- Long-wheel base version of the Escalade; Completely redesigned for 2015
- New V-8 engine that offers more horsepower and torque
- New interior with better materials and more technology
The 2015 Cadillac Escalade ESV has been completely redesigned for the 2015 model year and the large SUV returns with a brand new look on the outside, a new feel on the inside, and more power under the hood.
GM redesigned its entire lineup of large SUVs this year, which also includes the Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and the GMC Yukon. The Escalade’s redesign touched every part of the car, starting with the exterior. The high, nearly vertical sides of previous models return but up front major changes have taken place which bring the Escalade more in-line with other Cadillac models.
The vertical LED headlights and foglights from the ATS and new CTS are here, just in larger form; a giant version of Cadillac’s grille replete with a large version of the logo sits squarely in the middle and is the visual centerpiece. In the rear, thin LED taillights run up the sides of the liftgate. There are also a few subtle changes to save weight and increase fuel economy, including an aluminum hood and liftgate, and active grille shutters that close at highway speed for better aerodynamics. 20-inch alloy wheels are standard, with even larger 22-inch wheels optional.
Under the hood is a brand-new V-8 that has the same displacement as last year’s engine but offers more power and better fuel economy. It is a 420-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 that makes 460 pounds-feet of torque and features technology like direct injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation that makes it more efficient. A six-speed automatic is standard, along with rear-wheel drive (four-wheel drive is optional). Working hard to keep things comfortable is Magnetic Ride Control, which actively adjusts the damping at each wheel to maintain a smooth ride, even over uneven surfaces.
Fuel economy has improved, but still isn’t great which is expected from a vehicle of this size that tips the scales at 5,500+ pounds: 15/21 mpg city/highway with RWD, 14/21 mpg with 4WD.
Inside, the new interior features updated and upgraded technology features and jump up in materials quality with more real wood. The third-row has also been redesigned; instead of removable seats which are a hassle to take out and store, the new seats now fold-flat which makes it easy to open up extra space for cargo, or for passengers – whatever you’re hauling. The Escalade ESV’s longer wheelbase also offers almost 10 extra inches of legroom for third-row passengers and expands cargo capacity behind the third-row from 15.3 to 38.7 cubic feet.
Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system is standard with an eight-inch touch-screen. Behind the wheel, there are no more analog gauges; it’s now a fully customizable 12.3-inch display. On the technology front, active noise cancellation, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, navigation, and five USB ports for charging various devices all come standard. Also standard are various comfort features like tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated/cooled front seats, heated second row seats, remote start, and power-adjustable pedals.
Standard safety features include seven airbags, a year of OnStar, four-wheel disc antilock brakes, and electronic stability control with rollover mitigation. Thankfully, a backup camera is also standard which helps when maneuvering the large Escalade in small spaces. The Escalade has long been a target of car thieves and Cadillac has added a slew of features to combat this, including an intrusion sensor and stolen vehicle tracking through OnStar. Also available is a long list of safety technology, including front and rear automatic braking, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, blind-spot warnings, and rear-cross traffic alerts.