Premium midsize SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $8,200 – $25,000*

2005 Cadillac SRX

2005 Cadillac SRX

2004 Cadillac SRX

  • Acceleration (V8 models)
  • Cargo room
  • Passenger room
  • Navigation-system controls
  • Fuel economy

Unless you off-road or tow heavy loads, the SRX’s premium-car road manners and efficient packaging make it preferable to most truck-based luxury SUVs. Those attributes, combined with AWD security, also make it a thoughtful alternative to traditional luxury sedans. In performance, features, and accommodations–if not always in quality of cabin appointments–Cadillac’s SRX ranks among the best premium midsize SUVs in its price class.


Cadillac’s first car-based sport-utility vehicle offered V6 or V8 power, and carried up to seven passengers with an available third-row seat. SRX was taller than a passenger car, but not as high as a truck-based SUV. Rear-wheel drive was standard. Optional all-wheel drive did not include low-range gearing.

Available with either drive system was a 260-horsepower V6 or a 320-horsepower V8. The sole transmission was a five-speed automatic with a separate gate for manual shifting. ABS and traction control were standard. So were front side airbags and curtain side airbags for the first two seating rows.

Available in a package that included all-wheel drive was GM’s Magnetic Ride Control, which automatically adjusted suspension firmness based on the road surface. The V6 models used 17-inch wheels, versus 18-inch for V8s. Each SRX had a manual liftgate without a separate-opening window.

Leather upholstery was standard. The split folding second-row seat slid fore and aft 4 inches to adjust leg room. The optional two-passenger third-row seat was power-operated to fold down flush with the rear cargo floor. Available in its place was a compartmentalized storage bin.

Wood interior trim, heated front seats, and power-adjustable pedals were standard on V8s, optional with V6 power. Other options included rear DVD entertainment, Cadillac’s UltraView sunroof with a 5.6 square-foot opening, and UltraViewPlus that added a vented glass panel over the third-row seat.

Competitors included the Acura MDX, Infiniti FX, Lexus RX 330, and Volvo XC90. Cadillac also produced the larger, truck-based Escalade.

Yearly Updates

2005 SRX
Only detail changes were evident for 2005. The gauge cluster added chrome accents. A towing package could now be installed on V6 as well as V8 models, and rated tow capacity grew by half a ton (to 4250 pounds).
2006 SRX
A power liftgate became standard this year.
2007 SRX
A redesigned dashboard and revamped interior materials were the main 2007 changes for the smaller of Cadillac’s two SUVs.
2008 SRX
The 2008 Cadillac SRX received no changes of note.
2009 SRX
SRX carried on with few changes pending a redesign due in calendar 2009 as a 2010 model.


longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive

Two engines are available in SRX wagons: a 260-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 and a 320-horsepower 4.6-liter V8. Each is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/217
Engine HP 257
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 253
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic



dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/279
Engine HP 320
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 315
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic



Road Test

Cadillac claimed 6.9-second 0-60 mph acceleration for an AWD V8 model. The V8 SRXs move briskly off the line, and, with help from the crisp-shifting transmission, respond willingly in highway passing and merging. However, they’re slow to respond to manual-mode selections. A V6 model with AWD did the 0-60 mph dash in 7.6 seconds, exhibiting fine movement away from a stop and in around-town traffic, but tepid response in high-speed highway passing maneuvers. Thus, the V8 has a tangible advantage only in highway passing, or when climbing long grades.

EPA gas-mileage estimates are similar to the truck-based V6 and V8 midsize SUVs. An AWD V6 model achieved 17.1 mpg in a city/highway mix, and 13.6 mpg in mostly city driving–including gas-eating performance tests. In mixed driving, a V8 AWD model averaged 15 mpg. Cadillac recommends premium-grade fuel for the V8, and regular for the V6.

Cadillac’s SRX is among the best-riding SUVs of any stripe, but its suspension is not luxury-sedan absorbent. It rides firmly but soaks up routine bumps and potholes, and is reassuringly flat at highway speeds. However, the rear end, in particular, reacts abruptly to sharp bumps or cracks and peaked ridges. On the plus side, there’s little bob or wallow over highway crests and dips.

Handling ranks among the class leaders, if not up to BMW, Infiniti, or Porsche for quick, confident moves. Steering is precise and natural in feel, though some testers have declared it slow to react. Substantial weight and slightly elevated ride height contribute to some unwieldy sensations in fast maneuvers, but overall balance and grip in turns is good. Despite a spongy brake-pedal feel, the SRX delivers good stopping power.

Quietness is another virtue, with luxury-car quality isolation from road noise and mechanical ruckus. However, some testers claimed the V6 was too coarse in rapid acceleration. Slight wind rush around outside mirrors occurs at highway speed.

Angular, high-tech shapes dominate the dashboard, which features large, clear gauges. Most controls are easy to reach and understand, though the role of multifunction steering-wheel buttons is not always obvious. The driver must look toward the floor console to determine transmission gear position, because it’s displayed in main instrument pod only during manual-shift mode. Cadillac’s navigation system integrates some audio functions, complicating simple adjustments. Interior materials feel substantial, though some panels flex easily when pressed and some plastic storage-bin covers have a low-budget feel. Leather and wood (wood optional on V6) contribute to the upscale ambience. Assembly is mostly solid, though one test example suffered rattling second-row seats.

Comfortable, supportive front seats promise ample head and leg room. The SRX steering wheel tilts manually, whereas top rivals offer power tilt/telescoping operation. Thick roof pillars impede outward visibility to sides and rear. Entry requires a taller step-in than car-based roots would suggest.

The second row is elevated slightly for “theater seating” feel, and slides fore/aft to create generous leg room. Head clearance is good even with a sunroof. Seats are nicely contoured, though bolstering of the second row’s right-side cushion squeezes that passenger. Wider doorways would aid entry/exit. The tough-to-access third row is best suited for occasional child use, though not as cramped as might be expected.

Cargo space is minimal with the third-row seat in position, but the power-fold feature is a useful, if slow-acting, convenience. The second row folds with moderate effort, and rests nearly flat. With both seats folded, overall cargo volume mimics a large station wagon rather than a tall, traditional SUV. The available triple-compartment rear storage bin is a useful feature. In-cabin storage is plentiful.


Model Tested: 2005 Cadillac SRX V8 AWD

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 7
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 7
Quietness - 7


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
Cargo Room - 7


Value - 8

Total: 68


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
116.0 195.0 72.6 67.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
69.5 20.07 40.3
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.4 42.1 41.0
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2004 SRX 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Dashboard lights
Description: The “change oil” message does not light up during operation, only for one second when the vehicle is started, so it is vital that owners the watch the remaining oil life percentage on the monitor. (2004-05)
Engine stalling
Description: The engine may not start due to lack of fuel, which is due to problems with the transfer tube and jet in the right hand tank. (2004-05)
Fuel gauge
Description: The engine may not start or may stall because the tank is empty yet the gauge shows fuel remaining, or the fuel gauge will not show full after refilling due to sulfur corrosion of the fuel level sender and if after treating with Fuel System Cleaner PLUS the problem remains, the sender may need to be replaced. (2004-06)
Description: If the key is turned before being fully inserted, it can jam, requiring replacement of the lock cylinder. (2004-05)
Oil leak
Description: Oil leaks at the timing cover on 4.6L engines and thus may require a gasket or a new timing cover. (2004-05)
Oil leak
Description: Oil leaks develop on the lower area of 4.6L V8 in the area of the oil distribution plate. (2004-08)
Audio system
Description: Radio reception may be poor or have static because the rear window defogger may have invisible cracks in the grid lines. (2004-06)
Transmission leak
Description: Transmission may leak fluid causing noises, then loss of drive or reverse because the output flange nut becomes loose. (2004)
Description: Paint on the hood blisters and bubbles, requiring refinishing and repainting. (2004-06)
Electrical problem
Description: A voluntary recall was issued to reprogram the PCM on some high-feature 3.6L engines. (2004-05)
Electrical problem
Description: The DVD monitors in the front seat headrests may quit working because the video feed cable comes loose requiring installation of cable clamps. (2005-08)
Electrical problem
Description: When using a portable music player (e.g. iPod) there may be noise in the car’s speakers whenever the vehicle’s power adapter is used and a ground loop isolator (from Radio Shack) is required between the device and the power outlet to prevent the noise. (2005-07)
Description: Fluid may leak from the rear differential requiring the original vent cap be replaced with a vent hose. (2003-08)

Recall History

2004 SRX
Description: Washers for ball stud assemblies on lower control arm of some cars could fracture;
separation of control arm from its knuckle will cause a corner of the vehicle to drop, and control arm may contact the wheel, resulting in dragging action and unwanted tendency to turn.
2004 SRX
Description: Driver’s frontal airbag and/or roof-mounted side-impact airbag in some cars could deploy when ignition key is turned to “on” position.
2004 SRX
Description: If one of the two accelerator-pedal return springs fails and temperature is -22 to -40 degrees (F), engine may not return to idle within the required three seconds, and greater brake-pedal force would be needed to stop the vehicle.
2004 SRX
Description: In some crash conditions, front seat could pivot rearward because one or both anchor tabs are not engaged in their slots.
2004 SRX w/AWD
Description: Antilock braking system may temporarily isolate driver from foundation brake system for up to 1.25 seconds, possibly increasing stopping distance.
2004 w/automatic transmission
Description: Some of these vehicles have a condition in which the transmission shift lever can be moved from the “park” position with the ignition “on” and without the operator depressing the brake pedal or, in some cases, the shifter can be moved from the “park” position with the ignition turned “off.” Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts.
2005 SRX
Description: A left or right rear suspension toe link could separate, affecting vehicle control, which could result in a crash. Dealers will inspect the right and left toe link and replace as required. If a toe link is replaced, the dealer will perform a wheel alignment.
Description: The rear axle pinion seal may experience a fluid leak. Dealers will replace the pinion seal.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.