First seen in 2005, the Cadillac SRX was an early American take on the BMW X5/Mercedes-Benz ML train of thought that delivered a degree of off-road hardware and practicalites in a more driver-focused package. But we are talking a big, heavy, US-built quasi off-roader here, so take that ‘driver focused’ under some advisement.
What was perhaps most surprising at the time was that Caddy’s engineers seemingly managed to conjure a moderately competitive 4x4 from the same rear-drive Sigma platform that underpinned the CTS saloon. It was also impressively quick to find its way to the market.
The SRX’s styling, too, is a fine example of Caddy’s creases ’n’ chrome, so-called ‘Art and Science’ ethos. The grille is suitably bold and the bodywork distinctive while inside the interior is similar to the CTS’s. And since the first models arrived on our shores huge advances have been made with the SRX in the quality of its cabin. Its fascia is now much more appealing to the eye and covered in carefully-stitched leather and soft-touch plastics. Material quality is high, too, and it can all be enjoyed from a suitably lofty seating position.
Early UK versions were left-hand drive and V8 only. That’s since been rectified on both counts, to the point that all – or rather both – UK models are V6-powered. The two versions available are the lesser Elegance model, and the better equipped Sport Luxury.
The 2997cc V6 engine makes the same 270bhp in each version, delivered at an eyebrow-raising 7000rpm; peak torque of 222lb ft appears at 3200rpm. Both drive through a six-speed automatic gearbox. Combined economy and CO2 figures are 25.2mpg and 260g/km for the Elegance model, and a marginally less favourable 24.6mpg and 267g/km for the Sport Luxury.