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Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV

The Escalade announces to the world that you’ve made it.

HYBRID

Since its debut back in 1999, the Escalade has been a visible social marker that signifies success and affluence. The Escalade is characterized by its all-American opulence, from an oversize chrome grille and large chrome portholes and wheels to vertical LED taillights. The buyer’s first decision is which version to choose: the standard Escalade or the twenty-inch-longer ESV (think of the ESV as a Chevrolet Suburban in Cadillac clothes). Although the ESV is larger and weighs a bit more, opting for it doesn’t result in a fuel-economy penalty, at least according to the EPA scale. Both the short- and long-wheelbase models use GM’s 6.2-liter V-8, whose 403 hp is more than enough to motivate the Escalade, which can be configured to hold six, seven, or eight passengers. For those who want to burnish their eco credentials, Cadillac offers the Escalade in a Hybrid version. (But, really, what could be more incongruous than a giant SUV with a hybrid badge?) Using GM’s patented two-mode hybrid system paired with a 6.0-liter V-8, the Escalade Hybrid achieves a respectable 21 mpg in the EPA combined cycle. No matter which version you pick, the ride is plush and somewhat bouncy thanks to the Escalade’s pickup-truck platform and body-on-frame design.

COMPETITORS

Infiniti QX56

Lexus LX570

Lincoln Navigator

Mercedes-Benz GL-class

new for 2013

Cadillac’s iconic Escalade carries over from 2012 mostly untouched. Base, Hybrid, and ESV models see the addition of three new exterior colors: silver coast metallic, midnight plum metallic, and sapphire blue metallic.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are traction and stability control with rollover mitigation, Ultrasonic rear parking sensors, a backup camera, tire-pressure monitoring, and OnStar telematics with automatic crash response and emergency services and a one-year free trial. Blind-zone alert is optional.

MPG

CITY 14–20

HWY 18–23

PRO

Luxurious interior

Impressive cargo and towing capacity

CON

Busy center stack

Rough truck-based ride and handling

Base Price Range: $64,165–$86,840

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: Escalade, Luxury, Premium, Platinum, Hybrid, Hybrid Platinum

BODY STYLE: SUV, 6-, 7-, or 8-passenger

ENGINES: 6.0L V-8/electric hybrid, 332 hp, 367 lb-ft

6.2L V-8, 403 hp, 417 lb-ft (E85 capable)

TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed automatic, continuously variable

PASSENGER VOLUME: 153.0–167.0 cu ft

CAPACITIES: Towing 5600–8300 lb; cargo (behind third/middle/front seats) 16.9–45.8/60.3–90.0/108.9–137.4 cu ft

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