The Escalade announces to the world that you’ve made it.
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.
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.
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.
Impressive cargo and towing capacity
Busy center stack
Rough truck-based ride and handling
Base Price Range: $64,165–$86,840
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