It seems the Escalade has been the heart and soul of Cadillac’s line-up of luxury vehicles forever.
No other car or sport-utility vehicle comes close, in the mind of the broad public anyway, to representing Cadillac’s nameplate in any kind of meaningful way.
I suspect this has caused no end of consternation in General Motors headquarters over the years because the Escalade seems to have been an afterthought by GM product planners who were thinking along the lines of up-level Chevrolet Suburban with a bright Cadillac badge.
Nevertheless, it became a huge hit with customers.
Cadillac Escalade customers, in fact, pushed all kinds of ideas that turned the big SUV in to a genuine all-American icon from smoked windows, big flashy wheels and an appetite for jewelry trim that livened up the vehicle’s boxy shape and turned it into something of an urban legend.
(Cadillac culling sedan line-up, plant investment focusing on SUVs. Click Here for the story.)
The trim on the strong front face with its bold Cadillac insignia centered in the chrome grille as well as the vertical LED headlight bars at each corner of the vehicle re-enforce the strength of the Escalade’s boxy shape by emphasizing its height and width, which makes it capable of carrying as many as eight full-sized adults quite comfortably.
The attention to detail carries over to the interior of the 2018 Cadillac Escalade with its plush leather upholstery that covers the touch points throughout the cabin. The neatly laid out center stack and the ample, comfortable seats work to provide a quiet, comfortable space that contains the essence of luxury. The Escalade’s active noise cancellation system, a genuine luxury item, also helps keep the cabin quiet.
Throughout the years GM has moved to appease the Escalade fan base by not only upping the ante on the level of luxury offered inside the vehicle, but GM also has added full suites of safety and communication technology to insure both the driver and passengers are connected at all times via Bluetooth. The systems are augmented by Apple CarPlay and Android and Google Auto for compatible smart phones.
The 2018 Escalade features the Bose Centerpoint surround sound system. Customized exclusively for the Escalade, it features new technologies that help heighten the sophisticated in-vehicle experience.
In addition, there is also adaptive cruise control, rear-cross-traffic alert and the 2018 Escalade Platinum edition that we got to evaluate also comes with a center stack cooler.
Features such as a heated steering wheel, individual climate controls for driver and passenger, automatic parking assistance are also among options on the long list of features found on the Escalade. The 2018 Escalade includes a new standard 10-speed automatic transmission with an even wider 7.39 gear ratio spread.
(Click Here for more about GM expanding Super Cruise to all Cadillac models.)
For a big vehicle and the Cadillac Escalade is a full-size SUV in every sense of the word, it is surprisingly maneuverable on a variety of roads and road surfaces while I was driving in and around the city of Detroit thanks to the electric power steering, which is also responsive and helps the overall quality of the vehicles ride and handling.
In addition, I liked the feel of the Brembo brakes with their six-piston calipers. which is important when you are riding in a very heavy vehicle with a high center of gravity. The stability, while braking is, very good.
The 2018 Cadillac Escalade also comes a very impressive power train. It is equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that effortlessly produces 420 horsepower. For 2018, GM added a 10-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel-drive on the Platinum edition. The shifts are seamless as is the move into AWD.
The addition of the 10-speed transmission, which has made the Escalade more responsive, also has boosted the fuel economy to 14 miles per gallon in the city and 21 mpg on the highway, according to the figures on the vehicle’s Monroney.
The Escalade, with its price tag running up into six figures, $103,185 to be precise, including the $1,295 destination, is hard cheap and its often used by people who use chauffeur to drive from one side of town out to the other.
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If you want a genuine luxury vehicle that comes with a command seating position, has a roomy front seat and also carry lots of people and gear but can fly down the freeway when necessary, the 2018 Escalade is one of a small handful of vehicles that can fill the bill. It’s not the most elegant vehicle on the road but it is definitely an authentic American original.