Cadillac SRX gets massive makeover Improvements

2010 Cadillac SRX
2010 Cadillac SRX
2010 Cadillac SRX

2010 Cadillac SRXIt may sound just a tad unbelievable and it’s most certainly surprising, but the best thing about Cadillac’s new SRX is its interior styling.

Long a weakness of even the latest generation of “new-and-improved” Caddys, the SRX’s cabin vaults it into a leadership position — at least in this regard — where the previous version was the worst the upscale crossover segment had to offer.

For instance, the gauge set — long a feature Cadillac seemed to dismiss as insignificant — now stands out as a truly original design. Not only do the gauges feature trendy black numerals on a bright white background, but the centre of the speedometer is occupied by a little, round, full-colour thin-film-transfer display that shows all manner of vehicle/engine/trip functions in a bright and cheery manner. It even displays a short video rendition of Cadillac’s new emblem upon startup.

But those aren’t the only interesting new touches. All but the base SRX have a power liftgate that finally offers an adjustable height limiter (via a rotary switch mounted on the driver’s door) so that those shorter of stature can reach the door-close button. The SRX also gets the CTS’s pop-up LCD screen for the navigation system, which stows away when not in use.

The improvement to the SRX‘s interior isn’t limited to gimmickry. The centre stack has been cleaned up, and there’s some well-crafted aluminum-finished trim around the air conditioning controls as well as fresh new Sapele wood trim tastefully distributed throughout the door, lower console and steering wheel. The highlight, however, are the neat little door latches, ordinarily minor details that become stylistic highlights thanks to their dramatically sculpted design, ergonomic correctness and satiny finish.

The new SRX is also roomier than the previous version– at least for five passengers.

That’s because Cadillac has abandoned the minivan alternative, jack-of-all-trades positioning of the first SRX and is no longer offering seven-passenger seating, even as an option.

The result is a shorter crossover that, according to Max Wolf, Cadillac‘s exterior design director, led to the SRX’s aggressive exterior silhouette with a more dramatically sloped rear roofline and shorter overhangs. And, despite its shorter wheelbase, the new SRX’s trunk is expansive.

This downsizing also results in a more nimble SRX. Though it’s no BMW X5 — not surprising since Cadillac is targeting the Lexus RX as its direct competitor — the new SRX is far more at home on twisty roads than was the old.

2010 Cadillac SRX

The new TE platform is admirably rigid, its track is wider and the suspension is just a little on the firm side of plush, resulting in minimal body roll without shaking the fillings out of the passengers. Even the steering, long a GM weakness, is communicative and direct. Only the brakes are found wanting. As for the switch to a front-wheel-drive rather than rear-drive platform, it affects on-road handling very little.

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