With an all-new model on the way, Cadillac plans to take a big price hike when it launches the 2015 Escalade later this year.
The next-generation full-size luxury SUV will start at $72,690, including a $995 destination charge, or nearly $8,000 more than the old model. That could change the competitive game in a landscape now full of luxury utes.
The 2015 Cadillac Escalade, which made its formal debut at a splashy media event in New York last October, is based on a new platform and offers an array of new comfort, safety and performance features – for which manufacturers traditionally attempt to cover costs by boosting prices. But the maker insists the increase isn’t as significant as it seems, as Cadillac is actually eliminating its “base,” $64,740 ‘Slade model for 2015.
Cadillac could even argue that compared to the mid-range 2014 Escalade Premium, at $73,245, it has cut prices for 2015, though that would be a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison.
The base model traditionally generated little sales, so Caddy appears to have decided to focus on the volume segments with a new version of the Escalade that is significantly upgraded from the outgoing model.
Among other things, the new Standard trim package includes LED headlights and taillights, a backup camera, a hands-free power liftgate, leather power adjustable heated and cooled front seats and heated second row seats, a power fold-flat third row, remote start and the maker’s Magnetic Ride Control which automatically adjusts to changing road conditions and driver input in milliseconds.
That smart suspension is one of the most significant technical differences between the 2015 Escalade and the full-size Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs that share the same basic new platform.
In its earlier years, the Cadillac Escalade caused a sensation among luxury buyers, the big truck-based ute appealing to a young, urban crowd drawn to its “bling.” But it has lost momentum to import competitors in recent years after being slammed by the U.S. economic downturn and rising gas prices, as well.
That led parent General Motors to consider abandoning the Escalade as it exited its 2009 bankruptcy. But officials said they took another look at the market and decided to give the big ute a makeover, instead.
(Cadillac ELR takes Green Car tech award. For more, Click Here.)
During the New York preview last year, Cadillac’s top exec, Bob Ferguson, declared that for the new model, “The clear objective is to once again assume the leadership position among luxury SUVs.”
Whether the higher price will cause problems remains to be seen. The new base model 2015 Escalade will come in at about $9,000 more than the $63,545 starting price of the Infiniti QX80 – which had previously been known as the QX56. But the Cadillac also starts about $10,000 less than the $83,540 Lexus LX 570.
(Click Here to see the new Lincoln Navigator.)
What remains to be seen is where Lincoln will bring in its own 2015 Navigator. Like Cadillac, the Ford luxury brand gave serious thought to pulling the plug on the vehicle, which originally debuted 17 years ago. Instead, the Lincoln Navigator gets a more modest, but still notable, update for 2015. No price for that model has yet been announced.
Tags: 2015 cadillac escalade, Cadillac, Cadillac Escalade, GM luxury SUV, SUV news, TheDetroitBureau.com., auto news, cadillac news, escalade, full-size luxury suv, full-size suv, luxury suv, luxury utes, paul a. eisenstein, thedetroitbureau