- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Cadillac’s new SUV crossover vehicle is more sport wagon than most other entries in this new category. Though it has just about all the attributes of a sport utility, this vehicle isn’t as tall nor does it feel as large. Nevertheless, it has plenty of interior room.

Following the new Cadillac edgy styling, the SRX is angular with crisp accent lines. The front end consists of bold accent lines and stark, in-your-face angles. Even the headlights are a bit over the top.

The interior is quite roomy with the typical advanced features you would expect of Cadillac. My test car was equipped with the requisite OnStar communication system. My car was also equipped with the additional third seat, which offers room for seven.

There is strong evidence of shared components across vehicle lines in the SRX. Have a look at the wonderful air-vent controls, those joy sticks are taken directly from the Saab design table. Just like the Saab, they are smooth in operation, offer excellent distribution of air through out the vehicle and look good besides.

The SRX shares the same platform as the CTS sedan. The ridged platform offers a good ride on nearly all surfaces. The base SRX is driven from the rear wheels, while the up-level model moves to all-wheel drive.

Having AWD has definite advantages in foul weather, but I happen to know it also makes good sense on dry surfaces as well. Putting the power of the available V-8 engine through four tires rather than two adds a great deal of stability to the vehicle.

Two versions of the SRX are available. The base model comes with a adequate 260-horsepower V-6 and rear-wheel drive. Moving quickly up the price segment is the all-wheel-drive V-8. But you get a lot for your money, specifically the V-8 power.

This powerful V-8 engine produces 320 horsepower and has ample torque to make cruising to the ski slopes an easy and fun event. You just might leave the skis stored away and drive your SRX up and down the road.

It is obvious Cadillac must feel confident that letting the sun and wind into the passenger compartment is what people want. Here they have featured a nearly full-length sliding sun roof that lets the sun shine in from front seat to the second-row seat.

The one-piece glass roof panel slides up and back to create a wide opening that can be enjoyed by more than the traditional front-seat passenger and driver.

Safety continues to be a major issue with the car-buying public. Cadillac SRX includes anti-locking brakes, traction control, stability control, panic brake assist and, as an option, active ride control. Those components are meant to help keep you out of a collision.

Just in case you get way in over your head and need crash safety, the SRX is equipped with dual front and side air bags as well as side air-curtains for front and second-row seating.

OnStar also helps if you are involved in an accident, as it will call emergency services if an air-bag deployment is monitored.

There is a move by most manufacturers to fill the crossover market and it is getting very competitive. Cadillac has jumped into the fray early on and has added worthy enticement for buyers who want plenty of features in their vehicle, no matter what type they might choose to drive.

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