2013 Cadillac SRX AWD Review: The SUV That Has a CUE


The Cadillac. A car that has been entrenched in American culture since its inception all the way back in 1902. To own a Cadillac was a sign you made it – it represented the American Dream. Today, the brand is associated with class and prestige, but in a whole different way than our ancestors ever thought it would be. And of-course, with time comes innovation and with innovation, the Cadillac was challenged itself to step into the 21st century of in-car infotainment systems with the CUE. The Cadillac SRX is one such vehicle in the Cadillac fleet that looks to satisfy the needs of both generations of consumers – the traditional Cadillac owner and the novice who is looking for that traditional Cadillac look and feel, but with a technological prowess to go along with it.

The 2013 Cadillac SRX AWD is a lot of car on the inside, but it doesn’t look as imposing on the outside. The vehicle sports a sleek and curvy body that hugs the road with its 3.6L direct injected V-6 automatic transmission. Blind spots abound with the 2013 Cadillac SRX, but thankfully our premium model had a driver awareness package that alerted us via the side view mirrors when cars were detected. That said, the forward collision alert was a bit jarring in the beginning as it shook our seats and set off red lights in the car when we got too close to the driver in front of us. In any case, it certainly makes you very aware if you find yourself kissing the car in front of you.

The interiors of the 2013 Cadillac SRX AWD are can we say, very Cadillac. The signature coat of arms is everywhere within the car, which we are more than ok with. The seats are big and comfy and contour to your body, and if you get the fully loaded package, there is the lumbar support and seven ways from Tuesday to manipulate your chair. Lets also not forget the dual heated seats.

The panoramic sunroof is also a nice touch. We could go on and on about the extras included if you were to get the fully loaded 2013 SRX, and each one brings a special bonus to the interior of the car. However, the gusto of the SRX rests inside the CUE – the all encompassing infotainment system. CUE is Cadillac’s answer to every luxury brand out there who thinks they have the best In-car Infotainment system. That said, CUE has a lot going on and packs in lots of features, but it isn’t always easy to find exactly what you need. Controls sometimes feel anything but user friendly and more cumbersome than anything. On the bright side, its big icons make it easy for drivers of all ages to see what they need to press. Also, Pandora is a CUE staple, but you need to have an account for it to work. Meanwhile, mapping your navigation or just switching between the radio or other media portions of the CUE at times lack a general flow and consistency, and often left me scratching my head.

While the CUE is feature packed, we just wish that it offered a better user experience. Now, I know my way around an in-car navigation/entertainment systems, but for some reason this one just didn’t come naturally to me. That said, an impressive highlight of the SRX specifically is the ability to watch Blu-ray videos in the backseat. Your kids won’t be saying “are we there yet?!” very often at all. In any case, CUE is newish territory for the Cadillac fleet and with time we are sure they will get the kinks worked out – in the meantime, I just hope the CUE technicians are incredibly patient folks.

Overall, the driving experience of the SRX is tight and solid. But this is a heavy car, so if you expect a light and speedy drive – this is not the SVU for you. On ECO mode, the SRX is even more sluggish, but you’ll conserve the most gas on that setting, whereas moving it to normal will add more pep to your drive and deplete your gas tank a bit quicker. Still, a full tank will get you on average 360 to 380 miles at 16MPG City or 23MPG highway. That is not too shabby when you consider the MPGs of other SUV’s out there on the road.

Verdict

The 2013 Cadillac SRX AWD is a very well made and impressive looking ride. From the inside to the outside, people will notice this car. The interiors are rich and refined looking and really emanate the Cadillac brand. Where it does fall short are the quirky center console controls that aren’t quite buttons, and really aren’t touch controls either. The center console is also a bit plasticky in some places. Then there is CUE that has a lot of potential and with time, we’re sure it will be a serious contender in the Infotainment system arena, but right now we are feeling a bit disappointed by how long it took us to wrap our heads around it. Those gripes aside, the SRX is definitely an SUV you will be proud to say – “That’s my Caddy over there.” The Cadillac SRX 2013 starts at $50,730 and with all add-ons can reach $55,615.

The Good: Great looking SUV. Looks impressive and expensive. Comfortable and solid ride with luxury features that is simply Cadillac. Backseat Blu-ray is pretty awesome. Reasonably priced for luxury brand. Good MPG value. CUE Infotainment system packs in tons of features.

The Bad: CUE left us feeling clueless. Would have liked a little more pep when accelerating. Center console is a bit plasticky.