Cadillac was a bit slow to answer the fast-growing new-century clamor for carlike "crossover" SUVs in the 2000s, but its first effort was one of the best. Arriving for 2004, the SRX was a clever variation of the Sigma car platform, offering the same V-6 and V-8 rear-drive and all-wheel-drive powertrains as the STS that followed it. The crisp Art & Science look was well-suited to this wagon, which maintained Cadillac tradition with a posh leather-lined interior and power everything; the '06s added a nifty power-operated liftgate.
V-8 SRXs were dressed with real-wood cabin accents, heated seats, and power-adjustable pedals, all available for V-6 models. A high level of safety was standard for every model: antilock brakes, traction control, front torso side airbags, and curtain side airbags. Buyers could choose five-passenger seating with a fore/aft sliding back bench or an available seven-passenger package with the convenience of a power-folding third-row seat.
Other options included Magnetic Ride Control, navigation system, rear-seat DVD entertainment, and a novel "UltraView" sunroof with multiple glass panels that slid back at the touch of a button to let in 5.6 square feet of the great outdoors. Interiors were spruced up for 2007 with a redesigned dashboard and higher-quality materials in response to press and consumer complaints.
Initially priced in the $40,000-$47,000 range, the SRX impressed road-testers with its sprightly performance, adroit handling, and luxury-level refinement. Consumer Guide bestowed a Recommended ribbon in the very first model year, then Best Buy medals for 2005-07. "Against similarly priced premium midsize SUVs, SRX is among the best in performance, features, and accommodations...Unless you go off-road or tow heavy loads, the SRX's road manners and efficient packaging make it preferable to most truck-type rivals. Add AWD security and it's a thoughtful alternative to a traditional luxury sedan."
That's just what Cadillac was aiming for, and sales in the first two calendar years were pretty much on target at just over 53,000 -- all welcome "plus" business. But that business turned down in 2005-06 when summertime gas prices spiked to record levels, prompting many buyers to downsize their vehicle choices. Sensibly, Cadillac reduced SRX prices for 2007, pegging the V-6 model at $37,000 base, the V-8 at $43,000.
Next, we'll cover Cadillac's replacement for the Seville -- the STS -- and the '06 Cadillac DTS.
For more information on Cadillac, see:
- Cadillac: Learn the history of America's premier luxury car, from 1930s classics to today's newest Cadillac models.
- Consumer Guide New Car Reviews and Prices: Road test results, photos, specifications, and prices for 2007 Cadillacs and hundreds of other new cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs.
- 1990-1999 Cadillac: Import competition and a stale image rock once-proud Cadillac. Here's the low-down on Cadillac's come-down.