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Cadillac Escalade in the first test: the soft giant with a pampering aroma

Cadillac Escalade in the first test
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G e like the new Cadillac Escalade, a BMW X5 looks like one Cash register model. Everything about this car is simply XXL. As usual with Cadillac, the new Escalade is also based on a Chevrolet sister model. In the case of the Escalade, it is, among other things, the Chevrolet Suburban, but also the company's full-size trucks such as the Chevrolet Silverado, with which it shares the construction platform known as the GMT K2XX. A giant pickup and a luxury SUV on the same frame? Quite normal for the Cadillac Escalade.

The design is accordingly. While European SUV manufacturers now mostly place their cars on filigree passenger car platforms, the Cadillac Escalade presents itself as a steel monster: a solid ladder frame, rear rigid axle and a front independent wheel suspension carved from solid, this is still off-road vehicle technology from old grit and grain. Good for the next zombie apocalypse, maybe not quite as suitable for narrow old town streets in Tuscany or nimble bends in the Maritime Alps.

Cadillac Escalade with 426-hp V8

Across the Motorization buyers of the Cadillac Escalade no longer have to worry about the new generation - there is only one machine. While the previous model was still trying to get buyers with an optional hybrid drive, the new Cadillac Escalade only comes with a 6.2 liter V8, which General Motors originally called the “EcoTec” engine. The classic naturally aspirated engine develops 426 hp and 610 Newton meters, while Cadillac puts the average consumption of the new Escalade at 13.1 liters /100 km in 2015.

The fat eight-cylinder is managed by a six-speed automatic. The chassis takes care of the right driving comfort with magnetic ride shock absorbers, which automatically adjust their characteristics to the driving situation.

The dimensions of the new Cadillac will make for a lot of spectacle in German parking garages. Even the normal version of the new Cadillac Escalade is 5,179 millimeters long, while the extended ESV version is a pleasurable 5.7 meters. The width (2.06 meters, without mirrors) and height (1.89 meters) make the parking experience complete. You don't have to be under any illusions about the weight of the new Cadillac Escalade: the standard version weighs at least 2.75 tonnes empty, the long ESV variant adds another 100 kilos. The lengthThe ESV version is officially coming to Europe for the first time with the new model.

Place like in a dance hall

Who It is bulky on the outside, but can also really boast in the interior. With up to 3,424 liters of cargo space (Cadillac Escalade ESV with the rear seats folded down) you can also move into the SUV if necessary, around one meter of free space in the second row creates a dance floor feeling. The second row of seats consists of individual seats (optionally there is also a bench), in the third row there is an electrically adjustable three-seater bench waiting for the passengers.

The new Cadillac is only available in the 'full hut' equipment version : The leather front seats are air-conditioned, the rear seats have heating, all three rows can be individually regulated using the three-zone air conditioning. The central operating screen for vehicle functions and multimedia is controlled by gestures like a tablet computer, the instrument unit in front of the driver also consists of a color screen that can be individually configured. There is also a colored head-up display, which projects important information from the navigation system, for example, onto the windshield. Even in the standard version, a complete multimedia system with a thick beat from Bose is installed, which has an entertainment system with Blu-ray player and wireless headphones in the second row. If you ask for the Escalade in Platinum equipment instead of Premium (that's the name of the “basic” version), you get even finer leather, even more video screens for the passengers and even fancier 22-inch wheels. And the electrically folding out running boards, one of the very few surcharge extras for the Cadillac Escalade Premium (see also the price list for download).

Cadillac Escalade - how it drives

The 6.2- Liter-V8 has little trouble firing the battleship violently if necessary. If the accelerator pedal is set to the stop, it goes forward with a remarkable thud. And so quickly that one can be amazed. Because it is not exactly a few cars that are being lifted out of bed. Cadillac promises 6.7 seconds for zero hundred, which does not seem very absurd after the first test drive. What happens beyond this mark, however, could not really be clarified on our first test drive - it took place in Switzerland, where a speed of 130 km /h is considered a dangerous frenzy and is punished accordingly.

Den The large engine therefore completed a large part of the first test drive somewhere in the speed catacombs and to a considerable extent with half drive: a small display in the fittings informs when four of the eight cylinders are switched off to save fuel. This process cannot be felt, nor is it audible - the noise insulation is too good for that. In fact, you listen toIf you drive gently, you just gently brush the wind around the case, while the events in the engine compartment are as good as hidden, and the rolling noises are barely perceptible. Too bad: the six-speed automatic system used is not suitable for an automatic stop-start system at the traffic light, which would look good on the whisper giant.

Terrain: No.

Despite the rigid rear axle, the new Cadillac Escalade springs and cushions luxuriously according to its price tag. The fact that the giant ship is neither a handling miracle nor a scratching curve is obvious for physical reasons; it is underlined in practice by the heavily damped steering. The Escalade is first and foremost a travel litter that bounces off the environment - once in motion it feels as if earthquakes or volcanic eruptions could only upset it slightly.

Anyone with off-road skills expected, but relies on the wrong steamer - the switchable automatic all-wheel drive should be understood as a bad weather option, even on a Central European dirt road, the fat thing will reach its limits, both because of the dimensions and the poor ground clearance that the front one Spoiler is also limited.

In view of the feudal curb weight, the loading capacity of the Cadillac Escalade is somewhat surprising: only 560 kilos can be loaded, with the long Cadillac Escalade ESV it is only 545 kilos. With up to eight passengers, it becomes extremely tight for luggage. Also rather below average for this type and size of car: as an eight-seater, a trailer for the short Escalade can weigh only three tons, for the long Cadillac Escalade ESV it is only 2.6. These are values ​​that a VW Amarok with its two-liter four-cylinder can also display. In contrast to Cadillac, however, his manufacturer does not see it primarily with a heavy luxury yacht in tow on its way to the Côte d’Azur. The future Escalade owners will still have a few arithmetic tasks to solve.

The market start for the new Cadillac Escalade in Germany is in April. Compared to the previous model, there has been a significant upward price adjustment. The luxury giant will cost at least 96,500 euros (short wheelbase, premium), the top model (long wheelbase, platinum) is in the list at 109,000 euros. Apparently no problem for Cadillac Europe: the first batch of 200 vehicles has already been sold out via blind order, and those who rush to the dealer now have to wait for the next Europe contingent. That can take a while, the Escalade is currently breaking all sales records of its predecessor models in the USA, 5,000 units in January and February alone.


The Cadillac Escalade is a symbol of how much theAmerican manufacturers have caught up with Europeans. The big thing is simply fat luxury at the highest level. For Greenpeace supporters, however, the three-ton carriage with 6.2-liter V8 is probably the Antichrist on wheels. But Escalade buyers will be able to handle that. If you compare smaller and more inconspicuous vehicles like the Range Rover or the Mercedes GL with similar equipment, the price is competitive. On the other hand, the payload and trailer load are rather strange.


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