Cadillac Adds CUE Functionality to Rear Entertainment System

The 2013 Cadillac SRX's Cadillac User Experience system will control two optional 8-inch screens behind the front seats that can play separate media — a video game and a movie, for example — for rear passengers via Bluetooth-paired smartphones, SD cards, MP3 players or a USB port.

Functionality falls short of CUE's dashboard setup in the brand's small luxury SUV, which enables touch-screen control over all media. Load up whatever you want to watch and a "kid-tested" backseat remote modeled after a video-game controller (from the 1990s, it appears) controls playback via a CUE-like interface, Cadillac says. The system can pair up to 10 mobile devices via Bluetooth and play Blu-ray movies — a first for the brand. Touch-capacitive climate controls sit behind the front storage console, but that's about the only CUE interaction backseat passengers get.

The remote doesn't dock in a recharging port — as some entertainment-system remotes do — but needs its own batteries, Cadillac spokeswoman Jordana Strosberg told us. The CUE-based rear entertainment system is available now as an option on all but base SRX trim levels. But its $1,595 price makes a tough proposition against iPads and other tablet computers, which could spell the decline for rear entertainment systems from any automaker.

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This 2013 Cadillac model offers users a whole lot of options. Behind the seat entertainment is almost considered essential today.

Gone are the days when passengers on the back had to fight over whatever was being played on the radio or other entertainment devices that were positioned at the front of the vehicle.

In a few years this should become more of an affordable option for other brands as well.

At $1,595, Cadillac is not exactly positioning itself competitively against other options.

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