The 3.6L engine has an all-aluminum construction and direct-injection, which allows it to produce more power than most other engines its size while still using regular fuel. Despite its displacement, the new engine is quite efficient, with an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 17 city and 24 highway in front-wheel drive models. A so-called "Eco" mode stretches efficiency to one additional mile per gallon.
The all-wheel-drive system in the SRX can move all available torque to either the front or rear wheels as needed, and it can also divide torque from side to side, so as to allow especially strong grip, even under power on slick roads. And with the base engine, the tow rating is 3,500 pounds -- enough for a small boat or a pair of jet-skis.
The driving experience in the SRX is sophisticated and refined, thanks to the available continuously variable real-time damping system, which adjusts shock rates to road conditions. Speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering gives a sporty feel of the road, and electronic stability control is standard, along with anti-lock brakes.
The SRX has space for five adults in its two seating rows. A cargo management system in back includes a retractable cargo fence to restrain smaller items, along with a track system. The back seats fold flat to expand cargo space when they're not in use.
Materials in the SRX include hand-cut and hand-sewn instrument-panel trim and soft leather upholstery, with matte-metallic accents. The SRX builds on the angular, beveled design theme that most Cadillac vehicles now have, with a prominent center control stack flanked by big, vertical vents.
Standard equipment on the SRX is very generous and includes dual-zone automatic climate control, heated outside mirrors, keyless entry, cruise control, steering-wheel controls and an MP3-compatible Bose 8-speaker CD sound system with XM tuner.
A Luxury Collection package adds lots more, including heated seats, more seat adjustability, wood trim, rain-sensing wipers, a sunroof, a power liftgate, heated steering wheel, remote start and LED lighting accents.
The Performance Collection package adds 20-inch painted cast aluminum wheels with H-rated tires and upgraded steering, plus a navigation system, a rearview camera, and Bose surround-sound audio with a 40GB hard drive, rear-seat audio controls and iPod interface.
A top-of-the-line Premium Collection adds ventilated seats, heated rear seats, 3-zone climate control and forward collision alert as well as a lane departure warning and adaptive headlights.