By on February 8, 2016

2015CadillacEscalade_(4_of_9)

Cadillac has one exceptionally good, class-leading model in its range. That model doesn’t have a V badge. It isn’t even a car. And almost nothing about it is unique. It’s the Escalade. And people can’t get enough of its luxury whipped cream dolloped atop its American apple pie.

Contrary to recent reports that the Escalade will abandon its body-on-frame roots, it looks like the Escalade will continue as a luxury offshoot of its full-size SUV cousins — the Yukon and Tahoe/Suburban — reports the Detroit Free Press based on an interview with Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen:

“The Escalade must become more sophisticated and technically advanced, more detail oriented” in its interior design and materials, [Johan de Nysschen] said. “We can do all that with a body-on-frame architecture.”

Though, if we’re to dig into this no-change-is-good story a bit more, maybe Cadillac couldn’t change the Escalade even if it wanted to.

In the small luxury car segment, the Cadillac ATS ranked 10th out of 23 models on sale in 2015, according to GoodCarBadCar. The Cadillac XTS and CTS placed 6th and 8th respectively in the midsize luxury segment. The only other bright spot in the Cadillac lineup is the SRX, which played runner-up to the Lexus RX in the midsize luxury SUV segment and may lose some places when replaced it’s by the XT5.

With all these segment fires raging around Cadillac’s coupes and sedans, the decision not to change the Escalade might not be a decision at all, but an inevitability. The Escalade is the one model giving GM’s luxury brand a roof over its head. And when you’re surrounded by wildfire, the last thing you do is set light to your own home.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

190 Comments on “Cadillac Won’t Attempt to Fix the One Model That Isn’t Broken...”


  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    He’s gonna put that new, Cadillac only, 4.2TT DOHC V8 in it, isn’t he?

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Is that a real thing?

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Yep.

        http://blog.caranddriver.com/cadillac-ct6-to-offer-4-2-liter-v-8-but-not-as-a-v-series/

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          It’s like the 4.1, plus .1 more!

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Funny you mention that, because, as I recall, Audi sold cars designated as “3.2” in the mid-aughts, but were actually bestowed with a 3.1-liter V6, not a 3.2. I guess 3.2 sounded better.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I forget where I read it – but there’s some deep-seated part in the brain of most humans which prefers even numbers/groupings. Displacement, address numbers, years, etc.

            I believe the article even asserted it’s usually a bit easier to sell an even numbered house. Here’s an article on the topic, though not the one I initially read.

            http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2014/06/ideas-bank/alex-bellos

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Yes. I have a 2005 A6, with a 3.1 that is designated 3.2. Oddly enough, Audi later sold a 3.2 in the A5 which displaces an actual 3.2 liters.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          At least its a V8…

          “Cadillac’s new V-8 is not based on GM’s small-block architecture, and it doesn’t have any commonality with the supercharged 6.2-liter engine in the current CTS-V. Instead, the new V-8 will be twin-turbocharged, and it will feature a displacement of 4.2 liters.”

          Clean sheet design? Seems like a waste of resources. Would a TT small block not be “exclusive enough” for Cadillac?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        More idiocy from GM/Cadillac.

        GM has perfectly good V8 engines that can be further revised for improvement in NVH and other characteristics, but they’re going to waste yet more resources re-creating the wheel with that rather than addressing the many weaknesses in the build quality, reliability, materials quality, and other myriad of issues with Cadillac’s vehicles with that same expenditure.

        The 2.0T is a joke of a motor, and the 3.6 is anything but premium (I just had a ride in a CTS with its 3.6 liter vibrating-like-a-paint-shaker-at-idle on Saturday).

        How about getting some even average leather work (by the alleged premium standards Cadillac aspires to).

        Atrocious leather fit/finish is a Cadillac/GM hallmark that even many fanboys on GM Inside News acknowledge –

        Check out post #141, post #151 and the following ones with pictures of horrendous leather seats stitching/assembly in a new CTS *AND* compare to the MB E Class someone posted in post #163:

        http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f15/de-nysschen-cadillac-will-develop-entry-level-sedan-192753/index10.html

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          I dunno. Ford saw fit to build a bespoke engine for the GT350, which is a very low volume Mustang. And it works for them — really creates an effective halo for the brand.

          The new GM 3.6 is essentially as good as any other V6 out there (note that I did not say I6). And I am sure GM will continue to improve the 2.0T. But I think it makes sense for Cadillac to have its very own V8 to help define the brand esp. at the top end.

          The CT6 would be fine if the platinum version has this new V8 and truly high end interior furnishings. And the SRX replacement looks great.

          Not everything is doom and gloom.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            The problem is that the CT6 with this new V8 (idiotic, given the current V8s GM’already has, but whatever) and in Platinum trim is going to price out near 90k, which is above Lexus LS460, and near Audi A8, Mercedes S Class, BMW 7 Series territory.

            The CT6 will fail at 56k in stripped down (fleet/rental territory trim), 2.0T kit, and in the upper end, V8, Platinum 90k kit.

            GM does not know how to run a true luxury vehicle division (nor a competitive-with-Honda-Toyota passenger car division), and Cadillac will ultimately go the way of Oldsmobile on its current trajectory.

    • 0 avatar
      seanx37

      Does that new engine have enough ummmppphhh to move 6000lbs of Escalade? You need major grunt to move that giant.

    • 0 avatar
      suspekt

      Why can’t the CT6 just have a 6.2? Why the fuck not…..

  • avatar

    Cue DeadWeight in 5…4…3…2…1….

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Hey I think it is total waste of space but I am not the buyer they are looking for and they seem to sell a ton of them so it makes sense to keep giving folks what they want and more than likely is paying the bills for almost everything else Caddy has planned.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ” I am not the buyer they are looking for and they seem to sell a ton of them ”

      Neither am I the buyer they’re looking for but we can recognize that they sell everyone they make, and could be selling more of them if they could get more to market.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I find it simultaneously amusing and sad that Cadillac’s most profitable model is a vehicle that they really don’t want to be selling.

    One thing everyone seems to forget in the whole SUV discussion is the IRS. Owing to their GVW, big SUV can be depreciated (or leased) as a commercial truck, rather than a car. This is very favorable for business owners.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Oh, I thought you were talking about Independent Rear Suspension at first.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        The current Highlander actually falls under those rules. Coincidence on Toyota’s part. I think not.

        http://www.curbsideclassic.com/uncategorized/coal-2016-toyota-highlander-xle-awd/

        Better explained in the comments than the article.

    • 0 avatar

      Ding ding ding. You can write off that x5, the Range Rover, Escalade, etc. The GVWR has to be over 5000 lbs. What is funny is that some companies just miss that, save the top of the line fully optioned model. You can’t write off a 5 series, CT6, or E class…

      Yet another “makes zero sense” ripple in tax law.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “The Escalade must become more sophisticated and technically advanced, more detail oriented” in its interior design and materials, [Johan de Nysschen] said. “We can do all that with a body-on-frame architecture.”

    I know what’s really going on here but its funny to hear him have to back pedal a bit after he talks up on how Cadillac no longer sells boat anchors.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      He hates the Escalade so much but he wants to continue to have a job.

      • 0 avatar

        You Don’t Dis’ The Cash Cow. GM’s head honchos must feel building materials in their stool every time that de Nysschen opens his mouth.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        bball40dtw – you comment sums it up rather nicely. It is the over-arching financial truth of the so called “Big 3”, pickups and their SUV derivatives pay the bills.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Ford has a good balance now. It’s about profitable platforms. In addition to trucks, Global C, CD4, and the D4 are all profitable. The Escape/MKC was the most profitable Ford product for most of this year. Ford is very dependent on North America though.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            bball40dtw – the strategy of focusing upon the 20% that makes 80% of the money is a sound one. Paring down nameplates and platforms is another.
            Ford’s dependence upon NA is related to profit margins. You can’t sell $60k pickups or SUV’s in the rest of the world in any volume.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Nonsense, body-on-frame is most modern build method!

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I doubt many care on what build method is used, they just want a product which doesn’t suck. There are several reasons for Escalade’s success, but not sucking is chief among them.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          BOF things with big lazy V8 engines is one thing GM is good at doing! It’s too bad they can’t sort out a modern suspension into the thing so it stops riding like a Conestoga wagon.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            do you really think anyone who’s bought (or will buy) an Escalade gives a s**t about that?

            They know damn well that anybody who gripes about the rear suspension design *will never buy an Escalade ever* so they can safely ignore you. You may think it makes you look smart, but it shows just how divorced from reality automotive enthusiasts are.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      28CL,
      Nysschen, is correct in his comment. This premium Silverado wagon is just that. It’s full of bling and not much substance.

      Compare this to a much cheaper Patrol. The Patrol is far more advanced.

      I have never like the Escalade as it is a waste of money in my eyes. Those who buy one don’t have a clue about anything automotive. If they did they would not buy an Escalade.

      These are accessories that rich hairdressers like and drive, because they consider the premium Silverado wagon elevates them amongst others in our society.

      Only those who are artificial and shallow would be seen in one.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Also RE: Patrol.

        Our fancy Patrol the QX80, runs from $63-88k. The Escalade is $73-92k.

        Base 4WD QX – $66
        Base 4WD Esc – $75

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Corey, you are forgetting to factor in eyeball replacement surgery, as well as therapy for having to look at the QX80 in that base price.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            And whatever divorce costs.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Lol I KNOW! I know it’s ugly. But when you’re in it, sitting in front of sumptuous leather and wood and technology and IRS, you’ll forget all about how trucky and crude the Escalade really is. And you can keep your big stack of hundreds you saved next to you for extra reminder.

            As a car – it’s just better.

            I’m not sure the new LC and LX are far behind in the hideous department now, either. :(

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            I for (obviously) one really likes the way the QX80 looks…

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          CoryDL,
          A guy at work two years ago bought a Patrol here for under $60k AUD!

          I have yet to see an Infinity “Patrol” here in Australia. I do know we now receive Infinity products.

          Our top of the line Patrol is quite plush. I would never own one, as I would trash it. So, I’ll stick with my much cheaper pickup.

        • 0 avatar
          Spartan

          By what measure is the QX80 more advanced? The QX80 is using the same Nav system that Infiniti debuted in the 2010 MY, which was just an update and a high res screen upgrade from the one that debuted in the V36 G35/37 models. The materials are on par with the Escalade, but they aren’t better by any stretch, even in the limited model compared to the Platinum Slade. And the GM V8 is far from lazy, considering an Escalade can get to 60 in the high 5 second range. That’s far from lazy.

          I know because I used to own a G37 6MT for a few years and was an Infiniti enthusiast for a while, and I cross-shopped the Escalade, QX, and a few others before deciding on something else.

          Corey, I think you’re a bit out of touch man. From someone in the tax bracket that can actually afford an Escalade (I bought an XC90 T8 Hybrid instead), I can tell you that people don’t give a ____ about BOF construction and people see the Escalade for what it is, a status symbol with a nice rice, nice materials, built well, and it’s unapologetically American.

          Different strokes for different folks. Too many of you so called “enthusiasts” don’t respect that, and it’s ignorant at best, appalling at worst.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “rom someone in the tax bracket that can actually afford an Escalade (I bought an XC90 T8 Hybrid instead),”

            Oh, you’re that guy. I forgot what your username was.

            You don’t understand the term “lazy V8,” either.

            I don’t judge how advanced a vehicle is by the nav system. Sorry. I do respect your choice in shouting about your very fancy and expensive Volvo. I also respect your right to mention your tax bracket as pertinent information. Very helpful.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        It doesn’t matter if the Patrol is more advance by whatever measure you are using. The Escalade sells well and churns out obscene profits. All GM needs to do is continue to make the product better. And not better by some off-roading standards. Better by whatever measure Escalade buyers deem to be important.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Yet JdN’s substance products have all failed to this point. In the USDM, it is clear Cadillac shoppers are artificial and shallow, much like those who want to buy faux luxury products such as a Mercedes CLA or a front wheel drive BMW.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          To be fair, it would take a decade or more to rebuild the brand as a luxury car maker. There’s a certain hypocrisy in attacking GM for short-term thinking, only to condemn it when everything doesn’t work out in a flash.

          (That being said, I think that it’s too late for GM to save Cadillac as a passenger car brand.)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I agree, but they have been trying to reshape their brand since around 2004 and it doesn’t appear to have worked well.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I would say that the effort to rebuild the brand as a BMW fighter with global potential began with the ATS, which was launched in 2012. So it’s a bit early to be demanding results just yet.

            But as I said, I would be inclined at this point to transform Cadillac into a sort of American Land Rover (SUV with ‘tude) and to turn Opel into the world luxury car (an effort that would take work, but probably less work than it would to make Cadillac something less than a vulgar joke to most of the rest of the world.)

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Pch101 is correct that it take a long time to remake the brand.
            Reputation and/or brand name presence/prestige is what sells vehicles in the luxury class. Gaining that image for Cadillac requires a long term strategy.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            It takes a lot longer to rebuild a brand when you aren’t clear on what the brand means.
            – V8 boulevard cruiser?
            – out-BMW BMW?
            – Big brash SUV?
            – NYC style focus?

            Choose one.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @pch

            Fair enough. I have heard the proposed Opel/Escalade only global strategy before and I find it intriguing. The only thing I think holding it partially back is the absurd amount of Cadillac dealers which would need more than three to five Escalade models to sell in order to remain profitable (933 last I checked).

            @Vogo

            I agree it is a lost brand but I do believe its possible to be multiple things at once.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The messaging is fine. The problem is that the audience won’t take it seriously if it involves competing directly with or offering what is allegedly a viable alternative to the Germans.

            Which is to say that Cadillac’s primary problem as a maker of luxury passenger cars is that it isn’t German. Of course, it will remain Not German for the foreseeable future.

            The solution to that problem is to do something that the audience would take seriously (in this case, SUVs) while pushing the sedan duties to another badge (which in this case would be Opel, which is far from ideal but does have some potential because at least it’s German.)

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I have heard the proposed Opel/Escalade only global strategy before and I find it intriguing.”

            As far I know, I’m the only one saying it. I haven’t been getting any calls from the RenCen to thank me for the free consulting.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            So in your vision does “Cadillac Escalade” or “Escalade” become a sub brand of Opel? I can’t see the company, who as recently as 2010 shuttered three brands, introducing Opel as a new brand alongside Cadillac (at least in USDM).

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Cadillac would be an SUV-only brand, sharing a luxury-oriented dealership/distribution channel with the German-fighting Opel. Cadillac = Yank Tank badass. Opel = Teutonic world-class sophistication.

            Since Opel is not exactly a glamorous brand in Europe, this would take quite a bit of work. But at least Americans have no clue of what Opel is, so the fact that it is German can be pounded into our heads.

            (No, this won’t happen.)

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “I would say that the effort to rebuild the brand as a BMW fighter with global potential began with the ATS, which was launched in 2012. So it’s a bit early to be demanding results just yet.”

            maybe they’re onto something, now that BMW is well down the road to diluting their brand with all of these “Grand Tourers” and “Active Tourers” they’re cranking out.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @JimZ

            BMW is shifting their product in order to follow what their customers apparently want. For Cadillac to become the BMW of fifteen years ago sounds like a good idea for the monopoly value, in the end I don’t think the development cost will be justified. If BMW can’t make a sufficient amount of money building traditional BMWs, then I’m not sure Cadillac can either.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          And what, pray tell, constitutes “real” luxury? A BMW on a subsidized lease special? Was Elliot Rogers a more virtuous person than a self-made contractor who worked his way up to the Escalade of his dreams?

          The only artificial and shallow people are the folks who make broad sweeping character indictments based on nothing more than the cars people drive. Jesus Fing Christ.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Which is most of the populace. Let’s play a game:

            The only artificial and shallow people are the folks who make broad sweeping character indictments based on nothing more than the [clothes people wear].

            The only artificial and shallow people are the folks who make broad sweeping character indictments based on nothing more than the [place people live].

            The only artificial and shallow people are the folks who make broad sweeping character indictments based on nothing more than the [phone people have].

            See how that works? Consumerism, its what’s for breakfast.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            So because mindless consumers do it, the supposedly intelligent “above the fray” B&B gets a pass?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Marketing folks are usually of the opinion that those who believe themselves to be immune to marketing messages aren’t.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            I’d believe that up to a certain age but when one reaches a point where all the supposedly attractive people in ads seem like a repellent reptilian species and/or hopelessly vulnerable basket cases, nah.

            Of course, by that age we mostly aren’t of interest to advertisers so I guess I don’t have a point.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            RideHeight – “I’d believe that up to a certain age but when one reaches a point where all the supposedly attractive people in ads seem like a repellent reptilian species and/or hopelessly vulnerable basket cases, nah.”

            That is when Harley Davidson advertising kicks in ;)

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Harley? For many, yes, but if I want to hang with fat guys my age I’ll just go to Perkins and order a salad. There’s always a crew of ’em there.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            RideHeight – too funny and too true.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          30 years ago the MB 190 was considered faux luxury. I guess the perception is in the eyes of the beholder. Personally I think a loaded up CLA is the new 190.

          JDM has no problem selling luxury…witness the $80k+ Lexus LX and Toyota Landcruiser.

      • 0 avatar

        Lots of car guys in the US have Escalades. Pretty common site in wealthy neighbor hoods here in CT. And 15 year old ones are common sites in the poor neighborhoods.

      • 0 avatar
        smartascii

        @Big Al – It seems to me that only those who are artificial and shallow would care what they’re “seen” in at all.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        I cannot resist commenting that likely more than a few of these each year, and perhaps a higher percentage of these versus the general new car population, will likely be repo fodder within a very short time as the result of being purchased by members of a certain demographic desiring “bling” above all else, and not having the means to swing the lease payments at all (if they can even understand what the contract states), or being able to pay that lease with less-than-legal means, therebfy leading to a different kind of repossession!

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    “The Escalade must become more sophisticated and technically advanced, more detail oriented” in its interior design and materials, [Johan de Nysschen] said. “We can do all that with a body-on-frame architecture.”

    Too bad that never happened with the Panther :(

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I’m not a huge fan of this vehicle. It is a waste of resources overall.

    But, the reality is it is working for GM.

    The premium Silverado station wagon will suit those who in real life are most likely pretentious and special.

    I would rather buy a top of the line Lexus or Landcruiser, better still a top of the line Patrol. These vehicles will actually be able to be used off road.

    It blows me away the money one of these cost for what you are getting.

    Go out and buy a Tahoe.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I rarely find myself agreeing with everything you say – but this is one of those times.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        CoreyDL,
        Thanks!

        You’d be surprised how much you really do agree with my scribes;)

        It’s just your inner self is in conflict and you fear your accord with my views will make you an “outsider”, a revolutinary automotive nut.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Or the case where a broken 12 hour clock aligns with the correct time twice a day.

          All kidding aside:

          For most of us the Tahoe or Suburban makes more sense since the Escalade, as the Canadian band Trooper put it, “3 Dressed up as a 9”.

          Its value or the value of any “luxury” brand is based upon the ability to convey the message that “I am more wealthy than you.”

          If Cadillac can not send that message out then it is doomed to failure. That message carried weight when it appealed to USA “new” money in the 50’s and 60’s but now “old” and “new” money is more attracted to European luxury brands.

          Unfortunately the “ghetto athlete makes good” crowd and the “I’m not quite rich enough to play with the big boys” crowd are the demographic Cadillac is appealing to.
          That is a recipe for failure. Posers don’t want poser-mobiles. Currently Cadillac, in my mind, is appealing to posers.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            They sell too many Escalades in the US for it to be a “poser-mobile”. It’s the best selling large luxury SUV in the US. It’s the king. The king isn’t a poser.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Posermobile is defined as any vehicle one secretly wishes for and cannot afford.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            So, almost all of them for me.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            See, I just openly want ridiculous vehicles I cannot afford. Like the Ford Raptor. It would not be a logical purchase for me when it comes to costs or needs. I don’t care though. This upper middle class suburbanite that doesn’t offroad and is concerned about a lack of natural resources in the future would daily drive the $hit out of a glow in the dark orange Raptor.

          • 0 avatar
            hubcap

            @Lou BC

            ““I’m not quite rich enough to play with the big boys” crowd are the demographic Cadillac is appealing to.”

            I don’t understand this statement. I don’t know what Escalade transaction prices are but I’d guess somewhere between the mid 80s to mid 90s (and Denali Tahoes aren’t exactly cheap, but that’s a discussion for another day).

            So if someone spends that type of money on a Cadillac they’re not quite rich enough to play with the big boys but if they spend it on a Merc, BMW, Range Rover, Porsche etc., then they automatically are?

            Strange this.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Hubcap – “I’m not quite rich enough to play with the big boys” crowd are the demographic Cadillac is appealing to.”

            That is more a perception. Whether or not someone has the money and/or whether or not the price is the same as other luxury cars, the perception is there.

            Cadillac tried increasing prices to make the brand more “appealing” as a status symbol and that strategy failed.

            A BMW or Mercedes may have similar price tags but park one next to a Cadillac and everyone will assume the driver of the European brand sits higher up the pecking order.

            It is all based upon the perception of status.

            The same hierarchy exists in high end clothes, jewelry, watches etc.

            It is fickle and and ever changing.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Actually, I could go for a Ford Raptor myself.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Raptor, Miata, LS430 and GTI are almost always the right answers.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            bball40dtw – it all depends on where you sit in the pecking order. Selling the most in the game of exclusivity in some respects can be viewed as a loss. If I got the money to play in the field of luxury SUV’s or any luxury car, I’m not going to look at the most common.
            I’m looking at this from the top down.

          • 0 avatar
            hubcap

            @Lou BC

            I understand where your coming from.

            In the same vein, if someone wanted a Cadillac because they liked what the vehicle offered and realized that some might look at them as being lower in the pecking order because of their choice, and they still went with the Cadillac because that’s what they liked, well what’s wrong with that?

            It’s no different than someone buying a Merc strictly for the badge. And I have no issue with that either if that’s how they want to spend their money though I think this group might be a bit pretentious which could be a turn off.

            It’s really hard to tell until you have a good handle on motivations.

            I am curious though. If you were going to purchase a $100,000 car and truck which two would you purchase and why?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            hubcap – great question. In my eyes, the Escalade whether it be built on the Suburban or Tahoe platform seems to have a solid niche presence in the upper portion of the middle class. At least that is the case in my part of the world since truly old money does not congregate in the Great White North.
            $100,000 in terms of Canadian prices means buying an F350 crewcab Platinum 4×4 or any premium HD pickup. A fully loaded Suburban hits the 85K mark.

            Two 100k vehicles: I’d probably get a HD diesel and add some extras to it. The other vehicle would have to be something my wife would like so that rules out something the size of a Suburban or virtually all cars. She is currently enamoured with the thought of something the size of a Honda Pilot or Tacoma. I’m not sure what is out there is the 100k Pilot sized SUV market.

          • 0 avatar
            smartascii

            It’s worth noting that a portion of my family whose money comes from Texas oil interests and who lives in West Texas buys these precisely *because* they’re not European. I imagine there’s a significant number of “flyover country” residents who don’t want to buy foreign and don’t want a pickup, so they get an Escalade. These are people who could probably buy a Bentayaga in a different color for each day of the week, but that would be socially unacceptable in a way that the Escalade is not.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Or poseur-mobile for ghetto-athlete wannabes–see my comment above!

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      This market doesn’t care about off road ability. A Tahoe isn’t going to be much more capable, either. An equivalent Tahoe is also pushing $70k.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      You say Silverado station wagon like its a bad thing. I’ve owned my share of Silverados and they’re tough, reliable, durable, and efficient (for what they are).

      Patrols and Landcruisers have a pittance of interior room compared to an Escalade ESV.

      Also BOF SUVs and trucks are useful for more than just offroading. I’m tired of reading comments about an SUV that are “durr-hurr it ain’t supar good at off-roading what good is it”. They tow, they haul (people and/or stuff), they endure abuse, etc. Offroad capability detracts from on-road ride and manners. Jeep Wranglers are fantastic offroad; less fantastic as a highway cruiser. An Escalade ESV excels at offering 8 people roomy comfortable accomodations while towing a boat and hauling everyone’s luggage at 70mph down the freeway.

      All that said; gimme a Yukon XL Denali. No reason to pay for the Cadillac badge.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        ” An Escalade ESV excels at offering 8 people roomy comfortable accomodations while towing a boat and hauling everyone’s luggage at 70mph down the freeway.”

        See you get it, because you live in this country and know what our interstates look like on the weekends and how people use these things. I said the exact same thing below, before reading your comment.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Nobody is buying these things on 22″ low profile tires go off road. For what it’s worth nobody is buying LX570s here to go off road either. Not to mention going off road in your brand new $100K truck is pretty moronic. I don’t think rolling your truck over or hydrolocking it driving through a creek is covered under warranty. How fcking dense can you be?

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        GM doesn’t even offer Z71 package on the Tahoe anymore. No one that buys a Tahoe and especially a ‘Slade gives a flying rip f*$k about off-road performance. GM doesn’t in any way market any of their FS BOF SUVs for off-roading. These things are made for hauling butt in total comfort down our nations VERY straight & flat interstates. And if you need to bring along the family wakeboard boat or like there is nothing better. That 6.2 V8 is a beast and will provide all the power and low end grunt you’ll ever need for towing.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Actually, they do offer a Z71 package. It just isn’t outwardly visible anymore.

          http://media.chevrolet.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2014/Sep/0925-tahoe-suburban-z71.html

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            Come on I just tried to build one and I couldn’t find it. You sure? i’ll look again.

            Edit: Your correct, available w/LT trim

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I have no idea how much it improves offroadability, though.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            I’m trying to think if I’ve ever seen the current gen. ‘Burb/’Hoe in the wild sporting Z71 trim. I don’t think I have. Heck I spotted a Gen 2 Volt on the way to a Super Bowl party yesterday.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I have. But there are a bunch of GM C-suite types in my neighborhood. Most opt for Yukons. One has a 2015 Suburban Z71 AND a 2015 Yukon XL Denali. He’s ballin’ I guess.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          The Suburban’s I see modified for off-road use tend to have RCMP/GRC somewhere on the registration papers.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        sportyaccordy – I see a lot of loggers in $100,000 dollar diesel crewcab fully loaded pickups. If one is a contractor then it is a write off. Another point is the fact that these guys live out of the cab of their trucks in some pretty remote and inhospitable places.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Just wait until Escalade sales begin to fall in significant #s, which will occur approximately at the same time pickup truck sales begin to decline; we’re nearer that point now than hopium drinkers can conceive or industry auto sales cheerleaders will concede (assuming that they didn’t have their heads up their a$$es).

    Cadillac is going to be taken out behind the woodshed at shot li,e the sickly animal it is.

    ATS = Disaster with perpetually falling sales and net-negative return on each unit sold.

    CTS = Disaster with perpetually falling sales and net-negative return on each unit sold.

    XTS = Glorified Impala is a huge fleet special, and probably barely breaks even on volume, if it does given real world transaction price.

    SRX = Now so long long in the tooth, but actually makes more $$ for Cadillac than anything but Escalade.

    Escalade = Literally the cash cow that sing,e-handedly has prevented full-fledged, public panic at GM over Cadillac.

    It’s only a matter of time before Escalade sales slow appreciably, and Johan will appear, swimming in the receded waters, without any clothes.

    What’s going to save Capillary? The new CT6 (CTS-L) will sell MAYBE 10,000 vehicles (I’m predicting closer to 9,000 unless Cadillac does a slash & burn blowout once inventories bloat) per year at a price somewhere around 65% of average Escalade transaction prices (again, with Escalade sales slowing).

    The new CT5 is not going to be the success True GM Retard Fanboys Dare Greatly.

    #DareGreatlyCadillac

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      DeadWeight,
      You comment highlights the poor situation Cadillac finds its self in.

      If this Silverado wagon is Caddy’s best, then how good are the others.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Not saying Cadillac is optimally positioned, but your hate is so strong that it’s blinding you a bit.

      “XTS = Glorified Impala is a huge fleet special, and probably barely breaks even on volume, if it does given real world transaction price.”

      So which is it? A super-cheap-to-build revised Impala, or a car that can’t make money? Surely the XTS doesn’t cost $20k more to build than the Impala. Unless it does, they should be making tidy money on it.

      “SRX = Now so long long in the tooth, but actually makes more $$ for Cadillac than anything but Escalade.”

      And being replaced by the XT5, basically an updated version of more of the same, this year. Cadillac desperately needs an XT7 to sit between the XT5 and Escalade.

      “What’s going to save Capillary? The new CT6 (CTS-L) will sell MAYBE 10,000 vehicles (I’m predicting closer to 9,000 unless Cadillac does a slash & burn blowout once inventories bloat) per year”

      So the big problem with the CTS was that it was too expensive… and Cadillac comes out with the CT6 for just barely more money than the CTS, and it still will require a slash and burn blowout? I’m not sure I see it. Unlike the CTS, the CT6 is cheaper than its competition at MSRP, at least in the lower trim levels.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “… and it still will require a slash and burn blowout? I’m not sure I see it.”

        I bet it will require toe-tag sales to move. The large sedan segment is in total freefall, the base CT6 comes with the engine out the entry-level Camaro, options put it deep into WTF territory, and it has zero name recognition.

        I don’t even know what the competition for the CT6 is. The car is in that weird low-selling no-man’s land with the RLX, K900, and Q70.

        I think the the best lineup for Cadillac right now would be mid-size CUV, large CUV, Escalade, Escalade Sport (like the RR Sport), CTS (priced right on with the Genesis Sedan), and *maybe* a CTS coupe.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          That’s what Ford is doing with Lincoln. MKC, MKX, MkT replacement that will be more upscale (RR Sport), and a redone Navigator that, in theory, can compete with the Escalade.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          The CTS should’ve been sized (rear seats, trunk, etc.) like a CT6 from the start, and the ATS sized like a current gen CTS, without the idiotic “we can price match BMW & Audi, yaaaa..” mentality (so 20% to 30% discount to Mercedes/BMW, ala Lexus starting out).

          Also, nothing less than a V8 should be put into any mid to full size Cadillac sedan, period (notice how Lexus has stuck with a V8 through 3 LS sedan cycles?).

          Now, given Cadillac’s uncompetitive build/materials quality and subpar reliability, along with nosebleed pricing and scumbag dealership experience, it’s way past too late, and they have the wrong product mix at the worst time (with time running out), a d 2.0T pepper mill motors shared with Chevys as the default engine choice in all of their “premium/luxury” sedans, and a not-so-refined 3.6 liter as an add-on cost option.

          INCOMPETENCE RUN AMOK.

          Cadillac is full-tilt schizophrenic.

  • avatar
    ajla

    For awhile now GM has been in denial about the demographic that wants to buy their products. Toyota/Lexus has been falling into this recently too.

    OTOH, brands like Nissan, Audi, and Subaru seem to know exactly where their appeal lies and builds/markets directly to it.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    I guess TTAC hasn’t seen the reports of these full-sized Total Recall Motors SUV’s causing people to become sick from an odd vibration/droning noise. This was reported weeks ago. It hits every full-sized TRM SUV.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I am still of the thinking that the Escalade is Cadillac’s greatest asset, and they should leverage the hell out of it. Personally I find it sad that people’s lives are so lacking in happiness and purpose that they find pleasure in deeming folks bad people for driving a certain kind of car…. it’s shameful. But w/e. Bottom line is people love Escalades like they love S-Classes. Towing in comfort and indulging in truly American luxury. What’s the problem? How is an Escalade any more or less of a meaningless indulgence than an LX570, Range Rover, S-Class, Corvette Z06, Porsche whatever, etc. etc.? End of the day they are all depreciating displays of wealth that add no meaning or depth to anyone’s life. Project cars, track days, and POS Japanese mainstreamers driven to “drive $/mile to zero” are no better if you are a d*ck about it.

    In any case, I can’t imagine how different Caddy’s fortunes would have been had they made a bunch of mini-Escalades based on GM’s already existing platforms, rather than the ATS/CTS/CT6 etc. Nobody wants Euro Cadillacs or store brand BMWs at name brand prices…. and nobody outside the US or China wants Cadillacs period. So they might as well cater to their market, who demonstrate time and time again they want crossovers and SUVs…. not sports sedans/coupes. I think they should take a hint from FCA and just let the sedans die out completely, aside from the XTS. They lost market share and have lower ATPs than they did with the old and perfectly fine 2nd gen CTS. Maybe they could do a super Malibu for their midsize sedan with more aggressive PHEV tech. And if they do sedans they have to have striking phenomenal styling. No more CUE BS either. As is the sedans are dead in the water and the alphanumeric gibberish doesn’t help. ATS/CTS in current configuration (i.e. matched in price and size to the 3/5) should have happened 15, 20, 25 years ago. It’s way too late now.

    I have to say it again though… the Escalade driver bashing is shameful. The car you drive doesn’t make you righteous. Get over yourselves guys, we are just talking about cars here.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      People want to hate because the Escalade is the king. It’s easy to hate the king. I respect the Escalade because it makes no apologies for what it is. I don’t plan on spending $80K on one, buy I don’t hate those who do.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      sportyaccordy – you don’t get 200 plus thread hits without “righteous indignation”.

      I have no issue with the ownership of luxury products but I do have issue with those who go out of their way to lord it over someone. I suspect that is where that B&B indignation comes from. We have all been on the brunt of it at one time or another.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Fair enough. Maybe I am not in the right crowds, but it seems like the only people I encounter who get hoity toity about cars like the Escalade are internet Dave Ramsey wannabes and self righteous “car purists”. How dare someone drive an Escalade…. slaving away every weekend to keep a V60R running is the only acceptable path to car ownership.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          sportyaccordy –

          Vehicles, especially for men are an emotional purchase whether or not we admit to it. We can come out with all sorts of rational sounding reasons to justify our purchase. Because we cannot fathom the emotions or feelings that lead to our own vehicle decisions, that will make someone else’s rationale sound even more alien.

          Everyone has a “hot button” that once pressed causes the self righteous indignation to flow forth. For some it may be a 1 ton dually hauling air or others it is an Escalade.

          I’ll bet that once the veneer of logic is pealed away, the emotions will be the same.
          “It makes me feel good, or happy, or gives me pleasure.”

          Advertising/marketing fully understands this.

        • 0 avatar
          Cactuar

          Hey I’m a Dave Ramsey fan and have no problem with the Escalade, or any other car for that matter. As long as it’s paid in cash.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I doubt that many of these are purchased with cash. They are leased for tax purposes and purchased by people that got where they are by using leverage and other people’s money.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    I still don’t like Cadillac’s new naming nomenclature. They should have taken a page from Land Rovers ever increasing line of Range Rovers. Escalade Sport anybody? Escalade Eldorado? Lol the list goes on…

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Why on earth would you buy an Esclade when you could have something like a Range Rover? I just don’t get it

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I have asked this before – as that’s what I’d do in said situation, if not get the LX instead. The answer I’ve always got back is that it’s an image thing, and ultimately these buyers want a big AMERICAN car to haul their asses around.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        I’d like to know the geographic distribution of Cadillac sales. I’d guess its a lot more flyover than major urban with Detroit probably being the exception for various non-patriotic reasons.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        The LX? Yuck. From bland to ugly in one model year….now even worse with the stupid mouse to control functions.

        No thanks. 1961 Plymouth called and requested their grill molds to be re buried with the remains of the division.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      “Why on earth would you buy an Esclade when you could have something like a Range Rover? I just don’t get it”

      Long & short term reliability would be reason enough for me. And that beast of an engine under the hood. Last V8 RR I drove I thought something was stuck under the accelerator pedal. What a pooch!

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Carlson Fan – more snob appeal to a Range Rover.

      • 0 avatar
        IAhawkeye

        Also besides reliability(and adding to it) some of us don’t have a Land Rover dealership anywhere near them. The nearest LR dealership is nearly 2 hours away in Des Moines whereas the nearest Caddy dealer is half an hour away.

        Can you imagine the pain if you have to haul your LR 2 hours just to get worked on at a dealer(and you will need it worked on by a dealer)? The Caddys humble Silverado origins serve it well when it comes to reliability.

    • 0 avatar

      Well (and I like Range rovers) there is the issue with having your car in the shop 3 months out of the year (this actually happened to a coworker of mine bought a brand new one and it spent 2 of the first 3 months in the shop.)
      I personally might go with the Land cruiser but I see the appeal of the Escalade plus around here most are the ESV which really doesn’t have a competitor.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      It has something to do with standing out from the crowd by doing what everyone else (at the Galleria) is doing.
      It could also be that the Escalade is available for lease at a hundred bucks a month less than the Range Rover.
      Or it could be simply choosing terrible depreciation instead of horribly awful depreciation… or mediocre build quality over frequent breakdowns.
      Or maybe it’s just because there are more Cadillac dealerships than Land Rover dealerships.
      Most likely, the ladies who want Escalades simply do not know that Range Rovers even exist.

  • avatar
    ThirdOwner

    Why not make a scaled down version of Tahoe using GMC Canyon platform?

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    I also am puzzled by this desire, when there are much better options out there for the pricerange.
    Also, this talk of SMALLER DISPLACEMENT and TURBO power makes me laugh. I was just talking about this very topic on the 4Runner review. Everyone thought I was nuts. LOL The engines will just keep getting smaller. The next thing will be aluminum body, and eventually downsizing of the vehicle. CAFE requirements are going to be tough by 2025.
    I must have a crystal ball.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I have to disagree with the suggestion that the rest of the Cadillac lineup is broken (ok maybe the XTS is). Their cars are generally regarded as among the best in class. What is broken is the Cadillac brand. While people like to disparage Johan de Nysschen for marketing Cadillac as a brand or a lifestyle, that’s what people are largely buying these days. Most luxury cars are near amorphous bland clones of each other. They’re all fast numb silent overweight barges. People buy them based on style and whatever image they want to project based on the brand. Cadillac needs to figure out what their image is and then sell the public on it. Cadillac can make all the good cars they want, but until they make owning a Cadillac as aspirational and prestigious as owning a Lexus, BMW, or Mercedes simply because it’s a Cadillac, they will continue to suffer. The reason the Escalade continues to be a success is because it is a brand in and of itself. People buy Escalades not because they think they are better than a Range Rover, GX, or GL. they buy them because they want an Escalade, as well as the image it projects. it probably also helps that I would imagine the Escalades more pedestrian roots probably help keep the margins high.

  • avatar
    MWolf

    The Escalade, in my opinion, is their best selling model because it is more “Cadillac” than any of thr other models they currently offer. What do I mean? It’s big, it’s excessive, and it’s bold in more ways than one. When people think of Cadillac, they don’t think of something the Germans would make (which is what Caddy seems to be doing with their cars).

    Did they need updating? Yes. Are the cars better? Arguably, yes. They handle better. But they might have strayed too far too fast. Would better interior craftmanship help all Cadillac models? Resoundingly, YES! The V8 isn’t a bad idea. Cadillac has been without its own engine for a bit now, and why would I pay a premium for an engine that I could get in something cheaper?

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      EVERY Cadillac should

      Simple recipe for fixing Cadillac-

      Every Cadillac MUST have:

      1) Most front seat room in segment, by a fair margin.

      2) Most REAR seat leg, knee, head and shoulder roo. In segment, by a BIG margin.

      3) Most trunk room in segment.

      4) Quietest interior in segment unless it’s a V8 (or V10?) equipped speciality Cadillac such as a V.

      5) Best standard equipment levels in segment…period.

      ***6) Most PLUSH RIDE BY FAR in segment – make it happen, no excuses, hapless motors.***

      7) GOOD RELIABILITY across the lineup (a timeless GM enemy).

      8) Fit/finish, build quality, interior trim, paint quality worthy of true luxury vehicles (Clack-I-lack is so far away).

      9) Lexus-rivaling dealership service, warranty coverage, gratis service, etc.

      10) Nothing LESS than a refined HO V6, and preferably, a standard or at least available growling, throaty, torque-rich, snarling on command V8 under every hood.

      11) Ditch haptic feedback and CUE for that matter – go mostly or all buttons and knobs.

      12) Be less expensive than any segment competitor (yes, GM, you need to copy the Lexus playbook of yore, until people inherently trust you, which exceedingly few do, for very good reason).

      13) Very publicly and loudly sh!tcan Johan de Nysschen, Uwe Pen Boy & Melody Lee without delay or mercy.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Not in every “class”, does “class leading” automatically imply “exceptionally good.” Just saying.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    People keep forgetting that Cadillac is not a car company, but a division of GM. As such, they are going to cut corners to save money. They ALWAYS have for decades. It’s rare to see an old Cadillac I would consider a “classic”. Maybe the ’76 Eldorado convertible. Other than that, nothing but garbage for decades. Even older Escalades are garbage. These will be too.
    So why would anyone expect GM to change? GM has to change before Cadillac can. Just like Lincoln is changing, or at least trying. I would buy a Lincoln WAY before a Cadillac…if were talking American metal.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      GM can and has built GREAT vehicles that cut NO corners.

      Exhibit A:

      “1963-1965 Buick Riviera A design icon. The ’63-’65 Riviera share no body panels with any other General Motors vehicle, and it was better for it. Unlike the fussy Roadmaster Riviera that preceded the 1963 Buick Riviera, this car was low, long, clean, and sleek. As we wrote in our “Collectible Classic” on the car, “The Riviera — with its expansive egg-crate grille, pontoon fenders, neatly creased formal rear quarters, and sumptuous interior — was more successful at recalling, not mimicking, styling of the classic era than the much-vaunted Continental Mark II.” If the gorgeous design didn’t create enough demand, GM purposely kept the initial run to just 40,000 units. Mated to a three-speed automatic, Rivieras offered two versions of the “Nailhead” OHV V-8 – 401 cu ft or 425 cu ft, good for 325 hp and 340 hp, respectively. 0-60 mph times when new were around eight seconds for the 425. But the Riviera was never meant to be a sports car – it had been designed as a “personal luxury car,” an idea shunned by Cadillac management and smartly picked up by Buick. Slated to compete with the likes of the Ford Thunderbird, the Riviera was a runaway success and sold over 100,000 copies in its first generation.”

      http://www.automobilemag.com/features/news/the-eleven-best-buicks-of-the-past-110-years-224933/

      I rode in one of these Rivieras many times (GM executive neighbor whose son I car pooled to school with had a pristine, restored one, and actually drove it at least once a week) and it was impeccable, plush & awesome (sorry to use that word, but it just was).

      • 0 avatar
        kmars2009

        Like I said, decades. DUH! And you couldn’t even use Cadillac as an example. LOL. In the 80’s and 90’s the joke was…”Body by Fisher”…”Interior by Fisher Price!”…I’m sure most would agree. Show me one GM car that’s older, WITHOUT a saggy headliner. PATHETIC! Or that hasn’t been recalled, or has an awful NORTHSTAR engine. What crap! GM’s last 40 years are nothing to brag about. Even Corvettes aren’t above the crappery.
        Unless you plan on bringing back former CEOs, or raising a great car designer from the dead…it wouldn’t matter. Even the late great Karl Benz couldn’t help. They would still put a Takata airbag, or bad key ignition, in whatever he would design to save them.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I agree with you.

          The Riviera of the era I cited was an exception (one of very few) to the rule that is General Motor’s complete & total incompetence, particularly since the early 80s.

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            “General Motor’s complete & total incompetence”

            This statement is provably false. Whatever one may think of GMs cars, their trucks and SUVs are almost all class-leading and have no trouble retaining customers. They have demonstrated, again and again that they are more than competent at many things.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Bunkie – consumer reports put the Suburban on its 10 worst vehicles of 2015 list.
            The new Silverado/Sierra pickups did not make its “recommended” buyers list along with the Ram.

            That is typical of new models from any of the Big 3. Even JD Power says that new models tend to take a big hit in quality and durability.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      You guys have tunnel vision with regards to just focusing on Cadillac. BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, and Audi have all come down narket to near sub $30,000 with small sedans and cuvs. This is right in the the crosshairs of Buick/Opel in the US. Combined Cadillac and Buick own the premium segment in sales over the above mentioned namesplates.

      GM is making money hand-over fist with the best products they’ve ever offered and it is right under your noses.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        Norm, I couldn’t agree more. These articles strike me as open invitations for DW to repeat, ad nauseum, his opinions which are, just that, opinions.

        It’s lazy journalism, like a cheap laugh. It gets a response but fails to shed any light on complex subjects.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          GM, and Cadillac, especially, do not get 1/8th the scorn that they actually deserve.

          GM filed a pre-packaged, taxpayer funded, employee/supplier/non-holder/shareholder shafting bankruptcy 6 years ago, getting a major bonus new lease on life (that very few companies would ever be allowed), yet is already beginning to succumb to the same mismanagement and corporate cultural rot again.

          GM will…can…never change. It’s terminally broken.

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            Oh please, I work in banking, where there are a lot of taxpayer-funded failures all of which make the GM bailout look like a minor deal. If you spent half your time directing your anger there, you might actually accomplish something useful.

  • avatar
    MWolf

    YES! The Riviera was a stunning car. Especially the earlier ones. The later ones were hit or miss.

    GM can indeed make great cars. Even a few Caddies. The Caddies that were great weren’t trying to be anything but themselves. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened in years. The last thing they made that actually felt and looked mildly like a Cadillac was the last generation Devilles, when DTS was a trim level and not a model name.

  • avatar

    Form a sales and marketing perspective Cadillac was headed for a steep decline when they cancelled the North Star engine and the hot-selling DTS. The Deville/DTS (get this) alone sold close to 150,000 units world-wide, and would outsell the entire Cadillac division today! In those days Cadillac had the domestic luxury car market all to themselves. The reason the Escalade is a top seller is because it is a throwback to past Cadillac’s like the DTS. Cadillac’s customer favor the garish over sophistication. It is the same reason why Harley Davidson customer’s like a little chrome campiness to their bikes. You don’t see Harley Davidson producing high-tech ninja bikes, because they know it would not be appealing to their base customers. The current CTS-v may indeed outperform a typical BMW, but that is not what Cadillac customers asked for. Cadillacs are now getting good reviews from the automotive press, but in the process they have lost nearly half of their traditional customer base, which is now purchasing cars like the Avalon and Lincoln MKZ. It is interesting to note that the MKZ is now the best-selling domestic luxury car. Lincoln is still far behind Cadillac, but at least they now realize what demographics they are appealing to.

    I think Cadillac acted to abruptly in updating their lineup. They should have gradually phased out the hot selling DTS instead of immediately isolating those 100,000+ annual customers. They actually had both based covered when they sold the original CTS and DTS together. As for cancelling the Northstar system it is common knowledge it was a grave mistake. The Northstar system actually gave Cadillac something that was unique to the division.

    Like the DTS, the Escalade represents what many still consider true Cadillac attributes. Change is a good thing, but sometimes it has to be the right kind of change.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “Form a sales and marketing perspective Cadillac was headed for a steep decline when they cancelled the North Star engine and the hot-selling DTS. The Deville/DTS (get this) alone sold close to 150,000 units world-wide, and would outsell the entire Cadillac division today!”

      Total sales figure of all time? It sold a little over 211k units in the US for its entire run 06-11. You can’t count total sales for an entry and throw that up against brand sales for one year.

      “In those days Cadillac had the domestic luxury car market all to themselves. ”
      Ha, nope. The Germans and Lexus were crowding up the market since the late 80’s, Cadillac did not have it to themselves. At all.

      “The reason the Escalade is a top seller is because it is a throwback to past Cadillac’s like the DTS.”

      The DTS was not BOF, it was not RWD. How does something BOF and RWD become a throwback to something unibody and FWD? This is a big reach, and is not accurate.

      “which is now purchasing cars like the Avalon and Lincoln MKZ.”

      Again, no. The Avalon is below the Cadillac customer. The MKZ is too small for the traditional Cadillac customer, though I’m sure it gets a few converts.

      “They should have gradually phased out the hot selling DTS instead of immediately isolating those 100,000+ annual customers.”

      Please learn how to understand sales figures.

      “As for cancelling the Northstar system it is common knowledge it was a grave mistake. The Northstar system actually gave Cadillac something that was unique to the division.”

      It was cancelled because the Northstar had reliability issues. Toward the last couple of years the gasket issue was supposedly fixed, but by then the damage was done and nobody wanted to touch it.

      “Like the DTS, the Escalade represents what many still consider true Cadillac attributes.”

      Please go look at any Cadillac pre-1975 before you praise the DTS and its Northstar to high heaven. You have little comprehension of what you speak.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “As for cancelling the Northstar system it is common knowledge it was a grave mistake.”

      Not cancelling it sooner was the mistake, like after it failed for the first five to ten years.

  • avatar

    To me, most buyers of Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon/Denali/Escalade SUVs are seeking traditional big cars, not trucks.

    These vehicles generate almost all of GM’s profits, in exactly the same way as the full-size B-body cars did in the glory days of the Sixties/Seventies.

    The same is true for Silverado/Sierra when you look beyond commercial use. They are even the same size as those land yachts were before the 1977 downsizing. The tooling, development and design was essentially paid for generations ago.

    Obviously the brand distinctions such as they were are meaningless today, but to me it looks like this:

    Chevrolet Silverado/Tahoe/Suburban – Biscayne/Belair/Impala/Caprice Classic
    GMC Sierra/Yukon – Pontiac Catalina/Bonneville/Grand Ville
    GMC Denali (Sierra/Yukon) – Buick LeSabre/lower-trim Electra 225/Olds 88/lower-trim 98/Cadillac Calais
    Cadillac Escalade – Buick Park Avenue/Olds 98 Regency Brougham/DeVille/Fleetwood

    One could also say that the pickups and CUVs replace what was GM’s other expertise and profit center of its glory years, mid-sized cars.

    I am sure the SoHo Cadillac team recoils at this reality, but this is really how the money is made. Even as someone with a PR background, I say they would do well to acknowledge it rather than wow the auto and lifestyle press with wares that won’t sell.

  • avatar

    I put over 170,000 trouble-free miles on a Northstar V6. I can name at least 5 other people I know that can claim the same experience. The current Cadillac V6 has some NVH issues.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      There was no V6 Northstar, the closest to it was the LX5 Aurora V6 aka “Shortstar” available in W and G-body Oldsmobile Intrigues and Auroras in the final few model years of Olds. The Shortstar, while derivative of L47 Aurora 4.0 which itself was a derivative of L37 Northstar 4.6, was not simply a “V6 Northstar”. Your success with an LX5 is not the same as saying the L37 or LD8 32v Northstar V8 offered in Cadillac’s products for nearly two decades was actually a good motor with a bad rap, in fact the opposite is true.

      “It is not a simple cut-down V8. Although it has a 90° vee-angle like the Northstar and Aurora, the engine block was engineered from scratch, so bore centers are different. It has chain-driven dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, but is an even-firing design with a split-pin crankshaft similar to the Buick 3800 engine. The LX5 displaced 3,473 cc (3.473 L; 211.9 cu in) and produced 215 hp (160 kW) @ 5,600 rpm and 234 lb·ft (312 N·m) @ 4,400 rpm. Bore is 89.5 mm (3.52 in) and stroke is 92 mm (3.6 in). It was also one of GM’s first engines to use coil-on-plug ignition. Compression ratio is 9.3:1.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northstar_engine_series

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      You’re speaking of the “Shortstar” 3.5 liter, right?

      That was actually used in the Aurora, too, if so, and did not have the same head bolt problem that the Northstar did, AFAIK.

  • avatar
    Nick

    Curious if there are any Toronto residents here. There’s a regular at Bayview Village (where the pompous go to shop (good liqour store though)) who bought one of these in silver. The proverbial little old lady. It’s clear she has no idea where the perimeter of the vehicle is. She hoists herself up on the steering wheel, trying to find a berth to park it in. It’s quite a performance, even if she’s a menace to everthing and everyone in the parking lot.

  • avatar

    I know it was called the short star, but it was part of the Northstar family. It was also in the aurora. I was pissed off when GM announced they were phasing out Oldsmobile just months after my purchase.

    i know for a fact the Deville/DTS was once the best selling luxury car in the land. I still see a lot of them on the road.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Kamil Kaluski, United States
  • Seth Parks, United States
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Kyree Williams, United States

Get No-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners Automotive News in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked