Cadillac's seven-seat SRX has been greatly improved for 2007, and is sure to be more sensible for UK buyers in right-hand-drive. With a good diesel engine, it would be even trickier to ignore.

What's new?

Cadillac was uncharacteristically quick to the seven-seat crossover market. Its SRX was among the first examples of the species to go on sale in the UK back in late 2005.

However, until now it's only been available in left-hand-drive form; as of March, you'll be able to get a proper right-hooker, and that's not the only improvement.

What's it like?

Firstly, 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, it also feels better than almost any American car we've driven recently.

On the road it's pretty impressive too. The car-like driving position makes it feel more agile than you're expecting, and the clever magnetic damping counteracts body roll well without sacrificing comfort.

It feels very much like a Jaguar in fundamental dynamic character; there's a lightness to the control weights, and a gentle lope to the ride quality that's instantly familiar, and there's plenty of enjoyment to be had in using the car's four-wheel drive system to find traction where others wouldn't, and in flowing from corner to corner. The telling factor is this; when you get out of it, the SRX's size surprises you because, from behind the wheel, its bulk is masked very well.

There is a more powerful V8 option, but we chose to try the cheaper, more frugal V6, and, barring a little poor refinement at high revs, it was smooth and gave up its power freely. It also works well with the car's four-wheel drive system, although a rear-wheel driven V6 option will also be available and, depending on how much cheaper it is, may well be worth further investigation.

The car's five-speed automatic gearbox is a poorer companion for the engine; it can be slow to shift and slow to lock up, but you can telegraph shifts in yourself using the car's manual shift mode. If you do, the 'box holds the appropriate gear much more satisfactorily when cornering.

Should I buy one?

This is easily the most talented car Cadillac currently makes. If you've got seven to ferry about, you're attracted to modern, eye-catching design and you don't object to low 20mpg fuel economy, it might well be your cup of tea.

It might not hold its value like an XC90, but for less than £30k, a V6 SRX will definitely make an appealing alternative to taller 4x4s and more conventional MPVs.


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