By on November 28, 2018

Image: GM

General Motors’ full-size, body-on-frame SUVs are growing long in the tooth, but man, are they popular. It helps that The General keeps finding ways of sweetening the pot here and there, all while ticking the MSRP slightly skyward. By all accounts, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship between consumer and manufacturer.

Last year brought the RST (Rally Sport Truck) versions of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, which GM followed up with this year’s appearance of an extra half-step of luxury in the form of the “Premier Plus” trim. For the extra expenditure, customers gained newfound access to the company’s coveted 6.2-liter V8 and refined 10-speed automatic.

Cadillac Escalade buyers don’t have that desire, as the top-flight powertrain comes standard in all trim levels. They might, however, wish to look meaner. And Cadillac’s banking that they’ll pay more for the privilege. (Read More…)

By on September 28, 2018

2018 Lincoln Navigator, Image: Ford Motor Company

Today’s subjects are ponderous, expensive, and very heavy. No, we’re not talking about state government representatives; we’re talking about full-size SUVs.

Come along, and we’ll select a big truck to burn.

(Read More…)

By on August 29, 2018

Where were you when you first saw an Escalade? Do you recall the lesser but identical Yukon Denali? Twenty years have elapsed since the Escalade’s introduction, and the luxury brand of wreath and crest has never looked back.

But today, we’re going to.

(Read More…)

By on August 7, 2018

If you like the Cadillac Escalade, you had also better be fond of General Motors’ 6.2-liter V8. Because that’s the only engine currently available for it. However, that may not be the case when the 2020 model pokes its head out of the factory door.

This is the second time we’ve heard buzzing about numerous engines becoming available on the luxury SUV and, frankly, we’re delighted to hear it. While there’s nothing wrong with the current model’s naturally-aspirated small block — excluding some customer complaints about noisy lifters — more choices are always better and we don’t foresee Cadillac abandoning the V8 anytime soon. (Read More…)

By on April 16, 2018

2018 Cadillac Escalade

They might not happen as often as they once did, thanks to deregulation leading to mergers and consolidation, but fare wars once were a regular occurrence as airlines fought to snag passengers by dropping prices.

The automotive industry isn’t immune to battles waged on price. Even luxury makes sometimes have to offer deep discounts to keep the competition at bay.

Which is what Cadillac is doing to stave off a challenge from Lincoln. Sort of.

(Read More…)

By on November 7, 2017

2018 Lincoln Navigator, Image: Ford Motor Company

Despite the addition of a corporate split grill a few years ago, there’s no denying Lincoln’s outgoing Navigator is one old piece of kit. As such, the glitzy premiere of the new-for-2018 Navigator heralded greater full-size Lincoln SUV sales not just from new buyers, but returning ones.

Having seen what Dearborn was up to, it seems some inhabitants of the Renaissance Center decided to try and spoil Lincoln’s fun. If you’re the owner of a 1999 or newer Lincoln vehicle who’s thinking of maybe getting into a new Navigator, Cadillac would like you to know there’s 5,000 smackeroos waiting for you on the hood of your nearest Escalade. (Read More…)

By on June 5, 2017

Image: 2004 Joe Gibbs Racing Edition Chevrolet Tahoe, image via Ebay

Customized and limited edition SUVs are nothing new to regular readers of Rare Rides. The striking Funkmaster Flex Expedition clouded eyes with tears of joy. Neiman Marcus once modified a Lincoln Blackwood, showing just how easily versatility and usefulness can be stripped from a Ford truck.

After those Ford and Lincoln examples, I think it’s time we took a look at a General Motors offering — perhaps a Tahoe. A supercharged, racing Tahoe.

(Read More…)

By on April 12, 2017

navigator

There has always been something distinctively inelegant about Lincoln’s Navigator. It never felt nearly as special as the Cadillac Escalade and it was difficult to see its owners as people worthy of emulating. Lincoln made some positive headway in its third generation, but Navigator ownership still felt like you received a bum deal on an well-equipped Ford Expedition. It was working-class utility embellished with the lies of premium luxury and sold for more than it was worth.

While the 2018 Navigator still shares its platform with the Expedition, it has done away with that sense of unsavory sameness. They’re both hulking SUVs and fit for similar duties, but the Lincoln now feels prestigious. You can soon say that you drive one while raising your eyebrows in a suggestively triumphant manner. People might even envy you. The 2018 Navigator finally matches the Escalade in both kitschy flair and genuine class. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better than the Expedition, but it does — for the first time in history — provide a real reason to covet one over the other.  (Read More…)

By on October 14, 2016

2018 Buick Expansion full-size SUV rendering, Image: © 2016 Matt Posky/The Truth About Cars

11.3 percent of the new vehicles sold by General Motors in the United States in September 2016 were full-size, body-on-frame, truck-based SUVs.

The Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL combined for 28,172 total sales in September 2016, a 45-percent year-over-year increase worth nearly 9,000 more sales.

September marked the second consecutive month — and just the tenth month in the last five years — that GM produced more than one out of every ten of its U.S. sales with full-size SUVs. Not since November 2011 has GM produced such a hefty portion of its sales with large SUVs.

So why can’t Buick have one? (Read More…)

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.

(Read More…)

By on December 16, 2015

2015CadillacEscalade_(4_of_9)

If you see this Cadillac a-rockin’, you should submit a complaint to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

That, and depressed 2016 sales outlooks, the Federal Reserve rate hike, a Chinese electric vehicle Warrior and CarMax, after the jump.

(Read More…)

By on November 21, 2015

3349519_1

If you were to buy a 2003 Cadillac Escalade ESV near North Caldwell, New Jersey, you’d expect to shell out nearly $10,000 for an exceptionally clean ride from a dealer, according to Edmunds. Yet, this particular example of GM’s brashly designed full-size SUV sold for nearly 12 times that amount: $119,780.

Why?

Well, this one was driven by a garbage man.

(Read More…)

By on November 13, 2015

2015CadillacEscalade_(4_of_9)

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? (Read More…)

By on February 19, 2015

2015 Cadillac Escalade & ESVAt this very moment, imagine if you will, Cadillac without the Escalade.

It’s not a difficult task. Let’s just do the Cadillac maths as if the Escalade no longer exists. It does, and it surely will, but let’s exclude it for the sake of establishing a different perspective.


• Cadillac cars down 7% in January

• Escalade up 136%; ESV up 189%

• Cadillac brand up 2.6% in January


In the U.S. last month, Cadillac’s car division was down 7%. The ATS slid 8%, the ninth consecutive year-over-year monthly decline for the small Cadillac.

(Read More…)

By on October 30, 2014

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe whiteGeneral Motors has sold 189,354 copies of its big Lambda-platform crossovers in the United States this year. Combined sales of the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia have risen by a scant 137 units through the first nine months of 2014.

GM’s six full-size, body-on-frame, pickup-based SUVs, on the other hand, have collectively increased their U.S. volume by 22%, a gain of 32,652 sales, to 183,080 units in total.

These nine nameplates have generated 17% of GM’s 2.2 million year-to-date sales. (Read More…)

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