Morgan Pritchett
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History of the Cadillac SRX

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A red 2006 Cadillac SRX parked in a residential area
2006 Cadillac SRX
Photo: Rutger van der Maar via CC

The luxury crossover segment is currently filled with appealing options from various brands. Cadillac was quick to get in on the fun in the early 2000s with the introduction of the SRX in 2003. The Cadillac SRX became immensely successful and was even the brand’s best-selling vehicle in 2010 before being discontinued in 2016 to make way for newer models.

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Early history

The first generation of the Cadillac SRX was introduced in 2003 as a 2004 model and was based on the General Motors mid-size rear-wheel drive Sigma platform. Engine options included a 255-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 as well as a hearty 320-horsepower 4.6-liter V8. Customers could also choose between a five-speed and a six-speed automatic transmission. Inside, leather seats were standard while wood trim and heated front seats were available options. Additional available features included a navigation system, a power-foldable third-row seat, a sunroof, and a DVD player.

For the next 5 model years, the SRX underwent a handful of changes. Cadillac added high-end accents like chrome trimming on the interior gauges, a power tailgate, satellite radio, a Bose audio system with digital surround sound, an updated three-spoke steering wheel, and Adaptive Remote Start. When it comes to performance, the SRX’s towing capacity increased to 4,250 pounds thanks to the addition of an available towing package on V6 models. From 2004-2006, the Cadillac SRX won the “Luxury SUV” award from Car and Driver’s Five Best Trucks list.

A silver 2016 Cadillac SRX in front of a blank black background
The 2016 Cadillac SRX looks similar to the XT5
Photo: Cadillac

Final generation

In 2009, the second — and final — generation of the Cadillac SRX debuted. Moving away from its boxy exterior, the SRX was redesigned and modeled after the Provoq concept on a variation of the GM Epsilon II mid-size front-wheel drive platform. Cadillac ditched the V8 engine for this generation and instead offered a more fuel-efficient turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 along with the naturally aspirated 3.0-liter V6. However, the smaller V6 was discontinued in 2011 due to low sales. The following year, Cadillac introduced a 3.6-liter V6 with E85 flex-fuel capability as well as a six-speed automatic transmission with an Eco feature for improved fuel economy.

The SRX received a minor facelift in 2013, which included interior upgrades like active noise cancellation, more USB ports, an SD card slot, Bluetooth audio streaming, HD radio, a 12-volt outlet, and the Cadillac User Experience infotainment system. On the outside, the 2013 SRX received a new front fascia, faux fender vents, and three new exterior colors: Silver Coast Metallic, Glacier Blue Metallic, and Evolution Green Metallic. Over the next few years, the Cadillac SRX got more updates like internet capability, updated headlights, and additional color changes.

Cadillac introduced the all-new XT5 in early 2016 as the successor to the SRX. It was the second model to align with the brand’s alphanumeric naming structure and was the first in the XT (Crossover Touring) series, followed by the XT4 in 2018 and the XT6 in 2019.