- - Thursday, May 24, 2012

DETROIT — The summer road trip season is near, meaning millions of drivers are planning getaways - with lots of stuff. The Cadillac SRX crossover’s unique Cargo Management System is designed as an ideal companion for long weekends and driving vacations.

“We put a lot of thought into what kinds of items Cadillac customers would want to bring into the SRX and where they’d want to put them,” said Elizabeth Pilibosian, SRX chief engineer. “The philosophy was not just to maximize total space but to have a place for everything and everything in its place. That makes a huge difference on longer trips.”

The rear compartment Cargo Management System uses a segment-exclusive U-Rail track system with an adjustable cargo fence that segments the area to contain items of various sizes and restrict their movement when the vehicle is in motion. The fence is sturdy, but also easy to move around the U-shaped track to adjust to a variety of positions to suit a range of items and packing arrangements.

The cargo fence can be removed, retracted and conveniently secured beneath the load floor when not in use. An optional cargo net, organizer or area divider may be used in place of the tubular fence. Four steel loops positioned in each corner of the compartment provide convenient connection points for nets or bungee cords that a driver might bring into the vehicle.

The rear compartment’s load floor has a latch that reveals a waterproof bin, measuring 26 by 12 inches by eight inches deep. This easy-to-clean bin is ideal for storing damp or dirty items from a beach trip, or it can be used as a cooler, or to house smaller items under the floor and out of view. A smaller secondary bin holds the vehicle’s tire inflator kit that can be used as a pump for bike tires and beach toys depending on valve compatibility.

Flanking the main bin are two smaller discreetly covered compartments designed to be ideal for stowing small tools, such as a tire pressure gauge. Regular use maintains proper tire pressure, which can help maximize fuel economy.

A two-position cargo shade can be used to conceal the rear compartment when the hatch is closed.

In SRX’s passenger area are several additional storage areas. Each door has upper and lower bins, as does the glove compartment, which can cool fruit and beverages when the air conditioning is on. The center console offers an upper level for small items like an MP3 player or mobile phone, and a lower level for larger items.

The cup holders between the front seats are dual-level as well, with a retractable floor that lets the user go from a small coffee to a “grande” at the flip of a switch The false floor also creates a secret compartment that can hide a wallet or wristwatch.

In front of the cup holders is the SRX’s smallest bin, designed expressly to house mobile phones and sometimes known as the “phone throne.”

Open SRX’s rear programmable liftgate and more than 29 cubic feet of storage space behind the second row seating awaits, more than enough room for four rolling suitcases, sports equipment and sundries. With the 60/40 split rear seats folded flat, the cargo area grows to more than 61 cubic feet to accommodate items like a bike or baby stroller.

“We know that SRX customers are active people who value enriching experiences,” Pilibosian said. “They expect their journey to be just as enjoyable as their destination, and the SRX is tailored to meet their needs and exceed their expectations.”

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