Cadillac's new 6.2L V-8 makes 403 hp and will leave many a Lincoln Navigator owner quaking and wondering what in the hell just passed them and looked so good doing it. Simply put, this engine and six-speed automatic transmission are perfectly mated to this platform. Too bad that engine isn't an option in lesser Tahoe and Yukon models, because that would be the vehicle and engine base of my choice. Standard equipment on the new Escalade includes HID lighting, something I think all vehicles should come with despite the increased price; it's worth it for nighttime driving. All-wheel drive and StabiliTrak stability control make driving with the 22s that much more enjoyable. Drowning out the exterior noise is a standard 5.1 Bose surround sound system.
All in all, my week in the Escalade was enjoyable, with minor quibbles that could have easily been remedied with more time, much of which would have been spent at the dealership having the non-functioning items fixed. The Escalade is supposed to achieve 13 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. Those numbers fall in line with my combination of city and highway miles, since I averaged roughly 15 mpg over nearly 1,000 miles of driving. So if $66K were in your budget for a new fullsize SUV, I would highly recommend the Escalade. It is light-years ahead of its predecessor and really a very nice, comfortable, and fun-to-drive vehicle. Good luck, Cadillac. - Words and Photos by Steve Warner.
Price (as tested) $65,235 without destinationEngine 6.2L V-8Horsepower 403@5,700 rpm SAETorque (lb-ft) 417@4,300 rpm SAETransmission Six-speed automatic, AWDAxle Ratio 3.42Suspension Independent coilover with stabilizer bar, Road Sensing Suspension real-time adjustable shocks (f); five-link with coil springs and stabilizer bar (r)Brakes 13-inch rotors (f), 13.5-inch rotors (r), four-wheel ABS, traction control, stability control, rollover mitigationWheelbase 116 inTurning (curb-to-curb) 39.04 ftHeight 74.3 inWidth 79 inCurb Weight 5,665 lbsMax Trailer Weight 7,700 lbsPayload 1,435 lbsInterior Cargo 108.9 cu ft (behind 1st row, 2nd row folded, no 3rd row); 60.3 cu ft (behind 2ndrow, no 3rd row); 16.9 cu ft (behind 3rd row)Seating 2/2/3MPG 13/19 EPA