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2013 Cadillac SRX Step Up to Luxury>

If you’re looking for a midsize luxury SUV, there are plenty to choose from. If you want to buy from an American manufacturer, your options drop drastically. Lincoln has the MKX (soon to be replaced by the MKC), and the 2013 Cadillac SRX. Chrysler doesn’t have an offering in this segment. So with only two choices, the SRX doesn’t have to try hard to impress. But Cadillac knows that buyers don’t just consider who builds it, but rather what luxury features it has to offer. Put the SRX up against the Lexus RX 350 or the Audi Q5, and the competition suddenly gets stiffer. But that’s not a problem for the SRX, with its angled good looks, high-end luxury features, and competitive price.
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The SRX has been around a while in this iteration, so for 2013 it gets a freshening, with a new upper and lower grille and front fender vents with LED light pipes (really cool). While it doesn’t make the SRX drastically different, it’s enough for spotters to tell the difference between old and new.
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Inside, the 2013 SRX’s biggest changes are the addition of its CUE in-vehicle operations system and the active noise cancellation, which dramatically increases the quietness of the cabin. The SRX is one of the oldest models in Cadillac’s lineup, but with the beautiful Sapele wood trim and high-end leather seating surfaces, there’s nothing to complain about.

We took the SRX for a drive on one of our favorite twisty canyon roads that drops us off on Pacific Coast Highway. We fully expected the SRX to have a fair amount of body roll as it sits up high like most SUVs, but we were quite surprised at the SRX’s capable handling, tight steering, and decent power. Speaking of power, there’s only one engine for the SRX: GM’s workhorse 3.6-liter V6 that makes an impressive 308 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed transmission that produces well-spaced shifts. For those who aren’t happy with the front-drive SRX’s 17/24 mpg numbers city/highway, there’s an Eco mode that nets a one-mpg boost by altering the shift points.
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Plenty of technology has been added to SRX for 2013 through Driver Awareness and Driver Assist packages. Included in those packages are features like forward collision alert, lane departure warning, rear vision camera, and a safety alert seat that vibrates if you drift out of your lane.

The system that buyers will either love or hate is CUE. For those who love technology and playing with new gadgets, learning and using this system will be relatively easy once you spend some time with the functions and features. For those who panic using a cell phone, the CUE will make you cry. But we think its operation is fairly straightforward, and allows access to everything from climate to navigation to audio via the steering wheel, voice controls or touchscreen in the console.
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So how much for the luxury? The SRX comes in Standard, Luxury, Performance, and Premium, and in two- or four-wheel drive, and starts at just over $38,000 with a top-end price of $48,815. Load it up with the Driver Assist package, and you’re still sliding in under $50K. That’s comparable to the other vehicles in the segment. But it’s not about price at this level of the game; it’s about style and substance. For most folks, they’ll find that in abundance in the 2013 SRX.

Written by BJ Killeen test driven and photographed by Christina Selter