IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
Power, presence, and plushness are key attributes in the premium large SUV class, and the Cadillac Escalade has them in spades.
Prices are high, fuel economy is low, and Cadillac’s CUE touchscreen interface can be finicky to use.
Escalade comes in regular-length or extended-wheelbase ESV models.
WHAT IS IT?
The Escalade is the largest, most expensive SUV Cadillac makes. It shares its basic platform with the Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon, but has exclusive styling and luxury-level trimmings inside and out. Escalade can seat seven with its standard 2nd-row captain’s chairs, or eight when equipped with the optional 2nd-row bench seat. The extended-length ESV model makes the somewhat cramped 3rd-row seat a bit more spacious and adds more rear cargo room as well. Posh features are a staple of the Escalade; standard equipment includes a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood trim, a concealed center-stack storage compartment with a motorized door, power-folding 3rd-row seat, heated and cooled front seats, and heated 2nd-row seats. Safety features include lane-departure warning, front and rear automatic braking, and a front-center air bag located in between the driver and front-seat passenger.
After its redesign for 2015, the Escalade gains an available lane-keep-assist feature. The CUE touchscreen infotainment system gets Apple CarPlay functionality (Android Auto capability is slated to arrive later in the model year), and Cadillac says the CUE software has been updated to make the system faster and more intuitive.
EPA estimated fuel economy for the standard-length Escalade and extended-length Escalade ESV is the same: 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway with rear-wheel drive and 15/21 with four-wheel drive.
VALUE IN CLASS
The premium large SUV segment is populated by thirsty, often cumbersome vehicles that seem somewhat out of step with the needs of most buyers today. However, for a core group of shoppers nothing else will do—fuel economy, sticker prices, and practicality be damned. Within the unique parameters of its specialized category, the redesigned Cadillac Escalade shines. Its traditional truck-type construction means that the Escalade’s handling is not as polished as some competitors, but it also it can out-tow those rivals. Simply put, the Escalade offers the luxury, technology gadgets, comfort, space—and blingy attitude—that many buyers in this segment desire.
|BASE PRICE RANGE||$72,970 – $94,950|
|BODY STYLES||4-DOOR WAGON|
|AVAILABLE ENGINES||420-HP, 6.2-LITER V8|
|DRIVE WHEELS||Rear or Four-Wheel Drive|
|EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE||15-22 MPG|
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