2010 Cadillac SRX
With all the success Cadillac has had in transforming itself into a world-class rival to European and Asian luxury marques, one notable exception has been the SRX Crossover utility. Now the first gen 2004 SRX just never caught the attention of upper income households. Now, SRX has been totally rethought. And the result is a smaller, sharper, more standout design. So let’s see if the second time is a charm.
The new generation 2010 Cadillac SRX luxury crossover utility cuts a significantly different swath than the original. For one thing, it’s smaller, losing a little more than five inches in wheelbase, and a little less than five inches in length. That makes the new SRX much closer to its targeted rival, the Lexus RX.
But, thanks to Cadillac’s edgy styling, the new SRX comes off bolder and more muscular than the Lexus. Up front is a shield grille, flanked by Cadillac’s signature vertical headlamps with available adaptive swivel lighting.
The SRX’s profile is dynamic, accentuated by short windows, side vents, and a fast-moving upward-swept accent line.
Out back, the raring-to-go look is extended by a roof spoiler and dual chrome exhaust tips.
Wheels are pushed to the corners, in either 18-inch or 20-inch.
Something else that has changed on the new SRX is cabin capacity. From seven it has dropped to five, again the same as the Lexus RX. But what a cabin they will ride in. The SRX interior styling mixes elegance with energy, with a hand-crafted look and fit and finish that is the best ever from a domestic brand.
Gauges and controls are displayed in a logical yet sophisticated manner. The wide center stack is home to an available 3D navigation system that rises from the top of the panel.
Other goodies include an available back-up camera, a Bose 10-speaker stereo system, and an integrated hard disk drive for audio storage.
Seats are fitted with soft leather. They are plush and very supportive with standard 8-way power for the driver and optional heat.
There is ambient lighting by night, and—if you choose—sunlight by day through Cadillac’s latest panoramic sunroof.
The rear seating area is ample space for three adults, with a welcomed two extra inches of legroom over its Lexus rival. The split bench has a center armrest and it also reclines, though the control is hard to reach.
The angled rear of the SRX cuts cargo room compared to its rival. Still, 29 cubic feet seats up, and 61 cubic feet seats down is within class specs. Plus, a flexible “U-rail” adjustable tie-down system and under-floor storage make it very versatile—all reached by an adjustable height power tailgate that is standard on all but the base model.
Under the hood, more big changes for the SRX. The previous V6 and V8 powertrains have been replaced by smaller more efficient designs. Standard is a new direct-injected 3.0-liter V6 with 265 horsepower and 223 pound-feet of torque. Optional is a 2.8-liter turbocharged V6, good for 300 horses and 296 pound-feet of torque.
Each ties to a 6-speed automatic with manual mode. The turbo adds an “eco mode” which alters shift points to optimize fuel economy.
While the 3.0 has adequate response for a 4500-pound crossover, our 2.8T tester delivered a strong launch, with a fast power build. Shifts are well-spaced and solid all the way up the ladder. We find a 7.6-second 0 to 60 very respectable.
Power is relegated to the front or to all four wheels through a sophisticated Haldex transfer case that is standard with the 2.8T. For optimal traction and balance, it can transfer up to 100% of torque front to back, and up to 85% side-to-side at the rear.
The SRX rides on an all-new chassis that is not shared with other GM crossovers. All-wheel-drive integrates with an available real-time damping system for a high degree of cornering prowess. We found the SRX to be very agile and quick-footed on both city streets and fast country sweepers, feeling more drivers’ car than crossover.
Ditto the brakes, with ABS, vented disc, and two-piston front calipers.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the SRX 2.8 Turbo are estimated at a modest 16 city/21 highway on premium gas. We saw only 16.8 miles per gallon in real-world driving.
SRX pricing begins over six grand less than last year, and lower than rival RX. Base is $34,155, with the 2.8T expected to sticker at just under fifty thousand.
The 2010 Cadillac SRX is a huge improvement, and now more clearly targeted towards its luxury-crossover rivals. It has the potential of doing for Cadillac crossovers what the CTS did for their sedans. But, quantum leap or not, it’s now a real charmer.
- Engine: 2.8-Liter Turbocharged V6
- Horsepower: 300
- Torque: 296 Lb Feet
- 0-60 MPH: 7.6 Seconds
- EPA: 16 MPG City/ 21 MPG Highway
- Mixed Loop: 16.8 MPG
Still The Same Mazda3, Just A Bit Better
When the fourth-gen Mazda3 arrived for 2019, it grew a little more stylish, a lot more upscale; and loads more practical too, adding all-wheel drive into the mix for the first time. How does it get better than that? Well, for ’23 the 3 adds an engine update that promises to deliver more power and better efficiency. Time to speak truth to this power.
The Mazda3 has always been a great compact car, big on both fun and value, and has earned numerous MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Awards over the years. This current-gen has been on the road for 4-years now, and it gets even better for 2023.
Starting with the powertrain, the base 2.0-liter I4 has been eliminated leaving just 2 versions of the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, turbo and non-turbo. Base versions get a 5-horsepower bump to 191-horsepower, along with updates for its cylinder deactivation system. The 2.5 Turbo fits standard all-wheel drive and outputs the same 250-horsepower and 320 lb-ft. of torque as last year; provided you use Premium gas. Max ratings drop to 227-horsepower and 310 lb-ft. with Regular.
A 6-speed manual transmission remains available in front-wheel drive 3s, but AWDs come exclusively with a sport-tuned 6-speed automatic. We found it well-sorted and seemingly always on the same page as us whether we were shuffling through back roads or sitting in traffic. There is a softer overall feel compared to Mazda3s of old, which you’ll appreciate when encountering harsh pavement, but it still feels plenty agile when called upon.
That softer feel certainly carries over inside, where it has gotten much quieter, and quite nicely finished, consistent with Mazda’s Audi-like premium intentions. All 3s get an 8.8-inch center display, and all of the fingerprints on our test car’s screen signifies most people assume it’s a touchscreen. It’s not, however, as inputs are made with a rotary controller on the console. It’s not the most intuitive system, but once you’re past the learning curve, it’s tolerable.
The rear seat room doesn’t have the roomy feel of the Subaru Impreza, but space is certainly more than adequate compared to the rest of the compact set. Rear cargo space for this hatchback rates a good 20.1 cubic-ft. with trunk space in the sedan coming in at 13.2 cubic-ft. So yes, the Mazda3 remains available in both sedan and hatchback, but we still prefer the 5-door hatch both for its practicality and for its sporty looks. Top Turbo Premium Plus gets gloss black aero treatments including a roof spoiler and front air dam.
At the test track, power from the 2.5-turbo felt more than adequate off the line, using all-wheel-drive grip to bite into the pavement and get up and go to 60 in 6.0-seconds flat. There was virtually no turbo lag, and the engine felt nicely refined with its power delivery. Transmission operation was equally as smooth and kept the power flowing quite effectively throughout the ¼-mile, which ended in 14.5-seconds at 95 miles-per-hour. We really appreciate a well-tuned 6-speed in this world of overactive 8 and 10 speed automatics.
While there was definitely some understeer to manage in our handling course, the 3 turned in quickly and provided real, sporting feedback through our cone course. I-Activ AWD features G-Vectoring Control Plus, which uses both engine torque vectoring as well as selective braking to minimize body roll, and preserve the lively feel we’ve come to expect from Mazda. In panic braking runs, the pedal was soft, but that kept ABS pulsing to a minimum; and the results were great, as we averaged a very short 106-feet from 60, with minimal nose dive and stable, straight stops.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for an all-wheel drive Turbo are 23-City, 31-Highway, and 26-Combined; we averaged a good 28.4 miles-per-gallon of Regular.
Obviously by eliminating the previous base engine, prices have taken a jump for ’23, but so has everything else. Still they remain more than reasonable. The base S now starts at $26,855, with the top Turbo Premium Plus at $37,815, with many options in between. And sedan prices are even more sensible, starting at $23,715.
Like most brands, Mazda seems to be going all-in on SUVs; as the 3 is the last family sedan and hatchback in their lineup. And it would be a real shame if that were to change. As the 2023 Mazda3, the hatchback in particular, is just about the perfect car, offering utility vehicles levels of practicality along with better than average luxury, plus handling performance that few crossovers can match. So, long live the Mazda3!
- Engine: 2.5-liter Turbo-4
- Horsepower: 227 | 250
- 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 106 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 28.4 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: 6-speed auto
- Torque: 310 lb-ft. | 320 lb-ft
- 1/4 Mile: 14.5-seconds at 95 mph
- EPA: 23-City / 31-Highway / 26-Combined