2015 Cadillac Escalade Review
BODY STYLE: Full-size, body-on-frame SUV
DRIVE METHOD: front-engine, four-wheel-drive? with six-speed automatic transmission
ENGINE: 6.2-litre direct injection overhead valve V8 (420 hp, 460 lb/ft)
FUEL CONSUMPTION: (Regular) standard wheelbase (SWB) 16.2/11.4L/100 km city/highway; long wheelbase (LWB) 16.8/11.7L/100 km
CARGO CAPACITY: SWB, 2,667 kg; LWB, 3,424 kg
PRICE: SWB, Standard (1SA), $79,900; Luxury Collection (1SB), $85,500; Premium Collection (1SC), $90,500: LWB, $82,900, $88,500, $93,500
2015 Cadillac Escalade: Bling is still the thing
The one thing on my mind while driving the 2015 Cadillac Escalade was whether or not there?s still a place for a truck this big in a world of ever-rising gasoline prices.
I was to find out very quickly, there is.
Looking for a fitting setting in the rolling Georgina Township hills north of Toronto, I spotted an immaculate stone farmhouse with a big red barn and white silo.
Walking up to the door to ask permission to take photos, the landowner came out exclaiming, ?I followed you through town yesterday trying to get your attention…and here you turn up at my farm?.
Turns out she is a very happy owner of a Cadillac Escalade EXT pickup truck and had been calling her dealer for four months trying to find out when the 2015s were going on sale.
With me, was Craig Couch, Canadian Escalade product manager. We agreed that if Craig was prepared to accept her cheque, the landowner would have taken possession right there.
Later that day at an evening rooftop reception in Toronto?s trendy Yorkville area, Cadillac invited about 300 dealers and loyal buyers up for the official unveiling.
I was told the next day three attendees were also ready to buy on the spot.
You can?t miss an Escalade and that?s the whole point.
It?s one of the most successful full-size SUVs of all time with instantly recognizable Cadillac styling, now with an increasing affinity to razor-edge character lines used on the CTS, ATS and SRX.
And Cadillac is on a roll with a sales increase in 2013 of 50 per cent and currently marking 21 straight months of sales growth.
Styling this year features full LED lighting front and rear and all with the signature perpendicular treatment.
The triple sealed doors are inlaid to not only cut air noise and drag, but for near perfect panel fit. Enhancing this is acoustic glass, aero outside mirrors and sound barrier insulation including an acoustic cover over the fuel pump.
Inside it is all Cadillac with cut and sewn leather throughout. Theft deterrence has been improved greatly with incline sensors (in case it is being flat loaded by thieves), interior motion sensors, glass break sensors and shields of over the door locks. The horn even has its own power source so thieves can no longer just disconnect the battery and make off with your Escalade.
One of the few complaints in the past was about the third row seats that no longer have to be removed to make the whole cargo area available.
The third row is now powered with buttons on the D-pillar that makes the seats fold flat in 3-5 seconds.
The 2015 Cadillac Escalade comes in standard (2,946 mm) and long (3,302 mm) wheelbase models with a cargo volume of 2,667 litres and 3,424 litres respectively Cadillac calls the long wheelbase the ESV model. A power rear liftgate is standard.
There is one engine, a 6.2-litre direction injection V8 with 420 hp and 460 lb/ft of torque with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Four-wheel-drive replaced the all-wheel-drive system used on the out-going model. The 4WD system has three modes: 2Hi for the best fuel economy, 4HI for more challenging terrain and winter/rain and Auto which is basically set and forget.
Five-cycle fuel consumption for the standard wheelbase model is 16.2/11.4L/100 km city/highway and 16.8/11.7L/100 km for the long wheelbase. Tow rating is 3,674 kg and 3,583 kg respectively.
The new Escalade is now equipped with GM?s Magnetic Ride first introduced on the Corvette. It is the world?s fastest reacting suspension and monitors road conditions 1,000 times a second and changes every 10-15 milliseconds.
To the driver, it doesn?t make the Escalade feel as heavy as it really is and the amount of driver input is nicely measured and responsive.
What I found during the ride-and-drive was how easily it took sharp changes in direction without the steering wheel effort loading up.
The Escalade also comes with every leading edge safety system available including blind zone and lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert, adaptive cruise control, automatic crash preparation, automotive front and rear breaking, even automatic safety belt tightening.
You can?t get better connected to the outside world than with the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system with support for up to 10 Bluetooth capable devices, no less than five USB and five 12-volt ports, SD slot, 3.5 mm auxiliary jack and a 110-volt outlet.
The Bose auto system has 16 speakers while the available rear seat entertainment system has a 9-inch, Blu-ray capable video system with front loading disc along with US, SD and RCA jack ports.
It may be just me, but I find the CUE system hard to work with touch-sensitive slides I have trouble adjusting.
But, on the way back into the core of Toronto during one of the most intense road construction periods in recent memory, the Navigation system was able to get us around and through closed roads and one-lane traffic to our destination.
All this does not come cheap. Pricing for the short wheelbase is: Standard (1SA), $79,500; Luxury Collection (1SB), $85,500; Premium Collection (1SC), $90,500. For the LWB it is: $82,900, $88,500 and $93,500 respectively.
But getting back to the who and why, when it comes to buying an Escalade, it?s pretty simple really ? presence.
Finely engineered and built, the idea of a big, super luxury SUV that stands out in any crowd is very attractive to a larger number of buyers than you may think.
And that?s why people like those chronicled above will always be ready to obtain one.