-wheel drive plus standard leather seating, heated power front seats with driver memory, a power moonroof, a power lift gate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, adjustable pedals, rain-sensing wipers, keyless access, front- and rear-park assist and wood trim. Popular options include a 10-speaker DVD audio system, 2-screen rear-seat DVD entertainment and a navigation system with a 7-in touchscreen.

The Performance trim gains the option of the 2.8-liter turbo V6 and adaptive suspension, plus standard fog lamps, navigation, rear-seat entertainment, 10-speaker DVD audio, a rear camera, HID headlamps, 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, as well as ventilated front seats.

Pricing

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, we suggest checking out the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the following safety recalls for the 2011 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.

The transmission shift cable may come loose from its bracket, resulting in inability to move the vehicle forward or rearward, or it may incorrectly indicate the park position when the transmission is in gear, allowing the vehicle to roll away when unattended.

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.

The right-side overhead airbag is turned off if the front passenger seat is unoccupied, leaving the rear seat passenger sitting on the right side unprotected in certain frontal and side crashes.

Climate control software may disable the defroster, decreasing visibility and increasing the risk of a crash.

The front seat safety belt buckle anchor may fracture in a crash, failing to restrain an occupant and increasing the risk of injury.

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 did not rate the 2011 Cadillac SRX for front- and side-impact protection but did give it four stars for rollover resistance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2011 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 Top Safety Pick.

Cadillac covered the 2011 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.

2011 SRX models are too old to qualify but keep in mind that 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 and OnStar coverage, roadside assistance and trip-interruption coverage. The warranty is fully transferable.

Other Cars to Consider

2011 BMW X3 -- All-new for 2011, the X3 looks and performs like a baby X5. A 184-hp 2.0-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder is added to a powertrain lineup that includes a buttery-smooth naturally aspirated 240-hp 3.0-liter 6-cylinder and a 306-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter 6, hooked to a 6-speed manual or new 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard.

2011 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 RX 450h and EPA rated at 28 mpg city/27 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 would be our choice for a used 2011 SRX, as it offers smoother-riding 18-in tires, available navigation and rear-seat entertainment. Although it's not as peppy as other Cadillacs with the 3.6-liter V6 or 4.6-liter V8, we'd forego the 2.8-liter V6 turbo and stick with the nonturbocharged 3.0-liter V6 for its superior gas mileage and fewer long-term durability worries.

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.

Find a Cadillac SRX for sale

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Used 2011 Cadillac SRX Luxury
Used 2011 Cadillac SRX
$17,900
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.
2011 Cadillac SRX: Used Car Review - Autotrader