Bigger than a suburb, driven by those that “work in pharmaceuticals”, as subtle as painting the Queen Mary II in day-glo orange, Cadillac’s Escalade is a block of flats on wheels that we don’t get here.
The current model seats up to eight, is powered by a 313kW/623Nm 6.2-litre V8 and gets a 10-speed auto.
The base model comes in at US$76K and it’s 2WD. Magnetic ride control is standard. Powered third row seating is standard. Smartphone wireless charging is standard . . . you get the idea. A 4WD system is available and takes the base model to US$79K.
There are four trim levels with Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum available over the entry level. The Luxury ups the stake to US$81,590 (4WD $86,490) and receives a driver awareness package, rear camera mirror, Intellibeam auto high beam switching, and 22-inch diameter wheels.
The rear lights are a pair of striking vertical strips that mirror the surprisingly subtle headlights. It’s the grille, a chromed affair with a grin bigger than an unemployed single mum that’s just won Lotto, that blurs what level of taste there might have been into oblivion. Premium Luxury burns the wallet for US$86K or $88,990 for all-paw drive. A rear seat DVD entertainment system is added and powered retractable steps are listed as an option. Order the supreme pizza with extra cheese, soft drink, garlic bread and delivery, and suddenly it’s a US$95K ($98K 4WD) lightening of the bank account. Auto rear load levelling, external transmission cooler, a 3.23 final drive diff, and emergency braking are standard, but the base model dips out on the braking system. Wheelbase is not unexpectedly big at a lick under 3000mm, with a 5181mm total length. What that means is 1143mm front legroom, 990mm second row legroom, and 635mm final row leg room. The entry level Escalade gets slightly more standard head room because it does not get a panoramic glass roof. The fuel tank is slightly less than Sydney Harbour in capacity. It needs to be as the Escalade has a thirst that shames a dock worker on a Friday arvo. City cycle, its normal environment, comes in at 20L/100km. Decide to deliver your “pharmaceuticals” to a country destination and that drops to a more reasonable 12.5L/100km, from the 117L reservoir. From a dry weight machine of 2.5 tonnes to a GVM of 3200kg, mind you. There’s no doubt that the Cadillac Escalade would find homes here in Australia, but at what cost to the sanity of neighbours? Cadillac Escalade is a suburb on rubber we don’t get.