The Cadillac Escalade is a luxury, full-size sport utility vehicle that is available in both the Chevy Suburban-based ESV model and the Avalanche-based EXT sport utility truck model. The Escalade has a 6.2 L Vortec V8, a front pushrod engine and rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. While both models are inefficient in terms of gas mileage, they make up for it in luxury, versatility, and power.
The US News #2 ranked large luxury SUV is not known for fuel economy. Even the hybrid model guzzles about 21 highway miles to the gallon. The ESV and EXT gas engines get about 18 highway mpg. However, reviewers love that the extra horsepower that the Escalade boasts over its counterpart, the GMC Denali. The Escalade also excels in acceleration and handling. The vehicle's road sensing suspension helps to absorb shock from ruts and bumps. The EXT model seats five people comfortably, while the ESV can seat up to eight. The ESV and EXT both lack in terms of towing capacity. The vehicle is built in Arlington, Texas.
The Escalade has gone through a lot of changes since it first debuted in 1998. The 1998 model was a five-seat 5.3 L V8 SUV that very closely resembled the Denali. The second generation model came out in 2002. The ESV model began seating eight, and the Vortec 6.0L V8 engine was introduced as an option. The styling was much more on the luxury side. In 2003, the manufacturer added power adjustable pedals and upgraded the stability control system to a four wheel version. The 2007 version introduced the modern Escalade, with a standard navigation system, heated and cooled seats, a rearview camera, rear distance sensors, and premium audio.
The exterior of the Escalade is well designed. The sleek, rich look of the Escalade is one of the most attractive things about the vehicle. Exterior options include factory installed 22 inch chrome wheels. The EXT version has all the hauling capacity of a pickup. The convertible midgate allows the rear seat to be converted into an extension of the cargo bed, turning the 5 foot, 4 inch cargo bed into an over 8 foot long cargo bed. The watertight, lockable tonneau cover ensures protection of cargo. Options for the interior of the ESV model include a rear seat entertainment system with a ceiling-mounted 8-inch screen. MP3 capability now comes standard.
The Escalade does very well in government crash tests. All 2009 Escalade models received five-star side impact ratings. The Escalade's style and decadence make it one of the most desirable vehicles on the road. The vehicle's style coupled with power, safety, and luxury make the Cadillac Escalade one of the best options for those who seek luxury and utility in one vehicle.
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