By far the biggest leap forward for the new Cadillac Escalade, the interior is now fit for a full-size luxury SUV boasting soft-touch materials as far as the eye can see. Cut and sewn leather and real wood give off a more refined feel – something missing from the Escalade as of late. All models can be had with a 2nd-row bench seat allowing seating for eight passengers in lieu of a pair of bucket seats and seating for seven. Third-row legroom is tight in standard models, but the extended-length 2015 Cadillac ESV model rectifies that while also offering considerably more cargo space behind the rear-most seats.
Without stating the obvious redesigned front and rear ends, the 2015 Escalade benefits from the addition of full-LED headlights and taillights. There are four crystals in the headlights that act as the high beams, giving off radiant light. The taillights also employ LEDs, making it easier to follow the Escalade when weather conditions are less than ideal. The option to load cargo through the rear window is still available as it opens up separately from tailgate itself. While originally installed for aerodynamic purposes, the spoiler also hides the rear windshield wiper blade. ESV models add even more length, coming in at a total of 224.3 inches compared to the 203.9 inches of the standard model.
Notable Standard Equipment
You can't miss the chrome grille, but you might not see the active-aero shutters behind it. Then there's the heated, power-adjustable seats, 20-inch chrome-plated aluminum wheels, and hands-free power liftgate. A remote starter, tri-zone climate control, and a reconfigurable instrument cluster further the Escalade's appeal.
Notable Optional Equipment
Lane Departure Warning, adaptive cruise control, side blind-zone alert, cross-traffic alert, and 22-inch machine finished wheels are all available on the 2015 Cadillac Escalade. For buyers seeking the most indulgence, the new range-topping Platinum line comes with Nappa semi-aniline leather, sueded microfiber headliner and climate-controlled 18-way front seats complete with massaging functionality for the driver's side.
Under the Hood
You have once choice when it comes to motivating the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, and that's the 6.2-liter V8 engine rated at 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. For those keeping track, both power numbers are up over the model it's replacing from 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque, respectively. Initial versions of the 2015 Escalade used a 6-speed automatic transmission. Those built later in the model year were updated with a new 8-speed. Even with the new transmission, this engine gets parched quickly, and the EPA's ratings of 15/22 mpg for the rear-wheel-drive (RWD) model and 15/21 mpg for the 4-wheel drive (4WD) variant reflect that. While premium gasoline is recommended, the Escalade's engine doesn't require it, so you can save a few cents at the pump.
420 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
460 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg (RWD, 6-speed), 14/21 mpg (4WD, 6-speed), 15/21 mpg (ESV RWD, 6-speed), 14/20 mpg (ESV 4WD, 6-speed), 15/22 mpg (RWD, 8-speed), 15/21 mpg (4WD, 8-speed), 15/22 mpg (ESV RWD, 8-speed), 14/20 mpg (ESV 4WD, 8-speed)
There are four trim levels for the 2015 Escalade: Standard (starting at about $74,000 including a $995 destination charge), Luxury ($78,000), Premium ($82,500), and the new, top-line Platinum (starting just over $90,000). Long-wheelbase Escalade ESV models go for $3,000 more than their regular-wheelbase counterparts, and adding 4-wheel drive to any model is an extra $2,600. With every option box checked, the 2015 Cadillac can reach into the high-$90,000 range. The starting price for the 2015 Escalade puts it ahead of competitors like the Lincoln Navigator, Infiniti QX80, and even the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. If the Escalade is a little rich for your taste, there's always the Audi Q7 or the Infiniti QX60, both of which offer seating for seven and a starting price below $50,000. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Escalades. We expect the Escalade to have better resale value than the Lincoln Navigator but to trail that of the Lexus LX.
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