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2015 Cadillac Escalade 4WD 4dr Premium Review by John Heilig +VIDEO

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By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel


MODEL: 2015 Cadillac Escalade 4WD 4dr Premium
ENGINE: 6.2-liter V8
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 420@ 5,600 rpm/460 lb.-ft. @ 4,100 rpm
WHEELBASE: 116.0 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 203.9 x 80.5 x 74.4 in.
TIRES: P225/45R22
CARGO: 94.2 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway/20.7 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 26.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 5,840 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz GL550, Lexus LX570, Nissan Armada, Infiniti QX80, Ford Expedition Platinum
STICKER: $90,355 (includes $995 delivery, $5,290 options)

BOTTOM LINE: The Cadillac Escalade is big, fully equipped, luxurious, and with plenty of power and good handling for a large vehicle.

My wife and I walked up to the Cadillac Escalade for the first time and were, quite frankly, intimidated. The Escalade stands more than six feet tall, and neither of us are that tall. We opened the doors and a running board slid out, making access much easier. An assist handle on the A-pillar gave my wife another hand up, while I had the steering wheel to grab.

That was the first encounter in what turned out to be a pleasurable test week. Just sitting in the seats provided another. They are leather (Kona brown) and offer good side support. Dark wood trim accents the dash. With a huge center console/arm rest between us we both had places to put our “interior” arms without bothering the other. On top of this console is a mobile phone charger. Inside are entertainment connection plugs plus a 12-volt plug if you’re hurting for power.

The 6.2-liter V8 under the hood isn’t hurting for power. It delivers 420 horsepower to the wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. We were never at a loss for power. Zero-to-60 acceleration is in the seven second range. We took the Escalade on a long trip, and I was impressed with our overall fuel economy, 20.1 mpg. Refueling the Escalade is slightly easier with the capless fuel filler.

Handling was about what you would expect from such a large vehicle. No, it isn’t a sports car, but it does handle well enough to get out of its own way.

The driver faces a virtual instrument panel that can be configured in any way he or she chooses. We chose the standard tachometer/info panel/speedometer array with a digital speedometer in the information panel. In addition, there is a heads up display, so the driver never has to look down.

Besides its commanding presence that gives a secure feeling among all the wackadoodle drivers on the road, there are numerous safety features that give an equally secure feeling when parking. For example, the Escalade has blind spot monitoring, crash avoidance and lane departure warning. With the lane departure you get a subtle vibration in the driver’s seat indicating in which direction you are wandering. This is preferable to some LDWs that nudge the steering wheel to the center of the lane.

There is also a rear vision camera that combines with a bird’s eye 360-degree view that makes parking a cinch. I always parked right in the middle of the parking spaces.

Our tester was equipped with second row captain’s chairs that were flatter than the front seats. They had fold-down arm rests in the middle that helped with comfort. The third row is a bench that power folds for more cargo capacity. The second row seats also power fold and can be tipped forward to create a deep well.

We carried a full complement of seven adult passengers on one trip and I didn’t hear one complaint about discomfort.

Storage areas abound. I mentioned the deep center console/arm rest. There is also a small cubby ahead of the two cupholders that is great for sunglasses. Bottoms in the front door pulls make them ideal for holding keys. All the doors have storage as well. For example, the rear doors have cupholders and space for water bottles PLUS three cubbies of assorted sizes.

Despite its size, the fourth-generation Cadillac Escalade is easy to drive. It does take a while to become accustomed to the size, but once you get over that hurdle, it’s a blast.

2015 The Auto Page Syndicate

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