(Full disclosure Cadillac loaned me this brand new Black 2016 Cadillac SRX 4dr Premium with 13 miles on the odometer and they forgot I had it…for over a month)
My wife Andrea has a tan Luxury edition of the SRX and I take it to the dealership for the free scheduled maintenance that comes with this car. Recently her car needed an oil change and tire rotation so I called and made an appointment.
I checked in with the service advisor and asked for a loaner which they provide as a part of the scheduled maintenance. Normally they give me keys to a CTS or ATS but this time they hand me the key fob to a Black 2016 Cadillac SRX 4dr Premium and they take her vehicle. I hop in this car and immediately notice the difference between hers and the new one. The 2016 has black leather interior with brown wood trim accents that looks good but kind of dark and gloomy. The 2016 steering wheel has more redundant controls than the 2012 and it has a glossy look, but the wood grain portion of the steering wheel is not there. The instrument cluster has changed a lot. This screen allows you to put up different pieces of information at one time so you don’t have to fiddle with the menu while driving.The infotainment screen is WAY different. It is a touch screen with different icons for climate control, audio, navigation etc. It is blue tooth compatible.
Her interior is two toned brown, tan leather and looks really sharp. It feels more classy because of the lightness in the vehicle. The old cluster has one central screen and you have to toggle the menu buttons to check the cars vitals BUT she has a wood grain steering wheel. In her SRX the infotainment screen has that dot matrix look from the 1990’s and an analog clock. Andrea's doesn’t have navigation or Bluetooth for music. It has Bluetooth but only for using the phone…in 2012?? Really???? What genius at GM thought that was the way to use Bluetooth in 2012? Overall the technology in the 2016 is better but the interior and how it feels inside is not.
I pair my phone to the system and kick in some old school Eric B and Rakim “Paid In Full”, throw the car in reverse and look up. WAIT!!!! The backup camera is in the infotainment screen and not in the rear view mirror? COOL!! I pull out of the parking lot and notice that the steering seems tighter than my wife’s car. It seems sportier, like I can whip this thing between cars like a Vette. As I hit the interstate to go pick Syd up from school I attempt a merge. I turn on the left signal and look in the driver’s side mirror. It has collision warning. My wife’s does not. During the ride this person in front of me slams on their brakes due a traffic slow down. The front windshield starts flashing red lights at me and I panic and slam the brakes as well. I didn’t know there was front collision warning, damn lights scared the shit outta me.
I pull up to the school and Syd jumps in. Like a typical teenager she is impressed with the electronics. She is playing with the touchscreen and hits a button. The front screen swivels up like a Transformer to reveal a USB port and cubby hole. She screams, “COOOLLLL!!!” She pairs her phone and interrupts Rakim with Katy Perry. Ah hell naw!!!
We are on the road and I am looking at the stuff in the car. I am not paying attention to the road at all. I know, bad daddy. All of sudden my booty starts vibrating. WTH?? Turns out this car has lane departure and tickles your left or right butt cheek depending on which part of your ass is going to go off the road first.
We get home and Andrea comes out to look at the new car. That’s when we notice the 20 inch silver painted rims. Those are some of the nicest factory rims I have ever seen. The fill the wheel wells and give the car a more sporty look. There are fog lights and the side markers no longer protrude from the chrome gill. They have freshened up the look well.
The next morning I remote start the vehicle and when we walk to the car that’s when I notice the car has LED tail lights. They shine so bright that they lit up the back of the house like a Christmas tree. Syd and I hop in and head out to school. This car has Xenon headlights that swivel. Again, a feature I did not know was on the car. I am a huge fan of Xenon versus regular headlamps. Xenon, or HID lights, are really bright and illuminate the road up to 50% further than normal halogen headlights.
This is where I should tell you my daily commute is 136 miles. Andrea is a truck driver so I take Syd to school, go to work, leave work to pick up Syd and go home but my office is 18 miles from my house. Yeah, her school is that far from the house. Over the next couple of days I drive the loaner 250 miles because I figure I can rack up the miles on their car versus mine. I drive a mixture of city and highway miles with varying degrees of traffic.
Normally the dealership will call me within a couple of days to come pick up my car. Two days go by, no call. Friday rolls up, no call. So now we have a loaner for the weekend. TRIP TIME!!!! We take a drive and visit my wife’s family. Andrea drives the car and HATES it. Every time she moved an inch close to what the car felt was lane departure the seat warning kicked in. She felt like the seat was trying to cop a feel and was very uncomfortable so we turned it off. She didn’t like the nav screen because of the finger prints from touching on it but she said she preferred the nav screen to her dot matrix screen because it was easier to use. As a truck driver she hates Xenon lights because the oncoming drivers blind her but in the SRX she loved them. She said, “I can see so much more clearly” and she liked that the mirrors had blind spot warnings.
The 3.6L V6 engine performed at the same level as my wife’s car with the same ridiculous torque. I could chirp the tires from a stand still. What we both felt made a difference in the driving experience were the 20 inch tires and rims, the driver assist package and the new information screens. The car felt more solidly planted. Her main take away from driving the 2016 was the seat molester. She hated that thing and actually said, “Do not upgrade” based entirely on that one issue.
We come back home Sunday, resume our routine Monday ANDDDDD no call from the dealership. At this point we’ve had the car for a week and you would wonder if something happened to your car. Not me. My wife is in my truck and it’s sitting at the terminal while she is working. I look at the 136 mile daily run in their vehicle as a blessing so winner winner chicken dinner!!! I continue to daily drive the car accumulating miles that would normally be on one of our vehicles. I get to experience the nuances of this car versus hers. Did you know that when an asshole purposely cuts you off and slams on the brakes to cause you to hit them from the rear that the 2016 SRX will automatically apply the brakes to keep you and your daughter from being injured OR from killing said asshole? Yeah I didn’t either. I started reading the owner’s manual. There are a lot of improvements over 4 years. Major plus this thing called Driver Assist.
Now back to this, “I kept the car for over a month” thing. Every day, for the next 20 or so days after I initially dropped Andrea’s car off, I patiently waited for the dealership to call but they never did!!! Andrea says, “Ya think you should call them?” to which I replied, “Un un. I’ma run that car as long as I can.” After 25-26 days the service advisor calls and says, “We were running a little behind. We should have you car ready in a few days.” Keep in mind this was just an oil change and tire rotation, nothing else.
About a week later I get the call to pick up the car and return theirs. When I hand them the keys they thank me for allowing them to service and wash our car. They also apologize and tell me the delay was due to personnel change issues and they couldn’t keep up with the volume of work. I said, “No!! Thank you!!!! I drove a brand new SRX for 30 something days.” I didn’t mention the 5,200 miles I added to the odometer.