Cadillac's flagship 2017 Escalade Platinum is larger than life
These days when Cadillac talked about Cadillac, it liked to direct our attention to the tech-laden and lightweight flagship, the CT6 or the performance prowess of its V Series sedan.
So let's face it, when most of us think about Cadillac, we're thinking about big old Escalades, big old luxurious and efficient Escalades, and for better or worse, I just so happen to have one here.
So let's hop behind the wheel of old long, tall, and rectangular and find out how Cadillac's true flagship fares for this generation.
Now the escalade hasn't seen that downsizing and shrinking that we've seen elsewhere in the automotive industry.
No, its still a big old SUV with a big old V8 engine Under the hood.
6.2 liters' worth of V8, to be specific.
And that gets you 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.
Although, technically, sometimes it's a V4.
That's because Cadillac uses cylinder deactivation technology To shut down half of the V8 cylinders when you're doing things like cruising at 55 on the highway or decelerating.
That allows it to get better fuel economy than you might think.
Caddy says this thing will do 20 miles per gallon on the highway, which I was actually skeptical of until after my combined testing.
I ended up better around 17 miles per gallon with both city and highway.
That's right in line with the APA said this thing will do.
Good job Cadillac.
That power reaches the road via an eight speed automatic transmission and Cadillac four wheel drive system.
There are actually four different modes.
There is a two wheel drive system that only sends power to the rear wheels.
There is an on demand all wheel systems drive system with low and high gear ratios.
There aren't any fancy off road settings that I can find for things like snow or mud.
But let's be honest, you're not taking this thing rock crawling.
Now between me and those 22-inch wheels below is Cadillac's magnetic ride control system.
Now, you may recognize that technology from the automaker's V-Series of performance cars.
But here, it's not used for sporting.
It's actually a comfort tool.
What it does is it smooths out those big bumps and really quiets the ride down while not allowing this vehicle to become a sort of sloppy mess when you need to toss it around a corner or make a lane change.
[UNKNOWN] says there are two different modes for the magnetic ride control, but for the life of me, I can't find a button anywhere in here to change it.
I'm assuming that the second mode has to do with this towing button right here, probably firming up the rear suspension so that you don't get that droop when you've got a heavy [UNKNOWN] load.
And speaking of towing, the Cadillac is rated to pull between 8,100 and 8,300 pounds.
Now around the cabin, you could see that it's actually pretty well appointed.
There is not a whole lot of plastic visible and pretty much every surface is covered with some sort of leather or wood.
The exception being the flat glossy center stack.
It's kind of a sore thumb in my opinion because the capacity of buttons on it Can't really be used when you're wearing gloves in cold weather.
And when you're not wearing gloves, it's not long before this becomes a fingerprinty mess.
Add that to the fact that the buttons are kinda hard to tap when you're not looking directly at it, and it's kind of a mess.
But above it, we do have Cadillac's CUE infotainment system.
Now, we've seen this before on previous Cadillac vehicles, and I like it.
It's actually pretty easy to find your way around, it's got all of the The features that I really like to see in a modern luxury entertainment system and it's got Android auto and [UNKNOWN] standard so even if you don't like it you can bring your own tech and have something you're gonna enjoy when you're on the road.
Now one of the The big issues that I have with the Cadillac escalated, that is it doesn't really seem like the interior space lines up with how big this vehicle is at the curve side.
Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of shoulder and elbow roo Room in here, it's a wide truck.
But the leg room particularly on the third row, doesnt really seem like there's a lot more space than in something like a Mazda Cx9 or a Toyota Highlander.
Both significantly smaller and efficient vehicles.
Now I'm guessing that the Cadillac has a lot of really cool luxury features, like massage seats and power folding second and row seats that are just gonna lose a little inch here and lose a little inch there and end up with a more cramped cabin than I think this vehicle should have.
Now, a Cadillac Escalade is no inexpensive proposition.
This 2017 platinum model starts at just north of $95,000.
Of course, it's a platinum, which means that it comes pretty close to fully loaded with everything that Cadillac has to offer.
So, the only options we have are premium paint and a little bit of towing equipment, which brings our adjusted price to just north of $96,000.
Far be it for me to tell you, that's too much money to pay for a gussied up Chevrolet Tahoe.
But what I will say is that while the Cadillac Escalade with it's been 22-inch wheels does trade a little bit of that off-road capability that luxury buyers aspire to It does a pretty good job of comfortably hauling seven passengers in the lap of luxury like they actually do.