Cadillac Srx V8 Awd Models & History 2004

Test Drive: 2004 Cadillac SRX V8 AWD Story and photos by Greg Wilson Like the Chrysler Pacifica, Audi Allroad and Volvo XC90, the new Cadillac SRX is one of those luxury “crossover” wagons that’s not quite a sport utility vehicle and not quite a wagon. While more practical than a luxury sedan, the SRX is not as big and bulky as an SUV and offers better ride and handling than an SUV – so it’s a nice “in-betweener” kind of luxury utility vehicle. Click image to enlarge The SRX’s interior is roomy – it has a fairly long 116 inch wheelbase, and second row legroom is claimed to be the best in its class. Front and rear passengers have generous headroom and legroom but the optional third row seat has very little legroom. The dash and console are nicely finished, however the mixture of coarse dark plastic, dark wood trim on dash and steering wheel, and black leather seats in my test car gave it a rather sombre appearance. The leather and wood steering wheel is attractive, but I found the lacquered wood kind of slippery to grip. Base SRX models come well-equipped, including a dual zone automatic climate control system, rear fan control, front, side and curtain airbags, leather seats (heated in front), 8-way power driver and passenger front seats with memory, heated outside mirrors, power windows and locks and remote entry, 6-disc CD changer, and cruise control. My fully loaded SRX AWD V8 model had over $16,000 worth of options. The most expensive option is the Preferred Equipment Group package ($7,325) which includes all-wheel-drive, burl walnut trim, Bose 8-speaker audio system, HID headlamps, power pedals, and magnetic ride control. In addition, my test vehicle had the optional DVD navigation system ($3,205); power folding 3rd row seat ($2,000); super large “Ultraview” sunroof ($2,000); and DVD rear entertainment system $1,660). The optional navigation system includes a 6.5 inch centre colour touch screen, with a map that always points north rather than turning in the direction the car is going. Both text and audible message guide the driver to their destination, and the DVD covers Canada and the U.S. The touch screen can be used to change various functions, such as English/Metric readouts, on/off delayed lighting and so forth. At the top of the screen is a readout for radio station, clock and outside temperature. Traditional controls for the radio are on located just to the left of the screen. I found most controls easy to use, but unusually, the rear wiper control and rear fan speed control are located on the overhead console. The huge (optional) “ultraview” moonroof, which extends over the second row seating positions, allows plenty of daylight in and features a power sliding sunshade. When the moonroof opens, it slides up and over the top of the roof – it doesn’t look odd because it’s hidden behind the side roof rails. My car also had the optional rear entertainment systems which consists of a 7 inch LCD colour monitor at the rear of the centre console, a DVD player, 2 sets of wireless headphones and audio controls, and inputs for video camera and video games. The screen is positioned low so it doesn’t interfere with vision through the rearview mirror, like some roof-mounted screens do. Rear video systems are very useful if you have children under 18. As I mentioned, the second row seats are very comfortable with generous legroom and headroom. To access the third row seat, the right-side 2nd row passenger seat flips over. The third row seat has adequate headroom, but there is no floor well and legroom is cramped. I found it quite uncomfortable. This seat is best used for small children. The third row seatback can be folded down when not in use by simply pressing a button in the cargo area, however the two rear head restraints must be removed first. As a safety feature, the driver must press the remote unlock button three times before the seat will fold over. This is to prevent young children from pressing the button when they shouldn’t be doing it – as we all know, young kids just love to press buttons to see what happens. The third row seat also features a power reclining seatback, a unique feature. Luggage space behind the third row seat is minimal, so you won’t be going on any long trips with seven passengers on board. Note that the third row seatback is not a split seatback, so it’s not possible to fold half down and seat someone on the other side. With the power third row seatback folded flat, there is a roomy cargo area (918 litres/32.4 cu. ft.) or about twice what you would find in a typical mid-size sedan trunk. As well, the second row 60/40 split folding seatbacks can be folded down which more than doubles the cargo area. If you don’t order the third row seat, the SRX comes with a rear storage tray integrated into the rear floor with a detachable storage bin. The rear cargo door is a hatch which lifts up over your head but there is no separately opening rear window glass. Verdict The Cadillac SRX V8 with all-wheel-drive has a nice combination of power, refinement, practicality, and all-weather capability. Complaints? The third row seat is too small for adults, fuel consumption is thirsty, and the as-tested price is high when fully loaded. The SRX is manufactured in Lansing, Michigan where the CTS is also built. Technical Data: 2004 Cadillac SRX V8 AWD Base price (V6) $52,250 Base price (V8) $61,340 Options $16,190 (Preferred Equipment Package 1SC $7,325; DVD navigation system $3,205; 3rd row seat $2,000; Ultraview sunroof $2,000; DVD rear entertainment system $1,660) Freight $1,050 A/C tax $100 Price as tested $78,680 Type 4-door, 5-passenger mid-size utility wagon Layout longitudinal front engine/RWD or AWD Engine 4.6 litre V8, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable valve timing Horsepower 320 @ 6400 Torque 315 lb-ft @ 4400 Transmission 5-speed auto Tires Front: Michelin all-season P235/60R-18; rear, P255/55R-18 Curb weight 2015 kg (4442 lb.) Max. towing capacity 1588 kg (3500 lb) w/towing package Wheelbase 2957 mm (116.0 in.) Length 4950 mm (195.0 in.) Width 1854 mm (72.6 in.) Height 1722 mm (67.8 in.) Ground clearance 208 mm (8.2 in.) Cargo area 238 litres (8.4 cu. ft.) (2nd and 3rd row up) 918 litres (32.4 cu. ft.) (2nd row up, 3rd row down) 1968 litres (69.5 cu. ft.) (2nd and 3rd row down) Fuel consumption City: 16.2 l/100 km (17 mpg) Hwy: 10.8 l/100 km (26 mpg) Fuel Premium recommended but not required Warranty 4 yrs/80,000 km Greg Wilson is a Vancouver-based automotive journalist and editor of CanadianDriver