The 2014 Escalade is the final edition of the current generation full-size, truck-based SUV offered by Cadillac, prior to the arrival of an all-new from the ground up version soon to be available as a 2015 model. In a time where many SUVs are being downsized in the name of fuel economy, luxury manufacturers continue to explore other ways to meet their green needs, while still giving affluent customers what they want. Available in standard, ESV, Hybrid, and EXT body styles, Cadillac is offering its fair share of choices.
This time around, AutoAcademics was briefly given the keys to a 2014 Silver Coast Metallic Cadillac Escalade Luxury. Cadillac throws in everything but the kitchen sink, as Magnetic Ride Control suspension, adaptive remote start, power sunroof, blind zone alert, heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, rearview camera, and 22” 7-spoke aluminum wheels come standard on this base model. M.S.R.P. for our luxury tester was $67,970 with top-level all-wheel drive Platinum versions starting at $83,070.
And since we mentioned it, there’s plenty of room to haul that kitchen sink. A remote opening window resides in the power rear liftgate, providing access to a total of 108.9 cu.-ft. of cargo room when the 3rd row seating is removed.
Numerous features aside, the Escalade’s interior has definitely run its course, showing its age when compared to the rest of Cadillac’s youthful lineup. On a positive note, perforated leather seating surfaces and real brushed aluminum plating with burled wood below, surround the 8” diagonal touch-screen and provide a nice contrast on the dash. And an analog clock and wood trim on the heated steering wheel round out the luxury bullet points.
Power is provided by a 6.2L flex-fuel V8 engine that produces 403-hp, 417 lb-ft. of torque. Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, this combination enables our 2WD Escalade to tow 8300 lbs.
EPA Estimated Fuel Economy is rated at 14 mpg city/18 mpg highway, with a combined rating of 16. Mileage is drastically lower when running on E85, achieving only 10 mpg city/15 mpg highway, with a combined rating of 12 mpg.
Standard is Bose audio with navigation, consisting of a 10-speaker 5.1 surround sound system with integrated phone controls. Introduction of Cadillac’s CUE interface has been postponed until the 2015 model.
Tri-zone automatic climate control with dials for driver and front passenger adjustment reside just below. And individual buttons for heated and cooled front seats are present, as well.
As with many full-sized vehicles today, the 2014 Cadillac Escalade has electric pedal adjustment. And the oversized, leather and wood adorned center armrest with dual compartments ensures that everything has a place when not in use.
Luxurious amenities are not exclusive to those up front. Leather-lined, reclining Captain’s chairs with fold-down arm rests and heated seat cushions are standard appointments for the second row. And plenty of head, shoulder, and legroom are as expected in a vehicle this size. What isn’t typically expected is the minimal space in the 3rd row.
Separate rear passenger controls for the radio and other audio sources ensure that second row captains remain in control of their domain. And adjustments for temperature are just a few button pushes away. Footwell-located cupholders, might prove to be a risk, but thankfully 2nd row passengers each have another, with 2 more in the 3rd row.
While our driving time in the 2014 Cadillac Escalade was brief, it wasn’t our first time around the block in this vehicle. Acceleration is brisk for an SUV weighing over 5500 lbs., and the Magnetic Ride Control suspension keeps all of that weight in check. Not even the 22” wheel and tire combination could disturb the Escalade’s groove. The soft brake pedal, however, does not inspire much confidence, whether driving fast or slow.
So as we wrap up our time with the 2014 Cadillac Escalade, we are reminded of all the successes this vehicle has garnered. Big truck space and usability, wrapped up in a leather and wood adorned package, have made the Escalade an SUV of choice for many buyers. It does now show its age, with many appointments downright outdated, but that just fills us with anticipation for what Cadillac has coming over the horizon.
Contact www.autoacademics.net for more info or to schedule a test drive near you.