By on August 29, 2012

In rapper parlance, the word “ignorant” often denotes someone or something that is offensively ostentatious, lacking in taste, discretion or refinement. It’s a great descriptor for the Cadillac Escalade, and according to an Automotive News report, things aren’t going to change when the next generation debuts.

Cadillac’s marketing chief Don Butler told Automotive News

“If someone wants to make a technological statement and associate with a company that’s environmentally responsible, then the ELR will be perfect for them,” Butler says. “But if somebody wants a no-compromises, biggest, most comfortable, baddest looking vehicle on the road, then we’ll have that for them as well.”

Given all the “green” posturing and “commitment to sustainability” in every single corner of the automotive world, even when it’s totally contrived and disingenuous, it’s refreshing to see that Cadillac is sticking to its guns and releasing a vehicle that is unapologetically profligate and in poor taste for the current social and economic climate.

The first (and last) Cadillac event I went to was a lavish press launch in Napa, and yet, the PR staff constantly reminded us that our absurdly luxurious hotel “…was LEED Gold certified.” Evidently, Cadillac’s tone has changed – and I couldn’t be happier.

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80 Comments on “Next-Gen Cadillac Escalade To Remain “Mad Ignorant”...”


  • avatar
    18726543

    I believe it’s pronounced “ig’nant”.

    • 0 avatar
      caltemus

      From Gen Why here. “Ig’nant” is the proper pronunciation.

    • 0 avatar

      forraymond

      The NAvigator and Escalade are the best luxury SUV’s on the American market. Everything else is either too or too weak to tow extra mass.

      I don’t know what the Navigator will morph into, but I’m sure the next Escalade will be independant rear suspension with the same grill as the XTS and CUE inside.

      • 0 avatar
        oboylepr

        Yeah. Too bad it’s a POS! ain’t it?

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Yes, but why would you want all of that extra mass and volume? Why put yourself through the extra effort to dock the barge when you could just park?

        I mean, unless you actually are hauling around a band of rappers, their bling, their amps, their guitars, and their drums…

        But most bands just use a crappy old car that can haul their stuff. For instance, my sister’s folk band toured using an old Buick Rendezvous, and then traded up to a Jetta wagon. Escalade not required, at least for any practical reason.

        I’ve never seen an Escalade tow anything. Ever. If you actually have to move $#!t, there are much cheaper ways to do it. And I don’t see anything else that I personally can imagine valuing on the Escalade.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        If the Escalade gets IRS, does that mean the Suburban will too? And what about the half ton trucks they are all based on?

        Come to think of it, it would b a lot easier to justify the Escalade’s price if it was the only one of the bunch (excapt perhaps the GMC Denali) with IRS. Sadly, GM bean counters will likely figure such extravagant engineering achievements as an IRS in a luxury vehicle is not worth pursuing. Particularly since the entire target market is self consciously ig’nant.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I like the Escalade. It does not bow down to the social norm. It is big, loud, and uninhibited.

    The interior needs work though, I test drove one, and I found many of the same cheap black plastics as on the Tahoe. The price increase should pay some dividends.

    • 0 avatar
      crtfour

      I hope they eliminate the big & clunky column shifter. It seems kind of goofy out of place on an $80k vehicle or whatever they are going for these days.

    • 0 avatar
      Strippo

      “I like the Escalade. It does not bow down to the social norm. It is big, loud, and uninhibited.”

      I’m reminded of how CBS got rid of all of its very successful rural-based programming in one fell swoop around 1970 to shed itself of its “Hillbilly Network” image. If GM wants “We build Cadillacs” to imply something even remotely sophisticated, then sacrifices have to be made for the sake of the brand. Escalades are driven by the unsophisticated. That’s not necessarily the literal truth, but it is the image. It appears Cadillac is effectively deciding to stay the course as the Hillbilly Luxury brand. It’s a niche, I guess.

      • 0 avatar
        rpol35

        I wouldn’t judge Cadillac by the Escalade alone. The CTS has done much to change Cadillac’s image and I imagine the upcoming ATS & XTS will continue that trend.

        As for the Escalade, it’s more of a refined market segmentation, i.e. nouveau riche and gangsta’s; a fortunately small market segmentation.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        +1

      • 0 avatar
        Strippo

        “I wouldn’t judge Cadillac by the Escalade alone.”

        And I wouldn’t judge the Dahmer family by Jeffrey alone, but that doesn’t mean I’m exactly eager to get to know the rest of the klan.

        Cadillac has decided to keep their black sheep in the fold, so…

      • 0 avatar
        raded

        Yes, many Escalade drivers are less than sophisticated. I will say though that, if I’m getting picked up from the airport on a business trip with a couple of colleagues, I’m hoping an Escalade shows up. Can’t say I’d ever want to drive one but they’re great to be driven in.

        It is what it is. Big, loud, ostentatious. Love it.

      • 0 avatar
        Strippo

        How does being loud, ostentatious and slathered in Cadillac badging make it better to be driven in than a Denali? What I’m basically hearing is that Cadillac isn’t truly a luxury brand so it’s no big deal. That ship has sailed. And that’s fine, but I doubt it’s the message Cadillac really wants to convey.

        As things now stand, Cadillac’s message is analogous to: “Greeeeen Acres is the place to be…”

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      “I like the Escalade. It does not bow down to the social norm. It is big, loud, and uninhibited.”

      You mean the social norm of not-spending $70k to do a job that’s easily accomplished by a $35k Tahoe, or a $12k used vehicle? That social norm?

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Mandalorian: “It is big, loud, and uninhibited.”

      So’s Roseanne. No, thank you.

  • avatar
    bd2

    There are still buyers who need a BOF with a high towing capacity and besides, Cadillac may very well gets its own Lambda CUV.

    And let’s not forget Infiniti with the QX, Lexus with the LX, Lincoln with the Navigator and Mercedes with the G-wagon, not to mention the Range Rover.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Comparing the LX or G-klasse with the Escalade seems a bit of, the Japanese and German/Austrian offering are luxury version off-roaders.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Nobody needs BOF, unless you’re actually bolting things to the frame. I’m talking about things like bucket trucks and flatbeds that are bolted to the frame.

      Seriously, you can take the engineers word that the hardpoints they put on the vehicle are strong enough. The automotive engineering community is pretty good at designing reinforced sheet metal structures, and making sure they’re exactly as strong as they want them to be. And they use a combination of supercomputers (computational simulation and modeling) and physical tests to do it.

      This BOF-is-best meme was obsolete at least 10 years ago.

      Also, you don’t need to leave your diesel engine idling all the time, either. Materials science took care of that one at least a decade ago, too. Yes, diesels are pretty efficient at idle, so it’s really just an annoying waste of a little bit of fuel. But, seriously, just turn the key — it’ll be fine.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    I just wish they put all that effort into a big, ostentatious luxobarge sedan or oversized personal luxury coupe. Even though its been well over a decade, I still just can’t reconcile the fact that Cadillac’s flagship model, the one the most epitomizes everything the brand has traditionally stood for, is essentially a station wagon body on a pickup frame.

  • avatar
    JLGOLDEN

    If there’s a market for these big luxo-utes, then GM has the right idea to keep playing to paying consumers. Cadillac’s brand message doesn’t have to include anything about flowers and trees and barrels of oil and an itty-bitty carbon footprint. Hope rumors are true that they keep the “rugged bones” and road-noise isolation of body-on-frame design.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      I’m a progressive type who believes solidly in the American mantra that there’s a market for everything, even if it’s in bad taste. If you want to buy a cement mixer and festoon it with chrome and gold spinners and rock that b**** up and down the coast, good on you. I think it vile, vulgar, may wonder if you’re secure in your manhood, and would never own one; however, would never question your right to be ignorant. If you want to pay for the priviledge to be ostentatious, so be it.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        It’s interesting how you consider your point of view as “progressive”. For all intents and purposes, you’re right. We with the free-market mindset truly are the new progressives.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        I don’t go by labels or stereotypes much danio. Think we’ve lost that ability in America.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @danio3834: “It’s interesting how you consider your point of view as “progressive”.”

        Perhaps you’ve been misinformed about what “progressive” is? Many people have been, since misrepresenting it makes for profitable punditry without any of that pesky homework.

        I’m another pro-business progressive. I grew up in a small business family. I’m working on an MBA. I’ve worked in academia. I’ve worked in big business, both as an employee and as a consultant. You could call me a “fiscal conservative” on some days, though the label of “fiscal pragmatist” probably fits better in the current climate.

        But please don’t ever call me a “conservative”. I’m incredibly liberal on social issues, and the screaming social conservatives kicked me out of their party a decade ago. And I do believe that our society would be stronger if we had a better social safety net. I also think that environmental and climate issues are real issues with serious long-term consequences. I think conservation of resources will make us stronger in the long run. These are not mutually exclusive, but getting it right is tricky — some European countries have it figured out, and some are way worse than we are. So, please don’t ever confuse me with the current crop of conservatives.

        Fox News and the conservative radio talkshow hosts generally represent my views poorly. They generally attribute a bunch of contradictory beliefs to “liberals”, and then kick that straw man around for a while. Fine, whatever, it’s entertainment (or so they say when pressed on the point). The weird thing is that many people never see this for what it is.

  • avatar
    200k-min

    “In rapper parlance, the word “ignorant” often denotes someone or something that is offensively ostentatious, lacking in taste, discretion or refinement.”

    That last word is key…the current Escalade is NOT refined at all compared to most luxury vehicles I’ve driven/ridden in. It’s not far from a leather trimmed Suburban with more chrome. Personally I can’t find that “ah-ha” difference between the Escalade and a Denali. Out in the wealthy suburbs I see more Yukons in the driveways anyway.

    Cadillac needs to differentiate the Escalade. Plenty of ink has been spilled about Lincoln doing their rebadging, ditto lexus, but Cadillac seems to get a pass on their volume leading Escalade.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I know two really wealthy young guys that both drive Yukon Denalis. These guys are in their twenties and early thirties, and they each own a waterfront property in my neighborhood so they don’t have to crash at friends’ places when they visit Pacific Beach. I assume they could have bought Escalades if they thought Cadillac’s image was acceptable.

      • 0 avatar
        Speed Spaniel

        There’s some truth there. It seems my old money friends drive the Yukon Denalis while restaurant owners, proprietors of used car dealerships and lottery winners drive Escalades. I’d take the Escalade simply because J Lo mentions one in one of her songs that she howls…… : )

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        It’s like GM actually did something right with the GMC Yukon Denali. People can have all the toys of the Escalade without having to say they have an Escalade. I’m old enough to remember when rich people drove Suburbans and Grand Wagoneers, but rich people are different now.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        @ CJ I still see Suburbans and Grand Cherokees at polo matches/steeplechase events here in horse country. Lots of conservative high dollar American SUVs, of course Range Rovers, but few GLKs. Most with hitches for the horse trailer. The old money/old money wanna be/preppy crowd would be shocked and ashamed at an Escalade. My date and stumble off and on the one of the shuttle buses.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        Cadillac’s image always has been unacceptable to many and should be, that’s what Buicks should be for. That’s why appliancelike Lexus are more often compared to Buicks instead of Cadillacs.

        BTW, one can make dog whistling snide remarks about African American tastes but many a successful fashion designer (Calvin Klein) has made a large living coping from blacks.

      • 0 avatar

        Billfrombuckhead,

        If you can hear a racist dog whistle, what does that make you?

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    Escalades are one of the most gauche, American, ostentatious and ungreen vehicles on the road today and I **LOVE** them. Keeping it the way it is, IS the way to go. Good move!

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    Glad to hear this Cadillac. Hope you keep the BOF chassis and especially the offshore powerboat rumbling V-8. A turbo V6 just won’t be the same.

  • avatar
    yesthatsteve

    So, Cadillac’s positioning itself as the Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. of the automotive industry?

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  • avatar
    -Cole-

    Yeah a Caddy chromey Enclave is going to be dope.

  • avatar
    Polar Bear

    I saw this TV documentary from the porn industry in California. The main “agent” was driving an Escalade full of “talent”.

  • avatar
    Pan

    Isn’t it a “Pimpmobile?”

  • avatar
    rwb

    A Denali is a great choice for those who want a luxurious body-on-frame SUV. An Escalade is a great choice for those who want a luxurious body-on-frame SUV and who also lack taste and restraint.

    I think it’s a shame that having the option to buy a gauche, ostentatious version of a perfectly good product is considered by some to be emblematic of America, but hey, choice is good, I guess.

    Of course, I’m one to talk: If given the Powerball jackpot, I would probably own a G63.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    What a relief, if GM did away with the Escalade what would Jabba the Hut drive when the sail barge is in the shop?

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    I am frankly amazed at all the grief that the Escalade gets, and yet that amorphous hideousness with ripped-from-Buick portholes that Infiniti peddles gets a free pass.

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    The first line of that AN article: “Cadillac is rolling out its lightest car ever, the ATS compact.”

    I suppose the Cimarron (~800 pounds lighter) doesn’t really count as a Cadillac…

    Anyway, I agree that Cadillac really does need a larger sedan, as the CTS is expected to become, that isn’t just a livery special.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Even Cadillac won’t admit to the Cimaron. This is not the Caddy you’re looking for…

      • 0 avatar

        My understanding is there’s a picture of a Cimarron in the Cadillac general manager’s office at the RenCen, captioned “Lest We Forget”.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        Why should Cadillac admit to a Cavalier with a glitz kit that was imposed on them from the high command? Nowdays Cadillac obviously has more control over their product. The ATS is very different from the Cimmaron to anyone paying attention. The Escalade is very successful and if they start being proud of it, it will be more successful.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Don’t you think the Cimarron falls under the category “repressed memory” more then anything ells?

      “No uncle Dave never touched my dingeling, and if he did, it was in his Chevrolet Cavalier”

    • 0 avatar
      segxr7

      IIRC, they called it “Cimarron, by Cadillac”. Even back in those late-Malaise days, they resorted to technicalities to try and distance themselves from that POS.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    The Escalade is great and provides exactly what its intended market craves.

    My gripe is GM’s lack of updating the fucking thing over its now 5-6 year model run. Not even a bumper update? New light clusters?

    I know they did some minor updates with the biggest being updated wheel selections and a 6 speed auto.

    GM-Honda are both guilty of this.
    Toyota has gotten better.

    Audi & Hyundai seem to be the leaders in terms of continoulsy trying to keep their brand image fresh by updating exterior elements (lights, bumpers, etc) continoulsy over a mode run.

    Also, personally, I think a V-Series Escalade would do well. Drop in the LS9 (or LSA), add some aggressive kit, and watch them fly off the shelves…. with bespoke details on the outside plus a monster motor, I would expect it would sell very well…

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    The Escalade is the ugly American stereotype on wheels. I think they are an embarrassment but there is a place for everything. It does no good for Cadillac’s image but if GM does not care and they can sell enough to be profitable they should sell them. But I agree that a much better interior would go a long way towards making this a luxury ride.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Never have I seen a more persuasive argument for raising the tax on gasoline.
    How many American servicemen and women have to die overseas to enable a market for the no-compromises, biggest, most comfortable, baddest looking vehicle?

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      I’m not convinced by the oil equals dead soldiers hypotheses, and even if it where true doesn’t the people who voluntarily enlist in the wholly volunteer defense force be aware of the risk of being sent too die for oil?

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Funny, I seem to recall swearing an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not defend your right to roll down the highway sipping a Latte in the left lane. And it isn’t so much a defense force if you keep getting sent to fight preemptive wars. Frankly, with the way the American Populace seems to conviently forget that we are still fighting and dieing at a rate of 1 a day perhaps it is time to talk about a draft to ensure that these inconvienent statistics stay fresh in the minds of every American. I watch the news and see more about a supposed war on women than the war on the Taliban.

        This post made from Kandahar, Afghanistan, yeah, we’re still here.

        Anyway, I retire in 5 years, then your kids get to figure it out. I wish them all the best in Iran or North Korea or wherever the next bogeyman pops up at. We’ll see if you feel the same when its your kids tromping atround in the sand.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @mkirk

        Not being American I have no horse in this race, beside the obvious risk that the US decides unilaterally that we need to be on the receiving end of some highly illegal drone attacks, but wasn’t the US in Afghanistan the last time you re-enlisted? If so you couldn’t you have opted out?

        I’ve done my time in the army and I am a firm believer – even thou I think that the concept of slavery for select groups of the population is dubious – in conscript based armed forces.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Yes. Well, I am an Officer now so techinally no, but yeah, when I took my Comission we were in Afghanistan. I actually did ten years and got out and was happily chugging away in Corporate America. But then a funny thing happened to my 401K long about 2008 followed by that pesky outsourcing thing rearing it’s ugly head. Rather than do the new American thing and walk away from my Mortgage and Bills, I decided to resume my Military Career, pay my bills, and not have to work until I was 80 years old. Yeah, I had a choice I suppose, I could have packed up my family and moved in with relatives when I lost the house. Not really a choice.

        This is a career man. Yes, it’s volunteer, but most Soldiers can no more walk away from their job than any other American can. Incidentally I served with quite a few guys my first tour who didnt volunteer. There enlistment was up but there was that whole “Stop Loss” matter. What were you saying about forced servitude?

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @@mkirk

        Well I respect that choice and I whole heartedly understand why one doesn’t want to get ones ass separated from ones body via IED or otherwise.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        How’s the weather in paradise?

        Seriously though, thank you for your service, MKirk.

        My two cents to the opinion regarding increased taxes and the trading of lives for oil is this:

        Carl von Clausewitz famously declared “war is a continuation of politics by other means”. Take a look around the world and realize there is a grand game of chess being played between the United States and the West, versus forces allied to Moscow and the East. We don’t want to end up in a checkmate, so unfortunately brave men are sent to fight and die in the name of politics. All we can do is hope and pray our soldiers survive their service and thank them for their commitment to the United States and its citizens. Oh and we could *try* not spit on them as the coward pinko commie hippy worthless ingrate f*ckheads did to my father and his generation.

        Taxes don’t even enter into it, the Escalade and the like may not sit well with you being so ostentatious (and I say this as a GM fan who hates Cadillac for selling out and stopping building real Cadillacs years back but I digress) BUT Prius and the like do not sit well with me, I would prefer to see them all crushed and shipped back to where they came from, but in the United States we all have freedom of choice. True Communists and Marxists sympathizers do not believe in individual freedom of choice and expression, they are obsessed with economic control among other things, through taxing the hell out of everything with which they disagree.

        I say build more Escalades, and toss in a V16 in the next release, that will drive the enviro-nazis nuts. While were at it, drastically cut all non-essential gov’t spending and roll back gas and sin taxes. Let people decide how to spend their own money.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Lots of big trucks, muscle cars, fast German iron, and stupid fast turbocharged Japanese car on bases.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    GM will never learn.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Don’t forget that Lincoln started this market and Cadillac kicked their butts. GMC Denali should be the more sedate Euro version, Cadillac should just keep doing what is obviously working and Lincoln????? I sense very large profits for GM if they launch a successful new Escalade, it’s perfect vehicle for the surging 1 %. A well executed Denali can contribute big time as well.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      I too sense large profits. Just don’t expect your products to be cross shopped with BMW and Audi products so long as these things are still parked on the same dealer lots.

      And the Denali a “Euro Version”??? Because a leather lined Gas V8 Suburban just screams Euro to me. And aren’t most of the 1% driven around in stretched Panthers?

  • avatar
    tced2

    I wonder how many Aveos will have to be sold for each Escalade to meet the CAFE?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    How’s the weather in paradise?

    Seriously though, thank you for your service, MKirk.

    My two cents to the opinion regarding increased taxes and the trading of lives for oil is this:

    Carl von Clausewitz famously declared “war is a continuation of politics by other means”. Take a look around the world and realize there is a grand game of chess being played between the United States and the West, versus forces allied to Moscow and the East. We don’t want to end up in a checkmate, so unfortunately brave men are sent to fight and die in the name of politics. All we can do is hope and pray our soldiers survive their service and thank them for their commitment to the United States and its citizens. Oh and we could *try* not spit on them as the coward pinko commie hippy worthless ingrate f*ckheads did to my father and his generation.

    Taxes don’t even enter into it, the Escalade and the like may not sit well with you being so ostentatious (and I say this as a GM fan who hates Cadillac for selling out and stopping building real Cadillacs years back but I digress) BUT Prius and the like do not sit well with me, I would prefer to see them all crushed and shipped back to where they came from, but in the United States we all have freedom of choice. True Communists and Marxists sympathizers do not believe in individual freedom of choice and expression, they are obsessed with economic control among other things, through taxing the hell out of everything with which they disagree.

    I say build more Escalades, and toss in a V16 in the next release, that will drive the enviro-nazis nuts. While were at it, drastically cut all non-essential gov’t spending and roll back gas and sin taxes. Let people decide how to spend their own money.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    No one does garish like Cadillac. All you have to do is look at a ’59 Cadillac to see that the Escalade is just a natural progression of design


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