The Escalade has loomed large in the public consciousness—and in the public’s rear-view mirrors—as the high-riding, high-profile Caddy with the mostest. As the brand’s overseers view it, though, the division’s center of gravity has shifted away from the Escalade toward Cadillac’s fresh portfolio of passenger cars. Still, the Escalade is a highly profitable model, and it was number two in the luxury-SUV derby last year. With General Motors redoing its Chevrolet and GMC full-size SUVs (from which the Escalade springs), the big Caddy came along for the ride, polished and improved but definitely not reimagined.
Cadillac did consider moving the Escalade to the GMC Acadia/Buick Enclave platform of three-row crossovers, but consumer clinic participants deemed the resulting vehicle Not An Escalade. So the new Escalade hews to the same familiar formula: body-on-frame construction, suspension of front coil springs and a
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