Review: 2012 Cadillac SRX 3.6

Posted on 11. Mar, 2012 by in Auto News

Large organizations are vulnerable to simplistic thinking. It's just too hard, a little too complicated or nuanced to communicate to all involved. An overly simple idea: reduce the size of the engine, and fuel economy improved. Need a performance variant? Shrink the engine a little more, and add a turbo. The actual result in the case of the Cadillac SRX: a base engine with enough torque and an optional engine, charged $ 3820 for the GM performance provide similar amounts of all other base engines. For 2012, the SRX gets a solution that was clear from the beginning: the corporate 3.6-liter V6 replaces last year's 3.0-liter. The turbocharged 2.8 is gone. And?

And the 3.6-liter V6, revised 2012 leads appropriately. Nothing more, nothing less. It does not have a superior or sophisticated sound, but it's not hard on the ears, either. It is not fast, the SRX with all-wheel drive weighs 4,442 pounds, about 300 more than the CTS sedan by a 318-horsepower version of this long-driven motor, but it's not slow, either. The all-wheel drive system includes an active locking rear differential, but the engine while dramatically torquier (265 pound-feet at 2,400 rpm from the 3.0 's 223 in 5100), is still not torquey enough to exploit it. Fuel consumption? The trip computer reported about 17 miles per gallon driving in a suburb about 21 on the highway. The EPA numbers: 16/23, just a bit worse than the "fuel-saving" 3.0 's 17/23 and better than the 2.8 Turbo 15/22.

With the new 308-hp engine (from 265 to 295 for the 3.0 and 2.8T), the Cadillac edges closer to the class norm. The Lexus RX 350 has a 275-hp 3.5-liter V6. The Lincoln MKX a 305-horspower 3.7. The Acura MDX is a 300-hp 3.7. The others are all within 150 pound Cadillac (the Lexus is a little lower, Lincoln and Acura a little higher). All have six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive systems that engage when the front wheels slip (the Acura system in a proactive way than the other). Sun line performance is similar.

Brakes, not so much. The Cadillac might as well as the others to stop (I did not measure it), but the brakes require an unusually large amount of force. When I drive a BMW comparison about a year ago, visited the organizers felt the need to warn everyone about the SRX brakes. On the other hand, if you like a very firm brake pedal provides the Cadillac.

Dimensionally four luxury crossover are again similar, and so are all similarly larger and bulkier than the relatively sprightly Audi Q5, BMW X5 and Volvo XC60. The Cadillac feels very solid and has most closely damped suspension of the bunch, but still manages to feel, look taller and bulkier than it really is thanks to numb steering and a remote windshield. If it's not more fun than the other drive as is strictly relative. Of course Cadillac Catering driving enthusiasts tried with the original SRX, and it sold poorly. The current, with its much more mainstream (ie Lexus-like) configuration, the sale is much better.

With respect to the inner dimensions of the Cadillac is not quite measure, with a slightly narrower rear and cargo space than the others. The Acura is the champion here, with a wider cabin and a third row of seats (adults only in a pinch). But Cadillac is not so far behind, that these deficits are deal-killer. The front seat, which is a much higher priority for many buyers, feels quite spacious. What it does not feel: particularly comfortable. The cushion is flat and firm, even hard. Among this year's Cadillacs, only the upcoming XTS has large, cosseting seats many people expect in a Cadillac.

My favorite feature in Cadillac: a rear seat belt reminder that the three in use and lights a warning when an irreversible, while the car is still in motion shows. This feature is very useful if you have kids-no need to check visually whether they already strapped. I expect to find it in the future, more and more car models. Maybe even all of them if car safety authorities of their path.

The tested SRX, the top rim with all-wheel drive and optional dual-screen entertainment system, lists for $ 51,055. Opposite the Lincoln MKX is the Cadillac fixed in $ 500. Ask for the feature differences with True Delta car price comparison tool bumps the Cadillac benefit to $ 2,000 at MSRP, $ 1,100 to account (must Cadillac dealer with particularly stingy margins work). The Lexus is a Cadillac and Lincoln are both syringes. When the RX 350 and SRX both are loaded similar to the Lexus costs about $ 3,000 more-at MSRP. Compare bills, and they are only about $ 400 apart because Lexus dealers to enjoy much more generous margins. Ask grows for the remaining functional differences and the Cadillac price advantage of about $ 1,200. The Acura is priced a little higher than the Lexus. So the Cadillac is actually the least expensive. With the 3820 $ 2.8 turbo, they lost this important benefit. Thus, in this context, the new 3.6-liter engine is very successful.

The rear seat belt reminder does not turn you on? Go over the specs and features, now that the weak base engine history is nothing stands out, positively or negatively? So why choose the Cadillac over the other? One word: styling. The Acura, Lexus and Lincoln are seen nothing special. The last still looks like a bit much … a Ford, the Cadillac with its clunky design and aggressive attitude (with the must-have 20-inch wheels) looks nothing like the other, and nothing like a Chevrolet, either. Instead, it seems crisp and refined, especially in "metallic gray flannel," to compete with the second-generation CTS as the best implementation of the mark of the polarizing art-and-science design language. Perhaps it may not, but you will not mistake it for something else. In terms of sales, many people like it.

Cadillac provided the car with insurance and a tank of gas.

Michael Karesh operates, an online provider of car reliability and real-world fuel economy information.