The Sport Utility Vehicle market is seemingly reaching its saturation point. One national consumer automotive publication divides the market into compact, midsize, premium, large and premium large SUV categories. And there’s also the crossover category — SUVs with car-based platforms instead of truck-based platforms.
Add it all up while also considering the various configurations of various manufacturers’ models and there are nearly 90 available SUVs in the United States. The 2007 Cadillac SRX 4-door wagon is listed in the premium midsize SUV category, and it offers an attractive combination of luxury, performance and styling.
My weekly driver was the four-door V6 model (there’s also a V8). The V6 includes a 3.6-liter, 260-horsepower engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. The SRX already had a strong performance reputation, but its interior design and material use were often criticized. This year, the higher-grade materials are featured in its near-complete interior makeover. The console layout and instrumentation panel and overall dash features are more attractive and more functional. Wood accents are used generously.
The SRX has a third seat that’s engaged by the driver. A third seat isn’t available in the Mercedes Benz ML, Infiniti FX or Lexus RX, and that gives the Cadillac the edge with a “true” seven-passenger capacity. When the third seat is folded flush, there’s 32 cubic feet of cargo space. And with the second seating row also folded, there’s a cavernous 70 cubic feet of cargo space.
The rear seat spaciousness further compliments the front-seat roominess. There are premium midsize SUVs with more interior space, but not among the Cadillac’s aforementioned primary competitors.
Driving the SRX is nothing short of delightful. It offers the usual comfortable, confident Cadillac ride, particularly with the SUV’s adaptive suspension]]> system called Magnetic Ride Control, a $1,650 option. Introduced in the 2002 Cadillac Seville, the independent suspension system uses sensors to near instantaneously reduce driving noise, vibration and harshness.
The SRX offers appreciable acceleration and steady power throughout various speed ranges. But it’s particularly impressive cruising along the freeway with authority. Front seat occupants have an elevated seating position, and the vehicle offers superior road vision.
The SRX base price is slightly under $37,000, but that’s where the Cadillac’s one issue commences. It has a long list of standard features, but to appreciate many of the vehicle’s available niceties — independent rear air conditioning to the Bose cabin surround audio system — requires the Premium Luxury Collection. It’s a hard-to-pass-up selection. But it’s also a $7,500 option.
Combine the two options with two smaller fee ($150) for the wood-accented steering wheel and the destination fee ($750) and the SRX’s total price is catapulted past $46,000.
A $10,000 increase from the base price is cause for reflection. But the SRX, the smaller, more agile and angularly style sibling of the popular Escalade provides a fine example of how Cadillac has built its longstanding reputation as a luxury vehicle with a justifiable price.
The Weekly Driver: 2007 Cadillac SRX
Safety Features – Dual front side, front side and second-row curtain side airbags.
Fuel Mileage (estimates) – 16 mpg (city), 23 mpg (highway).
Warranty – Bumper to bumper, 4 years/50,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/100,000 miles; Corrosion, 6 years/unlimited miles; (24-hour) roadside assistance program, 4 years/50,000 miles.
Base Price – $36,745.00