The 2015 Cadillac Escalade represents the latest generation of what has traditionally been a popular, if divisive, full-size SUV. Either you completely get the appeal of this gigantesque status symbol, or you are repulsed by its over the top nature. Either way, it doesn’t matter: Cadillac consistently sells a respectable number of Escalades and turns a tidy profit in the process. As the old saying goes, those who like it, like it a lot, and they almost always come back for another round once their lease is up.
Let’s take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2015 Cadillac Escalade.
01. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade Features Brand New Looks
The 2015 Cadillac Escalade somehow looks even more massive than the previous generation of the SUV, which is an impressive accomplishment. The new Cadillac Escalade simultaneously manages to present a sleeker design, too, doing away with last year’s side vents and removing the wreath from around the Cadillac crest in a bid to modernize the brand’s logo. Big, monolithic, and looking very presidential when ordered in black, the Cadillac Escalade is an intimidating yet still classy driver that is almost impossible to ignore when sitting in the lane beside you at a stoplight.
02. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade Rides On An Updated Platform
The 2015 Cadillac Escalade makes an effort to address ride quality concerns, which is appropriate given that it shares parts of its chassis with the also-recently-updated full-size pickups produced by corporate parent General Motors. Going a long way towards improving the Cadillac Escalade’s on-road manners is a standard adaptive suspension system, a design that magnetically responds to pavement conditions almost instantaneously in order to provide the smoothest possible performance. The system also offers drive-selectable modes that can tilt towards enhancing comfort or handling, within the limits established by the Escalade’s hefty curb weight.
03. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade Maintains A Spacious Interior
The 2015 Cadillac Escalade isn’t only big on the outside – it also offers one of the most practical passenger compartments in the business. In base form, the Cadillac Escalade is designed to handle as many as seven occupants across three rows of seating, with the option of a second-row bench to increase the total to eight. Cargo space is equally generous, with the entry-level Escalade providing a total of 94.2 cubic feet of storage space with the rear accommodations out of the picture (and 15.2 cubic feet with the third row in place). Stepping up to the Escalade ESV long-wheelbase edition of the SUV means adding 25 cubic feet to arrive at a total of 120.9 (with even more space added between the rearmost seatback and the lift gate). There’s also nearly 10 inches of extra legroom available for those sitting in the third row when opting for the Escalade ESV.
04. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade Introduces Redesigned Third Row Seats
Helping you to better access the 2015 Cadillac Escalades cavernous cargo capacity is a completely-redesigned third row of seating. Whereas in days of Escalades past one had to completely remove the back seats from the Cadillac in order to take advantage of its hauling potential, the 2015 edition of the SUV introduces a fold-flat option that is far easier to use. There’s also the added bonus of not having to find somewhere to store your Escalade thrones when they’re not in use. The trade-off for this convenience is a load floor that’s been raised by four inches – but the overall difference between this year’s available cargo room and that posted by last year’s SUV is negligible.
05. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade Offers A Powerful V-8
All versions of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade are outfitted with the same 6.2-liter V-8 engine. This unit has been tuned to provide 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, output that is managed by a six-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is brisk in the Cadillac Escalade, showing as in the neighborhood of six seconds on the sprint to 60-mph, and thanks in part to cylinder deactivation technology, fuel mileage is also very competitive in its class: around town the SUV posts 15-mpg, while on the highway it’s good for 21-mpg. All of that grunt translates into a laudable 8,300 lbs of towing capacity for the Cadillac.
06. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade Can Be Had With Four-Wheel Drive
Although it might skew heavily to the city-bound set – or at least those who intend to keep to the beaten path – the 2015 Cadillac Escalade does offer a modicum of off-road capability. In addition to its considerable ground clearance and the strength of its truck-based frame, the Cadillac Escalade can also be had with the option of a low-range four-wheel drive system. Although not intended to climb from one rock to another across a mountain pass, the Escalade is well-suited to muscled its way across a muddy field or expertly pull a fully-laden boat trailer up a slick concrete ramp.
07. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade Delivers A High Level Of Luxury
The 2015 Cadillac Escalade starts out with a well-equipped base model that includes LED headlights, 20-inch rims, keyless entry and ignition, three zones of automatic climate control, heated and ventilated leather seats up front, heated second row seats, a power lift gate that can be opened with the wave of a foot under the rear bumper, a noise-canceling stereo system, a rearview camera, parking assistance, and a heated steering wheel. The Escalade Luxury trim introduces a sunroof, 22-inch rims, head-up display, a slew of active safety features, and power folding seats in the second row, while the Premium model includes a Blu-ray entertainment system for those sitting in the back of the SUV, adaptive cruise control, and cornering lights.
08. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade Now Features CUE
Standard across all versions of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade is the CUE interface, which combines the SUV’s communications, entertainment, and navigation functionality together with most of the important vehicle settings. CUE consists primarily of a touchscreen mounted at the top of the center stack, but it also features a set of capacitive touch buttons on the dash, two joystick-like steering wheel controllers, a customizable LCD dash cluster, and voice commands. Some are put of by the somewhat finicky nature of CUE’s buttons and menus, while others appreciate the sleek black look that it imparts on the Cadillac Escalade’s cabin.
09. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade Provides Excellent Safety
The 2015 Cadillac Escalade comes standard with dual forward airbags, seat-mounted side airbags up front, side curtain airbags that extend along the entire length of the passenger compartment, and a unique airbag that deploys between the two forward positions to prevent occupants from bumping into each other during an accident. Electronic stability control and traction control are also included free of charge with the Cadillac Escalade. Available with higher trim levels of the SUV are a blind spot monitoring system and lane departure warning system, which work together with Cadillac’s Safety Alert Seat technology that vibrates one side of the seat or the other to let you know where the threat is located. You can additionally equip the Escalade with a forward collision warning system and an automatic braking system that engages should a potential impact be detected while reversing.
10. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade Face Few True Competitors
The 2015 Cadillac Escalade has seen its price increase alongside its redesign, starting at an MSRP of $71,695 (CHECK). There are very few vehicles out there that offer the same combination of extreme utility and comfort that are embodied by the Cadillac Escalade, with only the Infiniti QX80 and the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class coming close to matching its specs. Also in the running is the smaller Lexus LX, a vehicle that can’t quite match the cargo space offered by the Escalade ESV Leviathan. In fact, the closest competitor to the Escalade might be its corporate sibling the GMC Yukon XL Denali, a slightly less expensive vehicle which shares an identical drivetrain and platform as compared to the Cadillac, along with many similar luxury features.
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