2012 Cadillac SRX Review

Pros & Cons

  • Abundant features
  • capable handling
  • classy cabin design
  • smart infotainment interface.
  • Limited backseat headroom
  • compromised outward visibility.
List Price Range
$10,495 - $15,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Thanks to some improvements this year, the 2012 Cadillac SRX is a more well-rounded and appealing luxury crossover.

Vehicle overview

When it debuted two years ago, the Cadillac SRX was a bit of an underachiever. We described it as "competent but far from class-leading." Thankfully, Cadillac has made a number of changes this year to make the 2012 SRX a more appealing luxury crossover SUV.

As before, the compact SRX's styling is still a real head-turner and unmistakably Cadillac. The comfortable interior is equally attractive and filled with many desirable features, including some that aren't even offered on competing models. The SRX is also pleasant to drive, with confident handling and a composed and quiet ride.

There's more to like for the 2012 Cadillac SRX, too. In prior years, the SRX came with either an underwhelming base 3.0-liter V6 or a more satisfying but expensive turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 upgrade. Now both have been replaced by a 308-horsepower 3.8-liter V6. This is certainly good news, as you no longer have to pay top dollar to get the best engine. And as before, the SRX is offered in both front-drive and all-wheel-drive variants.

On the downside, though, Cadillac wasn't able to address one prior problem with the SRX: weight. A good candidate for The Biggest Loser, the SRX is about 200-300 pounds heavier than most competitors. That might not seem like much, but it does negatively impact everything from acceleration to handling. Other SRX drawbacks are still there, too, including tight rear-seat headroom and poor outward visibility.

All things considered, though, the SRX is a more competitive vehicle this year, and its inherent strengths of classy styling and abundant features shine more readily. We would still suggest checking out other top crossovers such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK350 and Volvo XC60, as they aren't as compromised in terms of practicality and are superior to the Cadillac in a few other areas as well. But the 2012 Cadillac SRX is finally the vehicle it should have been two years ago.

2012 Cadillac SRX models

The 2012 Cadillac SRX is a compact luxury crossover SUV available in four trim levels, including Base, Luxury, Performance and Premium.

The base model comes equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, roof rails, keyless entry, remote engine start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, a reclining and 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, OnStar, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker Bose stereo with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio input jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

Move up to the SRX Luxury and you get front and rear parking sensors, power-folding outside mirrors with driver-side auto-dimming, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, keyless ignition/entry and a power liftgate with adjustable maximum height. Inside there's leather upholstery, driver seat adjustable thigh support, an eight-way power passenger seat, heated front seats and steering wheel, driver memory functions, power-adjustable pedals, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, interior accent lighting, the U-Rail cargo management system and a rearview camera. Options include a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with iPod/USB interface and digital music storage.

The Performance model adds 20-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and adaptive dampers (all-wheel drive only), upgraded steering, adaptive xenon headlights, foglamps, the navigation system and the Bose surround-sound audio system.

The top-of-the-line SRX Premium brings a few extra goodies, including tri-zone climate control, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and rear seat audio controls.

A rear-seat DVD entertainment system with dual seatback-mounted screens is available on all but the base model.

2012 Highlights

For the 2012 Cadillac SRX, a new 3.6-liter V6 replaces both of the previous engine choices. The six-speed automatic transmission also gains a fuel-saving Eco mode. In terms of features, Bluetooth is now standard, while a heated steering wheel is standard on all trims except the base SRX. Cadillac says it also retuned the suspension and added more sound insulation for a more comfortable and quiet ride.

Performance & mpg

For 2012, the Cadillac SRX gets a 3.6-liter V6 engine that puts out 308 hp and 265 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered. Front-wheel drive is standard and all wheel drive is available as an option. At our test track, an SRX Performance FWD sprinted to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, a fairly quick time for the segment.

In terms of fuel economy, the SRX is a little below average, with an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined for front-drive models and 16/23/18 for AWD. Cadillac says using the new Eco mode can improve fuel economy by up to 1 mpg. Properly equipped, the SRX can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Safety

The 2012 Cadillac SRX comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and OnStar. In Edmunds brake testing, An SRX Performance FWD came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet, a solid number in this class.

In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the SRX received the top rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Driving

The 2012 Cadillac SRX's new V6 accelerates more briskly and has a broader torque curve than last year's base V6. It also has more character, as it emits a pleasingly throaty, yet refined growl when you lean on it and stays smooth as the revs climb to the redline. The transmission willingly steps down for swift passing, and gearchanges under hard acceleration are seamless, if a bit slow for serious driving enthusiasts.

In other respects, the SRX is enjoyable from behind the wheel. Handling is better than you'd expect from a 2-ton-plus luxury crossover, especially with the available sport-turned suspension. The steering is fairly quick and there's minimal body lean in faster corners, making the SRX fairly athletic for its size. The ride quality is also plusher this year thanks to the revised suspension tuning. Even the Performance variant, with its big wheels and firmer suspension calibrations, delivers a compliant ride over all but the most severe pavement flaws.

Interior

Perhaps the SRX's greatest strength is the styling and quality of its interior. The combination of high-end materials and striking design makes an immediate and very positive impression.

That view is further enhanced by the range of available bells and whistles, from the large touchscreen that rises out of the dash on models equipped with the navigation system to the rear-seat video system that can play two different program sources at once. All that technology does come with a plethora of buttons in the center stack that can be hard to sort out with a quick glance.

Speaking of neat features that have their downsides, the panoramic sunroof that's standard on all but the base model cuts into rear seat headroom quite substantially. The net effect is that even normal-sized adults will find their heads uncomfortably grazing the roof. Otherwise the cabin gets strong marks for legroom and seating comfort.

The power-operated rear liftgate is a thoughtful touch, with its two-position height setting that allows it to be raised even in garages with low ceilings. Once that liftgate is raised, there are 30 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 61 cubic feet with both sections of the 60/40-split rear seatbacks folded down. Both are about average for the class.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2012 Cadillac SRX.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Fairly new yet but
pierret,12/19/2011
Premium 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
The car overall is A+ the seats could adjust up on the front side more. The road noise is very little there is some engine noise when getting on it but I kind of like that
2012 SRX Performance
madillini,03/19/2014
Performance 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
Bought this car a month ago. Also considered the Lexus 350. It wasn't even close. The SRX seems much roomier inside and has many more nice features. The exterior is chiseled yet sleek, the interior is roomy and comfortable. Seats are very supportive and love the pull out thigh support on the drivers side. Haven't used the GPS much but no problems with accuracy when I did. I actually like the push button parking break. Drive is very quiet, acceleration is quick, steering is responsive, shifting is ultra smooth, this car is a joy to drive.
Very happy with the SRX
commander58,01/13/2012
Luxury 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
2012 FWD Luxury model. Great lease value compared to competetors such as Acura MDX. Infinity EX, FX, etc. Delaership experience excellent. SRX rides fantastic. Road noise non-existent. Handling, acceleration, shifting of the transmisson all great. Seats are firm, but I find the SRX to be very comfortable. Great feature content on the Luxury trim level. Averaging 21 mpg with mostly highway driving. Very pleased with the exterior & interior appearanc eand build quality. I was in the market for a luxury SUV/CUV and found this to be the best value out there. I have not had a GM product for quite a few years, and I'm very impressed so far!
Good All Around SUV
rocky92,03/28/2014
Luxury 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
My 2012 SRX is front wheel drive luxury model with 18 inch wheels. Original owner and no reason to get a newer vehicle. Good handling, quite, and good pick up and smooth and I drive it aggressively at times. All around MPG is 20 to 21 MPG which is better than the AWD models. The 2012 model has buttons which I like better than touch screens.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2012 Cadillac SRX features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover17.9%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2012 Cadillac SRX
More About This Model

The 2010 Cadillac SRX did not make a great first impression on us. At the time, we felt that the base engine was not powerful enough and the turbo engine could only be had in the highest trim levels. But regardless of what we thought, the second-generation Cadillac SRX went on to be a huge success for the automaker. It has quickly become Cadillac's best-selling vehicle and also the second best-selling luxury SUV in the market.

To its credit, General Motors listened to the feedback and made a number of improvements, even though strong sales might have persuaded the company otherwise. So now the 2012 Cadillac SRX receives another engine, which takes the place of the other two. It is not only more powerful than its discontinued predecessors but also standard equipment for all trim levels. This is great news for potential SRX buyers, who no longer have to pay top dollar to get the best engine.

There are a number of competitive vehicles in this segment. With a base price of $35,185 for the entry-level front-wheel-drive model, the SRX is the least expensive in its class, but it doesn't have as many standard features as its competitors. If you are willing to give up some cargo space for more refinement, you can get into a Mercedes-Benz GLK350 for about $700 more. The Acura MDX can carry seven passengers and has all-wheel drive standard, but it also has a higher base price. Finally, the Lexus RX 350 is a solid pick, but it has a softer suspension and isn't as fun to drive.

Used 2012 Cadillac SRX Overview

The Used 2012 Cadillac SRX is offered in the following submodels: SRX SUV. Available styles include Luxury 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Performance 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Luxury 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Performance 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Premium 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), and Premium 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2012 Cadillac SRX?

Price comparisons for Used 2012 Cadillac SRX trim styles:

  • The Used 2012 Cadillac SRX Premium is priced between $12,490 and$15,995 with odometer readings between 59437 and121603 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Cadillac SRX Base is priced between $10,995 and$12,995 with odometer readings between 56853 and91726 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Cadillac SRX Luxury is priced between $10,495 and$15,995 with odometer readings between 49334 and89884 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Cadillac SRX Performance is priced between $13,854 and$13,977 with odometer readings between 87641 and103832 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2012 Cadillac SRXES are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Cadillac SRX for sale near. There are currently 12 used and CPO 2012 SRXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,495 and mileage as low as 49334 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2012 Cadillac SRX.

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Find a used Cadillac SRX for sale - 5 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $12,603.

Find a used Cadillac for sale - 7 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $13,595.

Find a used certified pre-owned Cadillac SRX for sale - 11 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $12,361.

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Should I lease or buy a 2012 Cadillac SRX?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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