“Hot on the heels of the successful Cadillac ATS and CTS sedans, Cadillac introduced its new 2015 Escalade luxury full-size SUV, claiming big improvements in quality, craftsmanship and technology. The fourth-gen Escalade is a new design but Cadillac says it will be instantly recognizable.
“Cadillac’s growth provides the ideal stage for the all-new Escalade to take a major leap forward,” said Bob Ferguson, senior vice president, global Cadillac. “The 2015 Escalade is completely new and elevated in design and technology, inside and out. The clear objective is to once again assume the leadership position among luxury SUVs.”
The Escalade line will again have short- and long-wheelbase versions. The ESV model is about 20 inches longer than the standard model and has a 14-inch longer wheelbase. Two- and four-wheel drive will be offered and Magnetic Ride Control is now standard across the board and includes Tour and Sport modes. Cadillac says in efforts to make the Escalade even quieter on the road, the new truck’s box frame is 75 percent high-strength steel.
The big story is inside, where Cadillac says it has made huge efforts in improving materials, fit and finish. Instrument panel and door panel tolerances have been tightened up. The redone interior has ambient lighting as well as cut-and-sewn materials with various wood trim choices. Cadillac says the seats were engineered to be more comfortable and look more sculpted. Big efforts were made to make the new interior dramatically quieter as well, thanks to a stronger new body structure, new acoustic material (and more of it), and Bose Active Noise Cancellation technology.
“An exceptional level of craftsmanship has gone into the redesign of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, and it all centers on the premium materials and extensive use of cut-and-sew live stitching — the way fine furniture is produced,” said Eric Clough, director of design, Cadillac Interiors.
CUE, Cadillac’s system for connectivity and control, is standard, featuring voice recognition with touch controls meant to be common with tablets and mobile devices. The “favorites” section has been expanded, offering quick access to phone contacts, nav destinations and digital music in the same one-touch form as traditional radio presets.
A standard 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster can be reconfigured with four themes. Head-up display is optional. Also optional is a Blu-Ray DVD rear entertainment system with a 9-inch roof-mounted screen on the standard model Escalade and two 9-inch screens on the ESV.
Up front there’s 1.5 inches more headroom and more than 4 inches of additional legroom compared to previous models. The second- and third-row seats now fold flat for more cargo versatility. The hands-free liftgate has programmable height settings.
New tech goodies include front- and rear-automatic braking — radar technology and ultrasonic sensors are meant to help the driver avoid front and rear low-speed collisions with a progression of alerts extending to a full stop if necessary. Also new is the front seat center-mounted air bag; Cadillac calls it the first in the segment, and the idea is to provide more protection for drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes, where the affected occupant is on the opposite, non-struck side of the vehicle. A Driver Awareness package includes forward-collision alert, lane departure warning, and safety alert seat, offering directional vibrations to alert the driver about potential crashes. The Driver Assist package adds adaptive cruise control, front and rear automatic braking and automatic safety belt tightening. Side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert and lane change alert are standard on Luxury and Premium models.
As for the new Escalade’s shape, Cadillac exterior design director Bob Boniface says the goal was a more sophisticated, emotional Escalade. The new exterior has LED lighting meant to create a new interpretation of Cadillac’s vertical light signature. The headlamps incorporate what Cadillac says is the industry’s first Total Internal Reflection LED high-beam function, consisting of vertically stacked crystal lenses and LEDs. Low beam has five crystal lenses and LEDs creating the light pattern. Tall, thin vertical LED tail lamps reach to the roof. Premium models have LED-illuminated door handles.
Other exterior changes include doors that fit into the body side openings instead of over the top of the body, meant to cut wind noise and help aero. Active air shutters close in front of the condenser/radiator assembly at certain highway speeds, further helping aerodynamics. The hood and liftgate are aluminum. Body panel gaps have been tightened. The new liftgate is designed to look sleeker, and now integrates the rear window wiper into the spoiler.
Boniface says moving the rear wiper to the top of the glass and packaging it in the spoiler gives it cleaner look and better visibility.
The 6.2-liter V8 is new and now direct injected, producing 420 hp (up 5 percent) and 460 lb-ft of torque (up 10 percent). The engine has cylinder deactivation, and the six-speed automatic has tap-shift control.
The trucks will be built in Arlington, Texas and go on sale next spring. Prices haven’t been announced, but we’d be surprised if they rose too much. We’re thinking the new truck will start at about $64,000 and run up to around $87,000 for a loaded ESV.”
To schedule an appointment or be the first to be driving the 2015 Escalade in Boise, call (888) 472-1862