By on April 12, 2011

Back in January, when news broke that GM would be pulling its 2.8T V6 from the Cadillac lineup, I reckoned that

Cadillac needs to figure out if it wants to keep its SRX saddled to an underwhelming engine, or if it wants to add its widely-lauded 3.6 direct injection V6 to the SRX lineup.

And you know what? Cadillac made the right call (or at least the obvious one). But will GM seal the deal and drop the unloved 3.0?

Marketing VP Don Butler says the the addition of the 3.6

will make the SRX more responsive for passing on the highway, entering freeways from on-ramps and climbing hills

while revealing that

EPA fuel economy ratings have not been finalized, but Cadillac expects the SRX to provide customers with comparable real-world fuel efficiency. The current engine has an EPA rating of 18 city/25 highway mpg.

Though Cadillac’s press release wording is less than explicit, there’s some precedent here. In the 2010 model year, the Buick LaCrosse was available with both the 3.0 and 3.6, and the 3.0 was rated one MPG worse on the highway (17/26 compared to 17/27). For 2011, the 3.0 has been dropped from the LaCrosse and for 2012, a mild hybrid is being added to the lineup… look for a similar progression under the SRX’s hood.

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35 Comments on “SRX Gets 3.6 Fix...”

  • avatar

    I have a coworker planning to buy a Black on Black SRX Loaded with a black headliner.   frankly, I don’t think it makes sense to chase low MPG. The SRX should have no less than 300HP and a V6 that runs on regular unleaded. People spending $45,000 on this (or more) don’t worry about gas. They want to be in Cadillac and that’s the bottom line.

    • 0 avatar

      Tell him to wait for the 3.6.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      For this particular car, I always saw it as a car for people who like the Lexus RX, but want something a bit more stylish and dynamic.

    • 0 avatar

      bigtruck –
      Your coworker should buy a Lincoln MKX – 305hp and runs happily on 87 octane.  You can’t get a black headliner, but it’s a better overall vehicle than the SRX and comes with a great engine right now.

    • 0 avatar

      I personally was happier with the SRX than the MKX. I found more space in the SRX – although my coworker’s wife is much smaller and won’t notice. Thing is, Nullmodo, she is getting rid of a Lincoln MKZ and I don’t think she really wants a Loncoln MKX because I’m not sure if she was happy with Lincoln altogether. Yes, they have looked into the MKX – however, due to the shortage of Black paint from Japan, they may look into the RX Lexus.

      • 0 avatar

        As far as communications from Ford goes, the black paint shortage isn’t effecting the MKX/Edge yet.   In fact, all of the plants impacted by the paint shortage are in the US, at least according to the memos we’ve received.  Perhaps the Mexican and Canadian (which is where the Edge/MKX are built) plants stockpile greater amounts of paint due to potential international supply chain issues, and thus aren’t in panic mode yet.
        I’m just surprised the new MKX isn’t lighting up the charts more than it is.  Feature for feature and dollar for dollar it seems to beat the SRX, RX, MDX, etc, and the new interior is very sharp (we recently got one in with the ‘Limited Edition’ bronzed leather, which is pure pimptastic retro-70s opulence, but of course, the traditional natural leather finishes are nice for those not wanting to relive the disco era).  From my personal experience we’re losing more MKX sales to Edge buyers than we are to the competition, and the numbers seem to bare that out, but just because the Edge is so good doesn’t mean the MKX isn’t worth a look.  The MyLincoln touch issues have been worked out through the recent (free) software updates, and Lincoln is still running the free maintenance for 4 years/50,000 miles promotion through the rest of this year.

      • 0 avatar

        Nullmodo:  Features aren’t all a person looks at. In fact, many people who buy luxury cars, never use half the features they’ve paid for: either they are difficult to use or they are too numerous and hidden. The MKX doesn’t blow my skirt up at it’s price. I’s personally rather be in the SRX too.
        The only car Ford makes I like is the Lincoln MKS Ecoboost and Taurus SHO but the new Chrysler 300 BLOWS THEM BOTH AWAY on a feature by feature basis.  That’s why why next car will be a 2012 SRT8 300c and my other next car will be whatever Mercedes changes the S550 too when I trade mine.

  • avatar

    How does a company like GM let smaller engines get into production that are LESS fuel efficient than their larger brothers? Even if it is just close, why would they develop, certify and carry parts for smaller engines that provide only marginal benefits?? It would seem that the additional torque of the 3.6 would allow final gearing that would get really close to the mileage of a marginally smaller (and not very lighter) engine.
    Relative to the comments above, I agree that  a luxury car buyer is usually more interested in performance than economy.

    • 0 avatar

      The 3.0L is an older design, and therefor less efficient than the relatively new 3.6L with direct injection, variable valve timing, etc.

    • 0 avatar

      While it’s true that those buying a new Cadillac may not be quite as worried about fuel economy, the truth is that if it gets poor fuel economy, the used car buyer will be less likely to want it, thereby lowering its resale value. This not only affects people who buy the car, but also those who lease. So in a sense, higher fuel economy lowers total ownership cost, and not necessarily by way of lower fuel bills.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t believe the 3.0 is an older design. It has both DI and VVT, and probably very closely related to the 3.6, just smaller. The problem is that it’s overworked in vehicles that weigh over 4,000 pounds. It would probably have made a fine engine in something like the discontinued Solstice.

      • 0 avatar

        My mistake, I wasn’t aware of a “high feature” 3.0L, and I guess I just assumed it was the same “high value” 3.0L they’ve been cranking out for years.

      • 0 avatar

        AFAIK, the “high value” family (3500 and 3900) doesn’t have a 3.0L in it and GM has never made a 60-degree OHV V6 with that displacement.
        There was a Buick-type 90-degree 3.0L V6 that ended production in 1988.  Then there was the Opel-type 54-degree L81 3.0L that went into Saabs, Saturns, and the Catera. And, of course, the current 3.0L DI.

      • 0 avatar

        They did make a 3.0-liter “high value” V6 recently, but I’m not sure it was offered in the U.S. Definitely offered in China.

        A correction, though. The 3.6 has been revised for 2012, and makes 323 horsepower in the 2012 Camaro. I think the CTS will also get this engine, but at 300 horsepower it’s six short of the previous 3.6 in the CTS. Perhaps it’ll be closer to 320 in a RWD application.

      • 0 avatar

        You’re right. That 3.0L engine seems to be China-only though, and I don’t know if it is technically considered a part of the “High Value” family.
        Even more interesting is the 2.5L (!) OHV V6 built by Shanghai GM.

    • 0 avatar

      It seems GM puts in smaller engines with marginal benefits to get their “rated” EPA mileage down.  The smaller numbers also gives them green cred.   In reality, the bigger motor gets better real world gas mileage than the smaller engine.  It depends on how you use it.
      I agree with others.  Most people buying cars are not concerned about gas mileage as long as they are within range of other cars in the same category.

    • 0 avatar

      The 3.0 is used because the fuel economy that matters most to GM isn’t the faster treadmill test shown on the 2008+ window sticker but the laughably slow original from the mid 1970s that determines CAFE compliance.  The one place an undersized engine shows any benefit.

    • 0 avatar

      Because GM’s penny pinching accountant driven car manufacturing makes them completely blind to just how damaging this kind of moronic behavior is.  No brand that’s supposed to be a luxury brand should ever have been allowed to proceed with outdated dinosaurs but because the math made sense to GM they kept using older designs that were cheaper to make, nevermind that it costs you money because you’re damaging your reputation.

  • avatar

    If GM is looking for product differentiation, they could go with the 3.6L DI in Lacrosse, Camaro, CTS, Lambdas, and SRX but offer the 2.0T in the Regal, Verano, Malibu, and Thetas.
    But yes, nothing GM currently builds even remotely works with the 3.0L.  That engine should be eliminated.

    • 0 avatar

      > but Cadillac expects the SRX to provide customers with comparable real-world fuel efficiency. The current engine has an EPA rating of 18 city/25 highway mpg.

      Not if GM’s bean counters continue their meddlesome ways…

  • avatar

    I cannot figure out GM Powertrain strategy.  Look at the prevailing strategy used by nearly every other automaker.

    maybe a V8.

    I4 either normally aspirated or maybe with a small turbo.

    6 cylinder pretty standard.

    V8 same.

    GM has tiny turbo 4’s, cars with at 2.4L I4 non-turbo (but with cars where a small turbo would probably drastically improve driveability), the 3.0L V6, pushrod V6s (these are still around, right? In Impala?  Still 3.5L and 3.8 or 3.9L?), high-feature 3.6L V6, I guess the I6 they had in the TrailBlazer is gone? Is the 2.8T V6 used in anything now or is that officially dead? hmmmm….what else?

    Only the V8 seems to be straight.  

    But I just don’t get it that while everyone else basically uses the same engines across their brands, maybe with a bit more power, or an extra bit of displacement or a turbo on the “lux” models, GM is all over the map with engines that offer no benefit, or using one engine in a segment where a different engine would make more sense.  I can’t figure it out.  Maybe the problem is still that they have too many brands?  Trying to differentiate them all and they cant?

    I don’t know.  All I know is I don’t want that 3.0L in my Cadillac.  It sucks in the Equinox.  Why do I want it in a $50,000 car?

    So glad they’re using the 3.6L .  Its a good engine.

    • 0 avatar

      GM’s powertrain strategy is especially upsetting because GM makes some awesome engines.
      The I6 from the Trailblazer was good enough that it almost made up for the Trailblazers numerous other shortcomings.  It’s a shame that there wasn’t another home found for that engine – it would have been a great replacement for the base V6s in the GM pickups.
      GM dumped hundreds of millions if not billions into developing, branding, and then reworking the Northstar V8s while their tried and true LT and LS series engines were more powerful, more fuel efficient, and more reliable.  The Caddy DTS would be a great value on the used market if it weren’t for the inevitable head gasket failure somewhere between 80,000 and 120,000 miles on that Northstar V8.  The Caddy XLR could have been a performance monster with a reworked LS under the hood instead of the Northstar it got.
      And now with V6s, why does GM have a 2.8 turbo, a 3.0 and a 3.6 that from what I can tell are all pretty much different designs, and not just differing displacements of the same block and heads?*  The 3.6 is a great engine – the others aren’t needed.  Keep the 3900 or whatever is used in the Impala as the inexpensive engine for non-performance Chevy models, and put the 3.6 in everything else.

      * I could be wrong about this, are the 2.8t, the 3.0, and the 3.6 the same design, all coming from the ‘high feature’ family, or are they fundamentally different?

      • 0 avatar

        You’re right about the Atas LL8(Vortec 4200). If ANYONE at GM had a brain, they’d have used that engine in RWD Cadillacs, the near luxury cars that should have been, and, most important of all, the Colorado and Canyon. Instead, they intentionally designed the Colorado/Canyon so that the LL8 couldn’t be added to the engine line-up at any point. GM was worried about meeting CAFE when everyone else in the world(except Chrysler of course) had hitting 27.5 mpg down to a formality that didn’t ruin their product plans and drivetrain choices.

      • 0 avatar

        The 3500 and 3900 series V6s are completely dead.  The 2012 Impala only gets one engine the 280HP HF 3.6L DI engine from the Lacrosse.  The Saab/GM 2.8T is the old 3.0 V6 Opel L81 (aka Cadillac Catera) engine HEAVILY converted by Saab as a performance turbo engine, and latter got added to SRX/9-4X as the high performance engine.  GM killed it off quickly in SRX due to poor fuel economy and a very low take rate, It still soldiers on in SAAB vehicles.  The modern HF 3.0L DI in the Equinox/Terrain/SRX/CTS etc is a shrunk HF 3.6L DI with no connection to the old Opel 3.0 or Saab 2.8T. You can tell its newer because it has a much higher redline 7000rpm then the older 3.6L

      • 0 avatar

        Nullo – while the Atlas I6 was a “good” engine in terms of performance, it was also disastrously unreliable and oddly shaped to boot. Someone once told me that it was so long (it was an I6, after all) that very few GM platforms could accommodate them in their engine bays. (This, apparently, was why the I5 was developed – the I6 would not fit into the Colorado/Canyon.)
        It’s a shame in a lot of ways – it was a strong, advanced engine that deserved to be used more broadly.

      • 0 avatar


        I disagree with your sequence of events. GM intentionally designed the Atlas to be modular and lend itself to 4,5, and 6 cylinder configurations in parallel with designing the Canyon/Colorado to only fit the 4 and 5 cylinder verions. It was a move to produce a better CAFE figure for the small pickups and the 5 cylinder produced comparable HP to the outgoing 4.3 V6 from the S10. The problem was that the I5 wasn’t particularly torquey compared to competitors and it had terrible NVH compared to almost anything. It also had to work so hard that the real world fuel economy tied with worst in class trucks like the 4.7 V8 Dakota while being slower than V6 truck on the market.

      • 0 avatar

        The 4.2 was actually a very reliable engine.  I have seen TrailBlazers with over 250K and no issues.  The 4.2 was so good that it made me purchase a 9-7X a few years back (don’t laugh, I got it for a deal, and for the record it is a fabulous car)

  • avatar

    Gear ratios and final drive ratios play a bigger role than half a liter of displacement. Higher the output usually the lower the numeric gear. Lower power need higher gear.

  • avatar
    Paul W

    I wonder if that goes for the Saab 9-4X as well…

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Onw wonders if the 3.0L also suffers from the timing chain woes of the 3.6L. One also wonders why a Cadillac has a “base” engine in the first place.

    • 0 avatar

      Do you mean the same way you can get a BMW 3 Series with four engines in the US (3.0 NA, 3.0T, 3.0D, 4.0 V8)?  Or the M-B C-Class with its 3.0 and 3.5 liter V6 choices?  Audi puts 2.0Ts in most A4s.

      Having multiple engine choices is common in this space.  What’s odd is that the GM 3.0 and 3.6 are seemingly nearly the same engine, but with thicker sleeves in the cylinder of the 3.0 to reduce displacement, at apparently no benefit to fuel economy vis a vis the 3.6.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    That is a very dry looking engine.
    Is that rust on the timing chain?

  • avatar

    No it’s the timing chain getting ready to fly off.

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