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Range in Motion - 2005 Crossover Buyer's Guide

2005 Cadillac SRX Review

by Martha Hindes

Cadillac SRX
2005 Cadillac SRX

"Bringing up the rear," has not a shred of negative connotation for Cadillac. Not when it refers to the rear in its rear-drive SRX crossover vehicle that has jumped to the head of the honors pack since it debuted a scant year ago as a performance-proven sporty car disguised as a sports utility.

This is the vehicle so anticipated by Caddy fans that they flagged us down during a test drive to figuratively drool all over its stand-alone crisp, edgy lines, its spacious interior, its panoramic sky with roof open, its thunder-charged Northstar V8 powerplant we found exhilarating to drive. Yeah. Dreaming finally paid off.

Unlike many competitive vehicles with front-drive foundations, the base for SRX is GM's performance-oriented, rear-drive Sigma architecture, also available as all-wheel drive. Besides the 4.6-liter, 320-HP V8 is a 3.6-liter, 255-HP V6, both with variable valve timing, maximum performance five-speed automatics and standard StabiliTrak. Trailering capacity is increased for '05, and now is available with the six.

Also, for '05, Cadillac has made some subtle changes both inside and out. A major plus is the addition of magnetic ride control for rear-drive, a GM suspension phenomenon that adds rigidity when more definition is needed in handling maneuvers. Privacy glass a shade or two darker adds mystique.

Pricing that starts in the high 30s, including $695 destination, easily matches the European hierarchy it was designed to obliterate. A wide array of stickers tease any taste, topping out at $57,750 for the luxury package SRX with all available bells and whistles including seating boosted from five to seven. A most popular, well-appointed rear-drive V6, with wood trim among amenities, is $41,675. Adding a sunroof and 18-inch wheels puts it in the competitive $44,000 range.

Perhaps a subtle change in exterior color tells the SRX tale the best of all. "Cashmere" is gone, replaced by "Sand Storm." Somehow we feel that better exemplifies how SRX might feel to the competition.


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