The Cadillac SRX, General Motors’ luxury midsize crossover, gets a refresh for the 2013 model year, which includes an infusion of tech. The SRX will be offered with Cadillac’s new CUE multimedia system and a rear seat entertainment system.
CUE, which stands for Cadillac User Experience, is already offered in the luxury brand’s ATS and XTS sedans. It’s Cadillac’s version of the command systems designed to replace buttons and knobs with touchscreens, voice controls, and clicking, which can already be found BMW’s, Audi’s, and Lincoln’s, among others.
The center stack of the 2013 SRX is dominated by an eight-inch touchscreen and a black panel with touch-capacitive switches. The panel appears flat but there are bumps that indicate the touch points. They also vibrate to let the user know that they have successfully been pushed.
As with other CUE-equipped Cadillacs, the screen works like an iPad, with touch gestures such as hold and drag with your fingers to move items on the screen, and pinch to zoom. That might be difficult to do while driving, so hopefully Cadillac’s customers will exercise good judgment while using the system.
CUE also responds to voice commands. Despite having a name that recalls a certain omnipotent Star Trek character, it probably won’t be too judgmental. The car-based CUE is fairly powerful, however. Like Ford’s MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch, it controls nearly every dashboard function, including navigation, audio and climate control.
Additionally, rear seat passengers in the 2013 SRX will get their own toys. The new rear seat entertainment system, a $1,595 option on navigation-equipped SRXs, includes two eight-inch flip-up screens mounted in the backs of the front headrests, a Blu-Ray player, and wireless headphones.
It’s all controlled from a remote that Cadillac says was designed to look like a video game controller, but kind of resembles the remote from a Brookstone massage chair. Either way, Cadillac says the controller was designed to be intuitive, so kids could use it without adult assistance. It’s a digital pacifier, so to speak.
The SRX comes standard with an eight-speaker Bose sound system, but buyers can opt for a more powerful, 10-speaker system. Audio jacks are built into the back of the center console for added flexibility.
SRX buyers might want to spec the optional sound system, since CUE can sync with up to 10 Bluetooth devices, and allow front and rear seat passengers to listen to their own, separate music.
Systems like CUE have attracted their share of controversy because of their less-than-simple operating procedures, but for crossover shoppers who want to load their cars with technology, the CUE-equipped SRX seems to have all the bases covered. Price of entry is $38,030 for a base model, including destination.