2012 Cadillac SRX

Caddy's best-seller receives a much-needed heart transplant.

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Story: Will Sabel Courtney

Model Tested: Premium AWD

Rating: 5 out of 6

You might not know it, but midsize sport-utility vehicles are big business for Cadillac. The SRX is the brand’s number-two seller, behind the CTS—and that includes all three CTS body styles, in both original and spicy CTS-V forms. The SRX only comes in one shape, and as of now, it only comes with one engine: a direct-injection, 3.6-liter V6 planted across the lineup, in order to give the SUV a little more standard-issue pep.

So how does it do? Well, as long as you remember you’re driving a hefty sport-ute and not a sport sedan, you’ll be happy with the SRX’s performance. Drag races and high-speed back-road runs ain’t a great idea, but if that’s what you’re lookin’ for, go drop your cash on a CTS. Rather, with its creased paper-airplane styling, jewel-like angles and 20-inch alloys, the SRX is best suited for flossin’ around town and taking things nice and slow. That way, all your haters have plenty of time to scope your high style.

Besides, if you rush from A to B, you won’t have as much time to appreciate the living room Caddy calls the SRX’s interior. The twin easy chairs up front and the couch in back are spacious and comfortable places to hang out, with room for both the long legged and the broad shouldered. Long highway trips melt away like ice cream on a hot sidewalk thanks to the leather thrones and the open, airy interior created by the tall roof and broad panels of glass in front of, beside, behind and above you. And in the unlikely event your passengers grow tired of listening to the 10-speaker Bose surround-sound stereo, the smooth rise and fall of the disappearing dash-mounted navigation touchscreen ought to keep them entranced for a few more miles.

Specs:

Damage: $49,660

Power: 308hp, 265 lb.-ft.

0-60: Around 7 seconds

Gas Cash: 16 city, 23 hwy

Miles Driven: 90

Interior: The XXL-sized moonroof stretches over both rows of seats, but only the front section opens to the sky.

Exterior: The SRX is one sharp ride—literally. Those creases look like they could cut through bone. It’s a refreshing change in a class full of jelly-bean look-alikes.

Floss Factor: You can pause live radio for up to 20 minutes, so no more missing a dope tune ’cause some fool at the light is blasting “Wally Wally Wally World.”

Flaw Factor: The new direct-injection V6 packs a bigger punch than the old motors, but it still accelerates like you’d expect two and a half tons of steel to move.