2013 Cadillac SRX | Road Test

Posted on May 2, 2013 by

Quick Review

GoodGood Sharp looks, quiet cabin, Smooth Transmission
BadBadMassive blind spots, CUE feels like works in progress
SpecsSpecs308 hp, 356 Nm, AWD, 6-speed automatic transmission
PricePriceAED 175,000 (Base) AED 205,000 (Full Options)
RatingEditors Rating Three Star

Form over function?


Subtle changes to the 2013 SRX retains its modern design

Back in the 80’s a Cadillac was defined by an over sized body with a luxurious interior that wafted over tarmac. Fast forward to today and you have a compact-ish design dominated by right angles for a body and a car that doesn’t handle like a boat. Ok so maybe there is a bit of exaggeration there but since Cadillac underwent a major makeover they now have striking designs (what Cadillac calls the “Art and Science Era”) and excellent technology.

Cadillac SRX f3q

Now there is a smart looking crossover

The 2013 is not completely new compared to the outgoing version. Instead it merely gets a few tweaks, both, on the outside and the inside to differentiate it from the outgoing model. There is no denying the SRX looks beautiful and the subtle changes to the 2013 model only makes it better looking.

Sharp edges continue through to the rear of the car

Sharp edges continue through to the rear of the car

 Step into the cabin however and the changes are a lot more prominent. The SRX now features active noise cancellation which does a pretty good job in isolating you from external sounds ensuring a quiet and comfortable ride. The 2013 Cadillac SRX gets the CUE treatment. CUE stands for Cadillac User Experience and what it basically does is clean up the entire centre console offering very few buttons that are now touch sensitive along with an 8 inch multi-touch screen sitting on top. Aesthetically, it completes the futuristic design of the 2013 Cadillac SRX on the inside. The dash is now neat and looks beautiful. But that is about it. Air conditioning and the radio are the 2 most used features in any car and having to use a touchscreen to control them can get a little annoying. Add to that the CUE itself can be a little unresponsive at times.There is a nice little storage space behind the touchscreen which has a switch that is also touch sensitive keeping the dash extremely clean and free of buttons. However with Cadillac going a bit overboard on the button free dash and the general exterior design it has taken away a bit of practicality.

Cadillac SRX Interior

The entire focus on the 2013 Cadillac SRX is on the CUE

The sloping windshield along with the sharp edged design means the A and C pillars are massive and very obstructive to your vision. Once behind the wheel, looking out is quite a task and leads to massive blind spots. Thankfully the 2013 Cadillac SRX comes with a blind spot indicator. On most cars it is an added feature that helps make your driving experience safer. In the SRX however, it is a necessity. The electric seat can be adjusted in height allowing you better visibility but you end up sitting in an awkward position with your head scraping against the roofline. The quality of materials is excellent with the feel and finish befitting a Cadillac.


Rear passengers can rest their bottom on  leather upholstered seats while legroom is plenty

Rear passengers can rest their bottom on leather upholstered seats while legroom is plenty

So the 2013 Cadillac SRX, looks like a crossover, has the practicality and space that you would get with one but does it drive like one? Yes and No. The ride is firm and quite responsive and as long as it is driven reasonably(read gently) there isn’t too much body roll. However, crossovers are meant to be nimble and offer sedan like handling while offering a much better seating position. The 2013 Cadillac SRX is anything but nimble. Put your foot down and you can feel the weight of the car as it surges forward. This does make you underestimate the acceleration clouding your sense of speed in the posh noise free cabin. There is active noise cancellation now and it does an excellent job at masking out most sounds adding to the already comfortable interior. The only noise that creeped in was wind noise at highway speeds which probably seemed louder than it actually was due to the other sounds being masked out. This is not a car that likes to be driven hard. Cruising on the highway is what it does best and at that it does not disappoint.


There's enough space to carry a weekend's worth of camping supplies

There’s enough space to carry a weekend’s worth of camping supplies

What did seem quite odd was the extremely heavy steering which didn’t quite fit in. You would expect a lighter steering to go with the plush interior and comfortable ride. The 2013 Cadillac SRX comes with a bose sound system with multiple USB inputs and bluetooth connectivity to make/receive calls as well as stream music. Pairing the phone was fairly simple but the system did seem to have a few bugs. After numerous attempts I failed to dial a number on the phone and get the audio from the car speakers. The only way this would work was if I answered a call using the bluetooth system or dialed a number using the touchscreen. Dialling a number using your phone is definitely a lot safer and easier than using the touchscreen to dial a number. Not sure what Caddillac was thinking on this one.The interior room is typically American offering plenty of headroom and legroom for all occupants with a massive boot to go. Hard to falter really. With airbags all around and an NHTSA rating of 5 stars you can ferry the kids with peace of mind.


It's practicality falls short of its good looks

It’s practicality falls short of its good looks

Our verdict?  The Cadillac CUE system makes for a beautiful looking cabin but not very practical. I am old school and like to have buttons. At least for the basics like Radio controls. The design also brings with it loads of blind spots that you need to eventually embrace. However, if you are one of those that prefer form over function and believe beauty really is only skin deep the luxurious technology laden cabin and sharp looks might just win you over.


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