Cadillac Escalade
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Overall

An all-new Escalade is just around the corner, but still plenty to love in the current bling-mobile; big-dollar gas-electric hybrid gone for 2014.

Drivetrain

403-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 with active-fuel-management technology in “regular” and ESV models.

Although Cadillac’s car-side — ATS, CTS and XTS — is either all new or heavily revised, the utility side is waiting patiently. We know there’s a new Escalade coming that’ll be a suitable replacement for the current model, but it’s still a year or so from production. However, there’s still no mistaking an Escalade as anything else on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills or on Broadway in New York, even if several newer competitors do a better job at pampering their guests. But you don’t have to be a rock star or a super model to appreciate the 403-horsepower 6.2-liter V8. A six-speed automatic transmission can be manually controlled via buttons located on the shift lever. The Escalade has a long standard-features list including an electric tilt steering column, but among the few options are heated and cooled front seats, navigation system/rear-view camera package, rain-sensing wipers and a rear-seat eight-inch DVD entertainment system. There’s a wide range of wheel/tire options, including a set of super-jumbo 22-inch-diameter chrome rollers. If you want to skip the option picking, head straight for the Platinum edition that’s packed with features as well as its own front fascia treatment and interior upgrades. The long-wheelbase ESV returns to the streets with the same seating capacity as the regular-length Escalade but with much more cargo room.

Base price (incl. destination): $64,700

Type: Four-door luxury sport-utility vehicle

Base engine (hp): 6.2-liter OHV V8 (403)

Layout: Front-engine, rear- /four-wheel-drive

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

MPG (city/hwy): 12/19 (4×2)

Safety: Front airbags; side-curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; traction control

Weight (lb.): 5,490