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Thursday, Aug 25, 2016
Autos

Caddy Escalade will pamper you, occupants

Agreed, the Cadillac Escalade is an upscale version of the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon. But for folks who like to be pampered, the full-size luxury SUV should fit their needs. Available as a standard or extended wheelbase (Escalade Stretch Vehicle), the SUV gets a 6.2-liter V-8 engine pumping out a massive 403 horsepower at 5700 rpm and 417 pounds-feet of torque at 4300 rpm. Mated to a slick-shifting six-speed auto transmission, the body-on-frame Escalade is offered in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive versions. GM's Active Fuel Management system deactivates half of its cylinders to conserve gas while cruising or at slower speeds. The best you can get is a lowly 14 mpg city and 18 mpg highway, per EPA. Our test-drive ESV was equipped with the Magnetic Ride Control, which adjusts the four-wheel independent suspension to road conditions while keeping body roll minimal. And if you need to haul a sailboat or another car, tow capacity is an astonishing 8,000 pounds. The Caddy truly shines in the cabin department with such comforts as tri-zone auto climate control, flip-down DVD screens for second- and third-row seats, 14-way power heated/cooled front seats, and inviting olive ash/walnut burl wood and leather on the instrument panel/dash. Ingress and egress into the high-sitting vehicle is convenient, thanks to power retractable running boards.
Of course, indulgence comes at a hefty price. Starting at $63,170 for the base RWD, the Escalade can go up to $85,095 for the ESV AWD Platinum model. Don't be misled into believing that the nearly 6,000-pound vehicle lacks power. In fact, the gas pedal unleashes strong acceleration to make this a graceful, smooth and easy-riding companion. Now, all you need is an inflated bank balance to indulge yourself and the family. ESCALADE ESV Tires: P285/45R22 Wheelbase: 130 inches Length: 222.9 inches Steering: power rack and pinion Web site: www.cadillac.com