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2015 Cadillac Escalade priced from $72,690

by Andrew Ganz

Cadillac\'s high-zoot SUV is here.

Entering its fourth generation, the Cadillac Escalade is more differentiated than ever from its General Motors brethren thanks to a newfound emphasis on style and premium accommodations.

Pricing Update

The redesigned 2015 Escalade's classier design, additional luxury content and extra power will come at the cost of a loftier pricetag. Cadillac has announced that the SUV will start from $72,690 (including destination) in rear-wheel-drive, regular-wheelbase form, a $3,725 increase over its predecessor.

That sum will include a long list of standard features, including leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated 2nd row seats, Cadillac's controversial CUE infotainment system with navigation, a Bose stereo, a power liftgate, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive remote start, LED headlights and taillights, a 12-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster, 20-inch wheels and more.

Expect pricing for the Escalade's mid- and high-end Luxury and Premium trim levels, optional all-wheel-drive system and extended-length ESV variant to be announced closer to the SUV's on-sale date this spring.

Complete Details The 2015 Escalade will once again be available in two configurations - standard length and ESV (the departed EXT pickup was dropped a couple of years ago). Similarly, it remains available with both rear or all-wheel-drive and a 6.2-liter V8 engine comes as standard equipment. Despite the similar-sounding spec sheet, the Escalade is all new inside, outside, underneath and in its engine bay.

Still riding on a separate ladder frame, the Escalade's truck roots remain in an effort to give it more durability and hauling capability than is found in a unibody crossover. To that end, the Escalade will be rated to tow up to 8,200 lbs. (as a rear-wheel-drive standard wheelbase model). Cadillac's Magnetic Ride Control shock absorbers - similar to the units used in the Chevrolet Corvette - come as standard equipment.

Its 6.2-liter V8, shared with GM's Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, boasts 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft. of torque, figures up 17 ponies and 43 lb-ft. of torque, respectively. Moreover, thanks to direct fuel injection and a cylinder displacement system, Cadillac promises the dual benefits of increased response and improved fuel economy. Exact EPA-rated fuel economy figures will be announced closer to the Escalade's on sale date.

A six-speed automatic gearbox is the only transmission on offer. Escalade puts power to the ground via standard 20 and optional 22-inch alloy wheels, which are turned via a new electronic power steering system.

Of course, an Escalade wouldn't be an Escalade without standing apart from the crowd. Stylistically, the trucks retain the same basic silhouette as their boxy Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon/Yukon XL siblings, but they diverge greatly in the detailing. LED headlamps are on board, now cut out of an even sharper mold than before.

Inside, the Escalade includes upgraded materials throughout. Real wood accents and triple-sealed doors are designed to give both the appearance and the feel of a high-end vehicle, something the outgoing Escalade generally lacked.

On the tech front, the Escalade now includes Cadillac's CUE infotainment system. An additional screen - a 12.3-inch unit - serves as a reconfigurable instrument cluster, while a heads-up display system is an option. In addition, Cadillac says that it will offer a Blu-Ray/DVD entertainment system as an option. On the safety front, Escalade will now offer features more commonly seen in the segment like automatic braking, a blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation. One segment first is the Escalade's standard Front seat Center-Mounted airbag, which is designed to reduce the risk of two passengers hitting each other in an accident.

As the outgoing Escalade was one of the most stolen vehicles, GM has seen fit to upgrade security features. An intrusion sensor, an inclination sensor and glass breakage sensors are all on board. In addition, GM's OnStar system with Stolen Vehicle Assistance comes standard.

Like the other GM full-size SUVs, the Escalade's interior is roomier than before, with more head and leg room flat-folding second and third-row seats.

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