2013 Cadillac SRX: Up Close

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We've never been enthusiastic about the Cadillac SRX, in part because we didn't think its interior was up to snuff. The SRX's biggest problem, actually, was the Chevrolet Equinox with which it shares a platform. Simply put, the Equinox's quality was high enough that the SRX's higher price was hard to justify. The 2013 SRX refresh should help with that.

More 2012 New York Auto Show Coverage

You'd need a tour guide to recognize the exterior changes, but the interior is a different story. Cadillac's new CUE user interface, which will appear first on the new XTS flagship sedan, will be standard for 2013. In the SRX, it's represented by the same gloss-black center control panel that's complete with touch-sensitive "capacitive" buttons in lieu of regular buttons.

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While I'm an ardent critic of this technology in general, I do appreciate Cadillac's use of a haptic-feedback pulse you feel when you tap one of these buttons or the touch-screen. And in the 2013 SRX, it happens to replace an uninspired center control panel with a scattershot layout of buttons that wasn't intuitive. As in the XTS, tapping a rib low on the panel makes it motor upward, revealing a nifty storage cubby with an illuminated USB port inside.

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The SRX's CUE implementation doesn't go quite as far as the XTS system, which has a fully configurable and customizable color LCD screen for an instrument panel. In the SRX, the instrument panel is a broad, brightly backlit set of conventional mechanical gauges with a less ambitious color display incorporated. A new steering wheel adds the buttons needed for navigating through the display's menus. Once again, this new element fixes one of the earlier flaws: The old gauges are gone, and they took with them the weird Fortress of Solitude-inspired ice crystal turn-signal lights. (Editor's note: Those were Cars.com Managing Editor David Thomas' favorite feature in the old SRX; he also liked the TV series "Smallville.")

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These changes plus a new shift lever and upgraded trim pieces give the SRX a higher-quality feel. I can't give the all-clear until I see a couple of the production models, though. In earlier versions, the door materials seemed to diminish in quality below armrest level, and it varied with color. The show car's dark interior didn't reveal what flaws might lurk there.

Comments 

sheth

1. SRX and Equinox are not on the same platform, never have been. Equinox has different wheelbase, narrower track, different AWD system and weighs several hundred pounds less than the SRX.
2. Equinox is full of hard plastics even though the design is nice. SRX has soft touch upper dash and real alum trim. The interior of the SRX was clearly superior.
3. SRX is 2nd best selling lux crossover which suggests consumers had no problem paying more for the Cadillac than the Chevy.
4. The gauges in this CUV are apparently shared with ATS. XTS has optional full LCD gauge cluster- we really havent seen a pic of the standard setup yet.
5. In all but the most expensive luxury cars the material below the armrests tends to be hard, durable plastic. How could this not be known? In almost any vehicle with soft touch surfaces those surfaces are on the upper dash and upper door panel- they typically do not extend to the lower level materials. This is true in Lexus models, BMWs, MBs, etc. SRX is no different.

sheth

sigh, indeed. I do not understand why blatantly inaccurate information is posted repeatedly and no one seems to mind. When you guys dont like a vehicle its like the facts become somewhat unimportant. Whether or not you like the SRX (and clearly you dont), its not on a platform with Equinox. A 30 sec glance at the spec sheet shows that. And perhaps you could explain how the SRX's relationship to equinox is any worse than MDX to Pilot or RX to Highlander. Im pretty sure you dont think those luxury branded CUVS are hard to justify simply because they share some mechanicals with cheaper corporate relatives.

Good interior pics though- havent seen them on any other site.

George

GM doesn't even use the word 'platform' anymore, they use 'architecture'.
In your mind, you think that architecture means 'badge engineered', in that case see the Equinox & Terrain.
Just look at the rear transverse muffler & rear suspension, SRX was derived from Equinox/Terrain.
Both SRX/Equinox have the same drivetrain, front wheel drive + PTO system. It doesn't matter if one is sourced from Haldex or JTEKT. The functionality of the rear 'eLSD' [SRX] is replicated by traction control.
The Highlander is based off the old RX platform. The new RX has dumped the rear strut suspension for the RAV4.

sheth

they are not on the same architecture even if they are related. The only vehicle that was ever on the exact same architecture was the 9-4x. Different tracks, wheelbases, curb weights, rear suspension designs, fuel tank sizes, etc. The Terrain/Equinox are nearly identical in every dimension. A lot of vehicles share drivetrains within a large auto company. The 2012 Terrain and Lacrosse will share the V6 powertrain- doesnt mean they are virtually the same vehicle. As of right now GM only makes 2 V6s so a whole lot of vehicles share the SRX's powertain. The SRX is as different from the equinox as the RX is from the highlander- that's my point.

d

IMHO the speedo looks quite outdated....reminds me of an early 2000's Caddy or Buick...just the speedo part, the screen below it looks nice

George

extensibility/scalability are words that sheth doesn't know.

No, If the SRX ever gets different suspensions than the Equinox, then it will be as different as the RX & Highlander.

sheth

They do have different rear suspensions. And as noted, NONE of the key dimensions are the same. ZERO. If suspension similarity is all you need to say two vehicles are on the same platform than you might as well say the SRX is related to virtually every FWD vehicle GM makes. See how stupid that sounds? Probably not. Everyone knows there is some commonality between the two- but the info above clearly says Equinox and SRX are on the same platfom and its inferred that the Equinox is the same as the SRX but its simply way cheaper. The Equinox costs less because it has less features, doesnt handle as well, has an inferior AWD system, a cheaper interior and until 2013 MY a weaker top engine. Naturally this site wouldnt suggest that an ES350 is hard sell because a Camry LE is basically the same thing for $12k less but somehow its OK to make such an absurd argument about equinox/SRX.

John

the current SRX was built off the same platform as the Saturn VUE- go back and check out the specs and the interior! Seriously! I have an '06 and had a loaner '10 for a week. I hated it! I wouldn't trade my '06 for 10 new SRX's! They need a total redesign of this vehicle and it needs to go back to a RWD config with the AWD optional. The brand new 2010 I drove had tons of typical FWD "Road Chatter". The current SRX does not justify its cost. It is a CUV- a "Cute Utility Vehicle" that has no Utility. My '06 can haul a barnfull of stuff and drives super RWD silky smooth! I will run that one till the wheels fall off if they continue the transverse engine FWD ridiculousness! Or move up to an Escalade or buy a new Ford Explorer instead!

Bob gendron

Does the SRX'srear seats not fold down?

I am in the market for a new SUV. I drove the Chevy Equinox and my assessment is the vehicle is cheep. The car had plastic and pleather (cheep form of leather) all over the place, not to mention short on power. I have visited the Cadillac dealership several times. The SRX is in a different league, nice design, durable leather, and nice ride with plenty of power. However, I do feel the SRX price of $50K is too expensive. A competitive cost would be in the $40-$45K range. I think I will wait until the 2013 come. I do not care for the small steering wheel and strait up NAV system.

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Both the Cadillac & the Chevrolet are on the Theta platform. The Cadillac is on what they call "Theta Premium", which is a combination of the Theta & Epsilon architecture.

TheTruth

"sheth" is just a butt-hurt fanboy! LOL!

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