Summer RoadTrip? Think Cadillac SRX

DETROIT – The summer road trip season is near, meaning millions of drivers are planning getaways – with lots of stuff. The Cadillac SRX crossover’s unique Cargo Management System is designed as an ideal companion for long weekends and driving vacations.


“We put a lot of thought into what kinds of items Cadillac customers would want to bring into the SRX and where they’d want to put them,” said Elizabeth Pilibosian, SRX chief engineer. “The philosophy was not just to maximize total space but to have a place for everything and everything in its place. That makes a huge difference on longer trips.”

The rear compartment Cargo Management System uses a segment-exclusive U-Rail track system with an adjustable cargo fence that segments the area to contain items of various sizes and restrict their movement when the vehicle is in motion. The fence is sturdy, but also easy to move around the U-shaped track to adjust to a variety of positions to suit a range of items and packing arrangements.

The cargo fence can be removed, retracted and conveniently secured beneath the load floor when not in use. An optional cargo net, organizer or area divider may be used in place of the tubular fence. Four steel loops positioned in each corner of the compartment provide convenient connection points for nets or bungee cords that a driver might bring into the vehicle.

The rear compartment’s load floor has a latch that reveals a waterproof bin, measuring 26 by 12 inches by eight inches deep. This easy-to-clean bin is ideal for storing damp or dirty items from a beach trip, or it can be used as a cooler, or to house smaller items under the floor and out of view. A smaller secondary bin holds the vehicle’s tire inflator kit that can be used as a pump for bike tires and beach toys depending on valve compatibility.

Flanking the main bin are two smaller discreetly covered compartments designed to be ideal for stowing small tools, such as a tire pressure gauge. Regular use maintains proper tire pressure, which can help maximize fuel economy.

A two-position cargo shade can be used to conceal the rear compartment when the hatch is closed.

In SRX’s passenger area are several additional storage areas. Each door has upper and lower bins, as does the glove compartment, which can cool fruit and beverages when the air conditioning is on. The center console offers an upper level for small items like an MP3 player or mobile phone, and a lower level for larger items.

The cup holders between the front seats are dual-level as well, with a retractable floor that lets the user go from a small coffee to a “grande” at the flip of a switch The false floor also creates a secret compartment that can hide a wallet or wristwatch.

In front of the cup holders is the SRX’s smallest bin, designed expressly to house mobile phones and sometimes known as the “phone throne.”

Open SRX’s rear programmable liftgate and more than 29 cubic feet of storage space behind the second row seating awaits, more than enough room for four rolling suitcases, sports equipment and sundries. With the 60/40 split rear seats folded flat, the cargo area grows to more than 61 cubic feet to accommodate items like a bike or baby stroller.

“We know that SRX customers are active people who value enriching experiences,” Pilibosian said. “They expect their journey to be just as enjoyable as their destination, and the SRX is tailored to meet their needs and exceed their expectations.”

Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. More information on Cadillac can be found at

2013 Cadillac SRX enters on Cue

NEW YORK – Cadillac introduces technology and design enhancements to the SRX luxury crossover SUV this week at the New York International Auto Show. Among the new features for 2013 is CUE, the in-vehicle user experience that incorporates touch-screen controls similar to the most popular mobile devices.

The 2013 SRX’s enhanced technology also contributes to safety, with Cadillac’s new Driver Awareness and Driver Assist technology packages. Their features include Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Cadillac’s Safety Alert Seat technology, Automatic Front and Rear Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control and more, using radar and other technologies to help avoid collisions.

2013 Cadillac SRX courtesy Cadillac

Interior and exterior design updates further distinguish the 2013 SRX, while active noise cancelation technology helps provide a quieter driving experience. It goes on sale this fall.

“The 2013 SRX illustrates the Cadillac philosophy of never leaving well enough alone,” said Don Butler, vice president of marketing for Cadillac. “The enhancements for the SRX – including CUE – are examples of how we’re developing advanced technologies and pushing them consistently through the Cadillac portfolio. They are also some of the key elements of the all-new XTS luxury sedan and ATS compact sedan, which will expand the Cadillac portfolio this summer.”

Since its redesign in 2009, the SRX has established a strong visual signature for Cadillac in the luxury crossover segment. The 2013 SRX refines that appearance with a new design for the front upper and lower grilles that conveys greater depth and the brand’s attention to detail. The front fender vents are new and incorporate LED light pipes.

Three new exterior colors are offered: Evolution Green Metallic, Glacier Blue Metallic and Silver Coast Metallic. Also new is the SRX’s range of 20-inch wheel designs, including new chrome and polished aluminum wheels for the Performance and Premium Collections – the top two option packages.

The SRX is offered in FWD and Advanced AWD models, each powered by a 3.6L Direct Injection V-6 that was added for 2012. It is rated an SAE-certified 308 horsepower (230 kW) and 265 lb.-ft. of torque (358 Nm).

Cadillac CUE

Cadillac CUE (Cadillac User Experience) is standard on the 2013 SRX. It is the brand’s new design and technical breakthrough for intuitive in-vehicle control and connectivity.

CUE pairs entertainment and information data from up to 10 Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, USBs, SD cards and MP3 players with a vehicle infotainment system that reduces complexity through customized information, voice commands and fewer buttons and larger icons. The comprehensive, in-vehicle experience is designed to be unique for each consumer, from the “simple user” to the fully connected “super user.”

The heart of CUE is the vibrant, eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen – with proximity sensing and haptic feedback – that is seamlessly integrated in the top of the central instrument panel. It displays CUE’s home page, which resembles a smart phone’s screen, with large, easy-to-target icons that execute commands. Capacitive technology on the screen and faceplate enables consumers to use the same “swipe,” “pinch” or “spread” gestures common to most popular smartphones and tablets.

A motorized faceplate for the system reveals a concealed storage area for smartphones or other mobile devices and includes an illuminated USB port.

Interior enhancements

CUE is the foundation for the 2013 SRX’s enhanced driving experience and is complemented with additional features and design refinements:

  • Standard HD radio
  • Bluetooth audio streaming is available for all collections
  • A USB port in the storage bin behind the CUE faceplate
  • The center console now features two additional USB ports, an SD card slot auxiliary input jack and 12-volt power outlet
  • New headphone and remote design for the rear-seat entertainment system, which also includes a rear USB port and SD card slot
  • New shift knob design
  • New steering wheel design
  • New instrument cluster with new driver information center for CUE integration.

Active noise cancelation is new for 2013 and helps create a quieter driving experience. The system uses microphones to detect ambient noise, the frequencies of which are processed by a computer that directs counteracting sound waves through the audio system to tailor the sound quality and character inside the cabin.

A new Light Titanium interior color combination is added and matched with a new Raven Sapele wood color accent.

Popular interior features returning for 2013 include keyless access, ambient lighting, power-adjustable pedals, heated front and rear outboard seats, heated steering wheel and the UltraView power sunroof.

‘Control and alert’ safety features

SRX is the latest to incorporate Cadillac’s “control and alert” strategy that employs advanced technologies – including radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors – to help prevent crashes. The safety features are part of Cadillac’s new Driver Awareness and Driver Assist technology packages.

The advanced technologies bolster driver vision and awareness of road hazards, intervening to help the driver avert potential collisions. In some cases, Cadillac’s crash-avoidance systems will act without the driver, such as automatic braking, which activates based on information indicating potential hazards.

Radar-based adaptive cruise control and front and rear automatic braking are available. Front and rear automatic braking relies on short-range radar technology and ultrasonic sensors to help the driver prevent front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary. Additional advanced safety features offered on the 2013 SRX’s Driver Awareness and Driver Assist packages include:

  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
  • Safety Alert Seat.

Side blind zone alert and rear cross traffic alert are standard. Each uses radar to detect vehicles that may be out of the driver’s vision, providing visual alerts in the outside mirrors and, in the case of rear cross traffic alert, audible warnings. StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control, and four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS are also standard, along with:

  • Dual-stage frontal and side-impact driver and right-front passenger air bags.
  • Head-curtain side-impact air bags.
  • Rollover mitigation sensors.
  • Front safety belt pretensioners and load limiters.

The SRX is also designed to meet European pedestrian protection standards, with the front bumper positioned for greater compatibility with car bumpers.

The most economical Cadillac since 1984…

After debating the fuel economy of the 3.6L Cadillac SRX versus her competitors, I wondered what the most economical recent Cadillac was.  The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes comparative miles per gallon for a variety of models since 1984 at  Because the test model changes from time to time, the charts for all years are kept up to date to the current test specs.  The original window sticker values for each model using the test at the time are also available.

2012 Cadillac CTS

For the 2012 models, the Cadillac CTS 3.6L RWD Sedan or Coupe are the leaders, at 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.  The DTS that ended production in 2011 on the current test would do 15/23, so no improvement there.  The SRX is heavier with the same drivetrain, so worse mileage than the CTS.  The 2008 XLR got a similar 15/24 mpg.  The 2010 Cadillac CTS with 3L V6 and manual transmission was 16/26; close, but no cigar.

The Escalade Hybrid comes to mind, and it does very well for a fullsize SUV at 20/23 mpg for the RWD model.  Still worse mileage than the CTS.

If one goes all the way back to 2003, the CTS had a 3.2L V6 and could be had with a manual transmission, but hit 17/24 mpg.  The 3L Catera? 16/23 mpg.

Diesel Seville?  Nope, under the current system a 1985 Cadillac Seville Diesel would be rated today at 17/26 mpg.   It was rated 19/28 mpg at the time.

To beat the current 318 hp CTS 3.6L we have to go all the way back to the 1984 model, 2L, 4-cylinder manual transmission Cadillac Cimarron.  On today’s test it would be rated 21/31 mpg.  Now, the difference in performance between a 2L Cimarron and a 3.6L CTS is beyond remarkable.  But the little-loved Cimarron was certainly economical.

If we include export models, the Cadillac BLS with 1.9L diesel was rated in the UK at 49.6mpg for imperial fuel mileage, urban combined.  An imperial gallon is 4.546L and  a US gallon is 3.785L, so that would appear to be around 41 mpg after conversion, but is not done to the same test method. It stands to reason that if we had EPA figures, the Cadillac BLS would be the most economical recent Cadillac.

In the absence of a home market BLS or other 1.9L Turbo-Diesel however, the current Cadillac CTS is in fact the most economical Cadillac sold in the US since the Cimarron.  We’ll see how the upcoming Cadillac ATS fares with its 2.5L 4-cylinder standard engine — it should be our new MPG leader.