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2015 Cadillac Escalade

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/9/2014 Christian Seabaugh

Vehicle Overview

Like its Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon/XL siblings, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade is all-new this year. The 2015 Escalade gets sharp new sheetmetal that makes it fit in with the latest evolution of Cadillac's Art and Science design language, while still standing out from the crowd. Inside, the Escalade is all-new, featuring high-quality materials including leather and real metal trim, and Cadillac's latest infotainment system, dubbed CUE. Like the Tahoe and Yukon, the Escalade comes in two lengths: the big Escalade, and the bigger Suburban-sized Escalade ESV.

Under the hood of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade sits a 6.2-liter V-8 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and either rear-wheel drive or a permanent all-wheel-drive system. You'd be forgiven for thinking that the Escalade's powertrain is carried over, as the old Escalade also sported identical specs. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade gets a new ECOTec 6.2-liter V-8 from the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Yukon, producing 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. The Escalade isn't exactly what you'd call efficient: The standard-length Escalade is EPA-rated at an estimated 15/21/17 mpg city/highway/combined with rear-wheel drive, and 14/21/16 mpg with all-wheel drive. The longer Escalade ESV is rated 15/21/17 mpg with rear-drive, and 14/20/16 mpg with all-wheel drive.

Though we've yet to drive the new Escalade, we've spent a fair amount of time in the almost-as-luxurious (and identical powertrain-wise) Yukon Denali. We've found the new series of GM full-size SUVs to be worlds better than their predecessors, with sharp steering and nice materials. The SUVs did feel a bit pokey, though -- the transmissions were slow to downshift and the rides were trucklike.

UPDATE: The NHTSA gave the 2015 Cadillac Escalade a five-star side crash and a three-star rollover safety rating (out of a possible five stars).

New for 2015

The Cadillac Escalade and stretched Cadillac Escalade ESV are both all-new for the 2015 model year. Cadillac previously offered an Escalade EXT pickup truck, but it was discontinued with the launch of the new model.

You'll Like

  • The Escalade looks just as iconic as ever
  • It drives as if it's actually from this century
  • Legitimately high-quality interior
  • Massive cargo space

You Won't Like

  • Still drives like a truck
  • A dinosaur
  • Slower and less efficient than its competitors
  • Not actually capable of off-roading

Key Competitors

  • Audi Q7
  • GMC Yukon Denali
  • Infiniti QX80
  • Lexus LX
  • Lincoln Navigator
  • Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

Sum Up

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