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.

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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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2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum Review

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

2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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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For the post-apocalyptic car lover, there's 'Zombieland'

Friday October 2nd, 2009 at 7:1010 AM
Posted by: asgruben

Woody Harrelson in ZombielandBy Adrienne Gruben

Zombieland is a car lover’s dream. First, it’s a road movie. But there’s more. The film begins after a virus has infected the world, killing most, turning some into zombies and leaving a few regular folks to fend for themselves against zombies trying to eat them at every turn. Because Zombieland is essentially a planet-sized ghost town where people were literally plucked from their lives in the middle of mundane tasks, cars are strewn everywhere. Many of them are wrecked and beyond repair, but some are in fine working order, and if you can find one that a zombie isn’t living in, it is yours for the taking.

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