Practical interior and reasonable to drive, but not as good as an ML, X5 or Disco.

What is it?

An American alternative to a BMW X5, Merc ML or LR Discovery.What's surprising is that Caddy’s engineers have managed to conjure a moderately competitive 4x4 from the same rear-drive Sigma platform that underpins the CTS.The good stuff starts with the styling, which is the best example yet of Caddy’s creases ’n’ chrome, so-called ‘Art and Science’ ethos. The grille is suitably bold and the bodywork distinctive.Inside, the interior is similar to the CTS’s, which means acceptable materials and a high centre consoles, which work better with the SRX’s lofty seating position.

What's it like?

Turn the key and the 4.6-litre V8 erupts into life. It revs enthusiastically while emitting an encouraging burble. But the measure of a true luxury car is the match between engine and gearbox. The SRX scores here, with a ’box that chooses gears intelligently and swaps them smoothly.Billed as a ‘crossover’ vehicle in the US, as opposed to a beefy 4x4, the SRX is a good drive thanks to the car-based platform, but it's no X5.Body control is okay, roll minimal and the adaptive dampers successfully smooth out rough surfaces, but the steering is over-assisted.There’s some trick kit on the SRX’s spec list, easily the best of which is the optional powered third row of seats, which takes the sweat out of folding away the occasional seats.You can also have a DVD player with screens for two mid-row passengers (£1100) and a sunroof that stretches the full length of the cabin (£1850).

Should I buy one?

The SRX is an ineresting car, but falls short of the class best. And with a 4.6-litre V8, you need to be sure your wallet can cope with 20mpg economy.

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