The Cadillac SRX has been a sales hit for Cadillac ever since the front-drive based midsize crossover replaced the rear-drive SRX in 2009. While it has undergone some minor changes in the intervening model years, the 2013 Cadillac SRX marks the first significant updates for the present-gen SRX. And like its Traverse, Enclave, and Terrain cousins, which have all also just been updated, it’s showing off for the first time at the 2012 New York auto show.
While most mid-cycle refreshes usually center on exterior and powertrain updates, Cadillac's focus for the 2013 SRX was interior refinement. The SRX's cabin is now allegedly quieter (thanks to active noise cancelation technology), more luxurious (new interior color combinations, steering wheel, and shift knob design), and more tech savvy, with Cadillac's new CUE entertainment system standard on all trim levels.
Short for Cadillac User Experience, CUE is Cadillac's take on MyFord Touch (or more apt for this segment, MyLincoln Touch). As in the XTS and ATS, CUE dominates the 2013 SRX's cabin. CUE replaces the mishmash of audio, HVAC, and comfort controls with four physical buttons (on/off, volume up and down, and home), and an eight-inch touch multi-touch screen with proximity sensing and haptic feedback -- drastically cleaning up the previously busy center stack.
Designed to be familiar to anyone who's ever used an iPhone or iPad, CUE's touch screen allows the driver and passenger to swipe through different screens, scroll, and "spread" to zoom in, or "pinch" to zoom out. CUE will be able to connect to smartphones via a USB port hidden in the center stack behind the CUE display, or wirelessly through Bluetooth.
Not only does CUE simplify the 2013 SRX's center stack and increase its connectivity, but it also changes the SRX's instrument panel design. CUE integrates four driver-selectable digital instrument panel layouts into the SRX. Two of the layouts offer traditional fare, providing your familiar tach, speedo, fuel, and temperature gauges with a vehicle information and media center. The other two layouts are simpler and almost Chevrolet Volt-like. They include just the bare necessities: a digital speedo, fuel gauge, and estimated range, as well as media or navigation information.
While Cadillac’s efforts centered on improving the interior, the 2013 SRX also gets a minor face-lift front and rear. The new SRX features a refreshed upper and lower grille, along with new front fender vents that incorporate LED light pipes. Cadillac also gives the 2013 SRX some new dub love in the form of chrome and polished aluminum 20-inch wheels as part of the SRX Performance and SRX Premium collections -- the two highest trim levels. The Escalade would be proud.
The SRX's safety suite also gets a few significant additions for 2013. On the SRX's option list for 2013 are Cadillac's new Driver Awareness and Driver Assist packages. The packages serve as crash avoidance features --though these are radar-based as opposed to the camera-based system found in the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. The radar-based system allows Cadillac to offer systems like front and rear automatic braking in the 2013 SRX, which helps mitigate front and rear low-speed collisions by warning the inattentive driver, and braking if necessary. Driver Awareness and Driver Assist will also include Volvo-like safety tech including Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and a rear-view camera.
In the powertrain department, however, the song remains the same. Cadillac recently fitted the SRX with a version of GM’s ubiquitous 3.6-liter V-6 as its only engine option, which produces a healthy 308 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed to the front or all wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy will be unchanged – remaining at 17/24 mpg city/highway for the front-drive model, and 16/23 mpg for the all-wheel-drive SRX.
The changes made to the all-new 2013 Cadillac SRX are – forgive the pun – right on CUE. These minor updates will likely help the SRX retain its position as Cadillac's best-seller, and help pay for lower-volume products like the CTS-V Wagon and the upcoming ATS-V. The new standard of the world then, starts here and now.