By on October 8, 2013

2015-Cadillac-Escalade-live-photos-11

The nearly decade long wait for the new Cadillac Escalade is over, with the 2015 model debuting in New York city at a special event hosted by GM. Our friends at AutoGuide.com attended and graciously shared their live shots with us.

With the Chevrolet Avalanche gone, the pseudo-truck EXT model is no longer available, but the base and extended-wheelbase ESV models will stick around. Power comes from a 6.2L V8 making 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft via a 6-speed automatic. Cadillac’s CUE system will also appear, as well as a suite of active safety features like forward collision warning, lane departure warning systems and adaptive cruise control. Despite some weight savings, expect fuel economy gains to be modest.

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95 Comments on “2015 Cadillac Escalade Unveiled...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Yawn.

    Looks a little like GMC Terrain from the side.

    • 0 avatar

      I was thinking a combination of the GMC & the Lexus GX 470. There’s a lot of design cue’s taken from the Toyota and Lexus full-sized variants.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Thats pretty much what I thought, a bigger Terrain with a tacky grille, but if I’m honest I never did care for the Escalade, I always thought its less showy brother YukonTahoe brothers looked better.

      Well at least until it was discovered that the Yukon-Tahs needed an eye transplant, and became Escalades without the tacky grille.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      @28CL

      I think this looks exactly how I would expect the current Escalade, mixed with the third gen CTS’ aesthetics, to look.

      But you’re right, the side profile view is very GMC Terrain-ish.

    • 0 avatar
      VanillaDude

      At what point will the Escalade have nothing but a giant grille across the width and height of it’s front end? With a Cadillac logo the size of a hula hoop? With chrome-ish horizontal bars large enough to do pull ups on?

      When will the Escalade look like a Brinks truck from the side? You know, a Brinks truck with 36 inch chrome-ish wagon wheels and window slots where you can shoot from?

      When will the Escalade look like it weighs less than a Denny’s?

      The light control towers serving as tail lights are sure to draw flocks of migrating birds.

      When will the Escalade stop looking like a cartoon truck for idiots?

      Cadillac owes it’s stylists still living who had designed the 1959 tail fins an apology for telling everyone that their work was the height of embarrassing excess, because those land shark fins, those rocket tail lights, those enormous wet-dream-inspired Dagmar front bumpers, JUST GOT SCHOOLED!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Like the outgoing model, this one looks best in ESV style. What’s bothering me, though, is the presence of those tall plastic trim-pieces that follow the fixed windowlettes on the rear doors. What, they couldn’t have spent the extra buck-fifty per vehicle to extend the glass all the way back to the edge of the window frames?

    • 0 avatar
      morbo

      ” What, they couldn’t have spent the extra buck-fifty per vehicle”

      When has GM ever spent money on something when they didn’t have to?

    • 0 avatar
      crtfour

      The C-pillar seems too “busy”

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      Remember that like the current Escalade it is still a Chevy Tahoe, so giving it a unique piece of glass would have been very expensive.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        You’re right. But first of all, the plastic pieces aren’t very flattering on the Tahoe/Suburban and Yukon either…so it shouldn’t be on any of them. Second, GM went so far as to give the current Escalade a unique set of rear doors, which feature window-openings that have kinks in them and space to fit plastic B-pillar-trim (and obviously the front doors have support for the B-pillar trim as well), so it couldn’t be much more expensive than doing that…

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          OK I see your point. For some reason I thought you were talking about rear glass, not the glass in the rear doors.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I see why you might have thought that. A lot of large luxury SUVs (Range Rover, LX 570, QX56/QX80, Q7) have quarter-panel glass that covers the C-pillars, rather than allowing the C-pillars to be exposed metal Doing that just for the Escalade *would* have been expensive, because it would have required separate side-panel stampings for a car that was supposed to share the entirety of its body with the Tahoe/Suburban and Yukon.

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          I think it’s hiding door structure. It’d be more elegant if the fixed glass panel covered that entire section on the outside (with much of it obscured from the interior) but it looks like the structure is proud of the glass surface.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    You’re a little slow on this one, Jack, I had this up on The Brougham Society last night :P

    I think it would have came across as more dramatic if GM had introduced it first instead of the Chevy and GMC versions.

    I also think the exterior needs just a bit more “jewelry”, not a lot, but just a little. After all, it IS a Cadillac!

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    Pretty gratuitous.

    Just as a Cadillac should be!

  • avatar
    seth4man

    I think the front is quite well executed. Big and masculine yet totally fits in with the rest of the Cadillac line. Also, the interior is starting to look like a real Cadillac too, not just a Tahoe with more fake wood.

    The design looses me on the tail lights though. Damn, those are some big tail lights. I’ve never liked tail lights that go all the way to the top. Honda CRV, Volvo, etc. For me, this is too much.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      It reminds me of that last Saab wagon, the 9-3 AeroCombi or whatever it was called.

      http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2009/07/22/22/32/2010-saab-9-3-sportcombi-pic-16006.jpeg

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      +1

      This interior looks excellent. The current Cadillac, despite what you may think of it’s demographic, is actually a pretty good car, as SK04 helps demonstrate in a 20 or 30 minute video, and it’s packed with features (as it should be for the price) but the interior on the current-gen Escalade is very… 2003-ish. This is a welcome upgrade.

      I think this looks stunning for what it is, and bravo GM for making the 6.2 the base engine after learning from the XTS’ engine snafu.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The current Escalade and Yukon Denali already feature a 6.2L as standard (unless you get the Hybrid version of either, and then it’s a 6.0L)…so none of that is new.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I think GM missed a chance to advance and modernize the looks of its new crop of trucks and full sized UTES. They pretty much look the same as the outgoing models. A bit more differentiation could have spurred more sales. Despite many changes under the skin, I think a lot of people have difficutly rationalizing plunking down cash for something that just isnt that different.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Superfly would approve.

    (That interior is a knockout, though)

  • avatar
    SayMyName

    Blargh. This is pretty unimpressive, even for GM.

    Looks like you could get a sunburn from following this vehicle too closely in stop-and-go traffic…

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    “I’m a luxury truck, and I am not afraid to look like it”

    I see some Mercedes GLK lines in the front shape. Obviously it doesn’t look like the GLK, it just seems to have that essence that Mercedes went with – back to the roots of a truck looking like a truck.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    Thank goodness no more Pep Boys fender vents.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Nice evolution and refinement of what remains a very important and successful model for Cadillac.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    Terrible, that side profile is horrid. It is less distinctive than the current one and I am sure they are going to overprice the hell out of it now like they are doing with the CTS. At least the interior is better now, although far from being as nice as a BMW, Mercedes,Infiniti, Porsche or Range Rover.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Both these, Yukons, and Tahoes always felt like remnants of Detroits malaise era, cheaply built under-engineered cars that sell only based on their sheer size and “presence”, face-lift after face-lift they look more alike and tackier as they shamelessly steal styling cues from competitors.

    Granted these are SUVs and they received perhaps a few more design changes, but its still in the same spirit.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      Having had our Tahoe for close to 6 yeas now I would have to completely disagree with that statement. With close to 80K it still drives like a new vehicle. The ride and handling is amazing for a BOF truck and it is still whisper quiet on the highway. I’ve rented mid size sedans that don’t ride and drive as nice as our Tahoe and most of them were next to brand new. Anyone that thinks these things are low quality, low tech, walllowing, lumbering old trucks really need to pull their heads out of the sand. A big part of the reason these SUVs and PUs are so popular is becasue of the way they drive.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        “There is a segment of consumers that are looking for a large utility vehicle but one that’s more car-like”

        GMs own words on a new SUV they’re planning from the ground up, older Tahoes had “amazing ride and handling”, the fancier Eldorados would be selling much more.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          Too make the implication that the build quality, reliability, ride, handling, ect. of GMs full size SUVs hasn’t changed a whole lot since the malaise era is pretty ignorant. The difference in just the interiors between my ’04 Sierra and our ’07 Tahoe is night and day. I have sat in the new GM trucks and they make our Tahoe look pretty bad. Another big jump.

          There was a new Silverado next to me in the mall parking lot today. The gaps and fit of the doors into the cab were light years better than my truck. I had an Audi in my garage for awhile and I don’t think the body panels were as tight as that new Silverado!

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            I concur. My brother has had several Tahoes and all were high mileage vehicles that were at worst decent, at best, excellent. Malaise does not apply here, but being GM there was some cost cutting in the interiors

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            Alright I goofed up, let me confess that I have basically no knowledge of trucksSUVs other than a few models in particular. I just get stuck behind them on the road.

            But the sheer size of these Escalades and their “prestige” cobbled together with their recent tacky styling, and being made on a Chevy platform, still make me think of Detriots older ways of passing out “luxury”, taking a big pedestrian car and sticking chrome onto it.

            This isn’t to say that theres anything wrong with Tahoes though, I think that they’re much wiser choices over Escalades.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            It’s a well-executed truck, but it’s still a truck. Dynamically, you’ll find body quivers, very vague steering, mediocre braking, and poor damping. Those are traits that serve it well when it’s doing trucky things, but very few Slade buyers do trucky things. Inside, the packaging is truly awful because of the frame and the huge wheelwells — you get Equinox cubes for your 6000 pounds and ~18 feet of overall length.

            GM has spent a lot of time and effort on these trucks but they still just don’t make sense for most of their users. If you actually use one to tow 6000 pounds or go off-road, more power to you.

    • 0 avatar
      USAFMech

      Ryoku, that’s just about the complete opposite of what really happened. You must’ve missed TTAC’s glory days leading up to and during the Death Watch series. GM invested BILLIONS into truck development. First, they were castigated for not focusing on building actual, competitive cars. Then, they were hammered by the gas crisis a few years ago – and mocked for having gone “all in” on trucks/SUV’s. The GM trucks, while relatively straight-forward vehicles, are incredibly well-engineered. These aren’t the Ford Exploders of yesteryear – these are probably the best vehicles GM makes, overall.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I agree with you on the merit that, if we’re being honest, the current crop of GMT900 vehicles have the same parts-bin quality as the last W-Body Impala and as such are hugely overpriced…BUT it’s a bit of a stretch to say that they are Malaise-like.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        I have to disagree. I’d compare parts bin quality of a W-body Impala to my ’04 Sierra but not the GMT-900 Tahoe.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Actually Kyree is right on the money with the w-body impala comparison. Look at an Impala and Tahoe dash side by side. They look VERY similar. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, the dashtop is soft touch and gaps are small. The cloth material is also the same between the two as far as I can tell. Yes the fake wood is quite fake looking but all in all saying the GMT900s have w-body interior bits isn’t a put down, it’s a vast improvement over the GMT800 trucks, and the pre-2006 Impala.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            That’s true. It is an improvement over the previous-generation. I can’t tell you how many GMT800 Tahoes (and late-nineties-early-aughts GM products in general) that I’ve seen with cracked interior panels. I do appreciate the fact that GM has made vast improvements in terms of quality and materials. For example, while I found the 2013 Malibu to be lacking over the competition, it wasn’t because of interior-materials choices.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            OK fair enough. I like the fake wood accents in our Tahoe. I think the interior looks a better than w/o. When it comes to real wood, I don’t want in my boats or my cars. But I definitely want it on the doors, floors, cabinents and mill work in my home!…LOL

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        At Kyree: Thats true, though I wasn’t expecting the sort of overly-defensive behavior I received. I’ll choose my words more carefully next time.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’ve just thought of something yet unmentioned. It’s going to look terrible in lighter colors, with all the darker, multi-layer and excess smoked plastic on the tail lamps. There’s way too big of a gap between tire and squared fender. This wasn’t as noticeable on the prior versions with rounded fenders.

    Additionally, in the rear left 3/4 view, cover the tail lamps with your hand – it’s now an original QX56, and nearly a Sequoia.

    So much for the “something different” they rambled on about previously. This model won’t age well, sort of like the first Yukon-Slade.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    So all these limo drivers are going to idle with a 420 hp engine? Holy cow!

  • avatar
    ash78

    Did they ever install adjustable dash air vents in these things? Everyone I see driving them is leaned WAY back and over to the side just to enjoy the air conditioning. Seems like a big oversight.

  • avatar
    honda_lawn_art

    ‘Art & Science’ Design on an office building looks the same way GMC styling does on an office building.
    The interior is amazing.

  • avatar
    The Soul of Wit

    Fugliest vehicle GM’s put out since the original Aztec. Brings to mind a size 16 woman tryin’ to fit into size 8 bejazzled black skinny jeans.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    Hey look. It already comes with a short blond woman in the driver’s seat.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Looking at the interior, I can’t *not* think of leather smell mixed with burrito farts.

    Another locomotive prow. Our Little People Rides will pay CAFE for these SUVs and pickups with still more roof squashing, egg-shaped aesthetics and criminally poor visibility.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “Looking at the interior, I can’t *not* think of leather smell mixed with burrito farts.”

      And it’s free association day here at TTAC…

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        I just know the class that buys these.

        • 0 avatar
          SayMyName

          Truth.

        • 0 avatar
          Sam P

          Wealthy white Republicans with country club memberships like burritos that much?

          • 0 avatar
            SayMyName

            No self-respecting Republican I know would be caught dead in a GM vehicle after 2009.

          • 0 avatar
            billfrombuckhead

            Plenty of Republican still drive Cadillacs. Now Tea Partyers they drive whatever they think hurts America the most.

            I hope President Barack Obama gets one of these to replace the “Beast”. Maybe it will be “Ready for Hillary!”

          • 0 avatar
            SayMyName

            The only Cadillac “ready for Hillary” is of the catafalque variety, though I’m with you in wanting to see her in one.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            “No self-respecting Republican I know would be caught dead in a GM vehicle after 2009.”

            Well one, I doubt you know any self-respecting Republicans, and two, Dubya bailed out GM in 2008.

            Real upper middle class and wealthy people, both Democrat and Republican, not the kind of gullible sh*t kickers worried about the government getting involved in their Medicare. But the kind of people that want the debt ceiling raised, no matter what, because they have too much invested. Are pragmatic. They aren’t going to not get the best truck on the market because of a bailout that saved America’s manufacturing base.

            They still buy Yukon Denalis all day.

          • 0 avatar
            SayMyName

            Wishing it doesn’t make it so, racer. This is talking about trucks, but it’s just as valid – arguably even more so – for luxury utes.

            http://nlpc.org/cached/survey-auto-bailout-drag-gm-truck-sales.html

            (Standing by now for the inevitable drivel about how Texas is populated only with redneck right-wingers.)

            As for Dubya getting the bailout started, of course you’re right… but grossly extending it was all King Barry.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            From your link:

            “In September, GM’s full-sized pickup trucks fell 8% from the same month a year ago, while Ford and Chrysler saw sales increases.”

            It looks like the group you’re citing doesn’t even know that Chrysler also got a bailout. And Ford also if you count the Federal Reserve buying commercial paper. Not the most impressive source.

        • 0 avatar
          billfrombuckhead

          Nothing like casting a little shade on whole races of people.

          But really, they’ll be plenty of white southern insurance agents wives and the better lawyers wives on the inevitable waiting lists.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Is “Republican” a race now…

            …other then white?

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            “But really, they’ll be plenty of white southern insurance agents wives and the better lawyers wives on the inevitable waiting lists.”

            No, they are going to be buying Yukon Denalis. But they are going to make their Yukon Denalis smell like burrito farts.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    The column shifter is simply terrible. Nothing reminds you that the vehicle shares bones with a regular cab, long bed, work truck trim Silverado like the column shifter. Some sort of console mounted shifter would fit the Escalade image far better.

    The taillights scream “volvo station wagon”. Yet another image faux pas.

    The front air dam dropping 6″ below the side skirt makes the nose disproportionately big compared to the thickness at the middle; this is partially alleviated by the running boards.

    • 0 avatar
      crtfour

      I agree. Even the Dodge picups now have a dial shifter on the dash. You’d think at this price point that Cadillac would have used something a little different.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      The BMW 7 uses a column shifter. All the old school Cadillacs are column shift. More cars should have column shifters. I am a huge fan of manuals, and all my cars have been stick. But if the car isn’t stick what’s the point of taking up the console with a shifter?

      • 0 avatar
        crtfour

        I think what we’re talking about is that a big shifter sticking out of the column is kind of an eyesore. The BMW has a much smaller electronic shifter switch that looks much cleaner.

        • 0 avatar
          racer-esq.

          I should have said more cars should not have console mounted automatic transmission mode selection levers.

          I agree with you on the dial solution, either the way Chrysler implements it, on the dash, or on the console Jag style.

  • avatar
    caltemus

    I thought they were dropping the wreath from their logo?

  • avatar
    philipbarrett

    To the negative commentators above; are you a successful or aspiring rap star? No? Well then, to paraphrase Frankenfurter “I didn’t make it for you!”

  • avatar
    thornmark

    I will withhold judgment until I see the Velveeta Edition.
    http://247wallst.com/investing/2013/10/08/cadillac-releases-new-escalade-no-one-will-buy/

    I guess it exists to make “lesser” iterations look tasteful.

    Where’s Norm? I’ll bet he could get 80mpg in this thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      That is truly one of the dumbest articles about the economics of the auto business I have ever read

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Thanks for the link. Now I know where not to go for information about the auto industry.

      Just so long as there is demand for large pickups and SUVs, there will be a business case for the Escalade. It costs very little to turn the base vehicle into a Cadillac, and the price increase that it justifies practically guarantees its profitability.

      I’m not fond of them myself, but it makes perfect sense to produce them.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    I’d think body colored mud flaps would be standard.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    I know the Escalade is “easy to hate”, but I think they hit the nail on the head. It’s a sharp truck. The slab sided lines actually are different than everything else (have you seen a Lexus GX460 lately? eek). The creases are strong, the lights are brash and unapologetic, but integrated nicely, and even the aggressiveness of the grill fits what this truck is about, the most arrogant Cadillac on the block (and I mean that in the best way possible). Also, the taillights will look like nothing else on the road at night… yes wagons have done it before, but never a box sided truck this big.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I know! I was just complaining that the Lexus GX 460 (which is already ugly for being a caricature of the original GX 470) hadn’t yet got the spindle-grille and then BAM! There it was, updated for 2014, and being advertised on my TV.

      My eyes are still seared.

  • avatar
    Wagen

    Why the current obsession with massive center consoles that make the interior of a large vehicle seem small and confined? First the Taurus, then its derivative the Explorer, now the GM full size SUVs, and I also see it in the photos from Alex’s review of the Ram. Is it the “bunker mentality” that is also being served by increasing pillar widths and ever decreasing glass area and sight lines?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> Why the current obsession with massive center consoles

      That’s where the staircase goes if you order it with the optional lower deck.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      The whole point is to have a vehicle that’s cozy/ comfortable to sit in and feels upscale. Vehicles with Grand Canyons between the front bucket seats feel cheap and unfinished. Think of it as a house with built-ins everywhere versus one w/miles of 1/2 ” sheetrock walls.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Looks narrow as heck, they made it look taller, forgot to put a bumper on the front, and forgot to add width.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    That grille looks like it belongs on a 1880s steam locomotive. Needs a smokestack on the hood.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    One of the toughest, longest lasting, most beloved vehicles made. Ford and Toyota tried to break into this market and both failed miserably.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The original Navigator was actually a great vehicle, especially considering the fact that it when it was introduced, the only other true large luxury SUV was the Range Rover. And then it went downhill from there. I don’t think the Navigator and Expedition have been so much as touched since MY2007, and the bodyshell dates back to MY2003.

  • avatar
    ect

    Fugly. And, if it’s anything like the Tahoe and Yukon, it’ll be a complete pig to drive.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I think it looks like a new Cadillac Escalade, I would hope that’s what they were shooting for. If anything, I find it somewhat restrained from it’s predecessor, the lack of faux-vents really takes it down a bit, kind of what the ’60 Cadillac was after the ’59 fin-orgy. People have been bitching about the low-rent interiors of the Escalades so it looks like most of their efforts went to it’s improvement and it shows. I’m glad they moved slightly away from the over-the-topness without sacrificing it’s Cadillac character. I believe it will hold it’s own on the world stage of large SUVs

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Oh by the way fuel economy on the 6.2 is estimated 15 city 21 highway.

    That’s impressive no matter how you spin it.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Ah, so THIS is what all those Caddies were doing parked outside the Metropolitan Pavilion on Monday night? To make this even more tasteful, I heard that Donald Trump was Cadillac’s very special guest.

    It is what it is — the King Monster, the updated Sixties Cadillac, just as the GMC Yukon Denali is today’s Olds Regency 98 or Buick Electra 225 and the Tahoe/Suburban is today’s Caprice Classic/Bonneville Brougham.

    But whatever…..who really cares what they look like? It’s the $$$ they generate that count. Cadillac can hype all the CTS, ATS, SRX and ATS variants til the cows come home, but we all know what pays the bills.

    • 0 avatar
      xflowgolf

      “It is what it is — the King Monster, the updated Sixties Cadillac, just as the GMC Yukon Denali is today’s Olds Regency 98 or Buick Electra 225 and the Tahoe/Suburban is today’s Caprice Classic/Bonneville Brougham.”

      That’s perhaps the best comparison I’ve seen of what has become of the GM SUV’s. They’re the modern day v8 body on frame family haulers of yore, right down to the sub brand models.

      Even the slab sided nature and vertical tailight illumination on the Escalade draws some influence from a ’66 Sedan Deville.


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