Saturday, June 09, 2007

INTRODUCTION - 2007 Cadillac SRX4

Is it a car? Is it a wagon? No, it's Superman...err, the SRX. Honestly, Cadillac's second stab at some sort of sport-utility is just as androgenous as Audi's Allroad. Some describe it as a jacked-up CTS wagon; as it rides on the same Sigma platform, it's actually just that (which brings up the odd possibility of making an AWD CTS. Hmmm...).

The last time a SRX fell into my hands was in 2003, eight months after they began rolling off the line in Lansing. That particular vehicle was completely loaded; Northstar V8, AWD, three-row seating, panoramic moonroof, etc.

Despite the content levels and the atmospherically-high pricetag, it wasn't a knockout.

Accelleration and performance was dogged by both the AWD and a slow-shifting tranny, while the CTS-cloned interior was pleasant - if you have a fetish for hard, triangular-patterned black plastics.

Three years later, there's another one of Caddy's androno-wagons sitting in the driveway. Already, I can state matter-of-factly that it blows the old one out of the lake.

The biggest change lies inside, with an all-new dash and instrument panel added for '07. After only two days of moderate driving, it's safe to say the changes are welcomed. Dash surfaces previously molded in rock-hard materials now have a pliable 'give' to them, while richly-stained birdseye maple (assuming it's real) and metalized-plastic vent trims break the otherwise-monotonous black interior. The seats resemble humanoid catchers' mitts; they're nicely bolstered and extremely comfortable even for long road trips. This particular example also is devoid of the third-row seating, which due to dimunitive size and a circus-like entry procedure, isn't missed.

Although this SRX doesn't have the Northstar or the new 6L50 six-speed, it does have GM's High-Feature 3.6L V6 with DOHC and VVT. It's good for nearly 255 hp and 254 lb-ft of torque, and for a GM motor, is actually happy to rev quickly. The French-built 5L40 five-speed auto's smooth, and when in sport mode, extremely quick-shifting. Manual mode is available - and while it won't replicate your favorite clutched-cog box, it does allow some personal control for hill grades or stopping.

Two things Cadillac hasn't touched are directly related to cost. The V6 SRX stickers at a meaty $38 grand, but with two option boxes ticked (V6 Premium Luxury Package and AWD), this example fetches just over $47,000. And with city fuel economy rated at 16 mpg, it looks to be a thirsty little bugger. Average fuel economy's still to early to call, but the in-dash multimeter's reading close to 17-18 mpg. At $3.18+ per gallon, it's nothing to sneeze at.

Still, there's two or three months left to really flog this thing, including some good trailering sessions. If nothing else, hopefully by then I can finally nail down what type of vehicle this thing is.


Anonymous Otto Van Druck said...

And... Senate bill 1419 could make it a thing of the past!

GMTMan, are you up to date on the latest attempt to ramp up CAFE standards on all vehicles including light trucks?

There's a NAM blog post about it coming up quick. Maybe your readers would be interested. I live in DC and I'm actually working on the issue with the Auto Alliance -- they also are opposed. Click my name for their site.

Thought you might be interested -- good luck with the book.

6/11/2007 6:51 PM  

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