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Once upon a time Cadillac was known for manufacturing some of the best vehicles in the world. Unfortunately Cadillac lost that reputation up to the turn of the century. In the past thirteen years Cadillac has clawed its way back and today Cadillac is once again manufacturing some of the best vehicles in the world.
The Cadillac Escalade has been the choice of full-size luxury sport utility buyers for many years and now the new 2013 Cadillac SRX is nudging for the top spot in the mid-size luxury sport utility vehicles segment. This new offering introduces design enhancements, segment-leading Cue and haptic technology, segment-leading cargo management and safety innovations, just to name a few, of what makes the 2013 Cadillac SRX one of the world’s best mid-size luxury sport utility vehicle. After my seven-day test drive of the SRX AWD Premium model I can attest to its fun-to-drive, luxurious and technological innovations that make driving this new SRX such a pleasure and honor.
Exterior refinements for 2013 include a new upper and lower chrome accented grille and lower air-intake that updates Cadillac’s signature shield grille design with greater detail and depth, giving the SRX a richer appearance. Down below is a deep airdam with horizontal cutouts to help increase downforce. Flanking the grille are Cadillac’s iconic vertical headlamps with light pipe technology and Adaptive Forward HID lighting technology that turns the lamps in the direction of the front wheels. Light pipes also provide a new glow to the front fender vents of the SRX that mimic the front turn-signals, as well as the vertical LED taillights. Round foglamps light up the road in foggy conditions. The SRX has a wide stance, minimal overhangs and rides on big 20X8 inch multi-spoke chrome wheels wrapped with Michelin 235/55R20 inch all-season radial tires pushed to the corners. Also from the side is a long, low sleek wedge shaped profile with swept-back windshield A- pillars. The vertical chrome accented air-vents just before the front doors start a character line leading through the chrome pull-out door handles.
A full-perimeter chrome strip around the greenhouse adds another luxury touch while black contrasting front, side and rear extensions lower the center of gravity enhancing handling. A tapering roof line with chrome roof rails ends at the rear spoiler just above the power liftgate. A new thick chrome bar is placed above the license plate surround with the fabled Cadillac crest just above. The rear step-up bumper features a full-perimeter slip free pad on top and down below are chrome tipped dual exhaust outlets nicely cut into the bumper bottom with a diffuser between them. The overall styling is signature Cadillac featuring the unique front/rear vertical lamps. More outstanding exterior features include heated/power-folding/power-adjustable outside mirrors and rain-sensing automatic windshield wipers/rear wiper/washer.
SRX is powered by a 3.6 liter, DOHC, all-aluminum, Direct High Press Fuel Injected V6 with VVT technology for a flat torque curve. It is known by its ‘LFX’ engine code. It generates 308hp at 6,800rpm and 265lb.ft. of torque at just 2,400rpm. The engine also features a composite intake manifold that saves approximately 5.5 pounds over the weight of a comparable aluminum intake and an integrated cylinder head/exhaust manifold design that saves approximately 13 pounds. The Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission is matched with the LFX engine. An available all-wheel-drive system, that I tested, incorporates an electronic limited-slip rear differential, which not only improves traction in slippery road conditions but provides side-to-side torque transfer along the rear axle to enhance control during hard cornering. This six-speed pulls hard when needed and cruises perfectly at highway speeds.
Cadillac SRX uses GM’s unique fully independent suspension system for a smooth ride on the highway while smoothing out the bumps on poorly paved city streets. It is mated with a standard rack & pinion hydraulic steering system-and offers a variable-effort, speed sensitive steering system-with tuning biased for sport sedan-style driving and a strong on-center feel. The suspension features a MacPherson strut setup up front with specially tuned coil springs, direct-acting hollow stabilizer bar, hydraulic ride bushings and real-time gas-charged shocks. The rear is a unique linked ‘H-arm’ setup with hollow stabilizer bar, specially tuned coil springs and real-time gas-charged shocks. The rear axle ratio is 3.39 for quick launches. This unique suspension system benefits from GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability control system to keep you on track when cornering hard on the back roads. A trailering package is optional with the Premium trim that I tested and increases towing capacity to 3,500 pounds for long and fun weekend get-a-ways.
Quickly and safely slowing the new SRX down from speed are large, four-wheel vented disc brakes. Up front are 13.6 inch rotors clamped with dual-piston calipers and 12.4 inch rotors clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear. Standard ABS, Traction Control and StabiliTrak help keep you in control of the direct you choose when braking hard on slick or wet surfaces. The brakes felt very linear when applying hard or normal. The new SRT drives like a dream and fulfilling that dream is an incredible comfortable, luxurious, ergonomic, connected and safe interior cabin fit for a king.
Open the doors and view a cabin covered in the finest leathers, real aluminum trim, chrome accents, black piano veneer and Sabele Wood trim on the doors. Each front passenger bucket seat is comfortable and supportive with 8-way power adjustments and power lumbar adjustment. They are also heated and cooled. The sporty leather-wrapped/wood/aluminum trimmed steering wheel is tilting and telescopic for the perfect reach and angle for comfortable driving effort. You also have power adjustable foot pedals, what more can you ask for a perfect driving position? The instrument panel is straight-ahead and easy to see and understand with a large speedometer and tachometer plus two small fuel/engine coolant temperature gauges. The bottom of the cluster is multi-configurable from the trip computer/Bose Premium Audio System. The center console holds the chrome bezel leather/aluminum wrapped stick shifter, dual cupholders and dual-tier storage bin with padded armrest. Inside the storage bin is a USB port, an SD card slot auxiliary input jack and 12-volt power outlet.
Cadillac CUE (Cadillac User Experience is the brand’s new design and technical breakthrough for intuitive in-vehicle control and connectivity. CUE pairs entertainment and information data from up to 10-Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, USBs, SD cards and MP3 players with a vehicle infotainment system that reduces complexity through customized information, voice commands and fewer buttons and larger icons. The comprehensive in-vehicle experience is designed to be unique for each consumer, from the simple user to the fully connected super user. The heart of CUE is the vibrant, eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen-with proximity sensing and haptic feedback-that is seamlessly integrated in the top of the central instrument panel. It displays CUE’s home page, which resembles a smart phone’s screen with large, easy-to-target icons that execute commands. Capacitive technology on the screen and faceplate enables consumers to use the same ‘swipe’, ‘pinch’, or ‘spread’ gestures common to most popular smartphones and tablets. Also unique is a motorized faceplate that opens by touching the bottom aluminum trim piece to a concealed storage area for smartphones or other mobile devices and includes an illuminated USB port. Amazing!!! No other SUV has it.
Also new this year in the Premium model I tested were new headphone and remote design for the rear-seat entertainment system with screens mounted behind the front headrests, a rear USB port and a SD card slot. Active noise cancellation is new for 2013 and helps create a quieter driving experience. The system uses microphones to detect ambient noise, the frequencies of which are processed by a computer that directs counteracting sound waves through the audio system to tailor the sound quality and character inside the cabin. Also inside is the Bose Premium Sound System with Sirius Satellite Radio, tri-zone automatic climate control, rear heated seats, keyless access, push button start/stop, ambient lighting, self-dimming rearview mirror, rear 60/40 split folding seat to expand the cargo area, an Ultra-View power sunroof, a cargo management system with an expandable aluminum catcher to better manage your cargo carrying needs, four chrome tie downs, a cargo shade and underfloor cargo storage.
More standard features not mentioned above are power windows with express up/down in front and express down for the second row, navigation system, heated steering wheel, cruise control, adaptive remote start, rain-sensing wipers, power programmable height liftgate, universal home remote, front/rear parking assist, grab handles at each door, dual map lights, dual lighted vanity mirrors, and front/rear, cargo floor mats. My Premium Trim model came with these options-rear entertainment system, adaptive radar cruise control, front/rear automatic braking, and automatic collision preparation.
Standard safety features include front/side impact airbags, side head curtain airbags, tire pressure monitor, rear door locks child safety, theft deterrent system, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, 3-point safety belts for 5 plus front pretensioner/load limiters, and ONSTAR’s automatic crash response.
This new 2013 Cadillac SRX is one of the best looking, high-performing, luxurious, innovative, safe, fun and easy-to-drive, mid-size sport utility vehicles for sale anywhere. Cadillac is back and making waves in the industry and its segment with attention to detail and innovation not seen on other vehicles. Cadillac is Back!
COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ
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