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Confident Cadillac aims SRX at Germans
Sport wagon starts at $38,690, higher than Japan's entries

By Dave Guilford
Automotive News / May 19, 2003


2004 Cadillac SRX
Prestige pricing

Cadillac will price the new SRX mid-sized sport wagon near the top of the segment. Prices include destination and represent base for 2003 models except as noted.
BMW X5 $40,195
Cadillac SRX (2004) $38,690
Mercedes-Benz ML 350 $37,670
Acura MDX $36,200
Lexus RX 330 (2004) $35,600
Infiniti FX35 $34,745
Source: Automotive News Data Center


PHOENIX - Cadillac's pricing for the 2004 SRX mid-sized luxury sport wagon shows the division's newfound confidence. It's aiming at BMW and Mercedes-Benz - and isn't concerned about pricing the vehicle above Japanese rivals.

Cadillac has set the base price of $38,690, including a $695 destination charge. That price applies to the version equipped with a 3.6-liter, 260-hp V-6. Another version powered by a 4.6-liter, 320-hp V-8 will start at $46,995, including a $695 destination charge.

The V-6 version base price hovers significantly above the 2004 Lexus RX 330, a key competitor starting at $35,600. It's in the territory of the BMW X5, at $40,195, or the Mercedes-Benz ML 350, at $37,670.

Cadillac doesn't feel it has to undercut the competition, says Jay Spenchian, SRX marketing director.

"We're going to compete mostly against the Germans," Spenchian says. "We'll be about $2,000 over the Japanese."

Newfound hipness

Cadillac is banking on the newfound hipness it has won with vehicles such as the Escalade and CTS, which feature its new sharp-edged design, as well as the SRX's length and sporty performance.

Art Spinella, president of Automotive Research at CNW Marketing/Research in Bandon, Ore., says Cadillac wouldn't have been able to pull off the pricing strategy in the past.

"If this had been five years ago, I'd have said there'd be no chance," Spinella says. "But Cadillac is starting to have a brand premium with people who are in the 35 to 55 age group. Cadillac actually has a pretty good shot at it."

CNW's research shows Cadillac gaining space on consumers' consideration lists, he says.

Spenchian says Cadillac is aiming for sales in the 30,000 annual-unit range. Buyers are expected to be owners of entry-luxury or prestige sedans, owners of mid-sized SUVs based on trucks and Cadillac loyalists. Buyers are expected to have a household income of $175,000 and be 40 to 50 years old. Cadillac projects that about half of SRX buyers will be women.

The SRX goes into production this summer at the Lansing (Mich.) Grand River plant, which builds the CTS. The SRX will be built on the rear-wheel-drive Sigma luxury architecture that debuted with the CTS, giving it carlike handling.

Stretching Sigma

David Masch, SRX program engineering manager, says GM modified the Sigma dimensions significantly to make the SRX longer than competitors, yet keep its center of gravity low to enhance handling. All-wheel drive and magnetic ride control are options.

The SRX wheelbase is 116.4 inches, 3 inches longer than the CTS. SRX's center of gravity is 25 inches, 1 to 1.5 inches below competitors, Masch says.

The longer wheelbase allows Cadillac to offer an optional third row of seats but also makes the SRX more stable, he says.

"It became really obvious to us in off-road conditions or bad weather," Masch says. "The longer wheelbase makes it much predictable."

Cadillac plans a heavy advertising schedule this fall that will emphasize the feeling of driving the SRX, showing off such features as the optional two-seat-deep sunroof. Spenchian says Cadillac wants to dominate advertising in the segment.

"One of the things we wanted for advertising was to go into the fourth quarter having as much money as anybody's ever had to launch," he says. "I think we're on target for that."
 

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Out of all these vehicles, I think the Infiniti is the best looking. That it's also the best priced, is even better for the consumer.

I think this is where Cadillac is starting to get greedy and lose touch with reality. I really don't think they are in the position to do that yet.

It would be much better, if they brought value to the table as well as 'Cadillac style'. For a grand more or less, one can have a BMW or Mercedes.

The vehicle missing from this price list is the Chrysler Pacifica. I think in terms of style, that's it's closest competitor.

If I were in the market, I'd wait until I saw an SRX in person. I'd also wait for the magazine shoot-out and see which car's places in the top 3.

But if I had to choose today, it'd be the manual FX35. With the money I save over the Cadillac, I could afford some of the cool options, like 20" wheels.
 

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For a little more money or a little less money you could have something else. But it wouldnt be a Cadillac.
All cars have different strengths & weaknesses so I have just picked a brand on the overall appeal to me.
Gimmie a Caddy & I'll be happy....
 

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Devil_concours said:
isn't the fx45 the fastest of the bunch?
Not sure on that. But I read that the FX35 is better handling than the FX45. The V8 adds some weight to the front, which unbalances the car. Plus there's no manual. :-(
 

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I think the Germans haven't stopped laughing after Cadillac's last attempt, the Allante which was aimed at the Mercedes Benz SL. Cadillac will never approach the high level of German engineering or quality.
I have never been in anything that squeeked or rattled as much as an Allante except maybe the previous generation of Corvette.
 

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AirJigga25 said:


One of my favorite things about Caddy's are the front grills. The front grill looks plastic like and cheap. The consumer likes Chrome! While the interior may be nice, and rear look decent... it looks like they are trying to compete with Nissan for ugliest front ends in the market.
My case and point! The Germans will die from laughter at this.
:cheers:
 

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Liseckas said:
My case and point! The Germans will die from laughter at this.
:cheers:
I like the Volvo SUV. The Porsche. The VW SUV. I followed an Infiniti whatever it is to work, looked nice and I loved how big the wheels were as well. So there are a lot of solid players in the market which Cadillac is attacking, and I haven't even mentioned Jeep, Acura, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus. It will be a tough market for them. Don't get me wrong, I have yet to make a final decision on the SRX. But square fog lights? Plastic bumper? what's that stuff on the bottom of the bumper?
 

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AirJigga25 said:
I like the Volvo SUV. The Porsche. The VW SUV. I followed an Infiniti whatever it is to work, looked nice and I loved how big the wheels were as well. So there are a lot of solid players in the market which Cadillac is attacking, and I haven't even mentioned Jeep, Acura, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus. It will be a tough market for them. Don't get me wrong, I have yet to make a final decision on the SRX. But square fog lights? Plastic bumper? what's that stuff on the bottom of the bumper?
This thing is too FUGLY!
The X in SRX stands for eXcrement and that's what's on the bumper.
 

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Liseckas said:
This thing is too FUGLY!
The X in SRX stands for eXcrement and that's what's on the bumper.
While your comments might be a little overboard. I just wish cadillac would keep it simple. They should stick with quality chrome bumpers that are durable and dont get dented easily. They should stick with their trademark grills. And they should try to make their cars look as classy as possible...not quirky.

I don't know about this "bold new styling thing" more like boneheaded new styling. I never knew they'd switch their entire lineup to resemble the CTS pointed front end. ah..whats the use.
 

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AirJigga25 said:
While your comments might be a little overboard. I just wish cadillac would keep it simple. They should stick with quality chrome bumpers that are durable and dont get dented easily. They should stick with their trademark grills. And they should try to make their cars look as classy as possible...not quirky.

I don't know about this "bold new styling thing" more like boneheaded new styling. I never knew they'd switch their entire lineup to resemble the CTS pointed front end. ah..whats the use.
Maybe I am a little overboard but I firmly believe in durable bumpers. I'm old school in regards to automobiles. My Cadillac has the traditional chrome (lots of it!) bumpers. This car once totalled a VW without the slightest damage to it. All of my cars have the durable old chrome bumpers. I wouldn't have it any other way.
 

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The Caddy dealership I work at had an SRX on display for about 4 days during our grand opening celebrations a couple of weeks back. It was a great looking vehicle! The attention it got from customers was unbelievable. We took several requests for purchase when they arrive. I was able to take it for a short jaunt around the lot and it felt very tight. I think Cadillac has a winner-especially when Northstar equipped.

Todd
 

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tstclr said:
The Caddy dealership I work at had an SRX on display for about 4 days during our grand opening celebrations a couple of weeks back. It was a great looking vehicle! The attention it got from customers was unbelievable. We took several requests for purchase when they arrive. I was able to take it for a short jaunt around the lot and it felt very tight. I think Cadillac has a winner-especially when Northstar equipped.

Todd
Did you like the way it looked?
 

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I would have to say, besides the Fleet Wood, that my car is the last of the "real" Cadillacs ITO looks and sutff.....also last year for the Coupe DeVille

front of car:



Back of car:



Although my car is FWD, and uni-body, AFA looks, it is all classic Cadillac, that dosn't seem to age that fast....
 

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Yes, I really liked the looks of the SRX. The new path Cadillac is taking with design is starting to grow on me. The SRX really has a European look and feel to it. The fit and finish was first rate (of course, this was a pre-production model). The true dual exhuast was nice too with the chrome tips. Here's a couple of pics from our showroom:
http://members.rogers.com/tstclr/srx1.jpg
http://members.rogers.com/tstclr/srx2.jpg
http://members.rogers.com/tstclr/srx3.jpg

This one was pretty much loaded- AWD, Northstar, folding third seat, dual sunroofs, DVD navigation and entertainment system. Interior was black leather.

Todd
 
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