A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short
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Cadillac SRX Second Generation Forum - 2010+ Discussion, A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short in Cadillac SRX Forums; Oh well... Can't win 'em all... GENERAL MOTORS may be shedding brands the way Playboy Mansion partygoers shed their clothes, ...
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    Lord Cadillac is offline Cadillac Maniac
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    A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    Oh well... Can't win 'em all...

    GENERAL MOTORS may be shedding brands the way Playboy Mansion partygoers shed their clothes, but it’s easy to see why Cadillac is a keeper.

    Yes, Cadillac still lures retirees aboard its cruise-ship flagship sedan, the DTS. But Cadillac has declared its continued relevance by also delivering more athletic models like the CTS, a modern sport sedan that doesn’t shrink from any battle with the import brands.

    Cadillac also showed engineering mettle with its original crossover wagon, the first-generation SRX, whose sophisticated ride and handling — abetted by groundbreaking magnetic-fluid shock absorbers that have since been adopted by no less than Ferrari and Audi — were negated by its odd proportions and high price tag. Critics praised the SRX, but it won few converts in a class where the Lexus RX rules the sales charts and whose performance benchmark is the BMW X5.

    Preferring more sales to moral victories, Cadillac has reconstituted the SRX for 2010 as a slightly smaller, mellower crossover. Say goodbye to the options — like the magnetic suspension, the V-8 engine and the third-row seat — that had the SRX nipping at BMW’s heels. Instead, Cadillac’s product planners have trained their jealous eyes on the popular Lexus. In some ways, it’s hard to blame them.

    What is blameworthy is how Cadillac has gone about the transformation. The SRX’s problem is not that it is downsized, but dumbed-down. In so doing, Cadillac may have underestimated what it takes to play in a class that includes not just the redesigned Lexus, but potent newcomers like the Audi Q5, the Volvo XC60, the Infiniti EX35 and the Mercedes-Benz GLK350.

    To its credit, the Cadillac is one of the sharper-looking crossovers on the street, and it is luxurious inside and out. Its enormous V-shaped prow is confidence personified. Its vertical taillights, with their jutting peaks, pay homage to 1950s tailfins, a subtle reminder of the days when Cadillac was king.

    Regarding the RX 350, only the Lexus’s mother would call it beautiful or suggest that it could beat up the neighborhood bullies.

    But the Lexus’s true appeal to the Cole Haan class, too often dismissed with left-handed compliments from the enthusiast press, is what’s under its Botoxed skin: how genuinely solid, luxurious and unobtrusive the Lexus feels to drive, or to be driven in, over hundreds of thousands of miles. A reputation for unmatched reliability certainly helps.

    The SRX, in contrast, uses splashy surface techniques to mask genetic deficiencies: a peashooter of a V-6; a lazy and intrusive transmission; an occasionally choppy ride. All run counter to the desired luxury-hauler experience. The result is a middling shot into the underbelly of the crossover class.

    Cadillac could have used its excellent CTS sedan as the mechanical basis for the SRX, as it did with the first-generation version. Asked why not, G.M. says that Cadillac already had a CTS sport wagon in the works. Yet there’s no reason — other than cost-cutting — that a crossover couldn’t emerge from the same rear-drive drawing board. More debatable from a strategic standpoint, Cadillac will save its best stuff for the more traditional CTS wagon, yet that seems a niche model at best: Here in America, crossovers rule, outselling wagons by exponential margins.

    Instead, the SRX is built from more common cloth, sharing its 3-liter V-6 and 6-speed transmission — the gearbox was jointly developed by G.M. and Ford — with the Chevrolet Equinox and Saturn Vue. G.M. insists that the SRX’s platform shares nothing with the Chevy or Saturn. The coming Saab 9-4X crossover (if the sale of Saab to Koenigsegg doesn’t crimp the plan) will end up as the Caddy’s closest relative.

    Along with the handsome exterior, the masculine, inviting cabin is the SRX’s strength. Not surprisingly, it borrows liberally from the CTS: the same excellent touch-screen pop-up navigation and audio system; the same cut-and-sewn leather dashboard and glossy walnut-and-metal trim. A screen in the gauge cluster displays trip and navigation information, including the speed limit on many roads.

    The front seats are well bolstered, and the driver’s seat has a pop-out extension for thigh support. But the leather looks cut-rate, especially in a class where most of the two-ton cows are wrapped in first-class hides. The rear seats are split 60/40.

    So the Cadillac is loaded with curb appeal. Unfortunately, it has to pull away from the curb. There’s no sugar-coating it: this direct-injection V-6 seems a compromise, a slenderized version of the CTS’s 3.6-liter. It makes plenty of horsepower (265) but a wimpy 223 pound-feet of torque — what you feel when you accelerate — and sounds less than luxurious at higher engine speeds.

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    Cadillac Tony's Avatar
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    Re: A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    Meh. I've driven it, and it has plenty of punch and a nicer interior than the RX. Take a look (in person) at the headrests and seats of a 2010 RX- the leather is so baggy and poorly wrapped on the cushion (especially in the headrest area) that it looks like an aftermarket leather kit on a vehicle which came stock with cloth (which the RX does, by the way). The recycled Venza interior is also a yawn, with goofy gear lever placement and awkward ergonomics for the driver. The SRX interior, on the other hand, has tightly pulled leather that hugs the seat frame, laser straight stitching and far superior ergonomics. The color DIC integrated into the speedo is especially excellent.

    Many reviews disagree heartily with the one you posted, such as this one:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jalopnik

    Overall: ****
    Cadillac has been working to shed itself of the also-ran, luxo-barge image for almost a decade now, most successfully with the 2008 CTS sedan. The SRX adds a second vehicle to the "good Cadillac" lineup and it's as exciting a vehicle as you can get in an unfortunately popular, and just as unfortunately, boring, class. If you have to buy a crossover, the SRX is probably the best you'll find at the price point.
    Whole article here

    Some rags just can't get over reality. The old SRX might have appealed to the hardcore enthusiasts, but there were only 12,000 of those a year looking to buy a crossover. The boring, not so fast, loaded with gadgets RX soaked up 120,000+ sales in 2006, so Cadillac would be fools to continue building a niche product. The SRX compares extremely well to the RX in noise levels and amenities, while still being more sporty and fun to drive (hence the complaint about the slightly harsher ride), yet the new unit still rides better than an MRC equipped model ever did.

    Everyone criticizes GM for being "slow to react" and "not building what the market wants", but then slam them when they do. GM is damned if they do and damned if they don't, so they might as well do what they need to do to sell some cars. The bottom line is that the new SRX might not appeal to the 20 or 30 auto writers in the country who base their opinion on a short flogging at a test track, but who do you need to cater to in order to run a successful car company- 20 or 30 journalists, or the other couple million people looking to buy a crossover?
    Tony Pagano
    Sales Manager
    Plaza Cadillac
    Leesburg, FL
    (352)787-1323

    www.cadillactony.com



    The views and opinions of this poster are solely his own and do not represent those of Plaza Cadillac

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    steined is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    Underpowered is the wave of the future thanks to CAFE regulations. We'll get some turbo engines to make up for it, but they will never get the EPA numbers like naturally aspirated motors will. This should have had the DI 3.6 as standard and a Turbo 3.0 or 3.6 as an option making a minimum of 320 horsepower. Especially as heavy as it is!

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    Lord Cadillac is offline Cadillac Maniac
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    Re: A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    Tony. The original SRX didn't sell because it was a blend of Crossover and Wagon - which was a design mistake. And the original cheap loser interior before it got the update (last year?) appealed to nobody. They didn't need to go and ruin an otherwise perfect formula like they did. Sure, it's nicer looking in and out - and that will appeal to many buyers. However, it's no longer a good performer. Again, Cadillac caters to one group and loses another. All they needed to do was update the interior and exterior to the way it is now - and leave it on the original platform. Than everybody would have been satisfied...

    If you want to know anything about the 2010 Lexus RX, just ask me. I leased one for my wife. The interior is excellent and the power is more than adequate. The Buick Enclave was her first choice and I almost had her convinced to look at the SRX - but two problems - no leases were available - and still no new SRX available...
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    Lord Cadillac is offline Cadillac Maniac
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    Re: A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    The thing that has me miffed is that Cadillac is aiming for Lexus lately - which isn't a bad idea - but I think they were actually doing pretty good at aiming higher for awhile. The original SRX, while funny looking to many, was an excellent vehicle. A proper redesign would have easily been a X5 competitor. But they aimed lower instead of allowing Buick to do that.. Isn't Buick supposed to be the "Domestic Lexus"? Quiet, plush, luxurious, comfortable, etcetera... Yes, it is..

    Next, Cadillac is aiming lower again and building a full-size car aiming at the Lexus ES buyer... This kind of thing worries me.. Cadillac may be bringing in more sales by aiming lower - but it's not doing anything for the cachet of the brand. People need to aspire to own Cadillac vehicles.. Making them inexpensive enough for Buick buyers to own them is a mistake. Do you not see this? Are you only looking for money right now with no worries about the future? My impression of you is a guy that wants to stick it out with Cadillac and has little interest working in sales somewhere else.. If I'm right, than you should be more concerned about the future of Cadillac and less concerned with trying to convince everybody that Cadillac is always 'really' doing the right thing...

    Or maybe I'm just a complete idiot and there's actually no logical reason why Cadillac can't sell luxury vehicles like everyone else...
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    conedoctor is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    It's too bad they had to test the base engine, you only get one chance at a first review.

    I think that Cadillac is just after sales right now and you can't really blame them at this point, if you can't beat em join em, for now. Cadillac always stood out as not just another chevy and they are losing some of that flare but if they can return some profit and get market share I'm sure the fun stuff will follow.

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    Lord Cadillac is offline Cadillac Maniac
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    Re: A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    FYI. I don't mind when people disagree with me. In fact, I like it.. I'd love to be proven 100% wrong..

    Fire away...
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    dctex99 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Smile Re: A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    I think we have to get used to less power/more gas mileage,,,its mandated!!
    As to the "cachet" of Cadillac; its a lot better than Lincoln; which dives to nothing in two years...and Lexus still has the publics love; so they will hold value for quite awhile....07's with mileage going for $35K still; its almost an investment!! At least SRX has upgraded interiors and amenities!!

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    nstar is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Unhappy Re: A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    In my mind they are chasing when they should be trend setting which is what made the name cadillac and what customers associate cadillac with. I thing they should of named the 2010 srx something else so people wouldn't tie it to the older (04 to 09) model 2010 srx is not even the same type of vehicle it's a different platform. If the old srx didn't put up good sales numbers write it off. Thats why they use to try new options and style on cadillacs because of the lower sale numbers but they charge more for each vehicle to cover cost of vehicles that didn't sell remember the cimeron's and down sized eldorado's.

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    Re: A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    Nstar is right when he points out the the 2010 SRX isn't in the same category as the previous model. The reasoning for this is that there are more buyers looking for the many Lexus RX styled crossovers than the '04-'09 SRX which is more representative Cadillac innovative design leadership. Had the marketing ,engineering, and stylist departments been given a free hand over the GM bean counters, the shortcomings of the first generation SRX could have been addressed and freshened through out it's production run. If GM can produce a 28 mpg 430 hp Corvette, why wasn't that technology applied to the Cadillac to produce a higher mileage SRX? It would seem that the higher fuel prices would have set the process in motion but GM didn't respond.
    Today, GM is a government controlled company destined to make small and highly fuel efficient automobiles regardless if the public wants them or not. The ,stylish and powerful Cadillacs are going to be a thing of the past which I don't think will bode well for the marque for the long term. I don't know what Cadillac will become in the future, but I doubt that it will
    be anywhere close to the "standard of the world" or even competitive in that market segment. I hope that I am wrong but I fear not.

  12. #11
    Northern SRX's Avatar
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    Re: A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    I suspect that the enthusiasts magazines will continue (as they always have) to pick the SRX over the RX - irrespective of the weaker powerplant under the Cadillac's hood. It's the "consumer" articles (like this one) that will continue to prefer the RX. While I don't believe that the article would have concluded anything differently if the more powerful engine had been available and tested, I agree that it makes no sense for GM to delay the second put powerplant's introduction as the media simply won't be paying attention by the time it arrives. So, by then, the SRX's reputation will be solidified as not having enough of the compelling stuff to compensate for its weaknesses against the RX.

    Don't get me wrong here - I think moving the SRX to a more direct competition with the RX makes a fair degree of sense but I would have preferred that they had left the RX fighting to a new Buick and kept the SRX as a step between a CTS wagon and the Escalade.

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    conedoctor is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    Let them get on their feet.


    I think they are looking at the big picture and need to get some sales, make what sells, lower power smaller FWD based mid-size SUV.

    I look at my SRX and it is a great car and still makes heads turn but if it was not selling for whatever reason then it has to go, many great cars had to die for all sort of stupid reasons.

    I always think about the Eagle Talon, turbo 4 AWD fast great looking two door, why would you want to stop making that and replace it with a lame non-turbo FWD, I guess it just did not sell as great as it looked on paper.

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    The Tony Show's Avatar
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    Re: A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    More good writeups on the 2010 SRX- this time Jalopnik tested the 2.8L Turbo:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jalopnik

    The thing about the SRX 2.8T isn't the engine or the transmission or the all-wheel drive system or the brakes. Heck it's not the quality of the interior or the easy-to-use pop-up nav screen. Individually those elements are good, but the flawless integration makes this car a standout in the segment. It all works together to form a cohesive unit, a completely resolved product, everything a Cadillac should be and something crossover's haven't traditionally been.

    Pricing is unannounced, but it'll start somewhere in the mid $40,000 range. If we were Cadillac's competition, we'd be concerned.
    Rest in Peace, J.D. (aka Dirt_Cheap_Fleetwood)

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    Lord Cadillac is offline Cadillac Maniac
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    Re: A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    Looks like a good review.. The LaCrosse just got huge praise as well..

    Tony.. Do you think there will be a performance aftermarket for this 2.8 turbo?
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    conedoctor is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: A Redesign Aims Lower and Yet Comes Up Short

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Cadillac View Post
    Looks like a good review.. The LaCrosse just got huge praise as well..

    Tony.. Do you think there will be a performance aftermarket for this 2.8 turbo?
    Not directed to me but coming from a guy who has 5 turbo cars, if it is boosted people will find more power aftermarket or not.

    That being said I think demand will drive parts so what shares this engine?

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