Cadillac Escalade 2015
It’s all about the interior with the 2015 Cadillac Escalade. Stitched, perforated leather and real wood trim take center stage in an upgrade that significantly departs from the Suburban-Yukon twins on which it’s based. Expect 420 hp and 460 pound-feet of torque from the Escalade’s 6.2-liter direct-injected V8. Two- or four-wheel-drive models will be available.
With room for up to eight, a tow rating of up to 8300 pounds—and tons of bling—the Escalade is luxury writ large. A 420-hp V-8 and eight-speed automatic with rear- drive is standard; all-wheel drive is optional. The long-wheelbase ESV adds about 25 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row. The rough ride and reluctant handling betray its pickup-truck foundation, and extras can push the price into the stratosphere. A tribute to conspicuous consumption, it’s more than most drivers need.
The Escalade’s range-topping Platinum trim level does just that. A two-wheel-drive example starts at $90,345, and the four-wheel-drive model tested here starts at $92,945. With only two options—power-deploying running boards and wheel locks—the final tally for our test rig came to $94,770.
If it sounds as though we’re comparing sticker prices in a vacuum, we’re not. Breeding matters, particularly at the Platinum’s price level. One needn’t root around in the Escalade’s pricing and hereditary chain to notice the built-down-to-a-price switchgear and high-volume assembly methods shared by its more mainstream relatives. This same interior, at its most basic, isn’t perfect but is convincingly luxurious in the low $70,000s; it is less so in the stratosphere. It brings to mind another iconic General Motors product, the Corvette, which despite its improved interior continues to be outclassed by the cabin environment of the Porsche 911 for one reason: Chevy is constrained by the Vette’s $56,395 base price for 2016, while Porsche’s lowliest 911 runs $85,350.