2015 Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV
Base-price range: $72,690 – $78,290
The luxury SUV that essentially defined “Bling-Bling” gets a clean-sheet redesign for 2015. Escalade borrows much of its design from the Chevrolet
Tahoe/GMC Yukon, but it has greater differentiation from its mainstream siblings than the Lincoln Navigator does from the Ford
Expedition. The Cadillac’s sole drivetrain pairs a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 engine with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear- and all-wheel drive are available. Maximum towing capacity is 8,300 pounds. It comes in two lengths: standard and extended ESV. For the most part, Escalade shares its siblings’ positive (smooth drivetrain, quiet interior, good infotainment features) and negative (less third-row seat and cargo space than other large SUVs) attributes. It sets itself apart from the Tahoe and Yukon by offering some ultra-high-end appointments, including Nappa-brand leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped instrument panel, sueded microfiber headliner, and 18-way power front seats with massage. All this luxury comes at a cost, though, as a loaded AWD Escalade will set you back close to $100,000. For that money, Escalade is nice, but it doesn’t have the performance potential of a Porsche
Cayenne or the panache of a Land Rover Range Rover. Less costly trim levels are still plenty luxurious but won’t hit your bank account quite as hard.