The first-generation SRX was a very capable crossover vehicle, but it languished on the sales floor, so Cadillac switched things up with the second-generation SRX in 2010. Gunning directly for the Lexus RX350, Cadillac abandoned rear-wheel drive and launched a new SRX that could be ordered with either front- or four-wheel drive. Its tidier dimensions meant that there was no longer a seven-passenger option, making the new SRX strictly a five-seater. Two years on, the second-generation SRX still trails its Lexus competition but has managed to close the gap considerably. For 2012, Cadillac did away with the previous V-6s -- a 3.0-liter and a turbo 2.8-liter -- and replaced them with an E85-capable, 3.6-liter, direct-injected V-6. The new engine and a new six-speed automatic transmission propel the crossover with ease, although the SRX's hefty 4277-pound curb weight is felt under braking and cornering. The chassis and suspension have also been tweaked, and with either the standard eighteen-inch or optional twenty-inch wheels, the SRX is composed over almost any road surface. The SRX is much sportier than the Lexus, but it won't ever be mistaken for a track-day toy. The SRX is a handsome vehicle, with creased character lines, angular fascia treatments, and tail-fin-reminiscent LED taillights. The cabin mixes supple leather with high-quality plastics and aluminum trim, and its controls are logical and easy to use. Front-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is available on all but the base model.
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