Sport-utility-vehicles are designed to handle any climate you happen to throw at them. In Canada, the winter is at the foremost of everyone’s thoughts and this one has been particularly consuming. Seemingly, not a day goes by that people aren’t mining their shovels, or dealing with the latest in road delays and potholes. Terrible conditions for any car, in some ways a glorified shovel with the lower ride height and front bumper.
SUVs go through all this undaunted. There’s a purpose, rhyme and reason and Cadillac has produced one of the finer SUVs on the market since the SRX was introduced in 2004. Originally an elongated SUV, the shape of the SRX was destined for an update after Cadillac introduced the Provoq concept in 2008. It set a clear roadmap for what lay ahead.
However, that roadmap is nearing its eventual end. With no concept to show that future, we’re left with only one more piece of evidence. The 2014 Cadillac CTS is an absolute stunner, sharp lines, redesigned front end, great driving dynamics and an improvement in every way, shape and form.
One doesn’t have to look further than what Cadillac has done to their cars in recent years. The ATS, XTS and CTS are the first to see the new face of Cadillac. The SRX is next, potentially bearing the Escalade branding according to recent rumours.
It isn’t time for that just yet though, and the 2014 SRX remains unchanged from the 2013 model year, except for some model tweaking. Gone is a base all-wheel drive model and minor updates to the option packages.
The panoramic roof inside the SRX has always been a staple. It provides ample lighting inside the cabin and can easily brighten even the darkest of colour combinations. Cadillacs always look best in a black-on-black scheme and the dark blue of my tester SRX was close enough. Keeping the thoughts of their target demographic in mind, Cadillac has equipped the SRX with an adjustable power lift gate. With a simple twist of a button, the owner can easily set the vehicle to only open to three quarters of the height originally designed. It’s quite helpful when needing to push the button with two hands full of grocery bags.
Once you get behind the wheel and put the vehicle in reverse, there’s two sudden reactions. One, it’s very difficult to see out the back window. With the sharp lines of the SRX, the rear window size suffered from a functionality standpoint to provide a great stylistic approach. Two, the reverse camera on the large in-dash display quickly helps on that front. Cadillac has outfitted the in-seat CUE vibration system to also vibrate when the sensors pick up an object. It is something that takes some adjusting to get used to.
In the back, the rear storage is quite plentiful, the trunk opens up to reveal a cubbyhole, with a bar system to keep items from bouncing around. Taking a look around the interior appointments, the SRX represents a perfect blend of attractiveness for men, with attention to detail that will please any female. From the swooping style of the door handles, to the silver trim on the buttons operating the windows. I personally love the tasteful blend of wood trim, it is not overdone, and Cadillac manages to get it just right.
From a stylistic point of view, the centre console is stunning but the system behind it is quite puzzling. Cadillac Cue embodies the goal of reducing the buttons and making it helpful for people to operate. Most in-car systems suffer from the need to have every function represented by a button. Cadillac feels otherwise and believes a touch system is the best step forward. The CUE system using haptic feedback to help assist in the confirmation of a command, necessary by the slight lag with each button pressed. I view it more as a forward thinking system, one where hardware will eventually provide a better system. Right now, however, it can be quite frustrating.
Once you set off, the SRX provides a very quite and smooth ride. Active noise cancellation is noticeable and very helpful. It helps brings a certain serenity while driving while listening to your favourite musical track on an enjoyable sound system. In the rear, passengers are greeted with their own entertainment system, two 8-inch pop up screens partnered to a Blu-Ray system with the screens tastefully hidden within the seats. Other than the 2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport we tested earlier this winter, this was the first time I’ve seen a Blu-Ray system in a vehicle.
The factory remote starter was used quite often in these cold winter days. I would personally love it for more manufacturers to incorporate it in their new product offerings. The 308 horsepower from the 3.6L V6 matched to a six speed automatic transmission is adequate. There is a bit of a lag from the AWD overhead but never found myself wishing for more power given the as-tested price just north of $60,000.
With the CTS seeing the light of day this past fall, I can’t help but wait to see Cadillac take this already fine SUV to a new level. The recent introduction of the all-new 2015 Escalade just paved a path directly into the future of its little brother, so there is no doubt that the next SRX will be even better than this one.
2014 Cadillac SRX Gallery