By Veeno Dewan
Cadillac recently introduced the all-new 2016 Escalade, a sophisticated luxury SUV designed to establish new benchmarks for hand-tailored craftsmanship and technology. Cadillac has simply gone all out to position its flagship SUV as the best in its class, and have succeeded. The fourth-generation Escalade is an entirely new design yet instantly recognizable. Much of the story of Cadillac’s redesigned flagship SUV is on the interior, where new levels of luxury combine with the latest technology. Looks wise, the new Escalade offers bold, square edged exterior lines, outlines by sharp razor creases and dramatic light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting in the front headlights and rear taillights. Wherever you go, the Escalade attracts a lot of attention.
The Escalade line Offered with 2WD and 4WD drivetrains, Escalade features a new 6.2L V-8 engine that is more powerful and more efficient than previous models. Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system, is now standard and delivers precisely controlled driving performance.
Among the standard features are keyless entry and push-button start; electric telescoping/tilting steering wheel; heated and cooled seats up front with heated second-row buckets; new fold-flat second and third row seats with power-folding third row and heated leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood accents and an instrument cluster has a high-resolution, reconfigurable 12.3-inch color display screen. Our tester was the ultimate edition of the regular wheelbase Escalade with the Platinum package that comprised an equipment list simply too long to list, but included such items as: CUE, Cadillac’s advanced system for connectivity and control, is standard featuring state-of-the-art voice recognition with touch controls common with the world’s most popular tablets and mobile devices. An expanded “favourites” section offers quick access to phone contacts, navigation destinations – even digital music – in the same one-touch form as traditional radio pre-sets.
A standard 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster can be reconfigured with four themes and an available head-up display projects information onto the windshield. An available Blu-Ray DVD rear entertainment system includes a nine-inch, roof-mounted screen on Escalade and two nine-inch screens on Escalade ESV. Cargo capacity: 2,668 liters behind first row seat; 1,461 behind second row and 430 behind third row. The Escalade is big, high SUV and the only options on our full load tester were the automatics power retractable side running boards with LED lighting. Escalade’s new technologies include safety features to help protect occupants before, during and after a collision, such as Front and Rear Automatic Braking, which relies on short-range radar technology and ultrasonic sensors to help the driver avoid front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.
A Driver Awareness package includes Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning System, and the patented Safety Alert Seat, which offers directional vibrations to alert the driver about potential crash threats. A Driver Assist package adds Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control, Front and Rear Automatic Braking, Automatic Collision Preparation and Automatic Safety Belt Tightening. Additionally, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Alert are standard on Luxury and Premium models. Real wood combined with premium cut-and-sewn materials and suede accents, along with ambient lighting, were designed to add elegance to the interior design. Tight tolerances of the instrument panel and door panels, precision controls and triple-sealed doors were engineered and designed to reinforce a feeling of quality.
The performance threshold for the 2016 Escalade lineup rises with an all-new, more efficient 6.2L V-8 engine rated at an SAE-certified 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 460 lb-ft of torque (623 Nm) – a nearly 5-percent increase in horsepower and 10 percent more torque. The greater torque delivers an enhanced feeling of power on demand, particularly from a standstill and at low speeds. The engine is matched with the Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission with enhanced TapShift control. Natural Resources Canada gives a ffuel consumption figures of: 15.9/11.1/13.8L/100 km city/highway/combined. The Escalade has an excellent tow rating of 3,674 kg (8,100 lb) making it ideal to tow a boat, camper or racecar trailer. The Escalade is however in its element on long highways cruises where the super comfortable interior and features come into their own.
If you are looking for the ultimate in a blingtastic luxury SUV, you can’t do better than the Cadillac Escalade Platinum.
2016 Cadillac Escalade. Base priced from: $102,620
Price as tested – Cadillac Escalade Premium – $106,590.