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2015 Cadillac Escalade


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The all-new 2015 Cadillac Escalade has arrived! Official images followed a posh event in New York last night, debuting the production version of the new Cadillac flagship.

After becoming quite familiar with the updates to the similar 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon Denali , it is clear that all three of these machines are vastly improved in almost every way. As the Cadillac of the line, the Escalade naturally brings the best 420-horsepower, V-8 engine and third-gen magnetic shocks as standard.

The Caddy’s exterior is defined by some striking LED lighting front and back. Luxury details abound inside the cabin, including special leathers and better seats than its cheaper siblings. Offered as a gurgling rear-drive or refined all-wheel-drive setup in regular or ESV sizes, the new Escalade is faster, smoother and more efficient than ever before.

The Escalade is still the king of the road in many places, and the new grille is certainly enough to grab some flash bulbs. This big truck looks great versus the previous three generations of Cadillac full-size SUVs. With pricing and dimensions that put most other SUVs in "time out," the Escalade is tipped for pricing between $65,000 and $95,000 when it arrives in early Spring 2014.

Update 11/8/2013: The 2015 Cadillac Escalade is making tis auto show debut at the 2013 Miami International Auto Show today. We will bring you any new information that comes from this debut as soon as we hear it. Stay tuned!

Updated 01/20/2014: A leaked image of the 2015 Escalade reveals that the new SUV will arrive at dealerships this spring at a price of $71,695 - which represents a price increase of $3,725 over the previous year. (GM Inside News)

Updated 02/11/2014: Cadillac revealed a new video in which it highlights the SUV’s new headlamps that combine the precision and execution of advanced technology with elegance and beauty of fine artistry.

Click past the jump for all the official launch details from Cadillac on the exciting new 2015 Escalade.

Exterior

Cadillac Escalade

The exterior of the Escalade is defined by the same glitterati strategy used to redecorate the previous Tahoe-based models. A huge, new grille features a chrome exterior edge lining the lower part of the hood and the bumper corners.

Inside the grille, yet more chrome appears in three flowing wings of horizontal stakes. The gigantic Wreath and Crest logo appears without the latest Elmiraj badge and other cues, indicating this big boy was approved well before this latest brand strategy re-think.

Lined in more chrome, the grille emblem is also a clear face for the active safety tech on this generation of SUVs.

To the side of the massive grille, which only comes in chrome as of yet, and not a more subtle stainless or matte finish, are twin stacks of LED lights.

There are five sections of the LED headlamps:

  • LED daytime running light blades, lower bumpers
  • LED daytime running light blades, outer headlights
  • LED indicator blade and side light, outer headlights
  • LED low beam crystal lenses, middle headlight stack
  • LED high beam crystal lenses, inner headlight stack

The lights look good, and promise to be more affordable than the previous Escalade option of LED lights on the top-range Platinum trim. Interesting fact, the Escalade Platinum was the first-ever car to offer LED lighting for low and high beams.

So, the LED tradition continues with a new look that more closely matches the latest CTS. It is overall slightly underwhelming from up front though.

In profile, the big Caddy is defined by the same graceful and Audi-esque shoulder crease and hugely refined shapes for all the doors. Flush fitting and now triple sealed, the Escalade also brings power-operated running boards. These flop down quickly, making it less likely to trip over them when exiting the car. This is no fun, and causes head splat against pavement in the Navigator, with its slow power running boards.Finishing off the side view are standard 20-inch rims or with optional 22s.

In back, yet more underwhelming features are barely more interesting than the Suburban and Yukon . A new LED tube design shoots up the D-pillars before making a point just below the roof. While perhaps interesting on the road at night, these are pretty blatant recreations of the Volvo 850 wagon from two decades ago.

The central brake light is now just a small line at the top of the tailgate, in a pinkish red that does not match the red of the other LEDs.

Pretty disappointing how few new ideas are present in the Escalade versus the Chevy and GMC models.

LED Headlights Detail

Cadillac Escalade

LED Brake Lights Detail

Cadillac Escalade

2015 Cadillac Escalade - Key Exterior Updates

  • New inlaid doors fit into the body side openings instead of over the top of the body, significantly reducing wind noise and contributing to improved aerodynamics
  • Laminated windshield and front door glass to enhance quietness
  • Lightweight aluminum hood and liftgate panels enhance efficiency through reduced overall mass
  • A standard rear spoiler on the liftgate houses a relocated rear window wiper that is hidden when not in use
  • New worm screw-style liftgate arms take up less interior space than the previous gooseneck arms
  • A stronger frame and a wider rear track that contributes to a more planted stance
  • LTZ models include third-generation magnetic ride control, a real-time damping system that delivers more precise body motion control by “reading” the road every millisecond and changing damping in just five milliseconds.
  • Eighteen-inch standard wheels that are a half-inch wider, reducing tire flex for improved cornering performance. Twenty- and 22-inch wheels are available.
  • New, electric variable-assist power steering system enhances fuel economy and tailors steering assist to vehicle speed.
  • New four-wheel-disc brake system with Duralife™ brake rotors that offer up to double the service life, along with brake pedal revisions that improve pedal feel for stronger-feeling, more-confident braking performance.

Interior

Cadillac Escalade

The Escalade is most altered inside versus the GMC and Chevy SUVs. A standard 12.3-inch display panel forms the main gauges with configurable settings, and the largest and newest CUE system steps in for Chevrolet’s MyLink.

Cue is not well liked, with touch-sensitive buttons that register temp changes by a finger sliding across. Electrostatic switches are cool, but take a few tries to master versus simple knobs.

The interior is now much more comfortable and versatile for the hauling and family-transport duties that full-size SUVs are known for. An extra four inches of front legroom is welcome, as are the newly redesigned seats with far better support and adjustment that ever before.

An extra 1.5 inches of headroom up front was barely needed but is welcome for the extra visibility it offers. This is slightly less headroom than the Chevy `Burban and Yukon , which do not have the same moonroof as standard.

Connectivity takes a huge leap forward, as does smoothness and quietness on the road. The flush-mounting doors lessen wind noise dramatically versus the old doors whose edges continued into the roof.

Active safety tech is also front and center on the Escalade (as well as its siblings) via an optional Driver Assistance package.

The biggest news is regarding the back seats. This third row is now a power-operated folding design that creates a completely flat load floor.

Folding Seats Detail

Cadillac Escalade

2015 Cadillac Escalade - Cargo Area Comparison Detail

GMC Yukon Denali

Note: these images show the previous 2013 Yukon Denali versus the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban , but all share the latest folding seats and revised power tailgate.

The second row, which previously folded but did not create a flat load floor, is also greatly improved with another flip forward function so make room to jump in the way back seat.

Total cargo hauling room is slightly less than last year, but the two numbers cannot be compared because of the previous seat removal requirement.

2015 Cadillac Escalade - Key Interior Updates

  • Fold-flat second- and third-row seats that enhance cargo convenience – including an available power-folding feature
  • Approximately two inches greater legroom for second-row passengers, along with easier entry/exit
  • Up to six USB ports and six power outlets – including a 110-volt three-prong outlet – to support electronic devices of all kinds (up to 12 charging locations)
  • Available rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens (Suburban only) and Blu-ray DVD player
  • Conversation mirror in the overhead console that provides a panoramic view of the rear seats
  • Keyless entry and push-button start

Powertrain, Suspension and Brakes

Cadillac Escalade

The Escalade gets the top-ranked 6.2-liter, V-8 engine as standard in rear-drive configuration. This engine now has direct injection and crates more NVH and insulation materials to keep it much quieter than ever before under acceleration.

The new Escalade is set to be one of the quietest and most refined cars ever made by General Motors, with a highway decibel rating far lower than the Chevy and even the GMC models.

Optional 4x4 setups ensure the Cadillac will always be one of the most capable machines on the road in deep snow, rain or ice.

2015 Cadillac Escalade - Mechanical Details

Engine 6.2-liter EcoTec3 16-valve V-8 With DI, OHV And VVT
Fuel Gasoline
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic
Powertrain Layout Font-engine, Rear-drive (4x4 Opt)
Power (Horsepower) 420
Torque (Torque) 455
0-60 mph (Seconds) 6.8, est
Top Speed (MPH) 130, est
EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined) 16/22/18, est

Safety

Cadillac Escalade

A new central airbag lives between the front seats, promising less contact between driver and passenger heads in certain crashes. Note: the photo above shows the Chevy Traverse - which also has this feature.

The 2015 trucks have totally redesigned stability, traction and ABS for better confidence on the roads. They also bring Brake Assist and brake force distribution as standard to all models.

The laundry list of active safety innovations is quite impressive, and they will most likely be offered together as part of a $2,000 Driver Assistance Package.

As much as active safety tech is irritating in most cars, the large dimensions of the Escalade are easier to manage with some technology helping out.

2015 Cadillac Escalade - Safety Features

  • Forward collision alert
  • Front park assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane change assist
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Front and rear automatic braking
  • Safety Alert Seat
  • Standard head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for both seating rows.
  • Standard seat-mounted side-impact air bags for driver and right-front passenger provide thorax and pelvic protection.
  • StabiliTrak electronic stability control system helps reduce the risk of rollover crashes by keeping the vehicle in the driver’s intended path by applying throttle, braking or a combination of both.
  • Available Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist that can detect certain stationary objects in the rearward path of the vehicle and send an audible warning sound.
  • Rearview camera system
  • Side blind zone alert is standard
  • Standard four-wheel-disc brake system with ABS featuring smooth, quiet operation, longer pad life and more resistance to brake pulsation.
  • Pretensioners minimize forward movement during a collision, and are standard on the front safety belts. Load-limiting retractors cinch the belt more tightly.
  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat attachment system, which is included in all second-row seating positions.
  • Tire pressure monitoring system, standard on all models.
  • Standard remote keyless entry (RKE) system provides a second function for the red panic button. Drivers can it to locate their cars without sounding the panic alarm.
  • Strong body structure to absorb crash energy and provide a protective “safety cage” around occupants.

Pricing

Cadillac Escalade

Pricing is not yet available from Chevy, but is expected to start at about $65,000 before options. Top Escalade ESV specifications are expected to reach $95,000.

2015 Chevy, GMC and Cadillac SUV - Styling Comparison

Cadillac Escalade

Competition

Lexus LX 570

Lexus LX 570

We’re still waiting for information on the 2014 Lexus LX 570, but we’re nearly 100-percent certain that it will simply carry over from the 2013 model year. Under its hood is a 5.7-liter, V-8 powerplant that produces 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque.

The LX 570 is plenty posh and roomy on the inside, with up to 83.1 cubic feet of room and 158.9 cubic feet of total interior room.

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

Mercedes GL-Class

The 2014 GL-Class comes in four flavors, making it far more versatile than the current Escalade, and we can only hope that Cadillac ups the ante to add more driveline options for 2015. The GL-Class starts with the GL350 BlueTEC with its 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine that produces 240 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. Then it moves up to the GL450 4MATIC, which comes with a 4.7-liter, V-8 engine that produces 362 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The GL550 4MATIC comes with a 4.7-liter, V-8 that produces 429 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Lastly, there is the GL63 AMG with a 5.5-liter, V-8 powerplant that produces 550 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque.

Granted, the upper levels of the GL-Class are far more expensive than the Escalade, but this just goes to show that the aging Caddy has plenty of room to grow.

Chevrolet Suburban

Chevrolet Suburban

The Sub is very similar to the GMC Yukon XL in every way. In fact, before the Yukon XL name hit the GMC lineup, GMC called its biggest SUV the Suburban also.

The choice for the Sub versus Yukon XL in this generation looks tougher than ever, thanks to a classier nose up front than the Suburban’s grin and far better LED headlight accents than the simple slash of the Chevy models.

Ultimately, most people will just buy whichever one has the closest dealership.

GMC Yukon Denali XL

GMC Yukon Denali

The Denali XL is also expect to move up a price bracket for 2015, from about $57,000 up to a base of around $59,000. While the Yukon and Suburban both come well-equipped as standard with the eight-inch touchscreen, they make the vast majority of all the other features optional by package or trim level. This can make buying one a bit more tedious than the Denali, which comes in only two flavors: loaded or ridiculously loaded.

Generally, the Denali XL will be around $5,000 less than a similarly-equipped Escalade.

Conclusion

Cadillac Escalade

A new Escalade is almost always met by a flurry of orders for people impatient with the old-fashioned features and driving of the previous trucks.

Something about the roll-up to the Escalade reveal seemed to indicate that the Escalade would really move the brand forward in both tech and style. Forward toward Range Rovers, but also past the current shared setups with the Yukon Denali.

Sadly, that does not seem to be the case. Much as Cadillac is deservedly proud of its new interior craftsmanship, it usually takes more than some glued-on leatherette for the dashboard to sway luxury buyers.

Even so, the Escalade is really in a class of one. Nothing else offers this type of performance, interior seating and hauling room, and all-weather towing abilities.

LOVE IT
  • Much quieter and smoother cabin
  • Power-folding third row is a huge improvement on removing old seat manually
  • Interior leathers look a but better than before, but not much better than Denali
LEAVE IT
  • Not even a new paint color versus the Suburban press renderings?
  • Cue system is not intuitive and electrostatic switches are not easy to use precisely (like a knob...)
  • Not quite the Elmiraj we were hoping would be Cadillac’s next flagship

Press Release

Cadillac Escalade

CRAFTSMANSHIP DEFINES ALL-NEW 2015 CADILLAC ESCALADE

Cadillac Escalade
  • Precisely crafted interior with more technology
  • Emotional design evolution complemented by quieter cabin, smoother performance and more efficient powertrain
  • Higher levels of luxury, with sophisticated new technology for safety and connectivity

NEW YORK – Cadillac today introduced the all-new 2015 Escalade, a sophisticated luxury SUV designed to establish new benchmarks for hand-tailored craftsmanship and technology.

The fourth-generation Escalade is an entirely new design yet instantly recognizable. Much of the story of Cadillac’s redesigned flagship SUV is on the interior, where new levels of luxury combine with the latest technology.

“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.”

From its introduction, Escalade quickly became the standard among luxury SUVs with a formula of bold design, powerful capability and luxurious accommodations for up to eight occupants. Three succeeding generations led luxury SUV customers to confer icon status on it. The 2015 Escalade takes design and technical elements from Cadillac’s product expansion to elevate the brand’s signature SUV.

Production of the 2015 Escalade begins next spring in Arlington, Texas. The product line will consist of the standard Escalade model, as well as the extended-length ESV edition, with offers a 14-inch-longer (355 mm) wheelbase and approximately 20 inches (508 mm) more in overall length, maximizing space for third-row passengers and 60 percent more cargo space behind the third-row seat than the Escalade.

Offered with 2WD and 4WD drivetrains, Escalade features a new 6.2L V-8 engine that is more powerful and more efficient than previous models. Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system, is now standard and delivers precisely controlled driving performance.

The exterior features crisp, new and more sophisticated surfaces, accented by dramatic light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting.

The new interior features cut-and-sewn and wrapped materials, with wood trim options chosen for elegance and authenticity. Seats were engineered to be more comfortable and sculpted in appearance. The new interior is dramatically quieter, too, thanks to a stronger new body structure, new and enhanced acoustic material, and Bose Active Noise Cancellation technology.

Cadillac Escalade

CUE, Cadillac’s advanced system for connectivity and control, is standard featuring state-of-the-art voice recognition with touch controls common with the world’s most popular tablets and mobile devices. A standard 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster can be reconfigured with four themes and an available head-up display projects information onto the windshield. An available Blu-Ray DVD rear entertainment system includes a nine-inch, roof-mounted screen on Escalade and two nine-inch screens on Escalade ESV.

The front seating area offers more than 1.5 inches (44 mm) more headroom and more than four inches (101 mm) of additional legroom compared to previous models while the second- and third-row seats fold flat for greater cargo versatility – and a segment-first hands-free liftgate includes programmable height settings.

Escalade’s new technologies include safety features to help protect occupants before, during and after a collision, such as Front and Rear Automatic Braking, which relies on short-range radar technology and ultrasonic sensors to help the driver avoid front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.

Also new is the segment’s only Front Seat Center-Mounted air bag, which is engineered to provide additional protection to drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes, where the affected occupant is on the opposite, non-struck side of the vehicle.

Cadillac Escalade

A Driver Awareness package includes Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning System, and the patented Safety Alert Seat, which offers directional vibrations to alert the driver about potential crash threats. A Driver Assist package adds Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control, Front and Rear Automatic Braking, Automatic Collision Preparation and Automatic Safety Belt Tightening.

Additionally, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Alert are standard on Luxury and Premium models.

Crafted interior

Cadillac Escalade

Craftsmanship defines the 2015 Escalade’s passenger space, designed to be one of the industry’s most authentic and luxurious cabins mixed with seamless technology integration for today’s connected luxury customers.

Real wood combined with premium cut-and-sewn materials and sueded accents, along with ambient lighting, were designed to add elegance to the interior design. Tight tolerances of the instrument panel and door panels, precision controls and triple-sealed doors were engineered and designed to reinforce a feeling of quality.

“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. “We designed Escalade with what we call the beauty of contrast. It offers a distinctive combination of bold, truck-like character, but also the refinement of the Cadillac form vocabulary and technology.”

The seats were designed to be more comfortable and sculpted in appearance with a reclining second row. The design incorporates dual-firmness foam that ensures long-trip comfort and helps retain appearance over time.

Heated and cooled seats are standard in front and second-row bucket seats have standard heat. The available second-row bench has heated outboard seats now reclines.

Intuitive technology

Cadillac Escalade

Technology is integral to the Escalade’s driving experience. New and enhanced features help make what already was one of the industry’s most-connected vehicles more intuitive.

For the first time, Escalade will feature CUE standard. The eight-inch center screen uses capacitive touch technology and gesture recognition, enabling tapping and swiping common to smartphones and tablets. CUE uses proximity sensors to activate common options and controls as the user’s hand approaches. An expanded “favorites” section offers quick access to phone contacts, navigation destinations – even digital music – in the same one-touch form as traditional radio presets.

The instrument cluster features a standard, reconfigurable, high-resolution 12.3-inch digital driver information center display paired with Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system. Key data also is displayed on an available, full-color head-up display. Along with vehicle systems information, the color driver information center also provides details on the audio, Bluetooth phone and navigation systems, and they can be easily adjusted via steering wheel controls.

Precise exterior

Cadillac Escalade

The new Escalade’s exterior advances a 15-year legacy of design distinction with evolved character cues designed to add sophistication. Full LED lighting creates a bold new interpretation of Cadillac’s vertical light signature.

The headlamps incorporate the industry’s first Total Internal Reflection LED high-beam function, which consists of four vertically stacked crystal lenses and LEDs. The low beam consists of five crystal lenses and LEDs that create the light pattern. The Cadillac script is branded in the headlamp bezel. Tall, thin vertical LED taillamps reach to the top of the Escalade and feature the brand’s wreath-and-crest insignia, which illuminates in the dark. Escalade also features LED-illuminated door handles on the Premium Collection.

“The new Escalade’s surfacing is sophisticated, and the sectioning of the body exudes more emotion to forge a new presence for Cadillac’s iconic SUV,” said Bob Boniface, design director, Cadillac Exteriors. “Our designers worked with the studio sculptors closer than ever to translate a two-dimensional vision into a three-dimensional representation that captures your attention from afar, and then pulls you in with beautiful details in the lamps, door handles and wheels.”

New inlaid doors fit into the body side openings instead of over the top of the body, significantly reducing wind noise and contributing to improved aerodynamics that help the vehicles slip through the air on the highway with less wind drag. Active air shutters close in front of the condenser/radiator assembly at certain highway speeds to improve aerodynamics for greater efficiency. A lightweight aluminum hood and liftgate panels reduce overall mass.

Body panel gaps are tighter throughout. The new liftgate is designed to be sleeker in appearance integrates the rear window wiper into the spoiler.

“Moving the rear wiper to the top of the glass and packaging it within the contours of the spoiler resulted in a clean appearance and improved visibility,” said Boniface. “It is an example of the attention to detail in the new Escalade.”

Performance and driving experience

Cadillac Escalade

The performance threshold for the 2015 Escalade lineup rises with an all-new, more efficient 6.2L V-8 engine rated at an SAE-certified 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 460 lb-ft of torque (623 Nm) – a nearly 5-percent increase in horsepower and 10 percent more torque. The greater torque delivers an enhanced feeling of power on demand, particularly from a standstill and at low speeds.

The new 6.2L features state-of-the-art technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system, designed to make the most of power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions. More precisely controlled combustion enables Escalade to run with a higher compression ratio, which delivers greater power and greater expected efficiency.

The engine is matched with the Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission with enhanced TapShift control.

Escalade’s performance is channeled to a more sophisticated chassis and suspension system, engineered for a greater feeling of solidity and a quieter, smoother ride. A fully boxed frame – composed of more than 75 percent high-strength steel – is the foundation for its ride quality. New shear-style body mounts help reduce vibrations transmitted into the vehicle.

Additional chassis and suspension highlights include:

  • Coil-over-shock front suspension and five-link/coil-spring rear suspension
  • Wider rear track that contributes to a more planted stance
  • Standard 20-inch wheels and available 22-inch wheels
  • New, electric variable-assist power steering system that enhances fuel economy and tailors steering assist to vehicle speed
  • New 9.5-inch rear axle and standard automatic locking rear differential
  • StabiliTrak electronic stability control, incorporating tow/haul mode, auto grade braking and hill start assist
  • New four-wheel-disc brake system with Duralife™ brake rotors that offer up to double the service life, along with brake pedal revisions engineered to improve pedal feel for more confident braking performance
  • Third-generation magnetic ride control is standard with Tour and Sport modes.

Magnetic Ride Control is a real-time damping system that delivers more precise body motion control by “reading” the road every millisecond. Damping can go from full force to lowest force in a few milliseconds, or within three inches of road travel. It replaces conventional mechanical-valve shocks with electronically controlled shocks filled with a magneto-rheological fluid containing minute iron particles. Under the presence of a magnetic field, the iron particles align to provide damping resistance almost instantly.

Security measures

Cadillac Escalade

The new Escalade has been designed with greater security features to thwart theft attempts, including an intrusion sensor, inclination sensor and glass breakage sensors. Along with triggering the vehicle’s alarm systems, some of the features shut down key control systems to make it almost impossible to start or move the vehicle. The security features are supported by OnStar Stolen Vehicle Assistance, which can help police locate the vehicle.

About Cadillac

Cadillac Escalade

Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring dramatic design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com. Cadillac’s media website with information, images and video can be found at media.cadillac.com.



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