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August 8, 2013

Cadillac SRX dominates luxury SUV market

Little wonder that the 2013 Cadillac SRX is leading its brand in sales, accounting for nearly 70 percent of SUVs moving off showroom floors this year. Its prestigious stance, luxurious ride and wealth of amenities catapults GM into the highly competitive luxury market that imports have been dominating.

Add the government's five-star crash ratings, the best possible, and the SRX becomes even more of a choice for consumers looking at safety for the entire family.

While minor front-end sheet metal changes keep the exterior similar to its model introduction in 2009, the big change this year is on the inside.

For those familiar with Smartphone swipes and slides, the Cadillac User Experience -- CUE -- offers control of most functions through voice activation or touch. The infotainment interface, like many systems on the market, takes some getting used to.

After a week of test driving the top-of-the-line SRX AWD Premium, I found myself looking for excuses to swipe and slide audio and climate controls, navigation destinations and a variety of apps.

View the change this way: Before CUE, there were buttons and dials all over the center stack, and now there are just four -- volume up and down, on, off and home.

Everything else can be adjusted by voice or hand movement approaching the screen as the system anticipates your command and displays controls you probably want to adjust.

One useful tool on a recent interstate trip crossing four states was the navigation map overlaid with live weather and road construction maps, each providing advance information for the journey.

Digital screen technology is also available to change the look of driver controls for speedometer, tachometer, fuel and engine vitals. Four different digital dashboard layouts are available to fit your need for visual appearance.

Once set, three mini-screens can be further adjusted for the discriminating driver that cannot leave well enough alone.

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