When the Cadillac Escalade debuted 20 years ago, car-based crossovers were just getting their start. The Escalade was and still is basically a Chevy Tahoe with new styling and a nicer interior. That's especially true today, as our test car has an interior that looks like it was lifted straight from a Cadillac CTS rather than a Chevy Silverado. Crossovers may be more comfortable and fuel efficient, but they can't hold a candle to towing and payload capabilities of a body-on-frame SUV. If you need to haul seven people and a full-size Airstream in quiet comfort, few options are better than the Escalade. This week, our tester was a long-wheelbase Escalade ESV. That means substantially more room both behind the third row and with the seats folded. The Premium Luxury trim sits in the middle of the lineup, but it still comes with a lot of goodies. Features include a Bose audio system, a digital instrument cluster, a heads-up display, heated and cooled leather seats, a heated steering wheel, tri-zone climate control, Magnetic Ride Control and a stout 6.2-liter V8. Options include upgraded leather for $2,000 and polished 22-inch wheels for $600. All in, this Escalade was just shy of $100,000. Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: The Escalade is arguably Cadillac's best vehicle. It's a bold, body-on-frame SUV that feels decadently all-American. The Escalade is still contemporary even though it's been years since the ute has had a major redesign. I enjoyed a couple nights in this luxury bruiser. The V8 is powerful, and the 10-speed is a smart improvement. The command seating position is always welcome for me. The interior is nicely laid out, and the materials all look and feel upscale. Not a huge fan of Cadillac's touchscreen (no longer officially called CUE), but it seems to be getting better or I'm getting used to it. Love the Escalade's exterior design. It's dramatic, imposing and gives Cadillac something that's a true style-leader. All that being said, I'll be interested to see how Caddy iterates the Escalade. The Lincoln Navigator is an excellent product and a worthy adversary. Cadillac would be wise to keep its SUV flagship fresh. Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: I was not excited to get into the Escalade. This is really not my cup of tea. I used to love the Chevy Suburban, but that fondness has languished as my tastes evolved as these huge vehicles have modernized, losing the charm that drew me to them when I was younger. The Escalade really feels like an enclosed Chevy pickup with Cadillac tech and styling, because that's essentially what it is. The first giveaway of this SUV's roots is the steering wheel, which has a slight cant toward the driver-side door. That off-angle drives me nuts. Heading down the road, you do get a sense that this is a true body-on-frame SUV, for better or worse. I do like the interior, though. The piano black everything would normally seem a little much to me, but it just …
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|Power||420 @ 5600 rpm|
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