2015 Cadillac Escalade: I Like It. [Updated]
A good friend of mine from college always referred to Cadillac’s monster SUV as an Esssscallllaaaaaaaade (said in a drawn-out, sing-song-y way). A little obnoxious (and IMPOSSIBLE to get out of your head), I know, but that was his point. He thought the Cadillac Escalade was an overly big and obnoxious vehicle with the sole purpose of inflating egos and burning gas. In the minds of many, he wasn’t wrong.
To this day, I can’t see a Cadillac Escalade, nor can I read the word “Escalade” without hearing my friend’s voice in my head. Thankfully, that while it will forever be an Esssscallllaaaaaaaade according to my internal monologue, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade is not the overly bling-ed (or is it “blung”) show-off-mobile of old. It seems to be a thoughtfully-designed and well-conceived SUV. And, it actually looks good, too. Let’s take a gander, shall we…
The most striking feature of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade is the fact that it doesn’t just look like a re-badged GMC Yukon with an angle-y body kit. While it does share the same platform and many parts with the 2015 GMC Yukon and 2015 Chevrolet Suburban, the 2015 Escalade has its own look in both standard and extended wheelbases. From the taught and sharp body lines to the big Art & Science grille to the fairly El-Mirage Concept-like full-LED headlights to the classic tall Cadillac fin taillights (that also happen to be full-LED), the look of the 2015 Escalade is Caddy through-and-through.
The interior of the 2015 Escalade is vastly improved as well. Cadillac is calling it “one of the industry’s most authentic and luxurious cabins”. While the cabins of Escalades-past haven’t quite been fitting of a car starting in the mid-$60,000s, from the photos at least, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade’s interior doesn’t look nearly as cheesy or chintzy. It actually looks like a nice place to be. The dash (with Cadillac’s trademark Waterfall center stack) and seats seem to boast the biggest improvement.
Overall, for 2015, the interior design and finish appears to be what truly differentiates the Escalade from its cousins, the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe and the GMC Yukon. Good thing too, because there has to be something to justify the $10K or $15K price jump from Yukon Denali to Escalade.
The Cadillac CUE entertainment system, complete with eight-inch center touch-screen, and a whole slew of new safety, security and anti-theft equipment are set to satisfy the gadget-lover in all of us. The new intrusion, inclination and glass breakage sensors make sure your new gadget-filled Escalade stays right where you park it. But, if it is stolen, OnStar will help you track it down. Big brother 1: Caddy Thieves: 0.
Gizmos are all well and good. But, now onto the fun stuff. And, power is fun. Under the hood sits a series of very large numbers. Numbers like 420 horse and 460 pound-feet of torque from the 2015 Escalade’s 6.2 liter EcoTec3 V8. Yeah, 420 horse, up from 403 horse in the current model. (Though, I’m not sure why Cadillac didn’t go with their new 420 horse twin-turbo V6 from the XTS and CTS Vsport) Power is routed through a six-speed automatic transmission to either two- or four-wheel drive setups.
So, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade has a big-ole 420 horse V8 which will actually be usable in all its powerful, torque-y fullness. Thanks to a newly designed coil-over front and five-link rear suspension pulling handling duty with variable-assist electric power steering, a wider track and Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control system (with Tour and Sport settings), the new Escalade will be at home in the twisties… OK, maybe not “at home”, but perhaps slightly less a complete stranger.
In my head, it will always be an Esssscallllaaaaaaaade. But, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade is probably the best since its debut in 1998. For more details on the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, check out the press release below.
[Update: Hitting dealerships in April, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade will start at $75,695 with standard equipment like RWD, 22-inch wheels, head-up display, power second-row seats and forward collision and lane departure warnings. The top tier 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium in RWD will start at $80,195. Add $2,600 and you get all-wheel-drive.]
2015 Cadillac Escalade
- Precisely crafted interior with more technology
- Emotional design evolution complemented by quieter cabin, smoother performance and more efficient powertrain
- Higher levels of luxury, with sophisticated new technology for safety and connectivity
NEW YORK – Cadillac today introduced the all-new 2015 Escalade, a sophisticated luxury SUV designed to establish new benchmarks for hand-tailored craftsmanship and technology.
The fourth-generation Escalade is an entirely new design yet instantly recognizable. Much of the story of Cadillac’s redesigned flagship SUV is on the interior, where new levels of luxury combine with the latest technology.
“Cadillac’s growth provides the ideal stage for the all-new Escalade to take a major leap forward,” said Bob Ferguson, senior vice president, Global Cadillac. “The 2015 Escalade is completely new and elevated in design and technology, inside and out. The clear objective is to once again assume the leadership position among luxury SUVs.”
From its introduction, Escalade quickly became the standard among luxury SUVs with a formula of bold design, powerful capability and luxurious accommodations for up to eight occupants. Three succeeding generations led luxury SUV customers to confer icon status on it. The 2015 Escalade takes design and technical elements from Cadillac’s product expansion to elevate the brand’s signature SUV.
Production of the 2015 Escalade begins next spring in Arlington, Texas. The product line will consist of the standard Escalade model, as well as the extended-length ESV edition, with offers a 14-inch-longer (355 mm) wheelbase and approximately 20 inches (508 mm) more in overall length, maximizing space for third-row passengers and 60 percent more cargo space behind the third-row seat than the Escalade.
Offered with 2WD and 4WD drivetrains, Escalade features a new 6.2L V-8 engine that is more powerful and more efficient than previous models. Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system, is now standard and delivers precisely controlled driving performance.
The exterior features crisp, new and more sophisticated surfaces, accented by dramatic light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting.
The new interior features cut-and-sewn and wrapped materials, with wood trim options chosen for elegance and authenticity. Seats were engineered to be more comfortable and sculpted in appearance. The new interior is dramatically quieter, too, thanks to a stronger new body structure, new and enhanced acoustic material, and Bose Active Noise Cancellation technology.
CUE, Cadillac’s advanced system for connectivity and control, is standard featuring state-of-the-art voice recognition with touch controls common with the world’s most popular tablets and mobile devices. A standard 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster can be reconfigured with four themes and an available head-up display projects information onto the windshield. An available Blu-Ray DVD rear entertainment system includes a nine-inch, roof-mounted screen on Escalade and two nine-inch screens on Escalade ESV.
The front seating area offers more than 1.5 inches (44 mm) more headroom and more than four inches (101 mm) of additional legroom compared to previous models while the second- and third-row seats fold flat for greater cargo versatility – and a segment-first hands-free liftgate includes programmable height settings.
Escalade’s new technologies include safety features to help protect occupants before, during and after a collision, such as Front and Rear Automatic Braking, which relies on short-range radar technology and ultrasonic sensors to help the driver avoid front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.
Also new is the segment’s only Front Seat Center-Mounted air bag, which is engineered to provide additional protection to drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes, where the affected occupant is on the opposite, non-struck side of the vehicle.
A Driver Awareness package includes Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning System, and the patented Safety Alert Seat, which offers directional vibrations to alert the driver about potential crash threats. A Driver Assist package adds Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control, Front and Rear Automatic Braking, Automatic Collision Preparation and Automatic Safety Belt Tightening.
Additionally, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Alert are standard on Luxury and Premium models.
Crafted interior Craftsmanship defines the 2015 Escalade’s passenger space, designed to be one of the industry’s most authentic and luxurious cabins mixed with seamless technology integration for today’s connected luxury customers.
Real wood combined with premium cut-and-sewn materials and sueded accents, along with ambient lighting, were designed to add elegance to the interior design. Tight tolerances of the instrument panel and door panels, precision controls and triple-sealed doors were engineered and designed to reinforce a feeling of quality.
“An exceptional level of craftsmanship has gone into the redesign of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, and it all centers on the premium materials and extensive use of cut-and-sew live stitching – the way fine furniture is produced,” said Eric Clough, director of design, Cadillac Interiors. “We designed Escalade with what we call the beauty of contrast. It offers a distinctive combination of bold, truck-like character, but also the refinement of the Cadillac form vocabulary and technology.”
The seats were designed to be more comfortable and sculpted in appearance with a reclining second row. The design incorporates dual-firmness foam that ensures long-trip comfort and helps retain appearance over time.
Heated and cooled seats are standard in front and second-row bucket seats have standard heat. The available second-row bench has heated outboard seats now reclines.
Intuitive technology Technology is integral to the Escalade’s driving experience. New and enhanced features help make what already was one of the industry’s most-connected vehicles more intuitive.
For the first time, Escalade will feature CUE standard. The eight-inch center screen uses capacitive touch technology and gesture recognition, enabling tapping and swiping common to smartphones and tablets. CUE uses proximity sensors to activate common options and controls as the user’s hand approaches. An expanded “favorites” section offers quick access to phone contacts, navigation destinations – even digital music – in the same one-touch form as traditional radio presets.
The instrument cluster features a standard, reconfigurable, high-resolution 12.3-inch digital driver information center display paired with Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system. Key data also is displayed on an available, full-color head-up display. Along with vehicle systems information, the color driver information center also provides details on the audio, Bluetooth phone and navigation systems, and they can be easily adjusted via steering wheel controls.
Precise exterior The new Escalade’s exterior advances a 15-year legacy of design distinction with evolved character cues designed to add sophistication. Full LED lighting creates a bold new interpretation of Cadillac’s vertical light signature.
The headlamps incorporate the industry’s first Total Internal Reflection LED high-beam function, which consists of four vertically stacked crystal lenses and LEDs. The low beam consists of five crystal lenses and LEDs that create the light pattern. The Cadillac script is branded in the headlamp bezel. Tall, thin vertical LED taillamps reach to the top of the Escalade and feature the brand’s wreath-and-crest insignia, which illuminates in the dark. Escalade also features LED-illuminated door handles on the Premium Collection.
“The new Escalade’s surfacing is sophisticated, and the sectioning of the body exudes more emotion to forge a new presence for Cadillac’s iconic SUV,” said Bob Boniface, design director, Cadillac Exteriors. “Our designers worked with the studio sculptors closer than ever to translate a two-dimensional vision into a three-dimensional representation that captures your attention from afar, and then pulls you in with beautiful details in the lamps, door handles and wheels.”
New inlaid doors fit into the body side openings instead of over the top of the body, significantly reducing wind noise and contributing to improved aerodynamics that help the vehicles slip through the air on the highway with less wind drag. Active air shutters close in front of the condenser/radiator assembly at certain highway speeds to improve aerodynamics for greater efficiency. A lightweight aluminum hood and liftgate panels reduce overall mass.
Body panel gaps are tighter throughout. The new liftgate is designed to be sleeker in appearance integrates the rear window wiper into the spoiler.
“Moving the rear wiper to the top of the glass and packaging it within the contours of the spoiler resulted in a clean appearance and improved visibility,” said Boniface. “It is an example of the attention to detail in the new Escalade.”
Performance and driving experience The performance threshold for the 2015 Escalade lineup rises with an all-new, more efficient 6.2L V-8 engine rated at an SAE-certified 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 460 lb-ft of torque (623 Nm) – a nearly 5-percent increase in horsepower and 10 percent more torque. The greater torque delivers an enhanced feeling of power on demand, particularly from a standstill and at low speeds.
The new 6.2L features state-of-the-art technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system, designed to make the most of power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions. More precisely controlled combustion enables Escalade to run with a higher compression ratio, which delivers greater power and greater expected efficiency.
The engine is matched with the Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission with enhanced TapShift control.
Escalade’s performance is channeled to a more sophisticated chassis and suspension system, engineered for a greater feeling of solidity and a quieter, smoother ride. A fully boxed frame – composed of more than 75 percent high-strength steel – is the foundation for its ride quality. New shear-style body mounts help reduce vibrations transmitted into the vehicle.
Additional chassis and suspension highlights include:
- Coil-over-shock front suspension and five-link/coil-spring rear suspension
- Wider rear track that contributes to a more planted stance
- Standard 20-inch wheels and available 22-inch wheels
- New, electric variable-assist power steering system that enhances fuel economy and tailors steering assist to vehicle speed
- New 9.5-inch rear axle and standard automatic locking rear differential
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control, incorporating tow/haul mode, auto grade braking and hill start assist
- New four-wheel-disc brake system with Duralife™ brake rotors that offer up to double the service life, along with brake pedal revisions engineered to improve pedal feel for more confident braking performance
- Third-generation magnetic ride control is standard with Tour and Sport modes.
Magnetic Ride Control is a real-time damping system that delivers more precise body motion control by “reading” the road every millisecond. Damping can go from full force to lowest force in a few milliseconds, or within three inches of road travel. It replaces conventional mechanical-valve shocks with electronically controlled shocks filled with a magneto-rheological fluid containing minute iron particles. Under the presence of a magnetic field, the iron particles align to provide damping resistance almost instantly.
Security measures The new Escalade has been designed with greater security features to thwart theft attempts, including an intrusion sensor, inclination sensor and glass breakage sensors. Along with triggering the vehicle’s alarm systems, some of the features shut down key control systems to make it almost impossible to start or move the vehicle. The security features are supported by OnStar Stolen Vehicle Assistance, which can help police locate the vehicle.
About Cadillac Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring dramatic design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com.