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(General Motors)
(General Motors)

2010 Cadillac SRX AWD

Cadillac not just for dads and rap stars Add to ...

Cadillacs aren't just for your dad any more.

The brand is now contemporary and hip thanks to a growing number of rap stars and NBA athletes driving them around town. But it's not just young buyers attracted to the Cadillac crest. Even families are jumping on the Cadillac bandwagon thanks to vehicles like the SRX crossover. It drives like a car, yet it's functional and stylish for a family.

During GM's employee pricing event, you can save from $3,326 to $5,021 on versions of the 2010 SRX crossover. The cheapest SRX, a front-wheel-drive model, starts at $38,249, down from $41,575. The most expensive Premium model is $57,749, down from $62,770. My tester, an AWD trim with a premium collection package, gets a $4,622 discount, to $53,153 from $57,775.

All revved up with no place to go

Doing a slow burn over the curious case of 'Vlad Max'. Really, what's a speed freak to do?



And for that price you get all the comforts of home.

Inside the cabin, luxury surrounds you. There's handcrafted material including real wood trim on the doors, centre console, steering wheel and shift knob.

The premium collection package adds power-adjustable pedals, rain-sensing wipers, a rear-entertainment system with dual seatback video screens and two wireless headphones that'll keep the kids entertained for hours.

A massive sunroof, about twice the size of a conventional sunroof, keeps the cabin feeling fresh and airy. The sunroof extends over the front and rear seats. If it gets too bright inside, there's also a power sunshade. A rear-view camera is especially useful because visibility out the back isn't the greatest - thick rear pillars and a small rear window hamper the view.

An analogue gauge cluster is striking and funky, yet easy to read day or night. A graphic display also provides useful driver information such as fuel consumption, kilometres to empty and tire pressure.

At your fingertips is a pop-up touch-screen navigation system with a Bose 5.1 surround sound system and a 40 GB hard drive so you can store thousands of songs. The navigation system is excellent; one of the best on the market. It's easy to use - you don't have to look through the owner's manual to figure out how to input an address. It also warns of lane restrictions, construction or crashes so you don't get stuck in traffic. Below the navigation system are dozens of buttons, which is confusing for the driver. The buttons are too small and similar in size which makes it hard to find some functions fast.

The front bucket leather seats are supportive and comfortable. The driver's seat is eight-way power-adjustable with thigh support; the front passenger seat is six-way power adjustable. The front seats are also heated and cooled for extra comfort. But the rear seats are a little cramped for three passengers; they're short on leg- and shoulder room, but headroom is adequate. But the reclining feature is a nice touch.

The SRX is a versatile and practical crossover. It offers 1,733 litres of space when the 60/40-split rear seats are folded down. When upright, there's still a large amount of space - 839 litres. Accessing the cargo area is simple thanks to the power-lift gate. Just touch a button on the key fob and it automatically opens. It can also be programmed to lift to a pre-set height, which is handy if you're parking in an underground garage with low ceilings. Extra storage space is under the cargo floor, in the centre console, in the front and rear doors and front-seat backrests.

Powering the SRX is a 3.0-litre V-6 that delivers 265 hp and 223 lb-ft of torque. Mated to the engine is a six-speed automatic transmission, which is smooth and precise. If you want more power go for the turbocharged 2.8-litre V-6 with 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Personally I'd skip the turbo engine; my tester has more than enough power to handle the daily grind.

The ride is quiet and refined, but there is some body lean when cornering. The all-wheel-drive system offers excellent grip and control on rain-slicked roads. An electronic limited-slip rear differential can send up to 100 per cent of power to a single rear wheel if needed. Xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps are adaptive so the lights swivel as you turn the steering wheel for a better view around corners and bends. The LED tail lights offer better illumination and last up to 10 times longer than regular bulbs.

When it comes to safety, the SRX excels. The U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated all SRX models built after May, 2010, as Top Safety Picks.

The Cadillac brand has character and the SRX is no exception - it stands out from other crossovers on the road because of its sharp distinct lines and angles. An unmistakable front grille with the Cadillac's crest is displayed prominently. A long wheelbase, short overhangs, dual exhaust with chrome tips, chrome roof rails and sculpted 20-inch chrome clad aluminum wheels add plenty of bling to my tester.

pgentile@globeandmail.com

2010 Cadillac SRX AWD

Type: Four-door, all-wheel-drive mid-size luxury crossover

Base Price: $57,775; as tested, $60,615

Engine: 3.0-litre, DOHC, V-6

Horsepower/torque: 265 hp/223 lb-ft

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Drive: Four-wheel

Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 12.2 city; 8.8 highway; premium gas

Alternatives: Lexus RX, Acura MDX, BWW X3, Audi Q5, Lincoln MKT

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