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2013 Cadillac SRX: Used Car Review

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author photo by Ron Sessions October 2016

The 2013 Cadillac SRX introduces the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) in-vehicle user interface, featuring touch-panel controls for infotainment and climate control and doing away with most of the conventional knobs and buttons used in previous years. Also new are revised gauges with a center LCD screen, a new steering wheel with CUE shortcut buttons, standard HD radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, extra USB ports and an SD card slot. The peppy, direct-injected 308-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 continues as the standard engine. The 2013 SRX was the best-selling Cadillac model, hitting a bull's-eye in the hot entry-level luxury-crossover SUV market.

The midsize 2013 SRX is smaller, more maneuverable 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, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, OnStar crash notification, anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes and traction and stability control. Newly available features for 2013 include safety-alert seat technology, automatic front and rear braking, lane-departure warning, forward-collision alert and adaptive cruise 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; standard blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert

What We Don't

Hard seat cushions; harsh ride impacts; poor outward visibility; no spare tire; glitchy CUE touch-panel interface has a steep learning curve

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2013 SRX is equipped with a direct-injected 3.6-liter V6 that produces 308 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. This engine provides good 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 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 2013 SRX comes in base, Luxury, Performance and Premium trims.

The base SRX is front-wheel-drive only and features the CUE user interface, 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 blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic warning, 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 Blu-ray compatibility 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 2013 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 2013 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.

There can be a 3- to 4-second acceleration lag due to a transmission programming error, increasing the risk of a crash.

The lug nuts on 18-in wheels may loosen or fall off, increasing the risk of a crash.

Faulty software may inadvertently switch the transmission to Sport mode, removing any engine braking effect and increasing the risk of a crash.

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

The NHTSA gave the 2013 Cadillac SRX five stars overall: four stars for frontal impacts, five for side-impact performance and four stars for rollover resistance.

The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2013 SRX a rating of Good for moderate-overlap front and side impacts, as well as roof strength, head-restraint and seat crash performance. It also named the SRX a 2013 Top Safety Pick.

Cadillac covered the 2013 SRX with a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a transferable 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty, a 6-year/unlimited-mile corrosion-perforation warranty and 6 years/70,000 miles of roadside assistance.

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

2013 BMW X3 -- The X3 looks and performs like a baby X5. The powertrain lineup includes a new, more fuel-efficient 240-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo and a 306-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter 6-cylinder, both hooked to an 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive and a panoramic sunroof are standard.

2013 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. A new F-Sport model adds a stiffer suspension, paddle shifters and sporty 19-in wheels. 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.

Autotrader's Advice

If you're not an early adapter of new technology, the 2013 SRX's standard CUE user interface will take some getting used to. Aside from the glitchy performance of early-production examples, CUE relies on a smartphone-like touch panel that changes the way you'll operate the climate control and infotainment systems. Be prepared to spend some time figuring out how CUE works with the car in the driveway; don't try to do it while you're driving. Aside from that, the Luxury trim is our preferred choice for a used 2013 SRX, as it offers smoother-riding 18-in tires, available navigation and rear-seat entertainment. Look for a CPO model if available, and if not, select a well-cared-for, low-mileage example. Always check with the dealer to make sure all applicable safety-recall repairs have been performed.

Find a Cadillac SRX for sale

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.
2013 Cadillac SRX: Used Car Review - Autotrader