A rocket-powered luxury family hauler

The Cadillac Escalade has been the luxury automaker’s best-selling vehicle for the past two years and shows no signs of slowing down in its fifth generation, introduced in 2020 for the 2021 model year. The Escalade was designed to compete against the large SUVs from Lincoln and other luxury competitors, although it took some convincing from the brass, since Cadillac only made luxury sedans in the 1990s. It finally broke that rule.

For 2021, the Escalade’s exterior statement has been updated with updated vertical lighting elements, but with a horizontal headlight to reinforce a wide stance. The vertical taillights continue, but with 3D layers and new etching. 22-inch wheels are standard on the seven- or eight-passenger SUV.

The Escalade now offers a sports fairing with new grid structures in black. Luxury and Premium Luxury models have a light finish, while top Platinum models come with their own unique interior and exterior details.

The biggest news for the new generation was the Escalade’s industry-first curved OLED display, with a display area of ​​38 inches and twice the pixel density of a 4K TV. The system includes a 7.2-inch driver information center with touch panel on the driver’s left, a 14.2-inch cluster display behind the steering wheel and a 16-diagonal infotainment screen, 9 inches. Cadillac says the brightness of OLED technology eliminates the need for the usual “hood” that encases the screen.

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2023 Cadillac Escalade V

It’s easy to pick an Escalade V from the crowd, as Cadillac has heavily customized the exterior of the new model. It comes with unique front and rear fascias, quad exhaust outlets as opposed to dual on the standard model, and beefy six-piston Brembo brakes along with custom 22-inch wheels. Customers will also be able to hear it coming. In the loudest mode, it wakes up the neighbors on startup. It also adds V-Series badging to the driver and passenger doors, tailgate and throughout the interior.

In addition to the 38-inch screen, the Escalade V packs a ton of tech inside with a newly available augmented reality navigation that uses live street views with directional overlays to guide the owner. Surround vision is standard with four cameras helping with parking. It also has a rear view camera that helps when cargo or people are blocking the rear view mirror inside the vehicle. Night Vision is also offered to detect animals and pedestrians near the road in the dark.

The trailering integration pack has up to nine camera views to make hitching easier. The package includes trailer brake control and a trailer app that displays trailer profiles, tire pressure and temperature monitoring, and an advanced side blind zone alert. Super Cruise, the company’s hands-free upward facing driving, is available and now working on more than 400,000 miles of roads in North America.

The new rear-seat entertainment features a pair of 12.6-inch screens that can stream YouTube and YouTube Kids, Netflix and the rest through headphones so the rest of the passengers don’t have to hear a thing. With HDMI inputs and a standard connector, passengers can also play video games or watch DVDs.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V
A front row view of the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V.
General Motors

The cabin is comfortable with leather-trimmed, heated, cooled, and massaging seats, and the space feels huge in any situation. The seats are adjustable for rider width and lower leg support, making long rides easier, especially when super cruising. Speaking of which, the system continues to improve and starts from a traffic light were particularly smooth and timed.

There’s plenty of storage space in the doors and center console, and the view from the captain’s chair is superb, looking down at most of the drivers on the road. The third row was never filled, and when folded down, the Escalade offers 73 cubic feet of cargo space.

The OLED screens are superb, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard. The available 36-speaker AKG Studio Reference audio system makes the interior sound like a concert hall, even when the driver is just playing podcasts.

The rear seat entertainment is one of those things a family wouldn’t want to resort to, better off on a road trip with games and conversation, but it will come in handy when the kids start getting restless. YouTube is literally a never-ending source of entertainment.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V
The company estimates a zero-to-60 time of under 4.4 seconds.
General Motors

For the 2023 model year, Cadillac added the sporty V moniker to its largest vehicle. The standard 420 horsepower (PS) 6.2-liter V8 is topped by a supercharged 2.65-liter, boosting the output to a staggering 682 horsepower and 653 pound-feet of torque. All that thrust is sent to all four wheels via a ten-speed automatic transmission.

Magnetic Ride Control and Air Ride Adaptive Suspension are standard and tuned specifically for the V-Series Escalade. There are selectable V-modes with rider-adjustable settings. The biggest changes are the active exhaust and the slightly firmer suspension. As expected, even in the sportiest mode, the cabin is still plush and comfortable, but the exhaust pops and backfires are a telltale indication that this vehicle is fast.

As far as thrust goes, the 2023 Cadillac Escalade V is ridiculously quick at stop lights or when overtaking on the freeway. Throttle sensitivity gets particularly quick in Sport mode and there are very few cars that can hit from point to point. The ten-speed transmission can shift multiple gears at the same time and always provides more than enough power when it is requested.

The brakes are adjustable, which doesn’t always inspire confidence, but these are excellent. In Sport mode, they stay stiff at the top of brake pedal travel, easily slowing even this 6,200-pound behemoth to a standstill except when it’s on ice. Since the Escalade can not hide its weight and requires tact.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V
The Escalade-V comes standard with 22-inch aluminum wheels.
General Motors

The Escalade V 2023 is equipped with automatic emergency braking, parking sensors, active lane control and a surround view camera system. Blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control and automatic park assist are optional.

The Cadillac Escalade V’s main competitor ($80,090) is the Lincoln Navigator ($77,635), along with the three-row Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class ($81,800), Infiniti QX80 ($72,700) and some others. As for speed, the Escalade V ($149,195) dominates these competitors, even in their faster forms. The Mercedes-AMG GLS63 retails for $133,095. It’s also cheaper than super-luxe SUVs like the Bentley Bentayga ($160,000), although it’s much faster and has more presence on the road.

The Cadillac Escalade’s biggest problem is its cousin, the Chevrolet Suburban, which is excellent and now has Super Cruise too, along with a few off-road trims for those who want to go further than the pavement will allow. It’s a steal at $56,900.

Topped off, it costs about $75,000 before options and features everything Cadillac has except the Prestige badge. However, there is no Suburban V and no continuous 38-inch screen. Still, those who need a seven passenger should start at the Chevy dealer and then move on to Cadillac.

https://www.newsweek.com/2023-cadillac-escalade-v-review-rocket-powered-luxury-family-hauler-1788514 A rocket-powered luxury family hauler

Rick Schindler

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