The Escalade is the all-purpose family vehicle that’s loaded with elegance.
With its signature good looks and premium features, it’s easy to see the Cadillac Escalade as a vehicle for a night on the town, one that gets you where you want to go in confident comfort and luxury. It’s easy to forget that, at its heart, the Escalade is an all-purpose family vehicle that can haul gear, people, and a trailer. So I decided to put the Escalade through its paces as a family hauler—a test it passed with ease.
Our first adventure was a weekend camping trip. No problems here: We pulled a 1.800 kg trailer like it was a child’s wagon—the Escalade’s 3.000 kg towing capacity1 hardly challenged by the extra weight as we launched (thanks to the numerically high first-gear ratio) and readily negotiated lane changes and some tight turns. The vehicle’s magnetic ride suspension automatically adjusted for the tongue weight, making sure that handling stayed steady and the ride smooth despite the load. Aligning the hitch was child’s play thanks to the rear view camera display.
We found the Escalade’s spacious 2668 litres of cargo capacity2 able to accommodate everything. The second row of seats quickly folded and tumbled out of the way, while the third row powered down flat in seconds. The adaptable cargo space came in handy when we had to take members of our youth baseball team and their equipment bags to a game. The split-folding third row allowed ample space for the gear while preserving seats in the second and third rows for players. Even the weekend trip to the grocery store went smoothly. We powered the third-row seatbacks upright to create a right-sized cargo space for a few grocery bags and milk jugs.
Anyone with kids knows you do a lot of chauffeuring, but with the Escalade, you don’t mind. On suburban roads, the 6.2L V8 engine remained quietly muted, but its massive 426 horsepower and 621 Nm of torque were apparent in the ease with which the Escalade accelerated to freeway speed from an entrance ramp and responded quickly when we needed to overtake another vehicle in a short passing lane.
Even on winding stretches of highway, the Escalade carves corners with the aplomb and body control typical of a smaller, lighter vehicle. That’s because the chassis is stiffened with high-strength steel and improved body mounts. The Magnetic Ride Control instantly reacted and smoothed any rough patches. And the available All-Wheel Drive system and stability control combined to provide road-gripping security, keeping the big SUV on course with little need for steering correction.
Cadillac is offering Adaptive Cruise Control as part of its Driver Assist Package. We found the Escalade’s adaptive cruise highly capable of maintaining the driver-selected following distance from vehicles ahead over a wide variety of highway speeds. The best feature, however, is the system’s ability to actively brake to a full stop when traffic ahead slows and comes to a halt, restarting when traffic proceeds with a simple flick of the “Resume” switch or tapping the accelerator.
Pulling out of a mall parking lot to a busy roadway, our model’s Driver Awareness Package afforded visual cues as well as Safety Alert Seat cushion pulses to alert of lane departure and potential forward collisions. We especially came to rely on the seat cushion’s reminders, and the 360-degree camera views, to assist in tight parking spots.
No matter where we ventured in the Escalade, we experienced over-the-road comfort and quietness. Instead of noisy intrusions, drivers and passengers are treated to the robust 16-speaker Bose Centerpoint® audio system. Independent web browsing is also available via the built-in OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi® hotspot3. For business or pleasure, the Cadillac Escalade offers all the capability and functionality you demand from a full-sized SUV, with the style and panache you expect from a premium vehicle.
1 Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.
2 Maximum cargo capacity with folded second and third row seating.
3 Requires a compatible mobile device, active OnStar service and data plan. 4G LTE service available in selected markets.