A Goliath of an SUV whose high-tech touches work within the background to ship tranquil touring


Wonderful freeway driving expertise, area galore, beefy V8 energy, the perfect inside show tech on 4 wheels


Likes gasoline, uneven trip on rougher street surfaces, will be difficult to maneuver in some settings


In the event you’re trying to spend the large bucks on consolation, tech, and wow-factor, you will have hassle matching this machine


A plug-in hybrid powertrain would slash the gasoline invoice significantly


For ‘go massive or go residence’ varieties, the ESV Platinum is the way in which to go

The Cadillac Escalade is a little bit of a showoff. 

Earlier than you even get shut sufficient to open the door, its LED exterior lights animate to life, greeting you within the parking zone, lighting your path into the automobile, and welcoming you with a cabin whose in depth array of animated panel shows and strategically-aimed spotlights are softly glowing to usher you inside.

The door handles function with little extra effort than clicking a pc mouse — just a bit press, and so they’re freed from their latches. Energy-deployable working boards lengthen to supply a step up, whereas Escalade’s air suspension lowers the physique right down to ease the method.

Open the door, and the scent of leather-based ignites your nostrils because it wafts previous. Look in, and it’s a flowing panorama of wooden, stitching, leather-based, gloss, and metallic accents that appear to stream, intersect, and layer playfully over each other. In your preliminary assembly with an Escalade ESV, the dimensions of the cabin hits you first, adopted carefully by the sheer quantity of leather-based and wooden and carpet. Folks need machines like this to wow themselves (and their passengers) each time they use it, and that’s why the Escalade is filled with touches, massive and small, that contribute to attaining that objective earlier than you’ve even began the engine.

On board, the star of the present is the central show panel. That includes Natural LED (OLED) know-how, it’s the primary of its sort to mix infotainment and instrumentation right into a 38-inch broad blade that spans half the sprint. The graphics are completely distinctive — powered by the identical pixels because the fanciest TVs at Costco, the Escalade’s OLED sprint packs double the dot-density of a 4K tv and might reproduce absolute black with no hint of the hazy gray glow of lower-quality screens the place pixels aren’t lit up. It’s high-end residence theatre graphics, proper in your dashboard. The 36-speaker AKG Studio sound system rounds issues out as a high-tech rolling social lounge, rest chamber, or live performance corridor.

I spend a good portion of my time in every check automobile on the huge and lonely highways connecting central Ontario to areas additional north, like Sudbury, my residence. Most often, I select to make use of these lengthy hours on the wheel to unwind, hearken to music, assume, and meet up with family and friends on the cellphone. 

The proper luxurious automobile makes the entire above simpler to get pleasure from. A extremely good one makes the entire above very enjoyable, too. The Escalade is a ghostly-quiet cruiser; even at 110 km/h rolling on a set of 22-inch winter tires, the cabin was admirably hushed. Past the odd lick of tire noise from a tar strip, there’s little to hearken to, when you don’t need to. Speaking to an adjoining occupant requires no leaning over or voice-raising whosoever, and cellphone calls over Bluetooth will be dealt with at regular conversational quantity. There’s no want to show your head and shout in the direction of the microphone.

Cruising, I’m sitting upright, excessive, and alert with good sightlines out forward, and all method of camera- and radar-powered self-defence watching throughout. Which means I’m feeling assured, conscious, and in management, which makes me extra relaxed and comfy.

One button press drenches the cabin with thick, vivid sound from the mighty AKG sound system, which is evident sufficient that can assist you discover new particulars in acquainted songs. One other button press prompts Dialog Mode, an in-vehicle PA system that makes use of built-in microphones to boost passenger conversations by means of the stereo system. It’s totally automated when engaged and works to verify everybody can clearly hear each other. Bear in mind, Escalade buyers wants their machine to work as a rolling social lounge when required. 

With wi-fi Android Auto, my contacts, maps, and reminders are projected into the principle display, with no twine required. Heck, there’s even a wi-fi charging slot that securely holds the cellphone in place and it’s chilled, too. Even after two hours of wi-fi charging, your cellphone doesn’t really feel like an overdone pizza pocket contemporary out of the microwave. Intelligent little touches like these are those homeowners will come to understand on the every day. 

Some further touches work behind the scenes to push Escalade’s freeway consolation ranges to among the many highest I’ve ever encountered. Highway trip consolation is great because of the Escalade’s trick adaptive dampers that learn and reply to the street. In addition they do an amazing job of actively eliminating the inflatable-bouncy-castle trip widespread in long-wheelbase autos like these over bumps within the street.

With the suspension controlling the physique movement of the automobile over its wheels, the Escalade doesn’t bounce, it simply absorbs. The physique is extra steady on the wheels, and the occupants are extra steady of their seats, extra typically. It’s one other notch up the consolation ladder, enabled by behind-the-scenes tech that turns in a freeway trip like a hovercraft, and nearly eliminates undesirable physique motions. All of it comes collectively fantastically as you flip the stereo down, set the cruise management, watch the LED headlights fireplace up mechanically, and press on into the sundown.

These headlights, by the way in which, are mighty highly effective. In the event you’re not a fan of after-dark driving, they may simply change your thoughts. Just like the intelligent on-screen graphics, the slick little touches, and the high-tech trip high quality enhancement offered by Escalade’s suspension, its lighting system additionally works in the direction of the objective of constructing all features of the drive as nice as doable.

There are a number of gripes, most of which needs to be apparent from a look. The Escalade is massive, smooth, highly effective, and heavy. This implies you’ve sportier-driving choices for the cash, and that Escalade might show tough to park and maneuver in tighter quarters for some drivers. As properly, with 420 horsepower from a mighty 6.2-litre V8, heavier-footed drivers pays the value on the pumps. 

In all, the value tag for this decked out Escalade pushes properly previous the six-figure mark. That mentioned, it shouldn’t have any hassle leaving fortunate homeowners feeling like they’re getting their cash’s value each time they drive it.