When Cadillac hit the market with the first Escalade in 1999, there weren't nearly as many luxury SUVs as there are on the road today. But a lot has changed in the past decade and a half, prompting General Motors to go back to the drawing board and come up with the answer you see here. Having just debuted this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the new 2015 Cadillac Escalade is the most upscale member of GM's new full-size SUV family, positioned above the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and the GMC Yukon. As such, it benefits from the latest advancements developed by one of the world's largest automakers, with some premium touches to set it apart.
"The new Escalade's surfacing is sophisticated, and the sectioning of the body exudes more emotion to forge a new presence for Cadillac's iconic SUV," said Bob Boniface, design director, Cadillac Exteriors. "Our designers worked with the studio sculptors closer than ever to translate a two-dimensional vision into a three-dimensional representation that captures your attention from afar, and then pulls you in with beautiful details in the lamps, door handles and wheels."
More angular and imposing than either its predecessors or its more accessible counterparts, the new Escalade announces its presence with a large grille and LED headlights that could only adorn a Cadillac. It rides on 20-inch (or available 22”) wheels, and full-height LED taillamps adorn the tailgate. Inside you'll find an interior further differentiated from the Chevy and GMC versions with a decidedly more upscale treatment, complete with the brand's CUE infotainment interface. Anti-theft sensors keep would-be car-jackers out, trigger the alarm and inform law enforcement via GM's OnStar system.
"An exceptional level of craftsmanship has gone into the redesign of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, and it all centers on the premium materials and extensive use of cut-and-sew live stitching — the way fine furniture is produced," said Eric Clough, director of design, Cadillac Interiors. "We designed Escalade with what we call the beauty of contrast. It offers a distinctive combination of bold, truck-like character, but also the refinement of the Cadillac form vocabulary and technology."
Buyers will be able to choose between standard and long wheelbase versions, in either rear- or all-wheel drive, with a 6.2-liter V8 providing the grunt with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque on tap. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, with a new Magnetic Ride Control suspension keeping the high-riding limousine on the straight and narrow.