I'm thinking about moving the Xbox to the second row of the Escalade. My living room couches don't have an air-conditioned setting, but these seats do. And the leather feels just right to get super comfortable in. Today the Garage is inundated with pictures, but that's just because there's so much to do inside the ESV Platinum.
The gauges and the ?just for show? analog clock (which appears to be the price of admission for a ?luxury? vehicle these days) get their design and type face from watch-maker Bvlgari. The Buick-loving jeweler has since broken his ties with GM, so don?t look name dropping in the next Escalade. The gauge faces are pleasant to look at but the staggered numbers (0, 20, 40, 60) has you searching a little longer to confirm your speed after eying a 5-O.
It?s hard to cover the amount of features inside for the driver. You?ve got power pedals, multiple position power seats and lumbar, power folding mirrors with tilt for backing up and back up assist, heated and cooled seats and cup holders and a talking navigation system.
This is the first time I have gotten some seat time with GM?s new system. The display and touch screen is excellent for XM Radio navigation and information and so far has been a pretty intuitive system to use. My wife fiddled around with the actual navigation settings (and the XM Radio stations) and we suddenly had a pleasant female voice telling us how to get to New York City, though all I wanted to do is go home. This weekend I will spend more time with the nav system for review next week.
The dashboard and center stack share a lot of their shape with all of GM?s full-size trucks, like the GMC Sierra we tested a few weeks back, which is to say it?s square. In the Escalade, so much wood, leather and gadgets surround you, the resemblance is hardly noticeable while driving. I think that?s been the Escalade?s secret.
The Platinum edition includes a DVD screen for the second row and one for the third row plus four wireless headphones. The movie?s audio can also be routed to the excellent Bose system (bonus points for anyone who can guess the movie I?m watching).
The second row of seats fold forward and have a flat load floor extender that spans the distance from the seat-back to the third row area, which makes loading longer objects easier. The seat-back in the third row folds down, but to get a truly flat load floor the seat needs to be removed. I went to the motions, which is only three steps, but the seat is pretty heavy and would be a lot easier to do with two people.
The ESV puts a good amount of space behind the third row for gear, unlike the regular wheelbase Escalade. You can easily take six passengers in all their DVD watching glory and still have room for their stuff. Now for the weekend excursion. Wait, that?s a Ford.
2005 Escalade ESV Platinum: Day 1