The 2014 SRX may look the same as last year’s model from the outside, but its redesigned interior now packs all the latest active safety technology, like fully adaptive cruise control. Paired with the optional AWD, this five-seat V-6 crossover is a confident and safe family car with Audi -inspired interior quality and trim choices.
You would not know it from the lack of exterior style, but the SRX is Cadillac’s most important model. It took in over one-third of total Cadillac volume over the last 3 years, despite a troubled launch.
The SRX debuted in the wrong place at the wrong time during the restructuring of GM and the closure of Saab . Twinned with the better-looking (but now defunct) Saab 9-7X, the SRX was left to shoulder the load of its own factory and hopefully double sales of the previous SRX into the mid-50,000-unit range annually.
The first-gen SRX was a cult hit with a CTS -based platform, available V-8 engines and rear or AWD. Commercially, the SRX’s narrow platform and wagon-like proportions failed to win meaningful sales ground, despite the big power, gorgeous LED brake lights and low roof.
The wagon-like SRX was replaced by this conventional front or AWD crossover. It was much closer to the Lexus RX350 template and has proved to be much more popular with normal consumers.
The SRX competes in the midsize luxury crossover segment pretty effectively in spite of its ugly-duckling beginnings. It is a top-10 seller (in its category of 25-plus other models) behind mini SUVs, like the best-selling Lexus RX , Acura MDX and Audi Q5 .
Is the mainstream Cadillac SRX a good choice for cruising comfort and safe family transport?
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Cadillac SRX with extra info on the new features, options and updates.
The SRX is a hard car to love based on exterior styling, but there are many satisfying details, like the overall nose graphic, the 3D grille detailing and striking vertical LED taillights. The rear three-quarter angle is also pretty good with a unique roof-pillar design and chopped window glass behind the rear doors.
The 2013’s new grille and slightly modified headlights are about the only changes to the exterior of the SRX since its launch as a 2010 model year. This grille keeps the same shape but replaces the minimal black slats for a more elaborate chrome setup. The grille now has numerous vertical and horizontal trim pieces and matching detailing for the lower grille and bumper area.
This front bumper is the key to the SRX’s style woes. Cadillac went the Porsche Cayenne route of mounting the car’s face up high near the hood to maintain the family look of other Cadillac’s, like the CTS .
This is a styling trap. In the SRX’s case, the car is stuck with a pointed front bumper that increases the perceived overhang. It also has nearly 1/2-foot of unpainted air dam material under the bumpers and doors. These black panels leave a lot to be desired in the face of more complete crossover styles, like the Audi Q5 .
Cadillac remains synonymous with LED blades and tubes of light. The SRX employs these up front for LED running lights, to the side with a white/yellow switchback LED turn signal in the chrome fender vent, and out back with the vertical LED brake lights that curve over the car’s shoulder.
The front light tubes are part of something Cadillac called Intellibeam (cornering headlamps). These LED tubes are not nearly as bright as the newest Cadillac LED technology for white daytime running lights. The tubes use one main LED to light the pipe versus dozens for the new design.
The SRX is awkward from straight ahead and from the front quarter angle. The hood rises toward the A-pillars in a sharp way that vaguely resembles the larger Escalade . The diving swage line tries too hard to convey sportiness on the SRX’s large, chunky shape.
2014 Cadillac SRX – Exterior Dimensions:
|Track - Front (in.)||63.8|
|Track - Rear (in.)||63.4|
|Weight (Pounds)||4,277 (FWD), 4,442 (AWD)|
2014 Cadillac SRX – Exterior Features:
- High-intensity discharge headlamps with Adaptive Forward Lighting System are standard on Performance and Premium Collections
- Halogen headlamps with Twilight Sentinel feature are standard on Base and Luxury Collections
- Fog lamps are standard on Performance and Premium Collections
- Power liftgate is standard on Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections
- Heated and power-adjustable outside mirrors are standard on all models, with power-folding and driver-side auto dimming features standard on Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections
- Rainsense automatic windshield wipers are standard on Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections
- Chrome roof rails are standard on Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections
- 18-inch aluminum wheels are standard on the Base model
- 18-inch aluminum wheels with bright machined finish are standard on the Luxury Collection
- 20-inch aluminum wheels with bright machined finish and painted accents are standard on Performance and Premium Collections
- 20-inch chrome aluminum and polished aluminum wheels are available on Performance and Premium Collections
- Exterior colors: Graphite Metallic, Terra Mocha Metallic, Sapphire Blue Metallic, Glacier Blue Metallic, Silver Coast Metallic, Radiant Silver Metallic, Black Raven Metallic, Black Ice Metallic, Crystal Red Tintcoat and Platinum Ice Tricoat.
The interior is enough to make you forget the looks outside. While this SRX is not as tastefully designed as the new ATS sport sedan, there are still lots of noteworthy elements that show Cadillac is learning how compete with high-quality, well-built interiors.
Last year’s redesign brought a classier dashboard design with all-new gauges and a new 8-inch CUE infotainment system. This screen replaces the older design that was semi-concealed until needed. The new LCD screen is always visible, and is a sophisticated design and interface.
The CUE system uses a multi-touch screen that allows swiping, pinching and much better responsiveness than older touchscreens. Cadillac also boasts of CUE’s proximity sensors that anticipate when a hand is coming to tap an icon.
They also cite the screen’s haptic feedback, so the person knows the button was pushed. This feedback and electrostatic switches also appear in the lower climate controls, where temperature and fan speed are controlled by swiping across the chrome control bars.
Overall, the touchscreen is very good but still has moderate button lag. The touch-sensitive climate controls can be finicky and often require several tries before hitting the desired temp or fan speed.
The new design includes a much nicer four-spoke steering wheel. The SRX’s bright trim is better than silver-painted plastic and feels cool to the touch, like metal. It is still a little behind the aluminum alloys inside Audi models.
All the new safety systems show information right in the driver’s gauge cluster screen. The screen shows helpful displays for its various functions instead of just beeping (like some backup sensors) or lighting up a yellow dot near the mirror (like some blind-spot systems).
This Cadillac is primed to receive the upcoming SuperCruise technology in 2015 or 2016. All the basic ingredients are already available on the 2014 SRX with the Driver Assistance Package.
This $2,400 extra includes full adaptive cruise that can stop and go in traffic, lane assist, safety alert seats, blind-spot assist and cross-traffic assist. The radar arrays are hidden within the bumper and grille. The only missing elements for SuperCruise are a stereoscopic windshield camera, laser range finders, and tons of upcoming software and hardware.
Future hands-free highway driving will enhance the forward-thinking safety systems already available on the SRX.
2014 Cadillac SRX – Interior Dimensions:
|Front Seating Capacity||2|
|Rear Seating Capacity||3|
|Headroom - Front (in.)||39.7|
|Headroom - Rear (in.)||38.4|
|Legroom - Front (in.)||41.2|
|Legroom - Rear (in.)||36.3|
|Shoulder Room - Front (in.)||58.3|
|Shoulder Room - Rear (in.)||56.3|
|Hip Room - Front (in.)||55.4|
|Hip Room - Rear (in.)||54.7|
|EPA Cargo Volume (cubic-feet)||29.9|
|EPA Cargo Volume - Rear Seats Folded (cubic-feet)||61.1|
2014 Cadillac SRX – Interior Features:
- Cue with Bluetooth audio streaming is available for all collections, USB port in the storage bin behind the CUE faceplate
- On-board power and input: 2 USB ports, SD card slot auxiliary input jack and 12-volt power outlet
- Headphone and remote design for the rear-seat entertainment system, which also includes a rear USB port and SD card slot
- Active noise cancellation
- Tri-zone automatic climate control is standard on the Premium Collection and dual-zone automatic climate control is standard on Base, as well as the Luxury and Performance Collections
- Ambient lighting package is standard on the Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections
- Adjustable pedals are standard on the Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections
- Rearview camera system is standard on the Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections
- Heated front seats are standard on the Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections
- Heated rear outboard seats are standard on the Premium Collection
- Heated steering wheel is standard on the Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections and includes Sapele wood on steering wheel, shift knob, center stack and doors
- UltraView power sunroof is standard on the Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections
- Cargo management system and cargo shade are standard on the Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections
- Interior color combinations: Caramel with Ebony accents, Ebony with Ebony accents, Cashmere with Cocoa accents and Cocoa/Light Linen.
2014 Cadillac SRX – Interior Options:
- Rear seat dual-player DVD entertainment system with Blu-Ray compatibility ($1,595)
- Driver Assist Package ($2,395)
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
The SRX is not a very sporty drive with heavy controls and discouraging amounts of body movement during hard corners. It is powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 making 308 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque for a 7.1-second 0-to-60 mph time. The AWD SRX is slightly slower but still quicker than the Lexus RX350 ’s 7.8-second dash.
On-demand AWD is optional on the SRX and promises some light torque-vectoring via the rear brakes and open rear differential. The SRX defaults to front-drive.
The SRX’s fuel economy is not great, despite running a sophisticated six-speed automatic and direct-injection engine. The SRX’s extremely rigid (and heavy) structure is a by-product of Saab ’s strict internal safety targets. Despite lacking enthusiasm for corners, the SRX always feels very confident and secure with a firm brake pedal and good stopping distances.
The SRX’s suspension does not float like an old DeVille but is still comfort-oriented. This helps when lighten the bumps when running the optional 20-inch wheels. The Caddy absorbs road imperfections in a well-damped and refined way.
The electric power steering is rarely disturbed by potholes and bumps are heard as a ‘thunk’ and not a ‘crash.’ This is a sign of a very stiff chassis, interior build quality and good cabin refinement. The SRX is quiet at highway speeds, despite being shaped like a brick.
The SRX would benefit from a mild hybrid setup or perhaps even a full plug-in hybrid to better compete with the leading RX450h . A plug-in hybrid SRX will likely have to wait until a new, XTS -based platform is ready in a few years.
2014 Cadillac SRX - Mechanical Details:
|Engine Size and Type||3.6-liter 24-valve V-6 With DOHC And CVVT|
|Peak power||308 horsepower|
|Peak torque||265 pound-feet|
|0-to-60 mph||7.1 seconds|
|Top Speed||117 mph, est|
|Fuel Economy Estimates (City/Highway/Combined)||17/NA/24 (FWD), 16/NA/23 (AWD)|
The SRX makes safety a key selling point. This is a solid strategy for small family buyers who put the welfare of their passengers first. The SRX is a 2013 Top Safety Pick from the IIHS and five-star car from the NHTSA.
The bulk of the new active safety systems are optional but are popular additions to all trim levels.
2014 Cadillac SRX – Safety Features:
- Standard Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Optional driver awareness package: Adaptive Cruise Control and Automatic Front and Rear Braking
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation sensors
- Dual-stage frontal and side-impact driver and right-front passenger air bags
- Head-curtain side-impact air bags
- Front safety belt pre-tensioners and load limiters
- Forward Collision Alert
- Lane Departure Warning
- Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
- Safety Alert Seat
The SRX is already pushing the limits with its top trim levels. A price increase is not expected for 2014.
2013 Cadillac SRX Prices:
The Lexus RX350 and RX450h five-seat crossovers major on refinement and ease of use. They are extremely easy to drive but also have sloppy steering and brakes. The RX is a great town car, but the latest generation compromises driver visibility with giant pillars and a jellybean exterior shape.
The RX450h hybrid model gets great efficiency and offers an even more relaxing driver environment. That being said, the hybrid is even less fun to drive quickly than the RX350, thanks to its whiney CVT transmission and added weight.
Gallery Lexus RX 450h
The MDX’s key selling point is its large cabin and third row seat. The Acura is new for 2014 with striking LED headlights but very bland looks. This third-gen MDX drives just like the Honda Odyssey minivan with which it shares a platform and engine.
Gallery Acura MDX
The SRX is a pretty good crossover, despite the stiff competition and new rivals arriving weekly. It follows the five-seat, front-drive packaging that makes up most of the Lexus ’s sales. It also has some of the Lexus’s road refinement and high-end interior styles.
The SRX differs greatly in its driving style. Where the Lexus drives like a minivan with lots of body roll and feel-free power steering, the SRX actually drives a lot more like the BMW X5 . This added heft to the controls helps the car feel expensive. It will be a big plus to car enthusiasts but a potential negative among people who like the Lexus’s lightweight steering.
The SRX has a pretty good image and road presence, thanks to its mix of CTS and Escalade styling elements. It feels overpriced at the top price levels and drives better as a FWD than it does with AWD.
The 2014 Cadillac SRX’s blend of safety, refinement and confidence on the road makes sense for a wide group of buyers as a great alternative in swanky suburbs that are bursting with too many RS350 ’s already.
|Driving||B||Solid Steering And Brake Feel|
|Performance||C||Not Quick But Still Thirsty|
|Look||C-||The SRX Needs A New Nose|
|Value||C+||Can Get Expensive Quickly With AWD|
|Overall||B||Some Cadillac Style In Family Wrapper|
- New safety systems just a few more years from hand-free SuperCruise
- Interior plastic quality is good; leathers still cheap and shiny
- Big cargo area with huge under-floor storage
- Needs a third row seat
- Rear seat comfort is not great with low seat cushions and upright seatbacks
- Could increase sales if it actually looked new and different
Gallery Cadillac SRX
2014 CADILLAC SRX FOCUSES ON SAFETY ADVANCES
Cadillac SRX offers a roomy interior, with seating for five and a large cargo area. Its design is classic Cadillac, with luxury that touches every aspect of the vehicle, from the technology-drenched dashboard and high-performance powertrain to the exclusive comfort and convenience features designed to surpass expectations.
The 2014 SRX offers Intellibeam headlamps as part of the Driver Awareness Package. It automatically deploys high-beam headlamps when needed and instantly turns them down when oncoming traffic is detected. Also new for 2014 is an 18-inch chrome-plated wheel, available on the Luxury Collection (late availability), along with a trio of exterior colors: Graphite Metallic, Terra Mocha Metallic and Sapphire Blue Metallic. There’s also a new interior color combination: Caramel with Ebony accents.
SRX is offered in a base model and three option collections: Luxury, Performance and Premium, with all-wheel drive offered on all but the Base model. All models are powered by a direct-injected 3.6L V-6 rated at an SAE-certified 308 horsepower (230 kW) and 265 lb.-ft. of torque (358 Nm). It is matched with the Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission, which features a driver-selectable Eco feature that alters the shift points for up to 1-mpg improved fuel economy in normal driving conditions.
SRX exterior design and features
While Cadillac’s luxury crossover maintains its well-heeled exterior design, with striking angles and refined details, the SRX has never looked better. The signature shield piece grille design offers expressive depth for an overall richer appearance. Flanking the grille are Cadillac’s iconic vertical headlamps, with light pipe technology and available Adaptive Forward
Lighting technology that turns the lamps in the direction of the front wheels.
Light pipes also provide a glow to the front fender vents of the SRX, as well as the vertical taillamps. The SRX has a wide stance, minimal overhangs and wheels pushed to corners. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard on the Base and Luxury Collection and 20-inch wheels are standard on Performance and Premium Collections. New 18-inch chrome-plated wheels are available on the 1SB Luxury Collection.