There are two distinct styles of luxury: a quiet, almost delicate refinement, and a bold, triumphant visage. One look at the chrome-glazed, 18.6-foot Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum is enough to surmise its breed of extravagance. No other full-size premium SUV can match the Escalade ESV’s mass or utility — but is size enough to dominate this segment?
The Escalade has always been a status symbol, but an increasingly crowded niche threatens Cadillac’s foothold. Lincoln is back with its redesigned tech-laden Navigator, Mercedes-Benz’s refreshed GLS touts performance engineering, and Lexus’ LX 570 is ready to tear up the trails. Whether used to haul a large family, chauffeur VIPs, or simply flaunt one’s success, these monumental vehicles must dazzle with accommodation. To stay one step ahead, the Escalade needs more than a big grille. Our week with the 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum put big luxury to the test — and here’s what we learned.