For a very long time the Cadillac Escalade was the vehicle of choice for anyone who wanted a status symbol. It was seen on TV pulling up to red carpet events as well as features in many music videos as a symbol of luxury and success. Because of this shoppers clamored to buy this great and monstrous luxury SUV making it one of the best sellers of all time. For the past few years, the Escalade has fought with itself to truly define its identity and it appears Cadillac finally figured it out for the 2015 model year.
The desire to project back to the top of the full-size luxury SUV class is evident by going its own direction with a regular and longer wheel base instead of following the crowd and going smaller. The Escalade offers the capability to carry up to eight passengers, has a large amount of cargo space, and is even capable of towing up to 8,300 pounds making it easy to move a small village out to a campsite by the lake and enjoy the weekend. As another complete remodel for 2015, the Escalade has redesigned the vehicle inside and out as well as offering a slightly better fuel economy than before.
With such a powerful and quick to move vehicle the control has to be top notch and for the Escalade it is. This SUV offers a highly responsive steering that can easily handle any off or on road challenges thrown its way. Making good use of the GM Magnetic Ride Control that allows the driver to handle the vehicle easily and minimizes the body shift and sway around corners or on curves. The suspension is sharply tuned and easily repels and road blemish that the vehicle encounters for maximum ride enjoyment. As a luxury SUV, of course the cabin is seriously quiet, until the owner starts to enjoy their music which is the only sound heard due to the awesome insulation and exceptional sound deadening technology found on the vehicle.
With only one engine choice for the Escalade Cadillac made sure it was one worth adding to a large luxury SUV and it comes in the form of a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque. These numbers are a dramatic increase over the previous model that only had 403 horsepower and 417 lb.-ft. of torque making it very obvious Cadillac spent some time in the engine department during this remodel. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and the two together offer fuel efficiencies of 15 city/21 hwy mpg for the regular wheel base in two-wheel drive, 14 city/21 hwy for the same vehicle with four-wheel drive, 15 city/21 hwy mpg for the longer wheelbase (ESV) in two-wheel drive and 14 city/20 hwy mpg for the ESV in the four-wheel drive version. Premium gasoline is recommended but regular can be used instead.
One of the largest improvements of the Escalade is the interior of the vehicle. Offering very soft touch materials and plenty of accents the interior is a location many passengers won’t mind spending their time either on the road or even in the driveway. The seats are bathed in supple leather and the trim is made of real wood to give even more of an upscale feel than ever before. All controls are easy to locate and intuitive to use. There is ample legroom in all three rows of seats and a massive amount of cargo space behind the third row, especially in the longer ESV models.
Form the outside, even with the redesign the Escalade is completely unmistakable with the large Cadillac emblem on the front of the grill, the massive amount of chrome all over the vehicle and the absolute class-leading presence that no other vehicle has when pulling in anywhere. The boxy style still works well on this behemoth allowing it to be and feel big, strong and distinguished wherever it may go. The front offers the signature horizontal grill that is set in between two full-LED headlights that are now narrower in shape, but much more stylish than before. The tail lights also are LEDs allowing a better view of the lights for vehicles behind. This monster is finished off with a full set of massive mag-inspired wheels that add both menace and luxury style to the vehicle, a hard trick to pull off for some, but not the Escalade.
The standard features for the Escalade start with the active-aero shutters behind the grill, heated seats, power adjustable seats, 20-inch chrome-plated aluminum wheels, a hands free lift gate, a remote starter, tri-zone climate control and a reconfigurable instrument cluster to allow owners to have the instruments they feel are most important report information right in front of them. The Escalade also touts the most up-to-date in technological advances with a touch screen infotainment system, rear seat DVD entertainment, a bevy of control features to report any vehicle needs, and a full complement of air bags to help keep all occupants safe in case of a collision.
Optional features for the Escalade are only a few because most of the features are built in as standard fare regardless of the model chosen. The optional features do include the Lane Departure Warning System, Adaptive Cruise Control, side blind-zone alerts, cross traffic alerts and 22-inch machine finished wheels. All of this adds more control and much larger wheels for driver’s to enjoy.
Anyone who wants to own an Escalade must expect to pay a premium price since it is a very large luxury SUV and the starting price for the standard base model begins at $72,690. Moving up to the Luxury trim the price comes in at $76,690 and the Premium model will bring a cost of $81,190 to the fray, but is fully loaded with all features and options imaginable. Adding the ESV to any model will bring the price up by $3,000 and at the top of the heap a fully packed ESV model will carry a price of $86,000.