The Cadillac SRX was a compact sports utility vehicle made over two generations from 2004 to 2016 model years. The first generation was a mid-size luxury SUV with three rows of seating and rear-wheel or four-wheel drive options, while the second generation took the design down a notch to the company luxury crossover utility vehicle segment with two rows of seating and front-wheel or all-wheel drive options.
2004 Introduction of the Cadillac SRX
In 2004, Cadillac released the SRX as its entry to the mid-size luxury SUV market. Built on the GM Sigma platform, it was available as rear-wheel and four-wheel drive and could be stocked with a magnetic suspension system. Available engines included a 255 horsepower V-6 and a 320 horsepower 4.6L Northstar V-8. It was received critical acclaims, winning Car and Driver’s Five Best Trucks in the luxury SUV segment for 2004, 2005, and 2006 years, plus the North American Truck of the Year in 2004. The interior was full-featured with heated leather seats, curtain side airbags, and wood trim. Options included a DVD entertainment system, sunroof, and power-folding third-row seats. Relatively few changes occurred to the first-generation design, but the 2005 model made a towing package available with a maximum capacity of 4,250 pounds. 2006 saw the introduction of a power tailgate and standard satellite radio. Bose stereo upgrades became an option in 2007, featuring a 5.1 digital surround sound and a theater package with rear-seat entertainment. Automatic odor filtration was made available the same year. A remote start option was added in 2009. Unfortunately, the 2005 to 2008 Cadillac SRX proved to be worst in its class for driver fatalities, as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety calculated a death rate of 63, sky-high compared to class average of 23. Sales were a bit lackluster for the first generation Cadillac SRX, starting off with just over 30,000 units in the 2004 year, then sticking to around 22,000 units for the next three years, before falling to nearly 16,000 in 2008.
2010 Second Generation
Dropping down in size a bit, the second-generation Cadillac SRX was produced in 2010 on the Epsilon II platform. It no longer offered a V-8 engine. Instead, it had a 3.0L V-6 standard, or a turbocharged 2.8L V-6 option at first. But lackluster sales of this turbocharged option (less than 10%) meant it was quickly replaced with a naturally-aspirated 3.6L V-6 option in 2012. A rear backup camera and keyless access were added in 2011, along with the Cadillac premium care maintenance program. 2012’s engine changes were paired with an updated 6-speed transmission and Bluetooth handsfree technology. In 2013, various interior technological upgrades were featured, with a new infotainment system and noise cancellation technology. More USB charging ports and an added SD card slot were paired with revised styling and changes to the rear seat entertainment. Relatively few changes were added throughout the rest of the Cadillac SRXs span, mainly limited to new color choices like Plum and Bronze Metallic. Sales figures did quite well for the second-generation Cadillac SRX. After being in the 20,000 unit range for much of the first generation years, the second generation immediately boosted sales to over 51,000 units and stayed strong until 2016. The highest year for total sales was in 2015, when 68,850 Cadillac SRXs were sold in the United States and 99,397 were sold globally. There was little doubt that Cadillac found a great market segment in the smaller SUV area and it was sure to continue in later years. The discontinuation of the SRX was merely a way to make room for an updated vehicle that would be sure to continue to hold the attention of the compact crossover SUV buyers.