The Cadillac brand has always been synonymous with American luxury but I never truly grasped the nuances of the brand until getting behind the wheel of the 2013 Cadillac SRX. Not only is this crossover SUV absolutely stunning but it’s full of thoughtful features that help enhance the driver and passenger experience and make it a pleasure to drive. Little Miss Techie and I hit the road with Elena Sonnino and her daughter for an unforgettable mother-daughter road trip to New York City and rode in style and comfort while putting the SRX through its paces.
What We Loved
Everything. Is it ok to say that? Because it’s true.
Not only is the Cadillac SRX an incredibly smooth ride that exudes class but it differentiates from other cars on the market in its class by being a luxury brand that focuses on the big picture as well as the details. The car was full of little luxuries such as a heated steering wheel, lit USB port inside the front center console, Bose Surround Sound for the ultimate in-car entertainment experience, and heated seats that have migrated from a luxury to an essential in my book. Gorgeous brushed chrome plus sapele wood (an African hardwood similar to mahogany- yes, I had to look that up!) trim provides a visual delight while the leather seats are soft and supple, making them so pleasing to the touch.
There is nothing standard about the features in the Cadillac SRX. What other auto manufacturers may bill as top of the line, Cadillac simply does better.
- The video entertainment system doesn’t just play DVDs, it plays Blu-rays and is the first car to do so (more info in Geek Factor below!).
- The ultraview power sunroof is unlike any other thanks to the wide expanse of glass that stretched along the majority of the car’s ceiling as well as seemed to curve around the sides. Clean lines mean that all these great features are hidden, making them a delight to discover.
- The safety features include a rear vision camera, side blind zone alert in the mirror, but also the tactile sensation of the seat vibrating ever so gently if you happen to veer too close a lane line. Veer too close on the left and the left side of the seat vibrates while the right will vibrate alerting you to possible danger on that side of the car.
The Cadillac SRX comes with the Cadillac User Experience, or CUE System, that features touch screen controls on an 8″ screen that can be used to operate everything from the temperature inside the car, navigation, phone, video, and audio system including Pandora radio and XM. The CUE System is reminiscent of the touch screen experience with smartphones and tablets but it senses the proximity of your hand and provides tactile feedback when you tap a button so you can keep your eyes on the road instead of looking at the screen. Tap and swipe to put a wealth of information at your fingertips whether using the touch screen or touch sensitive chrome bar at the bottom of the screen. The voice activated commands also allow for added convenience and safety for hands-free use of your Bluetooth paired smartphone, OnStar system, and navigation.
According to Shannon Chiarcos, the mom engineer behind the 2013 Cadillac SRX technology, the CUE System represents a trend towards highly usable systems that are pleasing to the user. Chiarcos said that this not only makes vehicles fun and interesting but also “friendly and reminiscent of things you carry every day like cell phones, tablets, and laptops” to represent a cohesive and continuing experience.
The Cadillac SRX is the first vehicle to feature Blu-ray. Chiarcos calls this a “claim to fame” but it’s just another way Cadillac sets itself apart from other car manufacturers by providing HD video as part of the vehicle’s rear seat entertainment system. The SRX also features a game style remote control that can be used to operate the entertainment features. Unlike other remotes, it’s held horizontally instead of vertically to mirror game console controllers.
The Cadillac SRX allows for passengers to be doing different things while riding in the car. While we didn’t have an opportunity to fully experience this because both girls were enthralled with movie watching during the ride, theoretically our 6 year old could watch a movie, our 9 year old could listen to her iPod, while my husband and I could be in the front seat can be listening to XM.
As technology becomes more integrated into our lives, Chiarcos says that Cadillac will continue to focus how the experience will be personal to the vehicle and environment. In-car technology will be an integrated experience and in the future, she sees it including elements like interactive travel games that kids can be play with the person next to them or even information about historic sites that appear on the screen as you approach them during your travels.
One of the only drawbacks of so much technology is that the CUE system does take a little while to learn. We were flummoxed about how to operate the video system at first using the touch screen especially since we didn’t get the remote as part of our ride and drive. By the time we were on our way home from New York City, we were a little more accustomed to CUE. We realized that the video system is disabled while the vehicle is in motion for safety purposes and starting a DVD or Blu-ray can only be done while the car is in park. We were also fortunate to not have to experience the weather alerts. The CUE System provides weather advisories but we had gorgeous weather during our road trip.
The girls enjoyed the ability to watch movies to and from New York City. With headphones on after they had exhausted show tunes, Elena and I had some quiet time and a chance to talk uninterrupted. Imagine that!
The expansive ultraview power sunroof was also a huge hit as we drove into Manhattan. Both girls discovered that they could fit through the top to snap some photos of the Statue of Liberty before we arrived in the city. (Sorry for the feet on the seats but at least they had their shoes off!)
It also allowed the girls to look up at the skyline instead of just peering out of their individual windows. Take a look at some of the pictures Little Miss Techie took of the skyline above!
They also loved the spacious back seat which provided plenty of legroom and space between them for recently acquired swag from the KidVuz Fashion Tweenstas event, purchase from the American Girl store, backpacks filled with who-knows-what, and snacks. Just look at what the back seat of the car looked like during our trip!
And the trunk after our weekend of fun! Luckily we didn’t need to put the seats down to take advantage of the 60 cubic feet of cargo space after our weekend!
With plenty of room between two booster seats, our 95 pound Yellow Labrador was able to fit nicely in the back seat and also in the rear cargo area. Oliver made himself comfortable and would like Cadillac and readers to note how nicely he matches the interior of the vehicle, therefore reducing visible dog hair in the vehicle. Woof!
At the Pump
With standard SUVs ranging from 12-28 MPG, the Cadillac SRX has a combined city/highway fuel economy of 18 MPG.
- City = 16 MPG
- Highway = 23 MPG
- 5.4 MPG per 100 miles
- I drove the 2013 Cadillac SRX AWD Performance Collection with a Silver Coast Metallic exterior and Shale with Brownstone interior.
- Total vehicle price with options and destination charge= $51,125
If you’re looking for a luxury SUV, consider a Cadillac SRX if you’re considering the following vehicles:
- Volvo XC90
- Acura MDX
- Mercedes M-Class
- BMW X3 or X5
- GMC Terrain Denali
- GMC Acadia
- Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Cadillac loaned me the Cadillac SRX for review purposes. Car related costs such as gas, parking, and tolls for our mother-daughter trip to Manhattan were personally paid for. All opinions are my own. No compensation was received for this post.