The new 2019 Cadillac Escalade does not disappoint. The full-size SUV continues the tradition of luxury in an eight-passenger, tow capable, country club ready behemoth. Escalade offers a long list of standard and optional features designed to make driving more comfortable, safer, and easier. While the Escalade still shares the same frame platform and powerplant as its less auspicious cousins, the Tahoe and Suburban, it is set apart by luxury and technology not found in the plain jane relatives.
Escalade is offered in four trim levels and two body lengths. The Base model comes very well equipped with technology such as automatic parallel and perpendicular parking, remote start, automatic wipers, adaptive suspension, OnStar with a 4GLTE hotspot, Cue infotainment with navigation and a surround view camera system. Luxury includes heat and cooled adjustable power seats, power adjustable steering column and foot pedals, 3-zone climate control, 16 speaker Bose stereo, and power folding third-row seating.
The Luxury trim adds a moon roof, 22-inch wheels, rear view mirror camera, and a Driver Awareness Package that includes blind spot monitors, lane keeping, rear cross traffic and collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
The Premium Luxury adds still more to the driver’s comfort and vehicle safety with adaptive cruise control, rear seat entertainment, and both forward and reverse emergency braking.
The Platinum trim carries comfort another step with upgraded leather, improved seats with a massage function and a total of 4 rear seat screens to keep passengers entertained.
All trims are available with automatic four-wheel drive.
The full list of Escalade options and features is available on the website
Our road test lasted a week and included a good combination of highway and low-speed driving. The large and heavy Escalade made smooth sailing of most roadways and proved a pleasure to drive on the highway. The large wheels with low profile tires did contribute some harshness on sharp bumps, but generally, the magnetic ride control dampened the outside world.
Handling was a weak point for the Cadillac Escalade with little steering feedback and uncertainty in cornering. There is some body roll, but it feels exaggerated by the lack of seat bolsters that allow the driver to slip slightly on harder moves. No matter what you see on TV, the Escalade is not a high-speed action car.
The strengths of the Escalade lie in the technology and comfort it offers. To help drivers cope with the long and wide vehicle Cadillac includes a bird’s eye view camera system, forward and aft parking sensors, cross traffic alerts on both ends of the SUV and semi-automatic parking for parallel and perpendicular spots. A color heads up display places all the critical information in front of your eyes.
A very nice feature is the camera rear view mirror. Instead of a reflected image that can be blocked by passengers or cargo and that offers a limited viewing angle Escalade use a second camera in the rear hatch to put an image in the mirror glass.
Entertainment is handled by the Cadillac CUE system that depends almost entirely on capacitive touch controls. For those who like button and knobs, the Escalade will disappoint. A Bose 16 speaker sound system provides excellent audio, and a 9-inch Blu-ray rear seat entertainment console complete with wireless headphones keeps the back seat passengers entertained.
Wide doors make it easy for up to 8 passengers to enjoy the ride in leather seating. The front seat offers 16-way adjustable seats with heat and cooling. The 3-zone climate control keeps everyone comfortable. The back seats fold down with the push of a button to open up as much as 120 cubic feet of storage area.
The 6.2 Liter powerplant produces 420 horsepower and 460 pounds of torque, making the Escalade capable of towing 8300 pounds. Automatic 4-wheel drive help to handle difficult terrain and weather.
The Cadillac brand has long been considered the American standard for luxury and that tradition continues in the Cadillac Escalade. The full-size SUV brings premium level comfort, cutting edge technology, and lifesaving driver aids to the luxury conscious buyer.