CNHI News Service


January 14, 2013

Cars: Cadillac's latest SRX takes page from computer industry

With each passing year, cars are becoming more like consumer electronics.

Where we used to ask how much horsepower a car has, today we're more
likely to ask how compatible it is with the latest iPhone.

In a world overloaded with apps, it's only a matter of time before we'reupgrading our cars yearly, perhaps stopping at the dealer to switch from Version 2.0 to 3.0.

Nowhere have I seen this as obviously as the car I drove recently,
the Cadillac SRX.

Now, the SRX is a great luxury crossover to begin with. I've loved it ever since it was fitted with a direct-injected V6 engine and firmer suspension, making it one of the best on the market.

The big changes for this year aren't so much about making the SRX a
better vehicle, but making it a better electronic accessory.
And it blew me away.

The SRX now comes with Cadillac User Experience (CUE). It's a new digital interface that Cadillac makes standard equipment on the SRX and XTS, and optional on the new, compact ATS sports sedan.

Basically, it makes the car operate like a tablet computer. Its
centerpiece is a big, touch-sensitive digital display above the center
console on the dash.

It's more than sensitive to touch, though. Like the Chevrolet Volt, it has a screen that will respond to the lightest, gentlest touch. It also gives tactile feedback like an Android smartphone, letting you feel a slight "click" after you touch the display.

Virtually everything on the car can be controlled from this one
screen, including the climate control, sound system, navigation system
and various internet-style "apps" that work much like those on
smartphones and iPads.

That in itself isn't remarkable. Lots of cars are offering apps these days. The difference is that CUE is designed to be easy to use and highly customizable. It's very much like controlling your car through an Apple iDevice or Android phone, On of my favorite features was a separate digital display directly in front of the driver that's controlled by a switch on the steering wheel. It lets you customize the information that's shown on the instrument panel, like your current gas mileage or a digital readout of your speed. Basically, it's an old-fashioned trip computer on steroids.

Text Only
  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • Sparring justices find little disagreement at the opera

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg revealed a different view of U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday when she described about her passion for opera, one she shares with Justice Antonin Scalia.

    July 21, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 25 hidden secrets in "Weird Al's" "Word Crimes" video

    Yankovic's 14th album was released this week, and it warms my heart containers that he's kept up his geeky brand of humor for so long. While he has written so many incredible songs, none have spoken to my love of proper grammar.
    Until "Word Crimes."

    July 16, 2014

  • ent_taylorswift.jpg There's less good music now — here's why

    Taylor Swift, the seven-time Grammy winner, is known for her articulate lyrics, so there was nothing surprising about her writing a long column for The Wall Street Journal about the future of the music industry. Yet there's reason to doubt the optimism of what she had to say.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • wheat1.jpg Backlash has begun against gluten-free dieters

    The swelling ranks of Americans adopting gluten-free diets have given rise to another hot trend: people calling the whole thing a bunch of baloney.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 4.21.43 PM.png A messaging app that doesn't use words at all

    About 10,000 people have signed up for usernames for a chat app that isn't even out yet: It's an instant messenger app that uses no words at all — not even "Yo" or "Hodor!" Instead, it employs only emoji icons.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • lawgrad.jpg Things looking up for law school grads

    This might sound weird, but here goes: Now might be a pretty good time to think about law school. For the sixth year running, the employment rate fell, as schools produced a record number of graduates for an industry without the room for them. There was, however, a nugget of good news buried in the data.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo