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2013 Cadillar SXR Crossover Road Test written by Martha Hindes - RTM's 2013 CUV Buyer's Guide

2013 Cadillac SRX Road Test Review

by Martha Hindes

CUV Buyer's Guide - RTM's Top 10 Picks for 2013

Acura RDX

Honda CR-V

BMW X1

Hyundai Santa Fe

Ford Escape

It wasn't as if any Cadillac fan needed to be prompted to check out the SRX crossover when it first came out. Aficionados had been waiting anxiously. We recall one man who chased us down on a side road during an early test drive to eagerly get a good look. That was some four years ago. Now, with an updated mid-size 2013 Cadillac SRX on scene, the only prompting needed to coax curiosity is its CUE.

That's really not a play on words, although dictionaries define it as a prompt, or signal to do something. In this case, it's discovering that Cadillac has incorporated a finely-tuned, user-friendlier touchable electronics interface for all those delicious high tech gadgets that populate contemporary vehicles. Cadillac has cleverly combined “Cadillac User Experience” into the simple, unforgettable acronym CUE that helps define the simplicity of this new system designed to take the complexity angst out of automotive electronics that has sullied some competitive vehicles. It's standard on all 2013 SRX models.

Our introduction to the system left us with the reaction “Of course!” Intuition can take over with a touch screen interface with logical sectoring of functions, whether navigation needs, audio or communications. Have a smart phone or tablet? Then you already know how to pinch or expand, scroll, swipe and all the other functions that make it an indispensable extension of one's hand. Same with the CUE, on its eight-inch screen. Score a big 10 on that one. Only four buttons are needed to coordinate the system.

The 2013 SRX doesn't get major exterior changes, but keeps its trim body lines that taper rearward for a feeling of sleek motion. This year's update was more integral than visual. Only minor changes suggest this year's model has moved into new territory, with redesigns for the front grille and front fender vents with light pipes added for visual impact, plus upgraded 20-inch wheel designs for the Performance and Premium models. Caddy has added three new hues to the exterior color palette -- Evolution Green Metallic, Glacier Blue Metallic and Silver Coast Metallic.

Inside this 5-seat lift-gate crossover, the simplified instrument cluster is the most obvious change. What you won't see, but undoubtedly will notice, is a quieter, more comfort-oriented driving experience with active noise cancellation added to remove any irritating sounds.

Safety is enhanced as well, with Cadillac's Driver Awareness and Driver Assist technology packages and Safety Alert Seat technology. The addition of Automatic Front and Rear Braking and Adaptive Cruise Control are new for 2013. All versions get standard Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert to prevent one from connecting with unseen vehicles.

Getting on the road is the whole idea. So, in front or available all-wheel-drive versions or with speed sensitive steering added,  the 3.6-liter V6 engine, matched with GM's six-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, kicks out 308 horses and 265 lb.-ft. of torque for toned, flexible driving and handling. It has an Eco feature that lets the driver dial up for more fuel economical driving. Best mileage ratings are 17-miles per gallon with city driving and 24 MPG on the highway with front drive, and 16 city/23 highway with all-wheel-drive.

Expect to pay a base (front drive) of $38,050 if you're CUEd enough to succumb. We think it's mighty tempting.

For more information on Cadillac cars, click here.

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