By on November 13, 2015

2015CadillacEscalade_(4_of_9)

2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium 4WD

6.2-liter EcoTec3 V-8, variable valve timing, Active Fuel Management and direct injection (420 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm; 460 pounds-feet of torque @ 4,100 rpm)

Eight-speed Hydra-Matic 8L80 automatic transmission

15 city/21 highway/17 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

15.8 mpg on the 80/20 city/hwy, suburban assault route (Observed, MPG)

Tested Options: Kona Brown with Jet Black Accents $2,000; Assist Steps, Power Retractable $1,695; 22-inch Dual 7-spoke Aluminum Wheels $600.

Base Price (Premium):

$85,065*

As Tested Price:

$89,360*

* All prices include $995 destination fee

Under the best circumstances for the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, I could find a half-dozen reasons not to drive it: It’s too big. Too heavy. Too slab-sided. Too thirsty. Too tall. Too long. Too unwieldy. Too gaudy. Too powerful.

But I kept driving it. Like a salmon driven upstream through bear-infested waters, the Escalade kept calling me to ignore the challenges and instinctually clamber up the power retractable running boards, loosen my belt and start the motor. Who wants to procreate in here?

It’s antithetic to my person. I’m not interested by big, heavy SUVs that cost $89,360 and return mileage firmly rooted in the teens — but somehow I am drawn to them.

Which makes me wonder: why?

Exterior
First, despite being completely new for 2015, the Escalade somehow isn’t. Cadillac managed to change nearly everything about the truck’s exterior without changing its presence. If you haven’t seen a 2015 Cadillac Escalade yet, I guarantee you’ll be able to spot it instantly when you do.

2015CadillacEscalade_(1_of_9)

The exterior sheet metal is decidedly more angular and creased, but the effect isn’t wholly masculine. The vertical bars on the grille have gone away and the lower fascia sports less chrome than before. The overall nose is decidedly sharper, with less chrome, which is actually more pleasing.

The headlamp assemblies reach further back on the wheel arches, and a sharp hood centerline complements a higher-looking hood line than before. The Escalade is a full 1.5 inches shorter in height than the outgoing model, but the current generation’s full LED lamps up front and L-shaped fog lamps underneath are a bigger presence.

2015CadillacEscalade_(8_of_9)

The boxy shoulders and angular side view mirrors precede the Escalade’s windows and doors shaped purely with rulers. Very few curves, aside from the hulking 22-inch wheels (optional on our model) and the gas cap cover adorn the profile. If Cadillac’s design language is called “Art & Science”, I credit much of the latter and very little of the former for the Escalade’s appearance.

Around the back, taillamps that reach toward the sky (and look like illuminated nighttime goal posts when lit) headline its tail. A recessed Caddy badge and bright chrome strip tie the two goalposts together, and a hidden rear wiper cleans things up around back. Cadillac has moved the two outboard dual exhaust tips from last year’s Escalade under the rear bumper because consumption is better done conspicuously — or something.

To car buyers looking for subtle: this Escalade isn’t. Despite tempering same overwhelming hit that the outgoing model delivered with side ports and dual exhausts, the current model uses its forward-sloping C-pillar and tall lamps to do achieve the same effect.

This Caddy grew 1.4 inches longer and 1.5 inches wider (its track is only .5 inches wider up front, but 1.7 inches wider at its rear) despite being squatter than its predecessor. Not that one would notice much; the current battleship’s dimensions only changed .5 percent all the way around and it’s more than 100 pounds heavier, weighing in just shy of 3 tons unladed.

2015 Cadillac Escalade

Interior
The Caddy is awash with leather and screens, more available space than my first apartment and seating for seven (or eight) — which is also more than my first apartment.

Cadillac updated its center instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch high-definition display to show revs, speed and temperatures. The lower-third of the display can be configured to show navigation, entertainment or phone information, gleaned from the nearby 8-inch Cadillac User Experience (otherwise known as ARGH).

The Escalade’s leather-wrapped wheel closely mimics the coming wheel from the XT5, but doesn’t feature that model’s controls on the lower spokes. The Escalade is better for it: easily reachable controls for volume, track, cruise control and voice command are better suited at thumb-level rather than a driver taking their hands off the wheel and pecking with their forefinger, I say. Navigating the instrument panel’s customizable interface can take some getting used to, but at least the Escalade’s massive screen is a bigger canvas than say, a screen on an ATS.

Overall, the interior sports 51.6 cubic feet of available cargo room with the third row folded flat; 15.2 cubic feet with seats up. The Escalade’s carrying capacity is larger than a comparable Mercedes GL-class (51.6 to 49.4) and dwarfs a Range Rover’s space (51.6 to 32.1). Unlike those cars, the rear seats of the Escalade look unmistakably plugged-in to their bland Lego-GM board: the Escalade shares a common platform with the Tahoe and Yukon and it shows in the way the seats are mounted onto the car — not necessarily into the car.

A power-folding rear third row can accommodate short adults for short trips, or children for long trips. The power rear bench isn’t exactly opulent, but they’re at least shod with semi-soft leather and sport decent-sized headrests.

Deep brown and black hides wrapped the leather buckets that were comfortable and supportive for most trips. Unlike the Corvette and ATS-V that had instant-on ventilation, the Caddy’s thrones never really cooled down very well despite the refrigerator thrum that droned on when the seat coolers were activated.

Predictably, the Escalade’s tall ride height and high hip point give it excellent forward-facing visibility. The Escalade drives like the pickup it was based upon, in that drivers command all they survey. Blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning (both standard on Luxury and higher trims) help out the Escalade’s considerable largess, and thank god for rear parking sonar, cross-traffic alerts and backup cameras. Rear visibility with the third-row up, or passengers in the second row, is understandably difficult.

Rear-seat DVD entertainment is standard on Premium and higher trims (available on Luxury $1,595) for parents who’re cool with throwing yet another screen in front of the young’uns to keep ‘em quiet.

2015 Cadillac Escalade

Infotainment
Of all the changes for the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, CUE isn’t really one of them. The same touchscreen system returns — like it or not — and it’s just as messy as before.

If I had to live with the touchscreen alone, I think I could manage. As it stands, the touch controls extend beyond infotainment and control climate settings, volume, ride comfort, glove box, pedal position and more. The word is that Cadillac is close to scrapping the system in future models, but this year’s Escalade won’t escape that fire — and ire.

General Motors’ infotainment and navigation is relatively competent — I actually prefer it to systems from Ford and FCA. [You can take a horse to water… —Mark] For example, GM’s maps are clean and sharp, even better than the Apple Maps available with CarPlay, but punching the Home button like a broken elevator effectively kills any goodwill I had for the system.

Over the course of a week, I found myself learning the steering wheel controls enough to use them when I could; pulling over to the side of the road to use CUE when I couldn’t.

As soon as I could bend the system to my will — or rather, learn to hide the massively large two rows of radio presets — I could finally enjoy the 16-speaker Bose system. The whole system is a river of sound into the Cadillac’s cavernous interior with a serious logjam up front.

2015CadillacEscalade_(6_of_9)

Powertrain
The 2015 Cadillac Escalade sports GM’s 6.2-liter V-8 up front, borrowed from Chevrolet/GMC trucks, which produces 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Towing for the Escalade 4WD is rated at 8,100 pounds and 7,900 pounds in the longer-wheelbase ESV.

The new lump up front features direct injection, variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation, which nets 1 more mpg in the city and 3 more mpg on the highway. The gains seem doubly minute when you consider last year’s model featured a six-speed gearbox and this year’s automatic transmission sports two more forward cogs.

In reality, the 8-speed transmission does more for around-town comfort than it does for highway cruising. The smooth shifting box keeps the V-8 in check and revs relatively low. If you are in the mood to mash the fun pedal, be aware that the Escalade is deceptively quick like Jerome Bettis; 0-60 mph runs by my watch were consistently close to 6 seconds.

There’s a penalty for all that power, the Escalade can drain its 26-gallon tank like a champion. Buyers in the $90,000 SUV segment couldn’t care less.

The Escalade can either be motivated from its rear wheels only or can be fitted with four-wheel drive for $2,600 more. Selectable magnetic ride control is standard on all models and can be switched from Sport to Touring mode via a touch control near the infotainment screen. When the car arrived, the Escalade was set in Sport mode by its previous driver, which I can’t even.

2015CadillacEscalade_(2_of_9)

Drive
Uncontrollably, I reached for the Escalade’s handsome keyfob in parking lots, eager to unlock the car and climb in. Like a comfy pair of sweats, the Escalade rode, handled and swaddled my rear end better than the other options that week (my own cars).

Unlike sweats, I’d actually take the Escalade to a nearby steakhouse (I don’t eat steak) order the 40-day dry aged (I don’t know how that works) and blitz my senses with a post-dinner cigar (I don’t smoke).

None of that makes sense, but neither does my predisposition to drive the Escalade.

Around town, the Escalade’s new electric steering wrangled the heavy SUV into position and parking spaces — with some effort. Keeping such a big boy flat in corners is physically impossible, but the Cadillac’s magnetic suspension did its best.

In its segment, there are other SUVs that do what the Cadillac doesn’t pretend to: the Range Rover and Toyota Land Cruiser are better off-road. The Infiniti QX80 is much flashier and the Mercedes-Benz GL-class is much sharper. But the Escalade is the Cadillac of compromise — as a full-size land yacht, it’s always seemed naturally agreeable.

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109 Comments on “2015 Cadillac Escalade Review – Haute Leisure...”


  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Yeah, 10% less tacky than previously, yet still FAR tackier than I would be willing to be seen in. But it must spin money for the General, so good on them. $90k for what is fundamentally a $25k pickup with a permanent cap. The mind boggles.

    Whomever at GM thought those touch buttons was a good idea should be beaten.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Maybe they hired him/her from Ford after he/she was fired for putting terrible capacitive touch buttons in everything. The new center stack on the Edge/Explorer is so much more usable now that they has (really nice) buttons.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      CUE is terrible, but Cadillac isnt daring crappily on its own here. I’ve seen alot of Honda reviews recently and their current center stack looks just as unfriendly.

  • avatar
    SMIA1948

    Wow, an article about a Cadillac with nothing said about ride comfort.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Especially as one of the two major issues that result from the Escalade’s pickup-truck roots is a worse ride than other similarly priced luxury SUVs. (The other issue is atrocious packaging in back, with a horrible third row and not much cargo space for the exterior size.)

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I will preface my opinion piece by saying that I would never own one of these and despise them in fact. Popular with the upscale mall crawling mothers in one child families, the d’bag businessman who just needs to sit above the rest of traffic to appease his Napoleon complex and possibly compensate for other shortcomings…I have always found it to be a lifestyle vehicle for barely tolerable human beings. It is a generalization of course, but it is not far off the target based on the owners I know.

    That being said, GM has done a nice job with it. It is stylish, bold and does have a certain draw. If you have the cash, perhaps need the room for a larger family or have anything to tow, I can see this as a fairly attractive option. Of course, I doubt few buyers have any or all of those boxes checked.

    So, despite the inevitable backlash from the “drive whatever you want” crowd…I will just have to disagree and say that this vehicle has little place in crowded urban areas and negatively affects the commutes of hundreds of motorists daily. Add it to the parade of chromed out farm equipment that litters and obscures the commutes for the rest of us.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    I always liked and wanted an Escalade EXT. But I’ve always liked the (post cladding) Avalanche as well.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The Avalanche with the cladding was a good truck too. It was just more ugly.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        True.

        I try and make sure I dont find my personal vehicles ugly is all.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I own a C-Max and MkT…

          I like the shape of both and actually like the look of the MkT. I have warmed up to it’s grille. The C-Max on the other hand…I hate the grilles. It has two for no reason. But I don’t let it bother me because I get 40+ MPG and it will be paid off in January. I think it being SOOOOO boring, compared to the GTI it replaced, irrationally makes me want another car.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I irrationally want another car because even though its run a whole month without soiling its pants, and I have my extended warranty and free OnStar and all that…. I’m just irrationally filled with loathing every time I look at it now. Which sucks because it still has its merits.

            I dont think the C-Max is ugly, just bland. Blandness is ok, the cladding Avalanche was belligerently ugly. My biggest problem with the MkT is that the Flex is so perfect.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Flex Ecoboost is perfect, but used versions are $5000+ more than an equivalent MkT Ecoboost. The cheapest Flex Ecoboost I could find, that matched my search parameters, was over $30K. On the other hand, I was able to get the Lincoln dealer down to $23K on an MkT with less miles, an extended warranty, and better service from a Lincoln dealership. The interior materials on the 2010-2012 MkT are a step above the Flex, and current MkT, as well.

            As much as my wife likes the MkT, it will be gone once 2015+ Navi prices drop low enough.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @bball

            Look on the bright side – compared to any of the Prius, the C-Max might as well be a GTI. If I had an urban commute, I could easily live with your car. While I appreciate the Prius as a piece of machinery, having to drive one every day would likely lead me to slit my wrists.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            krhodes-

            You are right. I have an urban commute and the C-Max excels in that role. It does everything it’s supposed to do, with little drama, and very good fuel economy. It will also be paid off soon. I should just take the money and be happy.

  • avatar
    carrya1911

    If you buy one, do not buy it in black.

    Unless you really want to drive something that looks like a hearse.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    “General Motors’ infotainment and navigation is relatively competent — I actually prefer it to systems from Ford and FCA. [You can take a horse to water… —Mark]”

    IntelliLink is actually pretty good. The ones that combine actual buttons and knobs with the touch screen, like my Verano or my brother’s Sierra.

    This is why CUE is such a problem.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “Unlike those cars, the rear seats of the Escalade look unmistakably plugged-in to their bland Lego-GM board:” – that would be a function of the solid rear axle.

    “I’d actually take the Escalade to a nearby steakhouse (I don’t eat steak) order the 40-day dry aged (I don’t know how that works) and blitz my senses with a post-dinner cigar (I don’t smoke).”

    There’s your problem you damn dirty hippie. If you did those things you wouldn’t feel so guilty about loving the last real Cadillac.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Precisely.

      Big Cadillacs are designed to be driven to the country club, to steakhouses and driven by those who 7 days a week eat steak, smoke cigars and enjoy the finest Scotch.

      If you don’t appreciate those, then you don’t appreciate what Cadillac stood for.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Trouble is, since about 1970 it has been people who go to bad steakhouses with stripper poles, smoke blunts, and drink cheap boubon.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Notice that Mr. Dailey said – “stood” for, not “stands” for. He did not specify how long ago.

          Personally I believe the death of Cadillac stated when they pursued volume at the expense of everything else in the 70s. Prior to that production was intentionally kept below demand, thus spurring resale value and brand cachet while allowing the cars to be better assembled than the rest of GM.

          Whichever year it was that Cadillac broke the 300,000 mark in cars built the division president himself said: “We built 300,000 Buicks that year, not Cadillacs.” He was referring to how they had demeaned the brand by building as many of them as they could sell.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @principal: another perceptive comment on your part. And one that I heartily concur with.

            I believe that Jack posted an article regarding this sometime during the past 24 months.

  • avatar
    WhiskeyRiver

    Of all the complaints previously mentioned, I do not see the one that puts my panties in a wad: TMLEDS.

    As in too many on the front.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    A gargantuan, tarted-up Chevy Silverado with less interior space than my X5.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      False. With the 3rd row folded, it has more than double the storage space than the X5. The Escalade also has more headroom, legroom, rear headroom, rear legroom, shoulder room, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      “A gargantuan, tarted-up Chevy Silverado with less interior space than my X5.”

      For towing, long term reliability and comfort I’ll take any GM SUV over a BMW SUV.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      As bball pointed out you’re wrong, but only because the X5 is also terribly packaged. Had you said “less interior space than a Honda Pilot” you’d be correct.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The Pilot is still behind the Escalade by about eight or so cubic feet. That being said, the Escalade is almost a foot longer. The Pilot, Explorer/Flex, Traverse, and Highlander all have better storage areas than the Escalade. If someone wants a bunch of storage capacity in a BOF SUV, they’ll buy an Expedition L with 86! cu feet of storage with the third row folded.

        The X5 has 22 cu ft of cargo capacity. That’s terrible for it’s size.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Same goes for the Lexus, Infiniti and Lincoln SUVs and if anything, the Escalade shares less than those do with respect to sheetmetal and esp. the interior.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    To answer the author’s leading rhetorical question: Because ‘murica. Duh.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    Nice for a reviewer to finally call out Cadillac (and GM for that matter) on the embarrassment that is the third row seats and cargo area.
    The Lego analogy is unfair to Legos. Had the rear of these cars (I include the Tahoe and Yukon because the engineering here shouldn’t be accepted in $50K cars either) been designed of Legos, someone would have been able to take it apart and put it back together in a way that makes sense. Someone at GM decided to keep this car on a truck platform. Fine. Then someone else said they needed a 3rd row. Also fine. Then someone else said the focus groups want a flat cargo area and the whole thing fell apart. There’s no room for the seats to fold into the floor so they decided to build up the floor around them. The resulting hidden cargo area behind the third row is a joke. Too small to be useful. Too big to look like it belongs. It adds an additional 4 inches to the liftover height and adds another tier that starts with the bumper, continues with a (in the Escalade’s case, chrome) sill and then ends with the raised cargo floor. No $90K car should look this cobbled together. Actually, no 2015 car should look this cobbled together.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I don’t blame GM for not changing it. It’s obvious that no one cares (or not enough people care). They dominate the market, and competitors, that have a flat cargo area, can’t make a dent in GMs stranglehold in this segment.

      Maybe if Ford gets their $hit together with a modern Expedition/Navigator, GM will be compelled to do something about it, but I doubt it.

    • 0 avatar

      This is the reason we went Expedition rather than Suburban. The third seat in the GM barely will hold two kids let alone adults, and the sloped, raised cargo area really cuts down the storage space, and IT’S SLANTED DOWN. Everything slides to the back of the car so when you open the hatch everything just falls out.

      Another annoying thing is the TINY mirrors. My mazda has bigger mirrors on it. You really can’t see anything out the back with the third row seats up, AND if you get the back seat DVD players, they drop down out of the roof and completely block your view out the rear window anyway. And if you want a higher trim level ALL of them come with the DVD players whether you want them or not.

      My wife also hated the vibrating seat warning for the blind spot monitors. When you are driving in traffic it makes your ass numb from so much vibrating.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I agree with both of you, but overall, it seems consumers don’t care about how terrible the packaging is in the GM SUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        You can turn that off.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        You’ve got a point about the small mirrors. Big deal about the DVD player, reach around and push it up like do. It’s not that hard.

        I agree the 3rd row is cheesy but that’s what your stuck with in a BOF SUV w/solid rear axle. The third row in our ’07 ‘Hoe has never been an issue. My kids love riding back there. I’m glad it has the solid rear axle for how i use it. That’s more important to me than a better 3rd row.

        Do the FS BOF SUVs with a IRS still have a full-size spare tire? If they don’t, that’s another plus for me.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Edmunds says the Expedition, Sequoia, and Armada all have full-size spares.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The third row in the K2XX is worse than the one in your GMT900.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Dal is right. Plus, wasn’t the third row removable on the GMT900?

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            It was *only* removable, IIRC. If you wanted a flat cargo space, you couldn’t fold it into the floor like you would the IRS Expedition. The K2XX has power folding, like everyone else, but the solid axle means that flat floor is at waist level or higher.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            “The third row in the K2XX is worse than the one in your GMT900.”

            I’d agree with that because I like the fact that you can remove it. Currently 1/2 of the 3rd row is out of the vehicle like i is 99% of the time. Dang those seat are heavy though.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The difference I was thinking about is that it’s substantially less roomy for passengers. The K2XX was a step backward in packaging.

    • 0 avatar

      I always found the third row is odd and the reason most of the people i know who bought Ford instead OF GM big SUV’s did so. On it being possible the first two generation of Durangos had solid rear axles and fold flat third rows and full size spares so it obviously can be done.

    • 0 avatar
      motormouth

      Good stash space for your heavy weaponry.

  • avatar
    plee

    Still has offset steering column and wheel and gages like all other GM full size SUVs and pickups.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    It’s brash, it’s unapologetic, it’s excessive, it looks like money and it is purchased to be noticed. It plays its role so well. GM deserves credit for building cachet with this rig even if it is cachet I wouldn’t want to be associated with.

    I am trying to decide which projects, fairly or not, the worst stereotype of its owners: this or a white Range Rover with rubber band tires.

    If I wanted a full-size luxurious American SUV I’d go Yukon Denali. More tasteful and about $20K less expensive.

    Hey, I just looked at the GMC website. There’s a Terrain Denali! $37K for an AWD 2.4L Ecotec economy CUV with a thick frosting of badges, bells & whistles! There goes the Denali cachet….

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      The Terrain Denali is an utter joke.

      I was actually very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed a few weeks with a 2.4L Terrain SLE1 rental. As spec’ed it was an honest little CUV. The Denali trim is just terrible though, in terms of content and value.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Certainly seems to be testing the limit of how far a premium trim level can be stretched without snapping.

        The Terrain looks like a perfectly functional and pleasant family wagon. For me, the faux-butch styling is a turnoff and I’ve heard the curb weight makes the 2.4 pretty pokey and difficult to achieve EPA-rated fuel mileage.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          The 2.4 L made awful awful noises, and the 6speed was always hunting, but mine got decent mileage, and was reasonably responsive (once it grabbed a gear). So, adequate but not pleasant (in the powertrain at least)

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I think image is heavily dependent on region. I’ve spent almost all of my life either in the PNW or in East Coast cities. In both of those places the Escalade has a very real image problem (and is typically found only as a livery car or in used/abused form), and the Range Rover is the ubiquitous car of the rich. But I’m told that elsewhere in the country it’s the Range Rover that has the image problem and the Escalade is the car of the rich.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I’d have to disagree with the blanket statement that Escalades are only seen in the PNW as Livery vehicles. There are always some lined up to pickup kids at the school down the street from me. It’s also been that way at the schools my kids went to. The Range Rover is just not represented. I live in an affluent Seattle suburb where there are quite a few rather expensive homes. Yes there are way more of the lesser versions of the big GM SUV in those pickup lines but the Caddy is popular enough. Now of course the area I live in has more “down to earth” rich people who aren’t necessarily looking for conspicuous consumption.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I also live in an affluent Seattle suburb, and three of my six closest neighbors in single-family homes (not counting the cheaper condos, one of which I live in) have Range Rovers. Benz GLs and LX 570s are also heavily represented, although in general I think the very biggest are less popular than the next size down (MDX, GX 460, ML, etc.) Meanwhile, I can go days without seeing a non-livery Escalade. I’m curious where you are that people are driving Escalades.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Maybe they need to buy Escalades, Yukons, or even LX570s because everybody has a Range Rover. Come on wealthy people of Seattle! Get more variety!

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Well first let me preface it with what the two main factors are that I use to determine affluence in an area.

            #1, free and reduced price lunches in the area school district.

            #2 prevalence of true luxury homes. IE houses that are in the range of double of the average for King Co.

            So where I live the free and reduced price lunch is among the lowest in the state. Usually we are among the 5 or 10 with the lowest percentage in the state. Not having the time to look up all the numbers the ones that are lower than my district. Mercer Island, Bainbridge Island, and by .5% Lake Washington (Kirkland, Redmond). Bellevue is ~5% higher which of course is usually considered affluent. My district? Tahoma which serves Maple Valley,as well as Hobart and Ravensdale.

            As far as the Real Estate thing most people think the area is affordable and there are a lot of affordable homes in the area, The reality is that there are a lot of hidden communities where there are Million dollar +/- homes out here and the price of those homes is not due to the price of the land that they are resting on.

            In my area you are much more likely to see a Tesla on the road than a Range Rover. So it isn’t because there aren’t people who cant afford a Range Rover.

            In fact there is a family in my neighborhood that had a Range Rover but it was replaced by an Escalade, there is also a Tesla.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Scoutdude, that makes sense to me. I’m almost never out your way, and where you live is more exurban and very different culturally from the close-in area (near downtown Kirkland) where I live. I guess I should change “PNW” to “PNW cities.”

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Yeah it really is more exurbs that suburbs out here. But most of us still say we live in a suburb of Seattle. Out here conspicuous consumption is not as high as it is on the east side. Most people don’t mind if others think we are “haves” or “have nots”. The few Range Rovers I do see out here always seem to have the largest possible wheels with the lowest profile tires known to man. Just saw one like that when I went to the bank this afternoon.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I meant to ask how is the new toll lanes affecting you and your commute? I hear on the radio the Bellvue to Lynwood or Everett times in the regular and toll lanes and it sounds like for the vast majority of people it has slowed down their commute. I think the company mislead the state on how many people would be willing to pay. I know they have already relented on the carpool thing instead of 3+ from 5a-7p or something like that 2+ is now ok in the middle of the day like 9a-4p.

          • 0 avatar

            Here in CT the rich suburbs have plenty of Escalades. From 2001 to 2007 they seemed to have a poor image but this seemed to have gone away with the last two generations.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Missed this. My commute doesn’t use 405 (I take a bus that gets directly on 520) so ETL hasn’t affected it. I love the ETL during off-hours, because during off-hours I’m almost always traveling with someone else and get to use the express lanes for free. I’ve paid $0.75 to use them twice, both times to avoid a backup at Canyon Park.

            They do seem to be slowing down the regular lanes a bit through south Kirkland but I really don’t understand why, because the number of regular lanes didn’t change. It was three before and it’s still three.

            I also think you’ll see more people paying as time goes on. People are intimidated by tolls at first, because they’re not used to them and may not understand how the system works. As they get used to the concept they start to make rational choices more often — $0.75 is worth it for me to skip all backups almost every time there is a backup.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I just don’t get not making the 3.6 standard with the Denali version.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Does the platform even offer one?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Yes. For now. I wouldn’t bet on a V6 being in the next, downsized, Nox/Terrain.

          I optioned up an AWD V6 Terrain on the Build & Price tool. $41K!!!!!!! That’s Edge 2.7TT territory. Built an Edge Sport AWD online for the same price.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Wow, that’s an unflattering contrast. Those two vehicles aren’t even in the same universe.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Nothing says inconspicuous consumption like paying luxury prices for a vehicle largely indistinguishable from firesale-priced SL 4-banger stopped in front of you.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Yeah. It’s not a good look for the Terrain. I suspect the transaction price would be much less than the Edge Sport. I factored in discounts in my comparison though.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “I just don’t get not making the 3.6 standard with the Denali version”

        The first bad decision was extending the Denali trim down to the Terrain. More bad decisions were bound to follow.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Give me a K-body 4.9 Deville for my “Cadillac”. I actually found one in Tampa for cheap but that’s like 1000 miles away.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    When we bought our LTZ ‘Hoe back in ’07 I preferred it over the Escalade. That thing has everything but the kitchen sink. I don’t need anything nicer. It’s an excellent tow vehicle. After 8 years and 120K it still drives like new. Well it’s getting the u-joints fixed today, so then it will drive like new!………LOL

    Family of 5, 2 dogs and a boat behind nothing beats one of these GM FS SUVs going down the road. If your single and don’t have toys to tow you’ll never understand or appreciate these trucks. Don’t even try.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The seats may be comfy and soft, but it rides like crap. The suspension bounds and jostles over smooth and flat roads like you might find in Phoenix or the like.

    Blindfold rear seat passengers then drive them for 10 minutes in this, and in a Deville of age 23, and see which they prefer. Simply unacceptable for something so expensive.

    I’d sooner choose a competitor like a Range Rover or an LX570.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Agreed. Anyone who thinks one of these rides decently has never been in anything that actually does. Though your DeVille would make me seasick in short order. BTDT.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Hah, hey it has the computer adaptive suspension! It’s not wallowy like an old Fleetwood. Only on low speed turns does it wallow. Going straight and at highway speeds it’s very comfy. Not so much to-and-fro motion, as the whole car goes up-down together.

        It’s VERY windy here today, and it does wander a bit in those conditions at highway speed, kept having to correct the prow direction. But that’s down to too-easy steering.

        At the shop right now getting the master cylinder replaced.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “greed. Anyone who thinks one of these rides decently has never been in anything that actually does. Though your DeVille would make me seasick in short order. BTDT.”

        Cruising down the interstate all day I’ll take the ’07 Hoe over our 2015 Audi A4 all day long. Or anything you own for that matter. Smooth, quiet, comfortable. The electronic dampened, load leveling air suspension on on these things is fairly sophisticated. There is a reason so many people like them as daily drivers.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I love these vehicles, but only in understated(ish) Tahoe and Yukon forms. They’re like the opposite of the Caddy; the Caddy screams for attention, the Tahoe and Yukon basically deflect it from the wealth of the people who usually drive them.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    The first example I saw was a pearl white one with Czech plates parked in the old part of Bratislava, Slovakia, which incidentally is a large center of automobile production in that part of Europe.

  • avatar
    Slave2anMG

    I haven’t rented a ‘sclade yet but have rented high end Suburbans, Tahoes and Yukons. And love the damn things. And cannot explain why. But I just love driving the fool things…talk about eating up highway miles and such…wow. For being the antithesis of why I drive at home, and fairly grotesque symbols of consumptions, they are wonderful beasts. Dammit.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    I like it. I like just because it’s so damned over-the-top.

    These days I’m channeling my inner Honey Badger.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    The Escalade is a unique and very competent vehicle especially in ESV guise if you use it to its full potential, if not then you are better off buying a Range Rover and getting a more premium experience although it might also be a more unreliable one also. The Cayenne is also fantastic. I like the X5 also but it is more something you buy your wife. The new Volvo XC90 was almost perfect until they saddled it with a damn 4 cylinder.

  • avatar
    dabossinne

    Well, with Lincoln Town Cars ancient history, these things seem to now own the “black car” livery market. Was in LA earlier this week and the snooty hotels along Rodeo Drive were crawling with black ‘Sclades, mostly the EXT version.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Does anyone else see a hint of Family Truckster in that front end? I’m holding out for the Griswold Edition.

  • avatar
    bd2

    Having a grill with less chrome and a more graceful appearance (a good less tacky than the previous versions) along with an interior that is now fully differentiated from its lesser brethren has allowed the Escalade to make inroads where previously the GMC Yukon/XL Denali dominated since the Denali previously was the more tasteful option.

  • avatar

    Jesus Christ why would anyone buy a pig like this ?

  • avatar
    swilliams41

    Not bad for what it is. for the money I would get the Mercedes GL. In fact after driving them both I wondered why anyone would get the ‘slade over the GL.

    GL has better ride, dynamics, seems like a sturdier build too though the ‘salde is good in this regard. They both are solid like tanks. I bet the ‘slade will require less mainitinence, at this level that is probably not a concern.

  • avatar
    Eric

    I’ll never be able to have one of these Caddys until they put a freaking headrest on every seat. Only Toyota (Sequoia) does this. And Toyota…. zzzzz….Sorry, I just woke up, what was I saying?

    Headrests are not for comfort, they’re for safety. Why cant we have one headrest for at least 7 of the 8 seats?


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