Taking aim at the ultra-competitive mid-luxury crossover segment, the new 2012 Cadillac SRX packs a 308hp wallop wrapped in a svelte tuxedo package. Putting Acura, BMW, Infiniti, Lexus, and Lincoln on notice, the SRX makes no excuses for being a fun-to-drive crossover with all 265 lb-ft of torque available at 2,400 rpm. This low-end grunt, complemented by a six-speed auto, helps the Cadillac feel ready and willing to be pushed hard from rest to full speed ahead. Combine the power with an all-ebony leather-wrapped cabin with real wood textures and you have yourself a midsize SUV that feels right at home parked up front at the valet stand. Standard equipment for the Premium Collection includes a heated steering wheel, 8-inch touchscreen, 20-inch machine-face wheels, and Eco feature for the six-speed transmission.

Luxury was never a shortcoming for the SRX, however, drivetrain and suspension were areas of concern and Cadillac addressed both key areas with the SRX. During our week-long test of the SRX, we had a hard time believing it shared a platform with the Chevy Equinox, as the Cadillac doesn’t share the vague steering, too soft suspension, and excessive road noise. To the contrary, the SRX provides confidence with its more precise steering, firm, yet compliant suspension settings, and quiet cabin. Power isn’t overwhelming, but the six-speed auto with manual mode does make good use of the direct-injected 3.6L V-6’s broad torque curve. Braking is on par with recent Cadillac products and we noticed zero issues bringing the 4,277-pound SUV to a halt. With a tow rating of 3,500 pounds, the SRX will haul small toys around, but a receiver was not included on our model.

Inside the Cadillac, our tester was equipped with the Ultraview power sunroof, which provided an open and airy feel, while the heated, leather-trimmed seats and steering wheel added to the premium cabin. The 40GB Bose 5.1 surround sound system with 10 speakers made our music sound delightful, and the optional entertainment system kept the kids in the back seat happy. Safety is at the top of Cadillac’s concerns and the SRX won a top safety award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Included in the SRX are front, rear, side-impact, side head curtain airbags as well as rear backup camera, headlamp washers, and Xenon headlamps.

Looking at the SRX, the sharp body lines, vertical headlamps, taillamps, and dual exhaust, leave little doubt that this is one stylish ride. The as-tested price of $49,240 does place the Cadillac in the fullsize SUV price range, but if your needs don’t require all the extra space of a Tahoe or Escalade, the SRX may just fit the bill—and do it in style.

2012 Cadillac SRX FWD Premium

Base Price: $45,975
Price as Tested: $49,240

Engine
Type: 3.6L DOHC V-6
Displacement: 217 ci
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Horespower: 308 @ 6800 rpm
Torque: 265 @ 2400 rpm
Recommended Fuel: Premium Unleaded

Drivetrain
Layout: Front engine, FWD
Transmission: Six-speed Hydra-Matic Auto 6T70
Brakes: 13.6-inch front/ 12.4-inch rear disc
Wheels: 20x8.5-inch
Tires: 235/55R20 Michelin

Performance
Tow Capacity: 3,500 lbs
0-60: 7.4 seconds
¼-mile: 15.9 @ 88 mph
60-0: 132 feet
Observed Gas Mileage: 18.9 mpg