2019 Escalade New Car Test Drive
Even folks who know or care little about cars and SUVs are likely to be aware of the Cadillac Escalade. For two decades, the massive luxury SUV has served as a familiar benchmark for the full-size category.
Little has changed for the 2019 model year, apart from a new hands-free power liftgate and two new colors.
Escalades come in two sizes: standard- and long-wheelbase Escalade ESV. Measuring 20 inches longer overall, the ESV adds a considerable amount of cargo space behind the standard third row of seats. Both bodies come in Base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and particularly lavish Platinum trim levels.
Cadillac's thirsty 6.2-liter V-8 churns out an impressive 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The recently-launched 10-speed automatic transmission was jointly designed by General Motors and Ford. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive an option for each trim level.
Crash-test scores are incomplete. Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has completed the full battery of tests. Cadillac offers blind-spot monitors and automatic emergency braking on the Luxury trim of the Escalade and above, not on the base model..
Prices do not include $1,295 destination charge.
Base Escalade ($75,195 with rear-wheel drive, $78,195 with four-wheel drive) comes with 12-way power front seats, leather upholstery, an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, 16-speaker Bose audio, 12-inch instrument cluster, magnetic ride control, a surround-view camera system, and 20-inch wheels.
Luxury ($80,795 with RWD, $83,795 with 4WD) adds safety features, including low-speed automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warnings, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors, as well as a color head-up display and huge (22-inch) wheels.
Premium Luxury ($85,195 with RWD, $88,195 with 4WD) includes forward/reverse automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and a rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system
Platinum ($94,295 with RWD, $97,295 with 4WD) comes with semi-aniline leather, massaging front seats, a distinctive grille, power-retractable assist step, and wood trim.
Base Escalade ESV ($78,195 with rear-wheel drive, $81,195 with four-wheel drive) rides the longer wheelbase.
ESV Luxury ($83,795 with RWD, $86,795 with 4WD) is equipped similar to regular-length Luxury model.
ESV Premium Luxury ($88,195 with RWD, $91,195 with 4WD) is equipped similar to regular-length Premium Luxury model.
ESV Platinum ($97,295 with RWD, $100,295 with 4WD) is equipped similar to regular-length Platinum model..