Nuts & Bolts: 2012 Cadillac SRX

January 13, 2012

Bottom line: The 2012 Cadillac SRX succeeds where the 2011 model failed. It now has the right combination of muscle and acceptable fuel economy.

Ride, acceleration and handling: The SRX is competitive in all categories with the Audi Q5 and BMW 3-Series wagons, among other luxury models. This is a solid, no-excuses entry in a fiercely contested market for midsize people haulers.

Head-turning quotient: The SRX’s sharp-edged exterior and interior styling distinguishes it from all other rivals in the midsize-wagon segment. It’s a hate-or-love situation.

Body style/layout: The 2012 Cadillac SRX is a front-engine, compact luxury crossover-utility wagon with four side doors and a rear hatch. It is available with front-wheel or four-wheel drive and in four trim levels — standard, luxury, performance and premium.

Engine/transmission: The base engine is a gasoline-fueled 3.6-liter, 24-valve V-6 (308-horsepower, 265 foot-pounds of torque). The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that can also be shifted manually.

Capacities: (Henceforth, this column will refer to seating capacity in terms of “comfortable” for adults. A manufacturer may say that a car seats five when, in terms of real-world experience, that means comfortable for four.) The SRX seats four. Cargo capacity with all seats in place is 29.8 cubic feet. With rear seats lowered, cargo capacity is 60 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 21 gallons of gasoline. Regular fuel is recommended. You can use cleaner-burning blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline if you can find it.

Mileage: Using 87-octane regular, mileage was 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 on the highway.

Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes, four-wheel anti-lock brake protection, emergency braking assistance, electronic stability and traction control, side and head air bags, and the OnStar emergency communications system.

Price: The 2012 Cadillac SRX with optional all-wheel drive starts at $46,640 with a dealer’s invoice price of $44,077. Add a $875 destination charge. Consumers are reporting much flexibility on SRX pricing. You can bargain.

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