Ride & Drive: 2015 Cadillac Escalade
Cadillac is staking its claim in the full-sized sport utility segment with the rollout of the all-new, fourth-generation Escalade.
With seating for up to eight passengers and the capability to tow up to 8,300 pounds, the Escalade has always been powerful and versatile. Now, Cadillac has pulled out all the stops when it comes to luxury, elegance and technology.
Engineered and designed to go head-to-head against the Mercedes GL, Land Rover Range Rover, Infiniti QX80, Lexus LX 570 and the Lincoln Navigator, the new Escalade features a lot of advanced technology and hand-tailored craftsmanship. Without question, the new Escalade is a work of art — inside and out.
Craftsmanship defines the passenger space, which is designed to be one of the industry’s most authentic and luxurious cabins — with seamless technology integration. Real wood combined with premium cut-and-sewn materials and sueded accents, along with ambient lighting, were designed to add elegance to the interior design.
Technology and connectivity are key themes in the new Escalade. To list just a few, standard features include keyless entry and push-button start, electric telescoping/tilting steering column, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood accents, concealed center-stack storage with motorized door, tri-zone climate control, fold-flat second- and third-row seats with standard power-folding third row, and heated and cooled front- and second-row seats.
Cadillac User Experience is also standard. It is an advanced system for connectivity and control featuring voice recognition with touch controls common with the most popular tablets and mobile devices. The 8-inch center screen uses capacitive touch technology and gesture recognition, enabling tapping and swiping common to smartphones and tablets.
The instrument cluster features a reconfigurable, high-resolution 12.3-inch driver information center display paired with the CUE system, with data also shown on an available full-color head-up display. It also has OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, providing a mobile hub when the vehicle is on. And, the Bose Centerpoint audio system is worth the price of admission.
Consumers have their choice of regular and extended wheelbase models, both available in rear- or four-wheel drive. Both models are available in Luxury and Premium trim levels. Under the hood, the Escalade is powered by a new 6.2-liter V-8 engine that is more powerful and more fuel-efficient than previous models.
Delivering 420 horsepower and 460 lbs.-ft. torque, it has an EPA rating of 21 mpg on the highway — a 17 percent improvement over prior models as well as a significant improvement over most of the competition in the segment.
For those in the market for a full-sized luxury SUV, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade is a must for the test drive list.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association. Follow Neal on Twitter at @wni_nwhite.
The nuts and bolts
2015 Cadillac Escalade
7- or 8-seat luxury SUV
Rear-, or four-wheel drive
Escalade/Escalade ESV (extended wheelbase)
Luxury or Premium
3.6L V-8 (420 hp/460 T)
EPA: 15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway (RWD)
FUEL: Premium unleaded recommended
StabiliTrak stability control with traction control
LENGTH: 203.9/224.3 in.*
WHEELBASE: 116/130 inches*
WIDTH: 80.5 inches
HEIGHT: 74.4 inches
WEIGHT: 5,594-6,040 pounds
TRACK: 68.7/68.7 (front/rear)
FUEL TANK: 26/31 gallons*
TIRES: 20-, or 22-inch
CARGO: 15.2/51.6/94.2 or 39.3/76.7/120.9 cubic feet* (behind third/second/first row).
TOWING: Up to 8,300 pounds
• Denotes Escalade/Escalade ESV