Home > Reviews > 2007 Cadillac SRX

2007 Cadillac SRX

Still A Contender

    When the SRX debuted at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, we were ecstatic. After decades of being so far behind the state of the art they weren’t even in the country of the art anymore, Cadillac was finally going to be selling a product that could legitimately take on competitors like the Lexus RX, Acura MDX and Lincoln Aviator. It was sitting on a modern rear-drive (or optional all-wheel drive) architecture, offered the smooth Northstar V8, a standard 5-speed automatic and looked clean and contemporary from all angles. The only downfall we could see was an interior that shared almost everything with the CTS sedan—not exactly the stuff dreams are made of, unless you own a plastic factory.
     Of course, GM screwing up the interior of a vehicle was nothing new to us, so we just hoped that someday soon Cadillac would figure out what luxury looks like and put some in the otherwise successful SRX. Guess what: they did. For 2007 Cadillac’s crossover was on the receiving end of an interior makeover that can only be described as a giant success.
     Our V8 model’s cabin offered a gorgeous mix of colors (complete with expensive sounding names like “Cashmere with Cocoa Accents”) and materials far nicer than anything Cadillac has offered before. The real kickers are the leather wrapped doors and dash that are hand cut and sewn just like in the $100,000 XLR-V flagship. The assembly in our vehicle was very good and the abundant leather mixed with the metal brightwork and Sapele Pommele genuine wood trim combine to create a very comfortable atmosphere indeed. The optional Ultraview sunroof, which bathed the interior with natural light, was just icing on the cake. Surprisingly, even when fully opened wind buffeting was minimal.
     You couldn’t ask for easier-to-use climate controls and GM’s excellent touch-screen navigation system is easy to reach and operates the optional BOSE 5.1 cabin surround sound system. No surprise, it sounds good. If you pass on the nav system a BOSE 6-disc audio system is now standard equipment. Other standard features include power heated front seats with lumbar, memory driver’s seat, power rear liftgate and HID headlamps with washers.
     We found it easy to get comfortable in the both the front and second row seats and after looking at the tight space the third row would occupy we didn’t miss the optional back seat at all. If you pass on that option Cadillac installs some reconfigurable storage space instead. A first aid kit, flashlight and other odd and ends would stay out of sight very nicely in the underfloor bins. With all that standard luxury and the new leather wrapped interior we were expecting a base price of more than $45,000, but the V8 SRX starts at just $43,315. Kudos to Cadillac for keeping a healthy pinch of value in the SRX recipe.
     Other improvements in the ’07 update include the same fine 6-speed automatic used in the STS-V and XLR-V performance vehicles. Considering the transmission has to cope with up to 469 hp in those applications, the 4.6-liter Northstar’s 320 hp should be no problem. Even under full throttle the automatic clicked off creamy upshifts right before redline and made the most of the 315 lb-ft of torque by downshifting quickly when acceleration was needed.
     Although 320 hp is near the bottom end of the SRX’s competitors, we never longed for more power and thought the 6.3 second run to 60 mph was good for a 4,400 pound vehicle that can seat seven. Of course, if you require such brisk acceleration all the time you’ll dent the 15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway EPA estimate as we did, with an average of 17.7 mpg during our time with the Caddy.
     The robust Sigma platform continues to impress with a sense of solidness and athletic handling. Standard 18” tires turn-in sharply and contribute to a quiet, smooth ride, which was probably enhanced by the $1,650 Magnetic Select Ride Control, but since it’s entirely automatic we couldn’t turn the system off to make comparisons. It’s a hefty chunk of change though, so we’d want to make sure it made a noticeable difference before parting with that much gas money. We’re still happy with the SRX’s handling, which is noticeably sportier than most of its competitors. Again, how much of this is because of the optional Ride Control is hard to say. There isn’t much for us to gripe about in terms of dynamics, the SRX is a pleasure to drive in every circumstance. With all-wheel drive this would be a formidable all-weather wagon for those of us in the snowbelt.
     The SRX was able to stop from 60 mph in 127 feet, which is about right for a vehicle like this. For those with toys Cadillac says the SRX can tow up to 4,250 pounds when properly equipped and the transmission does have a tow/haul mode, so the SRX should be able to easily handle a pop-up or jet skis or even a couple snowmobiles.
     Cadillac has the safety front covered with front, side and curtain airbags, rear park assist and one year of Onstar with the upgraded Directions package with turn-by-turn navigation. Of course, if you have the nav system that probably won’t be used often.
     GM always had the dynamics of the SRX right, and now that the interior is competitive we’d suggest some work on the exterior. In our opinion it wouldn’t take much to get another couple years out of the same basic shape. The front end needs a little attention; mostly the grille and lower fascia and we think that’d be good for two years easy.
     As we said, we’ve always liked the SRX. Its only embarrassing fault was its downmarket interior trappings and that has certainly been addressed. The $49,910 as-tested SRX still has the moves, the mechanicals and the features to be competitive in this ultra-competitive segment four years after its debut. Cadillac can be proud of that.

The Good:
Northstar V8 has plenty of pull, smooth 6-speed manumatic, delightful interior colors and materials.
The Bad:
Magnetic Select Ride Control doesn’t actually offer any selectable ride settings, front end styling needs a refresh.
The Verdict:
There’s a lot to like in Cadillac’s crossover, including a reasonable price.


Categories: Reviews Tags: , , , , , ,
You must be logged in to post a comment.