This is one of several maladies affecting GM product planners, says Peter M. De Lorenzo:
Some of their key new entries are just too damn heavy, example No. 1 being the new Cadillac SRX, which weighs more than 4500 pounds. And that’s in a more compact overall package with no V-8.
Not that this problem is any way confined to GM:
Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and to a slightly lesser extent Porsche are all guilty of egregious weight gain, and it’s screwing everything up. It’s real simple, folks. The manufacturers are putting and we’re far too accepting of them doing it too too much stuff in our cars. All this techno-wonder crap is just that crap.
Then again, much of that crap is something other than techno-wonder stuff. A 2000 Nissan Maxima weighed in at a semi-svelte 3186 lb; by the time it was glitzed up enough to wear an Infiniti badge, it was up to 3342. Seat heaters don’t weigh so much, and I figure the rear sunshade counts for four or five pounds max: most of the difference, I suspect, is the filler material they use for sound-deadening. The 2009 Maxima, however, comes in at 3557 lb. (All figures from ConsumerGuide Automotive for consistency; other sources quote slightly different numbers.)
And the Maxima isn’t exactly tiny, which makes De Lorenzo’s plaint even more apropos:
Let’s get this straight, 4,000 pounds is not okay or acceptable for an “average” vehicle. It’s flat-out unacceptable in my book. Weight is the enemy of all good things when it comes to actually enjoying driving, unless, of course, you stopped enjoying driving. In that case we just can’t help you. Too much weight negatively affects handling, responsiveness, “feel,” fuel economy, braking, performance, basically everything when it comes to the enjoyment of our vehicles. So don’t tell me that 4,000+ pounds is “acceptable” for an SRX or any other allegedly “more compact” crossover. Because it isn’t. Period.
I feel slightly better now about my low-grade vehicular lust for Infiniti’s EX35, which even with AWD gear presses down on the earth with a presumably-acceptable 3975 lb.