Big V8 cubes do the trick for towing and hauling; A six-speed automatic transmission takes care of the shifting chores; AWD is available if you want/need it.
For those who enjoy living – and driving – large, Cadillac has the ultimate juggernaut. The all-new Escalade and extended-size Escalade ESV are more like luxury staterooms or penthouses on wheels. In the Escalade’s case, first class combines maximum comfort and performance, along with rugged all-road capability that it shares with General Motors’ less-expensive Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon relatives. Compared to the regular-length Escalade, the ESV is 20 inches longer overall and has a 14-inch wheelbase advantage. That translates into a considerable gain in cargo space with both rear seats folded or with the standard third-row seat in place. The new sheetmetal and massively shaped grilles actually make both Escalades look smaller somehow. The illusion of a trimmer, slimmer wagon is remarkable. Keeping the Escalade duo running strong is a new Chevrolet-Corvette-based 6.2-liter V8 that generates 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It’s connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine incorporates direct fuel injection and is rather potent, even in a big machine such as the Escalade. Cadillac claims the Escalade can dash to 60 mph from rest in less than six seconds – but rear-wheel-drive fuel efficiency has increased slightly to 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway (previously 14/18). A new four-wheel-drive unit system optional in regular-length and ESV Escalades can be left in fully automatic mode, or in manually selected 4 HI for added traction in mud and snow conditions. All Escalades come with tri-zone climate control, heated and cooled front seats and heated second-row seats, power-folding third-row seat, navigation system and a 16-speaker Bose-brand audio package. You could spend less money on a similarly sized alternative from Chevrolet or GMC, but for anyone with the means and the inclination, the luxury-laden Escalade is simply too big to miss, in more ways than one.