Leading up to the debut of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, we were told that the new luxo-SUV would be “much less ostentatious” and that we could expect greater differentiation from its Chevy Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon siblings. And while those things may be true to some extent, after digesting the full raft of Escalade information and photography, we can say that this new 2015 model is exactly what we were expecting all along.
No, there isn’t a single part of the new Escalade package makes us go “wow” or “ooh,” but it still looks like a solid, nicely updated offering that will surely attract the same sort of baller status when it hits the road. For starters, the new front end has been completely redesigned, where cleaner, tauter lines work with the full-LED headlamps and running lamps to create a face that, while familiar, falls right in line with the rest of Cadillac’s lineup. Around the sides, the shape is exactly the same as the rest of the SUV’s platform mates, with better-fitting body panels and a handsome, upright design. Of course, 20-inch wheels are standard, and hifalutin’ 22-inch rollers are available (in chrome, we assume). Things get really interesting around back, where full-LED taillamps extend from the bumper all the way up to the top of the tailgate, and – like the Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon – the rear window wiper has been integrated into the top of the hatch for a cleaner look. It all looks pretty modern and good, but doesn’t really tone down the otherwise flashiness of the Escalade package.
Like its predecessor, the new Escalade will be available in standard- and extended-wheelbase formats (bring on the EXT!). Only one engine is available: GM’s 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8, good for 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Both two- and four-wheel drive configurations will be offered, and the new Escalade should be a bit better to drive than the previous model, with a new coil-over front suspension and five-link rear setup, a wider track, variable-assist electric power steering and Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control system with Tour and Sport modes.
The biggest differentiation between the new and old ‘Slades is the interior, and here, this is the one place where you can sort of see greater separation between the Cadillac and its platform-mates. GM is really touting the Escalade’s interior craftsmanship, calling it “one of the industry’s most authentic and luxurious cabins,” and we have to say, at least from the photos, it looks darn nice. Up front, the dash takes on a design that nicely incorporates Cadillac’s waterfall center stack, with the CUE touchscreen interface front and center. Behind the front seats, both six- and seven-passenger seating configurations are available, with rear seats that fold completely flat.
Another carry-over feature from the Tahoe/Yukon, but perhaps most necessary on the Escalade, is the enhanced security system. There’s now an intrusion sensor, inclination sensor and glass breakage sensors. Not only do these trigger the alarm systems, but some of these functions shut down the key control, and these security devices are supported by OnStar to help law enforcement locate the vehicle in the event that it’s actually stolen.
Pricing, fuel economy specs and more details will be revealed closer to the Escalade’s on-sale date early next year. For now, have a look at the images above, and the press blast below.
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