2008 Cadillac SRX Performance

$4,581 - $5,422

2008 Cadillac SRX Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2008 Cadillac SRX was new.


Performance: 7.8

The 2008 Cadillac SRX is a crowd-pleaser for performance. The Detroit News calls it a "slam-dunk" and favors it over the Lexus RX, and Forbes hails it as a "solid all-around performer." Most reviewers also agree that the SRX provides an enjoyable ride ideal for inclement weather and long road trips.

However, a point of criticism mentioned by several reviewers is the SRX's low fuel economy. Handling is also a point of contention. While many reviewers praise it, a vocal minority complains about body roll, slow steering, and inadequate highway passing power.

Acceleration and Power

Under the hood, the SRX's standard V6 3.6-liter engine pumps out 255 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. It also has a five-speed automatic transmission for rear-wheel drive. The Northstar V8 engine puts out 320 horsepower and 315 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard (all-wheel is optional), and it's equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission for either drivetrain. MSN states that, "Both engines are sophisticated, and both transmissions are responsive."

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the two-wheel-drive SRX with the base engine is expected to net 15 miles per gallon in the city and 22 on the highway. With the V8, it should get 13/20 city highway. The all-wheel-drive model is expected to net 14/22 and 13/20 city/highway, respectively. Many reviewers see the SRX's fuel economy as a problem. Kelley Blue Book notes that the V6 (although it "lags" at times) may be preferable to the V8 for fuel economy purposes. CNET's tests showed that in mixed city/highway driving, gas mileage proved "pretty dismal."

CarsDirect.com took the SRX on a spin around mountain roads and gave it a thumbs up, praising both the V6 and V8 engines and giving a slight edge to the powerful V8. Whereas, Edmunds notes that the V6 engine provides just "adequate power." One Edmunds reviewer explains that "the engine gives you the best of both worlds -- it's nice and quiet if you are mellow but it growls when you goose it." MSN, however, notes that the V6 is much noisier in comparison with the larger engine.

In regards to the AWD V8's new six-speed transmission, the Detroit News is impressed, saying that "it's a sweet power train combination." Consumer Guide also praises the V6's five-speed transmission, explaining that it "shifts well enough, though it's slow to respond to manual-mode inputs." MSN refers to both transmissions as "responsive."

Handling and Braking

Most reviewers praise the SRX's handling, though a vocal minority feels it leaves something to be desired. Edmunds says, "On the move, the SRX impresses with its outstanding handling and brisk acceleration." And the Orlando Sentinel adds that "the SRX is one of the most-comfortable, best-handling sport utes available at any price." According to Cadillac, the SRX's suspension is a four-wheel independent design, and it has speed-sensitive, variable-assist, power rack-and-pinion steering.

In regards to the suspension, Kelley Blue Book says, "Some SUV suspensions tremble at the first sign of an S-curve, but not that of the SRX, which negotiates corners without giving the impression it has a high center of gravity. . . ." Edmunds also applauds the optional Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) adaptive suspension, which it claims provides "outstanding" handling. Consumer Guide also approves of the SRX's ride quality, stating that it's "among the better-riding SUVs of any stripe, but not luxury-sedan absorbent."

On the flip side, a few other critics beat a different drum: In Consumer Guide's tests, the V6 AWD rated well in performance while driving in around-town traffic, but it provided a "tepid response in high-speed freeway passing maneuvers." CNET also chimes in, explaining that the "noisy V6 engine fails to justify its V8 fuel economy on the highway," and although it provides smooth sailing over uneven roads, it doesn't cope as well with sharp turns, resulting in an "expected body roll, and pulling up to a stop caused the cabin to lunge forward." MSN also had problems with the handling, saying that, "While precise, the steering is a little slow to react when, say, turning from a street onto another street or into an alley."


Towing capacity for the 2008 SRX is 2,000 pounds (base) and 4,250 pounds with the V92 Trailering Package, which is part of the optional Utility Package. However, NewCars.com notes, "Towing is significantly more the typical luxury SUV's forte than it is the Cadillac SRX's."

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