The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Driving Notes

2015 Cadillac Escalade ESV Luxury SUV

The next-gen Escalade pairs a bevy of interior comfort features with a stout driving experience.

May 1, 2014, by Chris Wolski - Also by this author

Photo courtesy of GM.
Photo courtesy of GM.

The all-new 2015 Escalade not only exudes quality with its muscular, newly designed fascia and hand-sewn interior, it underscores itself in big bold letters when the engine starts and you begin gliding down the road.

The fourth-generation Escalade has received a top-to-bottom revamp from Cadillac and is the fourth Cadillac launch from the GM brand in the last 18 months. During a Southern California ride-and-drive event through choked Los Angeles city streets onto the highway and into the winding canyons of Malibu, the Escalade performed, well, like a Cadillac.

And I put the Escalade ESV 4WD to the test. Powered by a 6.2L V-8, which produces 420 hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, the ESV responded well to both heavy traffic and desolate canyon roads. It had good take off, smooth acceleration, and great stopping power—handling the kinetic power of its mass with ease.

The fuel economy is better than expected for a large, V-8-powered vehicle: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway. For such a large vehicle, the ESV is surprisingly nimble and easy to drive, taking tight canyon curves crisply. I even made a three-point turn with little difficulty.

While the 2015 Escalade is a sight to behold, the real pleasure of operating it comes from sitting in the driver's seat. The cabin is comfortable with high-quality materials throughout.

The all-digital instrument cluster is easy to read at a glance. Outfitted with GM's Cue system, the infotainment system provides solid content, including real-time GPS and Sirius XM radio capability.

Photo by Chris Wolski.
Photo by Chris Wolski.

The Bose sound system delivers a clean music experience, and even on low; there was no struggling to hear the subtlest of notes. Part of this is due to the noise-reducing technology throughout the vehicle, including stronger body structure, triple-sealed doors, acoustic-laminate glass, and Bose active noise cancellation technology. Even at highway speeds or on rough canyon roads, little of the outside world invaded the cabin.

While I loved the ride, I also couldn't help exploring the nooks and crannies in the driver’s compartment, which offered endless places to store day-to-day equipment such as files, sales materials, cameras, laptops, idevices, and even a sack lunch. As another interior delight and improvement over the previous generation, the third row seats folded flat with a push of a button and then righted themselves again just as easily.

My absolutely favorite part of driving the Escalade ESV was the passive safety features. For someone who isn't used to driving a long-wheel-base SUV on a daily basis, the anti-collision warning system was a godsend, and I relied on it constantly during heavy traffic.

The other passive systems such as forward collision alert and lane departure warning—while I never had to use them—gave me a sense of driving comfort and confidence. I always felt safe and in control behind the wheel.

Comment On This Story

Email: (Email will not be displayed.)  

Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that comments may be moderated.

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.

Sponsored by

An application’s ability to retain its speed and functionality even when significantly more load is placed on it, such as more vehicles, more users, more requests, etc.

Read more

Author Bio

Amy Winter-Hercher

Senior Editor

Amy is an associate editor for Auto Rental News and Business Fleet.

» More

Chris Brown

Executive Editor

Chris is the executive editor of Business Fleet Magazine and Auto Rental News. He covers all aspects of the fleet world.

» More

Chris Wolski

Managing Editor

Chris works on Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, Work Truck, and Green Fleet. He edits the Global Fleet Management eNewsletter.

» More

Mike Antich

Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and entered the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

» More

Paul Clinton

Senior Web Editor

Paul is the senior web editor for Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, Government Fleet, Green Fleet, and Work Truck.

» More

Thi Dao

Executive Editor

Thi is the executive editor of Government Fleet magazine. She is interested in maintenance management and alternative fuels.

» More

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher