At the $70,000 price point, you pretty much have your selection of what kind of luxury SUV to accessorize your life with. The Cadillac Escalade brought the ailing brand back into vogue and its look is unmistakable. The model offers the largest selection of body styles: regular, pickup (EXT) or extra-large (ESV) and the most recognizable SUV look next to the Hummer. So why spend 70 large on the Caddy?

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The dashboard is not going to win a design award. The Navigator is more art deco; the Range Rover is more ?tech? and the Infiniti QX56 and Lexus LX 470 have more style. But the multiple surfaces, colors and textures plus the amount of amenities keep the Escalade from looking like a dashboard stolen from a work truck. If you want a dashboard design that looks like it just came out of Architecture Digest, the Escalade won?t make the list.

If you?re looking for comfortable seating (14-way power seats and power pedals), heated and cooled in four seating positions and as many luxuries as you can swing a 20-inch rim at, the Escalade is worth your time to at least sit in to see if the design (or lack of) could win you over.

2005 Cadillac Escalade ESV AG

The ESV wins out with the abundance of space available versus the competition adding 22 more inches than the standard Escalade. With the third row up, there is plenty of room behind for a trip to the store or luggage for a trip. The truck loses out to others that use trick systems to fold the third row flat. The seat folds but needs to be removed to create a flat load floor.

The all-wheel drive, Road Sensing Suspension and StabiliTrak tied to the powerful 6.0-liter V-8 gives the truck a comfortable, confident ride, which goes head-to-head with other contenders.

2005 Cadillac Escalade ESV AG

The Escalade ESV Platinum coddles the rear passengers almost as much as the front row. Twin 7-inch DVD screens, plenty of legroom and three-zone heating and cooling makes the second and third row almost more desirable than the driver. Airbags are only located for front row passengers. There is no roof rail side curtain airbag on the option list.

Cadillac also throws in a year?s worth of Virtual Advisor by OnStar. Virtual Advisor can provide location-based weather reports, news and sports updates, stock quotes, movie listings and TV listings.

2005 Cadillac Escalade ESV AG

Come for the exterior style and stay for the comfort. The Escalade ESV Platinum definitely fills out its luxury SUV duties with looks that will either draw you in, or send you packing looking for a low-key ride. In the world of super-luxo cruisers, isn?t letting people know you?ve arrived part of fun?

2005 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3-4

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