2015 Cadillac Escalade First Look

2015 Cadillac Escalade

Cadillac has revealed the fourth generation of its iconic Escalade SUV, based on the new Chevy Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon/Yukon XL (which themselves are derived from the all-new Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra pickups). Cadillac is again fielding a two-model lineup: the Tahoe-sized Escalade and the Suburban-length Escalade ESV. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade is undiminished in size and weight; instead, Cadillac focused its attention on the vehicle's feature content and its perceived quality.

Size Matters
Like the Chevy Tahoe/Suburban, the Escalades' wheelbases are unchanged at 116 inches (Escalade) and 130 inches (Escalade ESV). Other dimensions have crept up a bit. Overall length increases by 1.4 inches for both versions, and width has grown similarly. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade stands just over an inch lower. The front track is half an inch wider, and the rear track is wider by 1.7 inches. Nor has the 2015 Escalade lost any weight; instead, it has put on a few pounds -- between 70 lbs and 127 lbs (depending on model). The 4-wheel-drive ESV now tops three tons.

Unfortunately, most interior dimensions have not increased. Front-seat legroom is one notable exception, greater by 4 inches, but second-row legroom is essentially unchanged, while legroom in the third-row seat has actually declined slightly. Cargo space has also shrunk, for both the 2015 Cadillac Escalade and the ESV, whether you're measuring behind the third seat, behind the second seat, or with all seats folded.

A New 6.2
Motivating the 2015 Cadillac Escalade is a new version of the 6.2-liter V-8. Although it has the same displacement as the previous engine, the new, direct-injected unit boasts more power and torque. Horsepower increases from 403 hp to 420 hp; torque is up even more, from 417 lb-ft to 460. (This engine appears also in the new GMC Yukon Denali, where it makes slightly less torque; other Yukons and the Chevrolet SUVs get a smaller, 5.3-liter.) As before, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade pairs its engine with a six-speed automatic, and a choice of rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive. The new chassis again uses a live rear axle but Magnetic Ride Control is now standard on all trim levels. Steering switches from hydraulic to electric power assist. The standard wheels increase in size from 18- to 20 inches but fear not: 22-inch wheels are again available.

Tech Download
Given the age of the previous model, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade had a lot of catching up to do in terms of driver-assistance features. This new version promises to be up-to-the-minute in that arena. The previous blind spot warning system is joined by rear cross-traffic alert. Adaptive cruise control with front and rear automatic braking is newly available. Lane departure warning is added, and uses Cadillac's vibrating seat cushion to alert the driver. A third, center-mounted front air bag (first seen in the Buick Enclave) helps keep front-seat occupants in place in a side-impact collision.

Enter CUE
Another area that received considerable attention was the Escalade's interior. CUE, of course, is standard, and the instrument cluster is now a virtual (and reconfigurable) display on a TFT screen. A head-up display is newly available. Once again, second-row buckets are standard while a three-seat bench is available. The third-row seat is standard in both models, and all rear seats now fold flat. New dash and seat designs make more extensive use of cut-and-sewn leather, and are more in line with the styling themes set out by Cadillac's new sedans.

Then and Now
The original Escalade arrived in 1998, a rushed response to the Lincoln Navigator. It had only the most minimal, superficial differences from the Chevy Tahoe (even fewer compared to the GMC Yukon Denali). But no matter; a Cadillac SUV was an idea whose time had come. The second generation followed shortly thereafter, adding the ESV and, later, the pickup version, the EXT, based on the Chevy Avalanche. Sales swept past Lincoln, as the Escalade quickly became a cultural touchstone, and the brand's defining vehicle. A hybrid version arrived with the third generation, but the juxtaposition of a hybrid drivetrain and a huge SUV was too strange to succeed, and didn't. It was dropped after 2012, and the odd-duck EXT departed in 2013.

Escalade sales peaked in 2006 and took a tumble with the 2009 recession. This year, however, they've perked up a bit. An Escalade is obviously a vehicle that does better in times of economic optimism, and the nascent recovery appears to again be creating a fertile environment for luxury SUVs. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade hits dealerships this spring, and its debut might just be the surest sign yet that General Motors is putting the economic turmoil of the past few years behind it.

Christian Schmidt
Not Bland, but super ghettoreffic from General Moneypits sh!tbox chevy Ghettollac.
nknorka
The only justification for buying an Escalade is to show the world you have the money to buy it.
Daniel Qian
Glorious
Joe Schrump
Junk
Richie Rivera Cuevas Reyes
Hate it......
Leo Matthias
Ar Gha ......let's go American..
Marcelino Novaes
Cara! Muito legal!
Lee Klein
Why is the grill so big?
John David Fuller
This is the last of big luxury from America! Unless Lincoln steps up and makes a new navigator, this is it! I love it!
Bobby Lee
something is not gelling here. Great interior though.
Christian Schmidt
Another sh!tbox gangsta rap Ghettollac SUV from General Moneypit waiting to trickle down to the thug low riders. Will be found soon in your local hood.
Mooh Silver
wow*
Lance Dmello
wicked
Benjamin Leighton Jr
Over the top.
Roton M Hossain
Cadillac yah!
Junaid Qureshi
Looks okay.
Kittie Katt
Love the headlights... wished the grille was more refined.
Manuel Mendoza
More plastuc,for this money u shud get an all chrome bumper front & back
Manuel Mendoza
Ughhhh Simon Mendoza Adam Mendoza Looks like a jeweled up Ford Flex
KJ Newman
it looks the same, just with a little modern styling
Noah Feldman
It looks more grown up and sophisticated. Love it!!!! ;)
Biyi Ogunewu
Bland......give it a rest....nothing to bother Range rover or Mercedes.
Gillian Machidi
Lets see it inside. I think its abt how it looks inside
Frank Samara
It looks good from the front and has an awesome interior. But the rest of it looks like the first-generation CRX (I think that is what it was called)...and that's not a good thing.
David Midgley
Looks like it wants to be a Lincoln! LOL!
Julio Vasquez
I love it.
Angus MacKenzie
Zzzzzzzz... smells like pretension and botox
Ryan J Servatius
Origami
Darryl White
Very nice... but still no independent rear suspension, which should be mandatory in this class of SUV.
Paysiak Balaikayangdua
model nisan extrail.. tapi ne lebih elegant..
Chris Hughson
2 box is 2 box. What do we expect in a truck.
Nick Stürtz
It looks ok... Fits in with current Caddy theme.
Les Brown
Very nice looking
Craig Jackson
Fits in with the rest of the Caddy lineup.... Stealth bomber look
Erick Ople
Oh you mean another rebadged Suburban? Cadillac- take a CUE on your other models where they are not mistaken for another GM car
Jim Bur
Still a garishly ugly overstatement of over-compensation. I've seen smaller cow-catchers on vintage trains.
Woo Hoo
Doesn't look right w/o some blinged out spinners! ;)
Marcos Ayala Quiñones
The front is ok, but the back is ugly.
Kailash Chand
I like it but i chang afficiancy and quiet model.
Ora Robinson
Sweet!!!!
Paul Graziano
What new styling? It still looks like the bloated behemoth it always has been.
Engr Gregory Ewere Ekpu
Lovely
James Smith
its amazing
Akhil S Panmana
awesome
Jordan Evans
New escalades means the repo men will be busy for a while.
jadedviking
Looks awesome!

buyer's guide

Find vehicle reviews, photos, & pricing

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price

subscribe

new cars

Read Related Articles

TO TOP