2017 Cadillac Escalade Review: Beauty and brawn

– Cleveland, Ohio

The Cadillac Escalade is a book that doesn’t mind being judged by its cover – it’s got a great cover, after all. But there’s so much more to the Escalade than its facade. It’s a rolling showroom of the best luxury features you can buy. It’s also got overalls on underneath that three-piece suit and won’t be out-towed by your buddy’s half-ton pickup. And lastly, it’s a bonafide limousine, offering indulgent accommodations for up to seven one-percenters (or eight in the longer ESV version). It’s obvious why so many rookie athletes, reality TV stars, and corporate honchos love the Escalade: it makes you look important and never lets you down.

 

 

Pros

Magic magnets. The Escalade uses parent company General Motors’ Magnetic Ride Control suspension, which adjusts the shock absorbers’ damping up to 1,000 times per second to keep the ride smooth and even at all times. It works wonderfully; the Escalade feels neither tippy in turns nor floaty in a straight line, yet the ride is remarkably compliant for a truck-based SUV that rolls on tall 22-inch wheels. MRC is also a better handling solution for big vehicles like this than the complex air suspension system Mercedes uses on the GLS or the new hydraulic system on the Infiniti QX80, the reliability of which is still unknown.

Quiet confines. It’s eerie how tranquil the cabin is while the Escalade is barreling down the highway at 75 miles per hour; there’s only a whisper of wind noise and the road sounds more like berber...