Review: 2015 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Premium

Sunday October 12th, 2014 at 8:1010 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2015 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Premium

By David Colman

Hypes: Biggest Bully on Your Block
Gripes: Chintzy Newsprint Owner’s Manual

When is big better? When you can’t remember where you parked at the mall. That’s when your Escalade, which stands taller than a Texan, allows you to see where you parked it. Big is also better when you need 7 seats to carry the soccer team home from practice. The Escalade will handle that assignment without worry. And big is best when you need to tow a heavy trailer. Cadillac rates our Escalade, equipped with optional ($500) 22 inch “Dual 7-Spoke Ultra-Bright” alloys at 7,000 pounds tow capacity.

This 3rd generation Escalade is based on GM’s recently released, all new GMT900 truck. Escalade fans and owners have waited patiently for 7 years for this updated Cadillac SUV.
In the Cadillac idiom, big needs to be imposing. The revamped Escalade, with its massive chrome grill, and vertical cascade of LED light pods, stands tall enough to double as a movie theater marquee. Climbing aboard is no mean feat, as the roofline stands 6 feet 2 inches high, and the step-in height from ground to cabin is an imposing 22 inches. Optional ($1,695) Assist Steps. Power Retractable reduce entry height to just 10 inches. But since these wide running boards remain in position when doors are open, they interfere with cabin access when you just want to reach in and grab something.


For a vehicle that weighs more than three tons (6,027 pounds) this behemoth is reassuringly quick in a straight line, thanks to its 6.2 liter V-8′s 420hp and 460lb.-ft. of torque. A recent Motor Trend test pegged its 0-60mph time at 6.1 seconds, with a quarter mile run of 14.6 seconds at 95mph. On a twisty stretch of two lane blacktop, this Cadillac proved its versatility by powering through passing opportunities while maintaining equilibrium in turns due to the massive footprint of its 285/45R22 Bridgestone Dueler H/T tires. The Escalade carries a space saver spare tire tucked underneath the back of the vehicle, but according to diagrams in the Owner’s Manual, releasing it for use looks to be no simple matter. However, Cadillac provides concierge level roadside service that extends to tire changes, as well as fuel replenishment should you run dry. If you call for assistance on any problem and you’re within 30 miles of a Cadillac dealer, you can expect a representative of that dealership to meet you at your car. Otherwise, GM will arrange for a tow.

2015 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Premium

Inside, this latest Caddy confection is palatial. Everywhere your eye comes to rest is either real wood, hand cut leather, or rough-out suede. In a color scheme delectably described as “Shale with Cocoa Accents,” the passenger compartment of our Majestic Plum Metallic SUV will convince you that you’ve just checked into the Ritz. Power aids for every whim and notion abound. All four aft seats flip down with the push of a button. The pedals rise or retract electrically. The steering wheel is heated, as are the four front chairs. Ventilation fans cool the front row seats . If you wag your foot under the liftgate it will open automatically, freeing you from the need to grab a latch or find your key fob. You can even program the liftgate’s opening height. You can configure the 12 inch full color gauge cluster to show four different instrument renderings: Simple, Performance, Balanced and Enhanced. We went with the “English Balanced Cluster” which displayed engine rpm in the left face, speed in the analog center dial, and water temp/fuel level in the right window. A five way control wand to the right of the steering wheel accesses information cluster menus and options.

2015 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Premium

The Escalade’s 130 inch wheelbase and 224.3 inch length insure maximum stretch room for all passengers, plus hangar class storage when you fold the rear chairs flat. Unfortunately, the resultant vast load floor stands 39 inches above pavement height, so you’ll need to heft your goods more than three feet in the air before you can slide them aboard. On the other hand, the Escalade’s vaunted stature gives you an unparalleled view of traffic and road conditions. In the event that you fail to use this rare sightline gift, Escalade is fully endowed with safety aids that will keep you out of trouble. Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Rear Vision Camera are all standard features. These warning harpies integrate seamlessly with normal driving, never becoming intrusive as so many other systems do. From time to time you may hear an alert chirp its presence, or feel a gentle nudge from your seat. All of this is helpful rather than annoying, and a model of civility other manufacturers would do well to emulate.

2015 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Premium

Albeit expensive, the 3rd generation Escalade is once again the aspiration SUV for technocrats seeking the thrill of tomorrow today.

2015 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Premium

  • Engine: 6.2 liter V-8, 16 Valves
  • Horsepower: 420hp
  • Torque: 460lb,-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 14 MPG City/24 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $86,480
  • Star Rating: 9 out of 10 Stars

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Review: 2014 Cadillac ELR

Friday August 8th, 2014 at 3:88 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2014 Cadillac ELR

By David Colman

Hypes: Brilliantly Engineered, Scintillating Appearance, Practical Electric Application
Gripes: Hard to Access Rear Seat, Vacillating Brake Pedal

The allure of the electric car has never shined brighter than it does in Cadillac’s ELR. If your daily drive runs twenty to forty miles, you will never need to visit a gas station, or refill your fuel tank. The electric only range of the ELR is rated at 37 miles. In actual practice we rarely exceeded that figure during a week of daily errand running. Driving for free certainly gives you a different perspective on the car game. Just plug in your ELR when you come home each day, and let it recharge over night. GM provides a handy 120V “Travel Charge Cord” which will plug into any wall socket and refurbish a completely discharged battery so you’re ready to roll the next morning. Recharging time takes between 12 and 18 hours on 120V current.

2014 Cadillac ELR

The beauty of the ELR – unlike the Tesla or Nissan Leaf – is that this Cadillac will never leave you stranded if you deplete the battery while on a trip. If the lithium ion battery pack runs out of charge, the ELR’s 86hp, 1.4 liter gasoline engine assumes the chore of returning you home. If you plan on traveling long distances, the gas only range of the ELR is a healthy 340 miles.

Before the ELR, you had to be willing to make certain compromises in practicality and comfort in order to diminish your carbon footprint. For example, the Chevy Volt, upon which the ELR is based, has offered many of the same virtues as the ELR for several years now. But by comparison to the ELR, the Volt’s many hard edges make it uncomfortable to live with on a daily basis. By refining the Volt platform, GM has made the ELR much more inviting and fun to drive than its Chevy predecessor.

2014 Cadillac ELR

For example, new HiPer front struts replace the Volt’s MacPherson struts, a Watts linkage absent in the Volt adds control to the Caddy’s rear suspension, ZF power steering is superior to the Volt’s unit, and the ELR’s variable rate shock absorbers greatly improve ride quality. The ELR sits 0.7 in. lower than the Volt, and plants a much more substantial tire footprint on the ground. Instead of the Volt’s skinny, rock hard hyper-miler tires, the ELR utilizes premium sports sedan rubber: Bridgestone Potenza RE97 245/40R20 at all four corners. The Volt drives and feels like a $40,000 car, while this $82,135 Caddy will quickly convince you it’s worth all the extra money.

Few sensations in life are as satisfying as whizzing through back road curves fast enough to hear your sticky Bridgestone tires singing their song of adhesion. The reason you can hear this aria is that there’s absolutely no engine noise to drown out the sound of the tires. On full electric propulsion for those initial 37 miles each day, the ELR is utterly silent. You can listen to the shocks damping the bumps, or hear that ZF steering rack hum as you dial it through 2.5 turns from lock to lock. This is pleasure driving at its best, free from noise, free from smog and free of charge. Only the regenerative brakes, with their inconsistent engagement point, spoil the fun.

2014 Cadillac ELR

Inside the ELR, Cadillac has amped up the level of opulence to top tier level. This electric powered coupe’s luxury fitment gives nothing away to BMW, Mercedes or Audi competitors. Especially lovely is the optional Kona Brown full leather seat package ($2,450) which smells inviting every time you climb aboard. The mocha colored leather is glove soft, and the seats are exceptionally comfortable and adjustable (10 way power). Once you accustom yourself to Cadillac’s CUE control system, you will enjoy its ease of operation. For example, if you want to raise or lower the volume on your favorite music, just slide your finger along the V-shaped chrome bar below the Bose premium audio unit. Most of the controls operate in this fashion, with many having duplicate overrides on the steering wheel. You can even control your regenerative braking by using the paddles connected to the steering wheel. This Cadillac also offers a full range of driving modes, activated by a slide button on the center console. “Tour” is most useful for conserving energy, while “Sport” is essential for vigorous driving where passing is anticipated.

2014 Cadillac ELR

Although charging the ELR at home worked wonders for our needs, we found that the 240V charging stations located around the North Bay are annoyingly inconsistent with electric vehicle needs. For example, none of the units would release their plug without use of a special RFID proximity sensing charge card. This despite the fact they all claim to offer your first 2 hours of recharging for “free.” Unfortunately, free is no good if you can’t even release the plug from its locked receptacle to recharge your car. And the stations we checked each required different cards, with different 800 numbers to call for application. This brilliant electric Cadillac deserves better treatment than offered by these bogus facilities.

2014 Cadillac ELR

2014 Cadillac ELR

  • Engine: 1.4 liter inline 4 with port injection; 2 electric motor generators
  • Horsepower: 217hp (combined)
  • Torque: 295 lb.-ft. (combined)
  • Fuel Consumption: 33 MPG (Gas Only)/ 82 MPGe (Electric)
  • Price as Tested: $82,135
  • Star Rating: 9 out of 10 Stars

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Review: 2014 Cadillac CTS 3.6L TT VSport Premium

Thursday May 22nd, 2014 at 9:55 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Vastly Improved Appearance, Superbly Comfortable
Gripes: Rear Wiper Needed

With the introduction of this second generation CTS, Cadillac has well and truly joined the ranks of the world’s elite producers of sports sedans. No more BMW M5 envy, no Audi S5 shortfall, no E Class Mercedes misgivings, the completely new CTS has hurdled the competition, and managed to do so for less money. V8 devotees can still buy the older style CTS-V this year, but if you’re after a “V” specification four door sedan, Cadillac offers only this twin turbocharged, 3.6 liter V6. Of course, compared to the 556hp supercharged V8 of the carryover CTS-V models, the 420hp V6 in the “CTS VSport” sedan may seem undernourished. On paper, that is. But out in the real world, the TT V6, coupled to a new 8 speed automatic transmission (unavailable in the CTS-V), is anything but feeble. First and best, when you flatten the accelerator, this sizeable luxury Pullman lunges forward, emitting an ethereal banshee wail from its spooled turbochargers. If you’ve selected manual shift mode by depressing the “M” button atop the stick shift lever, you can chose any appropriate gear ratio by clicking the large left steering wheel mounted magnesium paddle for down shifts or the matching right flipper for up shifts. The Cadillac transmission complies instantaneously, and does so while blipping the motor to match engine rpm to gear ratio choice on down shifts. The system is faultless save the need for a larger, centrally located gear indicator display in the driver information center.

Cadillac stylists have substantially improved the appearance of the new CTS compared to its predecessor. Gone are the original’s tired Origami folds, which looked revolutionary at introduction but shopworn today. The clean sheet design of the new sedan offers softer contours all around, with sweeping character lines defining the Cad’s newly elegant structure. Inside the spacious greenhouse, the look is all business, with black the predominant shade. Cadillac’s CUE (“Cadillac User Experience”) dash face is obsidian, slashes of carbon fiber grace the dash and door panels, and black vertically ribbed “performance” seats complete the Johnny Cash look. The medley works remarkably well at reducing unwanted reflections while providing all the right props for sporting driving. For example, your left foot will find itself firmly braced against an aluminum dead pedal that is rubber ribbed for traction. The center console contains a large, easily accessible “mode” button that allows you to select the appropriate combination of shock absorber resilience provided by GM’s superb magnetic ride control system As soon as you tap the mode button, a screen appears, asking you to select “Tour, Sport. Track, or Snow” setting. We chose “Tour” for most of our freeway jaunts, but elected “Track” when bashing back roads. And bash this brash Cad does well, with its ground hugging suspension eating bumps while its fat 275/35R18 Pirelli P Zero run flats never miss a chance to grab an apex. Cadillac is certainly not exaggerating the VSport’s capabilities by offering a “Track” setting for your ultimate driving enjoyment. Despite its sizeable girth and luxury fitments, the CTS VSport is perfectly suited to tackling Laguna Seca, or Sonoma Raceway. In fact, Cadillac officially acknowledges this benefit by outlining measures to improve the car’s track performance in the Owner’s Manual! For example, you are directed to improve brake cooling by removing the front brake splash shield and front tire deflector, and reminded that “removing the shield will require the suspension bushings visible to the brake disc be protected with insulated thermal wrapping.” Although GM recommends that you “See the Warranty Manual before using the vehicle for competitive driving,” I couldn’t find any warranty manual reference to such activity. Still, the very idea of Cadillac encouraging its owners to enjoy maximum performance potential of the VSport is revolutionary and very refreshing.

Even without the ultra powerful V8 that still motivates the ground shattering CTS-V, the VSport Cadillac is a superior vehicle in every way compared to its older sibling. The fact that you can now buy an American designed and constructed sports sedan that is actually superior to the stellar offerings from Germany is astounding. the fact that it also costs less than the Bavarian competition is even better yet.

2014 Cadillac CTS 3.6L TT VSport Premium

  • Engine: 3.6 Liter Twin Turbocharged V6
  • Horsepower: 420hp
  • Torque: 430 lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 16 MPG City/24 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $70,990
  • Star Rating: 10 out of 10 Stars

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Review: 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon

Friday October 11th, 2013 at 8:1010 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Pavement Ripper, Stealth Looks, Bargain Price
Gripes: No Shift Paddles, Hard & Flat Seats

This is one bad rad Cad. It’s the bad boy of all station wagons thanks to a supercharged V-8 making 556hp and 551lb.-ft. of torque. It’s rad because it resembles nothing else on this planet, a black banana that looks wilder than any Kustom Kruiser George Barris ever conceived. But because it’s a Cad, you can pretend that you’re driving the darling car of the senior set. After all, it’s practical, luxurious, ultra comfy, and big enough to carry everyone’s golf bag. Only your right foot and your insurance agent will know better.

If any car ever made an open and shut case for traction control, it’s this CTS-V. The factory delivers the wagon with a bevy of handling nannies including Stabilitrak Directional Control with Traction Control (TC). In keeping with General Motors’ thoughtful high performance philosophy, you can delete these aids by pressing the steering wheel mounted TC button for about 8 seconds. Do this at your peril. Although the CTS-V is equipped with commendably wide Michelin Pilot Sport tires (255/40ZR-19 f., 285/35ZR-19 r.), they are no match for the awesome torque of this motor when you tromp the throttle with TC disabled. Do so and you can burn rubber from a standstill through an entire quarter mile. If you sensibly leave TC engaged for your acceleration test, the Wagon will bullet through the standing start quarter mile in 12.7 seconds at 111mph without so much as a squeal of protest from the Michelins.

The $63,215 base price of the CTS-V Wagon makes it a sensational bargain. For comparable performance in a rear wheel drive luxury ride, you’d be spending $89,900 for a BMW M5 sedan, $138,650 for a Porsche Panamera Turbo, or $140,000 for a Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG sedan. None of these companies offer wagon versions of their musclecars. A handful of reasonably priced options enhance the V Wagon’s other worldly looks. Black Diamond Tricoat paint is a spectacular addition to the invoice at just $995 extra. Confetti-sized, clear-coated metallic particles juice up the looks of a Caddy that would otherwise look at home leading a funeral procession. Black-out grill trim ($870) and Satin Graphite alloys ($800) augment the V’s Punk Goth visage. Yellow painted Brembo brake calipers ($595) add just the right note of visual relief and levity to the otherwise monochromatic exterior.

If you can work past the exorbitant, $2,600 Gas Guzzler Tax appended to the sticker, and cope with the onus of a 14 MPG overall fuel consumption rating, the V Wagon is otherwise a most practical conveyance for large families. The interior space is well arranged to transport 5 adults in comfort, with enough wagon space left in back to store baggage for an overnight trip for the group. The leather-bolstered front seats feature “sueded” inserts on the seating surfaces, and include standard 3-temp level heating. But the seats don’t offer enough lateral support to retain you when the road gets twisty. Another chink in the armor is the lack of true paddleshifts to control the V’s 6-speed automatic gearbox. Cadillac simply provides a pair of small buttons on the backside of the steering wheel spokes to effect upshifts and downshifts. You can circumvent the lack of paddles by using the console-mounted bump stick to effect gear changes.

The CTS-V Wagon is unquestionably the most brilliant version of the CTS range Cadillac has yet devised. Capable of functioning as an under-the radar family bus, this sleek stealth missile also stands ready to perform the most heroic musclecar feats without batting a wiper. Since this unique package will never become a mass market commodity, there’s added incentive in buying one now for long term investment potential.

2013 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon

  • Engine: All Aluminum Supercharged OHV V-8
  • Horsepower: 556 @ 6,100rpm
  • Torque: 551lb.-ft. @ 3,800rpm
  • Fuel Consumption: 12 MPG City/ 18 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $71,120
  • Star Rating: 10 out of 10 Stars

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Review: 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T Premium Collection

Monday October 7th, 2013 at 8:1010 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Nuburgring Handling Prowess, Nicely Tailored
Gripes: Olympic Seat Belt Pull Effort, No Rear Wiper, Battery Buried in Trunk

It isn’t everyday you drive a car with a title longer than a British Count. But Cadillac has managed to append no less than 4 qualifiers to its newest offspring, the diminutive ATS 4-door sedan. “2.0T” refers to the fact that this is the first Caddy since the unlamented Cimarron to rely on just 4 cylinders for motivation, Granted, this is an impertinently perky foursome, depending on direct injection and a turbo to churn out 272hp. Those horses are wisely allocated by an ultra-responsive 6-speed automatic transmission featuring “Performance Algorithm Tapshifts” to control gear choice and rpm range. The “Premium Collection” descriptor stems from the handcrafted, cut and sewn interior leather seating surfaces, and the delicate contrasting stitching highlighting most dash and door panel seams. Everywhere you look, the ATS posits this question: why buy a BMW 3 or Audi A4 when you can select this premium small Cadillac instead?

This is a very tough market niche to crack, one which the German makes have owned for years now. Although Cadillac’s ATS isn’t quite on par with the leaders, it’s close enough to merit a look. It’s 8 inches longer than BMW’s 3, 5 inches longer than Audi’s A4. Like the BMW, the weight distribution of the ATS is perfectly split between front and rear axles at 50/50. And like the Audi A4, the ATS is available with all-wheel-drive. In fact, Cadillac offers a seemingly inexhaustible variety of ATS configurations. The base model with rear-wheel-drive, normally aspirated, 2.5 liter four carries an MSRP of $33,095. In AWD form, base cost jumps to $36,900. The rear-wheel-drive turbo ATS “Premium” I drove carries an MSRP of $44,895. The priciest version is the 3.6 liter, V-6 AWD Premium model which starts at $47,795. Cadillac offers an amazing 13 variants of the ATS, with plenty of options for each. Our test car priced out at a whopping $50,955, once these additions were added: the “Driver Assist Package” ($3,220) which you can definitely live without, “Crystal Red Tintcoat” ($995), “Polished Aluminum 18 Inch Wheels” ($850) and “Cold Weather Package” ($600).

Because Cadillac realizes that sports sedan customers hold handling and agility sacrosanct, they have tailored ATS suspension accordingly. There’s absolutely no mush in this lithe and athletic sedan, which in Premium Collection trim, boasts GM’s prized FE3 Suspension Package. From the contact patches of the sizeable (225/40R18 front and 255/35R18 rear) Bridgestone RE050A tires, through the Corvette-derived MR (magneto-rheological) shocks, the ATS generates enormous grip in corners. The finely calibrated ZF “Premium Electric Variable Steering” contributes to unalloyed confidence in handling precision. The automatic gearbox is perfectly configured for manual control, with elephant ear magnesium paddles set tight to the steering wheel for micro management when the floor console stick is positioned in manual mode. The turbo boost of the 2 liter engine, redlined at 6,400rpm, is always adequate to acceleration needs, especially when you pre-select the appropriate gear set. Unlike the latest 3 from BMW, there’s no annoying automatic start/stop device to annoy you at traffic lights. And the Caddy still manages to post a respectable 24MPG in combined city/highway driving.

The downfall of the ATS is its distressing Cadillac User Entertainment (CUE) system, which defies logic and refuses to cooperate with your commands. Apparently, someone in charge of GM dashboard design has decreed that knobs are passé. In their stead, a series of ill-defined digital control bars are arrayed to oversee cabin climate, fan operation and radio volume. These bars are supposed to offer haptic feedback when operated, but the feedback is more hapless than haptic. It takes forever to bridge the digital gulf from mute to loud or low to high fan, and all that while you’re taking your eyes off the road to accomplish what would be instant with a knob. CUE’s faceplate looks just like your cell phone’s. Only you won’t be bumping into other people when you use it, you’ll be bumping into other cars.

Other than that singular drawback, the ATS is a viable effort from Cadillac to penetrate the small sports sedan category. With the deletion of CUE and the addition of a few good knobs, this Cadillac could easily manage to breech the existing German hegemony.

2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T Premium Collection

  • Engine: 2.0 liter inline 4, Direct Injection, Turbocharged
  • Horsepower: 272hp
  • Torque: N/A
  • Fuel Consumption: 21 MPG City/31 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $51,850
  • Star Rating: 8 out of 10 Stars

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2012 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Review

Thursday March 22nd, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

For: Can-Am car for the street
Against: Frequent gas buyer miles

Last Summer I was treated to a hot lap around Infineon Raceway’s 2.2 mile IndyCar short course in the works-prepared Cadillac CTS-V competing in SCCA’s World Challenge series. Driven by top GM racing pilot Andy Pilgrim, the CTS-V left an indelible impression on me of noise, heat and prodigious speed. So it was with whetted anticipation that I took delivery of a 2012 CTS-V for a one week test drive. Even that searingly hot lap around Infineon failed to prepare me for the boundless performance of this eminently streetable hot rod.

Under the hood, the bad Cad shares a detuned and downsized version of the motor used in the ultimate Corvette, the ZR1. In the case of the CTS-V, you get 6.2 liters of supercharged V8 good for 556 horsepower and 551 lb.-ft. of torque. You can order your V with either the 6-speed manual Tremec TR6060 gearbox, or the GM Hydra-Matic 6190, which also provides 6 speeds, plus steering wheel shift controls. Our test car’s Tremec manual operated flawlessly, with nicely spring loaded gates to guide you from slot to slot without missing a shift. With this much torque, you could probably get away with a 2 speed transmission, but the 6-speed manual is so rewarding to shift that you’ll find yourself chasing gears just for pleasure. Equally rewarding is listening to the sound of the powder keg V8 snorting its way through the rev range.

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2012 Cadillac SRX Review

Monday January 23rd, 2012 at 4:11 PM
Posted by: aquadog

 Intro Video by Drive Time Review

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By David Coleman

Model Tested: 2012 Cadillac SRX AWD Premium Collection

  • Engine: 3.6 liter SIDI V6
  • Horsepower: 308 at 6,800rpm
  • Torque: 265 lb.-ft. at 2,400rpm
  • Fuel Consumption: 16 MPG City/23 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $51,550


  • Value
  • Stealth Looks
  • Standard Luxury Features
  • New V6 is powerful and efficient


  • Owner’s Manual Printed on Newsprint
  • Poor Rear Visibility
  • Difficult Radio Tuning Procedure

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Table of Contents – Editorial Car Reviews, Feature Articles

Tuesday October 11th, 2011 at 2:1010 PM
Posted by: Derek


Below is a comprehensive list of all the Expert Car Reviews and feature articles published on [updated 10/11/2011]:

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Pebble Beach Concours – Cadillac Ciel Concept

Saturday August 20th, 2011 at 12:88 PM
Posted by: Derek

Cadillac Ciel Concept

Cadillac unveiled the Ciel Concept at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance held in Carmel, CA. Using the French word for sky, the Ciel (pronounced C-L) is an open-air, touring concept inspired by the natural beauty of scenic California coast.

The large touring chassis of Ciel explores themes driving Cadillac’s explorations into range-topping flagship luxury. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged version of the 3.6-liter Direct Injection V-6 engine, paired with a hybrid system using lithium-ion battery technology.

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2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum Review

Monday August 8th, 2011 at 10:88 AM
Posted by: mtan

2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV


  • Luxury look and feel – Platinum Edition Tehama Aniline and Nuance luxury leather seating treatment
  • Entertainment – four DVD screens accompany the three row interior making this a road tripper’s dream car
  • Sheer size – if you’re looking for a luxury utility vehicle that can carry the entire family and more, then the size of the Escalade ESV will work for you


  • Underwhelming power – rated at 403hp and 417 foot pounds of torque, the motor still comes up short considering that this is a 7400 pound SUV
  • Dated interior feel – the interior was a major disappointment, especially given that this was the Platinum Edition, and the look and feel is more appropriate for a $45,000 Suburban
  • Dated styling – the Escalade suffers from a design that was more relevant five years ago, and just looks bland and inconsistent compared to more current automotive designs

“This SUV takes on big missions — Beautifully.”

There is always a certain amount of intrigue and excitement that comes along with testing an $88,000 vehicle. That price point puts this SUV in the company of some of the newest offerings from Porsche, BMW, and Audi. Granted, the sheer size of the Escalade puts it in its own category, but given the close to six figure price tag, the expectations were high.

No doubt about it, the Escalade is full on “bling”. A big motor, lots of chrome, lots of leather, and lots of video screens. It would also seem to be the ideal family vehicle, as it can carry 7 people comfortably, and has a Magnetic Ride Control suspension lending to a smooth ride that would make road trip miles fly by. The interior is built for comfort, but the third row is easily folded to increase the already roomy cargo area.

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