Cadillac's SRX has grown beyond its sporty wagon pretensions and is now targeting the heart of the luxury crossover market. The strategy seems to be working, as it's already selling much better than the outgoing model (which, we should note, won a few Automobile Magazine All-Star awards in its time), and yet, it seems Cadillac isn't quite ready to give up on having some high-roof fun. To that end, the premium model featured here has ditched the wheezy base 3.0-liter V-6 and standard front-wheel-drive configuration in favor of a turbocharged, 2.8-liter V-6 producing 300 hp and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive - the same setup found in the Saab 9-3 Aero and Opel Insignia OPC. Given these macho specs, we thought it was time to measure the SRX against the best in its class, which, in our estimation, means the Audi Q5. The Q5 won our three-way crossover shootout last year and has since become a well-regarded member of our Four Seasons fleet for its sporting demeanor, handsome exterior, and, yes, Audi-like interior. Does it have what it takes to fend off the brasher and more powerful Cadillac? Read on for our impressions.
Eyes on me
Audi has risen from something of an also-ran to a luxury leader over the last decade thanks largely to its expressive design language. The Q5 continues Audi's winning streak, successfully scaling down the shape of the handsome Q7 and flashing high-dollar cues like LED daytime running lamps. Of course, Cadillac has enjoyed a design renaissance of its own in recent years and hasn't let up with the SRX. From some angles the styling can appear a bit busy, but overall, the trademark angular design does a great job of visually shrinking a vehicle that's actually eight inches longer and more than an inch wider than the Q5. Really, there's no wrong choice here - both crossovers carry out the distinct, premium language of their brand without being stale - but we'd give the slight edge to the fresher Cadillac.