2015 Cadillac SRX Luxury Collection AWD

2015 Cadillac SRX Luxury Collection AWD

Cadillac’s other SUV still has what it takes



Cadillac’s SRX SUV is powered by General Motor’s 3.6 liter V6 engine, as is the case for every model they make save for the Escalade and ELR. Count us among the fans of this engine- its uniquely oversquare bore and stroke allow it to build revs with satisfying ease, it spits out healthy horsepower and torque numbers and emits pleasing sounds in the process. But something happens when the 3.6 is installed in SRX engine bays. It seems…hobbled.

Stepping off the line requires a much deeper press of the throttle than expected, and what happens next is a bit underwhelming- it lurches forward unenthusiastically accompanied by a soundtrack that sounds almost agricultural. And what happened to the zest for revs? Don’t be misled by our bellyaching, because the SRX isn’t slow and keeps up with traffic just fine. Fuel economy, on the other hand, will not be anything to brag about- we saw 13.8 l/100 over our road test.

PROS: Sharp styling, luxuriously trimmed interior, one of the best riding SUV’s we’ve encountered lately.

CONS: Atrocious brake feel, CUE infotainment is frustrating, heavy and thirsty too.

THE VERDICT: Cadillac sticks to the recipe that works.

Unfortunately, the bad news continues when you include the CUE infotainment system. So many others have lambasted it before me, so I’ll just leave it at this- it was such a pain to adjust fan speed and stereo volume that I just ended up turning them off and on entirely as the situation dictated. Ford recently threw in the towel on its much maligned MyFord Touch system for something that promises to be vastly easier to use- perhaps it’s time Cadillac followed suit.

And while the complaint floodgates are open, we draw your attention to the braking department- not because the SRX doesn’t shed speed confidently- it does- but because it feels like you’re stepping on a block of wood with a ball of wet socks underneath. The feel is terrible, and even after a week behind the wheel I never quite got used to it.

You might think that these demerits relegated the SRX to one of the worst cars we’ve driven recently, but that isn’t the case. It possess many redeeming qualities, and almost 8,000 Canadian premium SUV buyers over the last sales year seemed to like it enough- witness the fact that in a few short years, the SRX has vaulted up the sales charts where it nips at the heels of class heavyweights like the BMW X3 and Lexus RX.

Helping it achieve that success is the styling. The SRX carries the Cadillac design language well, and the sharp creases and bold angles work nicely within an SUV context. The same can be said of the interior, where our tester’s supple black leather appointments contrasted nicely with a tasteful amount of wood trim. We took a closer look at the wood accents and declared them among the best you can find anywhere these days. The stitching that runs across the dashboard and plays over the other inside surfaces received high marks as well. Those used to premium interiors will feel right at home, and the SRX’s cockpit is an ideal environment to enjoy one of the best assets of the SUV- the ride.

It isn’t living-room sofa cushy but instead offers a near perfect blend of comfort and handling. This is a refreshing change of pace to what buyers in this sphere are used to, with rock-hard suspension setups and large diameter wheels shod on sportier tires seeming to be more commonplace in this segment than ever before.

There isn’t anything remarkable that sets the SRX apart from its competitors, but perhaps that shouldn’t be viewed as such a bad thing. It’s one of those vehicles that does most of the stuff owners ask of it with little drama and ease. It also fulfills its mission as a Cadillac, meaning it looks distinctive and is built to a standard that rewards every time you slide behind the wheel. That recipe seems to be good enough to keep it amongst the segment’s best sellers- I wonder what new Caddy honcho Johan de Nysschen and crew have in store when it comes time to replace our current SRX with a clean sheet redesign.

2015 Cadillac SRX Luxury Collection AWD— Specifications

  • Price as tested: $54,705
  • Body Type: 4-door, 5 passenger SUV
  • Powertrain Layout: Front engine/all-wheel drive
  • Engine:  3.6 litre V6, DOHC, 24 valves
  • Horsepower:  308 @ 6,800 rpm
  • Torque (lbs-ft.): 265 @ 2,400 rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • Curb weight: 2,015 kg ( 4,442 lbs)
  • Observed Fuel consumption: 13.8L/100km (17 mpg)