The best performers never settle, so despite its surging sales numbers, the Cadillac SRX sees some impressive improvements for the 2012 model year. First among them, an aggressive new powertrain that delivers real name recognition to the luxury crossover’s Performance trim.
Outside, the 2012 version of the popular Cadillac crossover stays true to its recent redesign. Attractively styled with a chiseled body and a noticeable chip on its shoulders, the SRX makes some of the imports look soft by comparison. Up front, the Performance trim (starting MSRP $43,830) comes with foglamps and jeweled-appearance high-intensity headlamps with Adaptive Forward Lighting technology (they swivel around corners for enhanced visibility). Features like 20-inch aluminum wheels, a massive UltraView power sunroof and a power liftgate with programmable memory height also come standard.
The crossover’s most dramatic changes come beneath the hood (where else?) where the 2012 Performance – and all other trims, for that matter – comes standard with a single 3.6-liter V6 engine choice. Advanced, efficient and readily equipped with direct-injection technology and variable valve timing, the new V6 generates 308 hp and 265 lb/ft of torque, making it the most powerful standard engine ever built into a luxury crossover.
On the other end of Cadillac’s new engine is standard a six-speed automatic transmission with Driver Shift Control (a sporty clutchless stick shift). The standard automatic operations of the crossover’s transmission are also adjustable, so you can enjoy the gear-clinging growl of a “sport” mode, or the smoother, more fuel conscious gear transitions of an advanced “eco” mode. Depending on how you choose to enjoy it, the EPA estimates that the SRX is capable of achieving up to 24 highway mpg, and smartly does it all on Regular, not Premium, gasoline.
As you’d expect with the Performance trim, the newest SRX gets a finely-tuned sport suspension to accompany its best-in-class standard engine. Continuous Damping adjusts to road conditions every two milliseconds, making for a dynamic, race-inspired ride that’s well complemented by the balance and control of Cadillac’s standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control system. Added confidence, in the form of an Advanced All-Wheel Drive system, is also available on the Performance. The system delivers impressive all-season traction amplified by a rear electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) for enhanced cornering control.
Inside, the SRX is quintessentially Cadillac. Certainly, for those seeking the functionality and spaciousness of an SUV, the SRX delivers impressive passenger space (for up to five), as well as a number of flexible cargo options – over 61 cubic feet of total volume along with an innovative cargo management system – but it’s the luxury and sophistication that will draw drivers. Additional reinforcements and padding, along with triple door seals and laminated glass, make the 2012 model the quietest yet while soft, beautifully-stitched leather and elegant wood trim deliver the unparalleled refinement Cadillac drivers demand.
This year’s Performance comes standard with Bluetooth communication, a push button ignition and a voice-activated Glide-up Touch-Screen Navigation System that rises smoothly from the top of the center stack when summoned. The system also gets an integrated rear-vision camera and a premium, 10-speaker Bose® Surround Sound audio system that sports SiriusXM Radio, a USB port and a pause-and-play radio feature, allowing you to pause, record and replay live radio broadcasts.
For safety, Cadillac supplements the Performance’s advanced steering and control systems with features like rain-sensing wipers, front and rear park assist, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, a tire pressure monitor and passenger-sensing front, side and side-curtain airbags. Every model comes standard with the safety and security of the unparalleled OnStar system, which provides everything from remote door unlock and stolen vehicle location to roadside assistance and automatic crash response.
A luxury crossover by any other name wouldn’t perform as brilliantly as the 2012 Cadillac SRX Performance. Brimming with confident style, bursting with the energy of a new powertrain and steeped in exceptional Cadillac refinement, the SRX is a moving piece of performance art.