Comparison: 2010 Cadillac SRX vs 2010 Audi Q5

Out German the Germans

We fully expected the SRX to get blown away in terms of driving dynamics by the excellent Q5, but again, it put up a stronger fight than we anticipated. For one, it has better steering, thanks to a precise, smooth ZF rack that's far more natural than the Q5's overly ambitious variable-effort setup, which at times feels as if someone is actually fighting with you for control of the wheel. GM engineers have also managed to out German the Germans in terms of the suspension tuning, as the SRX both rides better and is less prone to body roll than the Q5, which is itself a very buttoned down crossover. Some of the credit goes to the SRX's Haldex-developed electronic limited-slip differential, which can instantly transfer torque from front to back and between the rear wheels. This helps the SRX power out of turns where the Q5 takes a slight, yet definite lean. We must note that the Audi was wearing snow tires versus the SRX's all-seasons, and that our Q5 lacks the optional Drive Select, which brings on adjustable dampers and steering effort. Still, the fact that Cadillac has baked enough poise into its crossover to outdance an Audi is impressive.

Unfortunately, the SRX's advantages in the lateral motion department simply can't make up for its glaring deficiencies when it comes to accelerating or stopping. The turbo V-6 reads like a fine engine, as it offers significantly more power and torque than the Q5's larger 3.2-liter V-6. Alas, it's a paper tiger. Through most of the rev range, it provides less satisfying grunt than it does unrefined groaning, never feeling like it's serving up the promised 295 lb-ft of torque. In contrast, the Audi six, despite being rated at 270 hp and a mere 243 lb-ft of torque, always seems to be in its sweet spot, providing easy, smooth thrust no matter how fast you're going. No surprise, then, that in our previous testing the Q5 has accelerated to 60 mph a full second faster than the SRX and maintains this advantage through the quarter mile. It also stops shorter, with responsive, grippy brakes that instill much more confidence than the underboosted pedal on the SRX. Did we mention that the Q5 is also more efficient (18/23 mpg versus the SRX's 15/22 mpg)? Some of this owes to the Q5's near 300-pound weight advantage, but there's no getting around the fact that the Cadillac is stuck with an inferior powertrain and poor brake tuning. The 2.8-liter, originally developed by Saab, is not long for this world, as it does not meet upcoming emissions requirements. We say good riddance.

Conclusion

You're probably noticing a theme here. The Cadillac SRX Turbo has lots of charm and does many things well, but it also suffers from a few substantial weaknesses. And though none of these flaws necessarily make the Cadillac SRX a bad vehicle, they become all the more glaring when compared with the Audi Q5, which is every bit as charismatic and has the quality and substance to back it up. A few tweaks to address interior quality, better brakes, and a stronger powertrain would make the SRX a clear champion, but until then, the well-rounded Audi Q5 remains our crossover of choice.

theroider
Don't worry about my one purchase, Plato. Why not go after the NY Yankees who have chosen Audi as its premier sponsor.
Plato
Nice job guys. You had the chance to funnel nearly $50k into the desparate U.S. economy...and chose NOT to do so. I guess self preservation isn't a high priority in the premium automobile market.
theroider
Ended up going with the Q5. Picking it up Saturday.
theroider
I haven't made up my mind yet on either vehicle.I did do some further checking and, you are correct about the rear air bags. Turns out that both the SRX and Q5 have rear curtain airbags. The optional rear air bags on the Q5 are not safe for a child so this is now a non-factor.
theroider
Makemineblack,$8k? Again, where are you getting your numbers?Here is a quote from a local dealer for an SRX 2.8T with the Performance Package & Rear DVD:I'm pleased to present your price quote on the 2010 Cadillac SRX. MSRP =$51185Gold Coast Exclusive Internet Price =$48566Your "Exclusive Gold Coast Savings" =$2569I came away with the following from an enlightening (doh!) visit to a local Audi dealer: Triple black Q5 with Premium Plus, Nav, 19" wheels, BO Entertainment, All-weather Matts - $47,115 MSRP - sales price $45,450.Now, I'll save you the subtraction. The Audi is $3,116 less than the SRX.Let me go on - let's say I get them to do the DVD for $2k. The Audi is now $1,116 less.Going a bit further, the Caddy dealer was going to give me an extra $1,000 on my trade (times 7% sales tax in NJ) making the Audi $46 less.Rather than come across as rude and obnoxious, try backing your thoughts up with facts.
catch-me-if-u-can
u know i'm definitely gonna stand by the guy whos actually purchasing the vehicle here. Its true that lots of high-end automakers offer little features in what should be standard equipment. So, don't try to prove an unsupported point. Nevertheless, the Caddy costs 8k more, so $2300- still an outrageous amount- are still a better deal
makemineblack
hey theroider for the 8k you are willing to spend to have your cockpit heated in the mornings your could instead just hire one of the 10.5% unemployed for a lot less to come over and start it for you, keep the change and get the q5 with dvd. maybe spend less time being "enlightened" and do some fact checking. even an idiot knows rear seat airbags are NOT meant for kids. it can be as dangerous as putting them in front of the passenger seat airbag. look it up. guess the caddy dealer neglected to mention it. or maybe that little factoid isnt as important as keeping the junior "roid" happy watching spongebob in the back seat.
theroider
Mr. SStreak:Yes, I do think they are important and should have been noted by the reviewer. Why else would I have mentioned it if I didn't think they were important?Q5's may be in high demand now, but I'm not sure where you're getting your info. In December, 2009, per http://www.autoobserver.com/2010/01/december-sales-provide-hopeful-farewell-to-last-year.html, 1717 Q5's were sold. Per http://caddyinfo.com/wordpress/?p=4342 4,986 SRX's were sold in the same month.I say my trip to the Audi dealer was enlightening. I did find out that Audi does not offer a remote starter in any of its vehicle.You may find these points trivial, but for someone who will be having a 7-year old riding in the back, the rear seat DVD is a necessity as are air bags. And $2300 is an outrageous price to charge for an aftermarket unit.
SStreak
To Mister theroider - So you consider those 3 points significant? I think you'll be in the minority. Q5's are in large demand right now, can you guess why?
theroider
Here are three significant points to consider if you have children (or anyone for that matter) who will be riding in the backseat:A rear seat DVD is not an option on the Q5. I test drove one today and was told they could install one for me for no less than $2295. Wow!Rear airbags are an option on the Q5. Can you imagine that airbags are an option on a $45k vehicle?Finally, and important to me as I live in the cold northeast, the Q5 does not offer a remote starter. The salesman explained that it has to do with electrical problems. Whoa.My choices are between the SRX 2.8T and Q5. Visiting the Audi dealer today and test driving the Q5 was enlightening to say the least. I am glad that I went. I think these glaring oversites on the part of Audi should have been caught and disclosed by Automobile Mag and the other car magazines. I have done extensive reading online and can't say I saw these points mentioned in any of the articles.
Speed_3
Oh and I guess the Caddy costs an extra 8K...um no thanks! The SRX deserves a better engine (and more expensive looking headlights while they are at it).
ZCaT
Cadillac, a little less refined but more$$$?I bought my CTS new in 2003. I currently have 145,000 on it. It shakes, rattles, and rolls, and has a tranny leak, a rear end leak, and a slight coolant leak. There are more noises with this car than a 1-man band. If it weren't for my current financial woes, I would dump it in a heartbeat.So.... no, it doesn't surprise me to hear this report on a Cadillac product.

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