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2004 Cadillac SRX Road Test

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As Good as an X5?

Do you like it? I do, at least when it comes to styling. I really think Cadillac is onto something with its edgy, angled art of science approach, with the SRX falling right into the brand's new lineup both from a design and contextual perspective.

I really think Cadillac is onto something with its edgy, angled art of science approach. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)
It's aggressive, but not quite as much as the CTS sedan or XLR roadster, more of a tall station wagon a la Volvo XC70 than a testosterone induced SUV. The rear lights are massive, reminding me of a bygone era when tall, vertical tail lamps were all the rage in Cadillac design. The center mounted brake light just might be the largest in recorded history, almost spanning the entire width of the vehicle. Just below, the SRX's rear side windows wrap around to seamlessly form into a large back window. It's nicely shaped too with a chevron dip at its middle, mirroring the attractive grille at the vehicle's opposing end.

Will everyone like the SRX? Most definitely not! But premium marks hardly do well when trying to be everything to everybody, and Cadillac should be commended for its bold design move. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)
The headlamp clusters are vertical, similar to Cadillac's other recent offerings, with a blunt front fascia integrating large square fog lamps. The fenders are sharply creased to match the rest of the vehicle's rigid angles, a nice alternative to the ovoid sameness all too common in the luxury car set. Will everyone like it? Most definitely not! But premium marks hardly do well when trying to be everything to everybody, or merely imitating class leading style such as Lincoln did with its LS carbon copy of the BMW 5-Series. Cadillac should be commended for its bold design move.

Speaking of commendable moves, a near 50:50 weight distribution and low center of gravity helps this SUV handle like a sports sedan. I particularly like the CTS from a driving dynamics standpoint, which is also based on GM's Sigma rear-wheel drive architecture, so I expected the XRS to perform well.