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2004 Cadillac SRX-V8 All Wheel Drive Mid-Size Near-Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle

Car Review of the 2004 Cadillac SRX-V8 All Wheel Drive Mid-Size Near-Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle

Base MSRP Range: $37,995 - $46,595

Base Invoice Range: $35,145 - $43,100

MSRP As Tested: $58,140

Versions: Base, V-6, V-8

Vehicle Category: Mid-Size Luxury SUV

Engine Location: Front Engine

Drive Wheels: Rear-Wheel Drive , Optional All Wheel Drive .

Base Engine: 3.6-liter, Dual Overhead Cam, 24-valves, V-6, 255 -horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 254 lb-ft torque at 3,200 rpm.

Optional Engine: 4.6-liter, Dual Overhead Cam, 32-valves, V-6, 320 -horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 315 lb-ft torque at 4,400 rpm.

Transmission As Tested: 5-Speed Automatic.

Fuel Economy (city/hwy): V-6 16/22, V-8 15/20.

Standard Safety Features: Driver and front passenger airbags, Side air curtain, ">Antilock Brake System

Competition: BMW X5, Lexus RX 330, Acura MDX, Volvo XC90, Mercedes M-Class, Volkswagen Touareg, Infiniti FX35 and FX45, Porsche Cayenne.


According to General Motors, the SRX has been purposefully designed to “look like nothing else on the road.” And indeed, it has a façade almost all its own. The SRX, like its siblings, the CTS sedan & XLR roadster, set themselves apart from Cadillac’s other models with their pronounced chiseled sheet metal. They each feature sharp styling with lots of angles, a kind of in-your-face grace. Their front grille is creased, giving them an edgy, geometric personality that has divided onlookers into two types: people who really liked the SRX’s appearance and people who don’t- no fence sitters with this one.

During our weeklong test drive, it did not matter if our passengers found this stoic stance attractive or not, what they did all agree upon was that the ride was first class. With the longest wheelbase (distance between the front and rear wheels) in its class, a near 50-50 weight distribution and low center of gravity the SRX provides a smooth, fluid ride.

Combine this elongated body with Cadillac’s new 4.6L Northstar V8 Variable Valve Timing engine (a 3.6L V6 is also available) and you have a utility wagon that can crank out 320 horses at 6,400 rpm and 315 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm. SRX drivers will never get left in the dust with this powerhouse; in fact, this V8 is the same engine that is found inside the $76,000 XLR.

Caddy style

Inside, the SRX offers a fun ride. There’s an optional third row seat ($1,000), which ups the passenger capacity from five to seven. If you like the third row option, but you also need cargo space, you can simply fold the third row into the floor with just the press of a button.

Second row passengers are treated to a best-in-class 41-inches of legroom, as well as a good view of the optional DVD entertainment system ($1,200). Unlike most factory-installed DVD systems, the SRX’s DVD screen is attached to the front center console as opposed to the ceiling; consequently, third seaters aren’t going to be able to enjoy the show as much as the other passengers.

However, when it comes to the SRX’s “Ultra View” sunroof ($1,800 option) no passenger is left out. The largest open-air sunroof in this segment; it retracts over first and second row seats to expose an impressive 5.6 feet of sky. The “Ultra View Plus” option ($2,250) adds additional upward visibility by including a vented glass roof (along with a power sunshade) over the third row seat.

Interior materials are first class throughout. Blending dark wood and supple leather, the SRX displays a rich, opulent appearance. Burl walnut trim can be found on the steering wheel, shift knob, shifter plate and door pulls.

What’s in name?

Cadillac has been on an abbreviation kick lately, with the SRX, CTS and XLR all wearing three-letters above their rear bumper. With so many “nameless” vehicles it’s often hard to keep them straight: Which one is the sedan? The roadster? The utility wagon? Of course, Cadillac isn’t alone in this acronym trend, there’s the BMW X5, Infiniti FX, Acura MDX, Volvo XC90 and Lexus RX330, all of which happen to be the SRX’s competitors. Still, we believe that when you insert a name behind a model its easier to distinguish it from others in its class. For example, the Escalade - its very name conjures images of its massive, aggressive exterior and stylish interior - or, the Deville - a name synonymous with timeless sophistication and classic elegance. Perhaps future SRX versions will deviate from this acronymic trend, furthering setting itself apart from the competition by making a more concrete, visual name for itself?


Where the Cadillac SRX shines is inside. Its pampers its passengers with high class, quality materials and all of the amenities expected in a vehicle priced in the upper 40s to 50s. On top of that, it provides more-than-ample engine performance. With a zero to sixty speed of 6.9 seconds, there was no second-guessing when we needed to pass a car on a two-lane road - we punched the accelerator and the SRX responded with glee.

Cadillac connoisseurs will not be disappointed with the 2004 SRX. In addition to delivering an impressive amount of power in a roomy and comfortable environment, it provides a generous amount of all-weather capabilities with its all-speed traction control, magnetic ride control (computer-controlled suspension system) and StabiliTrak system - all of which are welcomed attributes on rainy days down here in Texas and any time you venture north of the Lone Star state during the winter months.

Even though the debate is ongoing regarding the SRX’s appearance, there’s one thing for certain: your SRX will definitely not blend in with the other Japanese and European luxury utility vehicles; it embodies individuality. Want to stand apart from the crowded mid-size luxury utility market, yet still enjoy the amenities? The Cadillac SRX is for you.

Ratings (1-10)

  • Style: 7
  • Performance: 7
  • Price: 6
  • Handling: 7
  • Ride: 7
  • Comfort: 8
  • Quality: 7
  • Overall: 7

More Data

Where Built: Lansing, Michigan

Major Options: Luxury Utility Package, Option Package 1SB, UltraView power sunroof, 3rd-row power-stowable seat.

Seating: 7

Number of Rows: 3

Length in Inches: 194.9

Warranties: 4 years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, 6 years/100,000 miles corrosion protection, 4 years/50,000 miles free roadside assistance.

Weight in Pounds: 4,442 lbs

Cargo Capacity in Pounds: Not Available

Gross Maximum Vehicle Weight in Pounds: Not Available

Towing Capacity in Pounds: 3,500

Gas Tank Capacity in Gallons: 20.0

Destination Charge: $695