There are luxury SUVs and then there's the Cadillac Escalade. There are full-size SUVs and then there's the Cadillac Escalade. You could buy any number of big, luxurious vehicles instead, but there's just no true substitute for Cadillac's celebration of power, brashness and wheels in a package so large the Amish could stick one in a river to power a grain mill.
The Cadillac Escalade is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 good for 403 hp and 417 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic with a manual-shift feature is standard. Rear-wheel drive is standard on the Escalade, but all-wheel drive is optional.
The Cadillac Escalade is a full-size luxury SUV available in four trim levels: Cadillac Escalade Base, Cadillac Escalade Luxury, Cadillac Escalade Premium and Cadillac Escalade Platinum Edition. Seating for seven passengers is standard, but an optional center bench seat available on all but the Cadillac Escalade Platinum Edition bumps it up to eight. There are also hybrid, extended length (ESV) and pickup-style models (EXT).
Standard safety features on the Cadillac Escalade include stability control, antilock disc brakes, traction control, front side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and OnStar emergency telematics. A blind-spot warning system is standard on all but the base model.
The Cadillac Escalade's cabin, highlighted by supple leather upholstery and attractive faux wood and alloy trim, looks and feels more luxurious than what you'd find in a Tahoe or Yukon. The gauges and controls are well-placed and intuitive in their operation, and an upgraded navigation system gives the Cadillac Escalade the latest electronics at GM's disposal.