2015 Cadillac Escalade: First Look


Competes with: Lincoln Navigator, Lexus LX 570, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
Looks like: The Escalade's status as the king of bling is secure
Drivetrain: 420-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 engine with six-speed automatic transmission; rear- or four-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Spring 2014

GM has been steadily updating its full-size pickup truck and SUV lineup over the past year, and the capstone is its 2015 Cadillac Escalade SUV, the most expensive and luxurious one of all. Offered in regular- and extended-wheelbase ESV form, the redesigned Escalade has a bold new face punctuated by distinctive headlights, a revamped interior with a focus on premium materials, more entertainment and safety technology and a new V-8 drivetrain. Hybrid and EXT pickup truck versions are no longer offered. The SUV hits dealerships in spring 2014.

Like its Chevrolet and GMC siblings, the redesigned Escalade has a more angular, chiseled shape than before. There's a clear connection to the prior SUV in its front-end design, but the look is amplified by a giant three-bar grille and LED headlights with vertical accent lighting. Lighting also plays a role in the SUV's rear styling, which features tall LED taillights with an illuminated Cadillac wreath-and-crest logo.

The Escalade has an aluminum hood and liftgate to save weight, but at 5,603 pounds in base form, it isn't exactly light. The liftgate includes hands-free operation and programmable opening heights. Naturally, 20-inch aluminum wheels are standard with 22-inch rims available.

The all-new interior is reminiscent of the one in Cadillac's XTS full-size sedan with its focus on premium materials like real wood and integrated technology. The Escalade comes standard with the Cadillac User Experience multimedia system, which consists of an 8-inch touch-screen and touch-sensitive controls. There's also a 12.3-inch screen in place of traditional analog instrumentation. A full-color head-up display that projects vehicle information at the base of the windshield is available, as is a Blu-ray-compatible rear entertainment system that has one 9-inch screen in the Escalade and two 9-inch screens in the ESV.

The front bucket seats should be more accommodating as the Escalade gains 4 inches of legroom and nearly 2 inches of extra headroom. Heated and cooling functions for the front seats are standard.

The extended-wheelbase version of the Escalade provides more headroom and legroom in the second and third rows, with third-row legroom benefiting the most as passengers gain nearly 10 inches extra. Cargo room behind the third row jumps considerably, too, from 15.3 cubic feet to 38.7 cubic feet in the ESV.

The Escalade now has a fold-flat third-row seat, which makes it easier to go from hauling people to cargo compared to the prior generation's removable third row, but maximum cargo volume for the regular Escalade (94.2 cubic feet) and ESV (120.5) is about 15 cubic feet less than before.

Under the Hood
The Escalade's 6.2-liter V-8 engine has been overhauled and now makes more power at 420 horsepower and torque at 460 pounds-feet. The engine features direct injection, variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation for improved performance and efficiency (official fuel-economy estimates haven't been released as of this writing). There are also active shutters in front of the radiator that close at highway speeds for better aerodynamics.

Rear- and four-wheel-drive models are offered, and power is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission. Maximum towing capacity is 8,200 pounds for the rear-wheel-drive regular-length Escalade and 8,000 pounds for the four-wheel-drive version.

The Escalade still uses an independent front suspension and a solid rear axle, but GM's Magnetic Ride Control adaptive damping system is now standard. Magnetic Ride Control varies suspension firmness by charging iron-particle-infused shock absorber fluid. It also includes two driver-selectable modes: Tour and Sport.

Safety Features
Though the Escalade's popularity with thieves has waned a little recently, it's still a prime target. The 2015 version has a number of technology features designed to make it harder to steal including an intrusion sensor, inclination sensor and sensors that monitor if a window has been smashed. It also has a stolen vehicle tracking feature through GM's OnStar emergency communication system.

Safety features designed to protect people inside and outside the SUV include front and rear automatic braking, which issues alerts and can autonomously apply the brakes to avoid a low-speed collision. The Escalade also offers a center-mounted side airbag between the front seats.

Additional available safety features include forward collision warning, lane departure warning, a safety alert seat that warns the driver by vibrating sections of the cushion, a blind spot warning system and rear cross-traffic alert.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban: First Look
2015 GMC Yukon Denali: More Photos
More General Motors News


rod wede

I have purchased 10 new Escalades in my life, so I obviously love them. One of my major gripes is the column shifter. This easy item made me switch to H2 hummers for several years. The comfort and feel of the floor shifter is valuable but forgotten by GM. The new pickups are incredible but still no floor shift. I am excited because on the 2015 Escalade U tube video it shows a floor shifter but I can't confirm it.

Been SO waiting to see what Cadillac does with the new Escalade. It needed a facelift and I think this hits a sweet spot with it's history and future.

I have honestly never been able to see the appeal of the Escalade. It just seems gaudy. I guess that is the point for some.


I can't wait until President Obama outlaws these abominations. The 1% need to find something more environmentally friendly to carry their ego in.


@ D-jay....you're an idiot


I have been a huge fan of the head-up display since I bought a GTP years ago and I can't wait until GM brings it to more and more vehicles, as they are doing with this new Escalade.


I have 3 kids of my own and raised my brother and sister. I love my escalade... Can't wait to see the new cherry purple color they have coming out! With the new 3rd row not having to be jerked out that's gonna save my back, when I load dogs or groceries. Excited!!!

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App