Meet the newest face of Cadillac’s flagship luxury SUV: the 2015 Escalade, which was just revealed in New York City.
Starting in the spring of 2014 when Caddy dealers begin to take delivery, the Escalade will enter its fourth generation. As you can already see, part of the latest transformation includes a series of stylistic updates that put the truck more in line with other products from GM’s luxury brand. Large LED pillars on the front, a new grille and gargantuan light bars on the back all set the brand’s latest apart from the outgoing model. It also loses the bumper-integrated exhaust ports and, of course, carries the same body characteristics as General Motors other body-on-frame SUVs.
That includes a spoiler with an integrated wiper blade, inlaid doors for improved aerodynamics and an aluminum hood and liftgate panel and more. Of course, 20-inch wheels are included in the standard equipment list and 22′s are available.
Then there’s the new 6.2-liter V8 also found in GMC’s Yukon Denali among other high-end General Motors products that recently debuted. With it, the engine brings 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. There’s still a six-speed automatic transmission directing power to either the rear wheels or all four. Cadillac has yet to divulge fuel economy ratings, but you can expect the mild weight saving measures and more sophisticated powertrain to offer considerable fuel economy gains.
Important as those changes might be, the company emphasized one aspect of its new luxury land monster over all others during the New York City debut: Its cabin. If the Escalade is going to sell, it needs to outdo its Yukon Denali cousin by a respectable margin and that comes down to style and material quality. It’s a tough task considering how much nicer the new Denali-trimmed trucks and SUVs are.
But Cadillac more than met the challenge. Starting with a center stack familiar to current products, the new Escalade finally escapes its previous GM parts bin doldrums. Rather that looking like a repurposed version of much less expensive GM SUVs, the new Escalade feels as it should; like a hulking Cadillac. Seats look more sculpted and generous wood inserts leave the cabin with a rich feeling.
Like the rest of GM’s new SUVs, there’s more leg and head room. The front seats get about an extra four inches for your largest appendages and another 1.5 inches of skull space. The second and third rows fold flat and this Caddy has a hands-free power liftgate with adjustable height settings.
Safety systems include automatic front and read braking at low speeds, a front-center airbag and an available “driver awareness” package. Checking that box adds a forward collision alert system, lane departure warnings and directionally-specific vibrations in the seat to warn of possible collisions. Adaptive cruise control is also available along with blind spot monitoring.
Escalade sales will only include the standard wheelbase and “ESV” extended wheelbase models and pricing has yet to be announced.
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GALLERY: 2015 Cadillac Escalade Live Photos
GALLERY: 2015 Cadillac Escalade
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