Cadillac SRX: The 2010 Is the Worst Model Year You Should Never Buy

The Cadillac SRX, initially launched in 2004, became Cadillac’s best-selling model in its second generation. In a time when consumers were moving away from their gas-guzzling SUVs, the midsize crossover became a hot commodity, and Cadillac’s SRX model numbers soared.

Production continued through 2016, meaning there are still thousands of these luxury rides on the road today. While most continue to be reliable vehicles, and buying used is theoretically a smart move, there is one model year that you should never buy.

Why the 2010 Cadillac SRX is the worst helps to peer into the ownership experiences for drivers of various vehicle models. For consumers who owned 2010 Cadillac SRX crossovers, the list of complaints was long. Due to the sheer number of reports, along with costs of repairs and average mileage when problems occurred, 2010 is ranked as the worst year for the SRX of all.

Many of the reports spanned a variety of mechanical or cosmetic issues. The most commonly reported concern dealt with the headlights collecting water. The problem was significant enough to require a complete headlight assembly replacement or resealing of the assembly, costing SRX owners an average of $1,600. These replacements were taking place around 76,000 miles. Other reports shared timing chain failures costing $2,200 and headlights shorting, costing many upwards of $2,400.

Recalls and technical service bulletins

In this handout image provided by General Motors, the 2010 Cadillac SRX is introduced during the press preview for the Detroit International Auto Show
The 2010 Cadillac SRX | Jeffrey Sauger/General Motors via Getty Images

In addition to the consumer-reported problems, Cadillac recognized potential concerns with its 2010 SRX models. Technical service bulletins are announcements to consumers meant to be carried out at the dealership level to help troubleshoot and proactively fix specific problems. The 2010 Cadillac SRX has a history of over 1,400 TSBs on record.

Many of the problematic areas span from minor to significant and across many mechanical components of the vehicle. Cadillac also issued five recalls for this model year, citing potential issues with rear suspension, power steering, and some transmission shifting.

The Cadillac XT5 is born

The Cadillac SRX had a good run all the way through 2016. Although some critics suggest the automaker abandoned its once top-selling crossover, having not offered a redesign or major improvement to the model in its last six years of its production. It’s possible Cadillac was preparing to introduce its next big vehicle – the Cadillac XT5.

Officially coming on stage in 2015 at the Los Angeles Auto Show and available to the public in 2016, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 brought a fresh design and a new personality to the midsize luxury SUV segment.

What the Cadillac XT5 has to offer in 2020

For anyone who appreciated the design and luxury features of the former Cadillac SRX models, the Cadillac XT5 will be a good fit. The midsize luxury SUV space continues to be popular among consumers, and the XT5 doesn’t disappoint. New this year, Cadillac is offering a Sport trim and renaming the base model, calling it the Luxury trim.

In those lower-level configurations, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is standard. Cadillac has also reworked its infotainment system, and the interface is all-new in 2020.

Much like the Cadillac SRX before it, the XT5 is one of Cadillac’s best-selling models today. Both versions of the five-passenger SUV are smart buys for any consumer looking for above-average cargo capacity, generous headroom, quality materials, and upscale luxury. But, if buying used is in your plans this year, beware of the problems that plagued owners of the 2010 Cadillac SRX. Like many vehicles out there today, there’s always one year that seems to be the most trouble for owners.