2011 Cadillac Escalade Review

Review

For years, Cadillac has led the luxury SUV class with its classy and sport Escalade. Over the last decade, the vehicle has been on the cutting edge in its class, setting trends for on-road performance and outpacing the competition with interior amenities. In 2011, it appears that Cadillac has truly swung for the fences, hoping to blow away not only the in-class competition, but also its previous versions of the Escalade. The new entry has a higher price tag than usual, but it comes with much more for those people who are truly interested in the epitome of luxury on the road.

Specifications

For years, the Escalade has been clocking in at just north of $60,000, but 2011 has brought about a a nearly 33% bump. MSRP for the 2011 edition sits at $82,290, making it one of the most expensive luxury SUVs on the market. The engine is a characteristically large and powerful 6.2 liter V8, providing 403 horsepower and 417 ft/lbs of torque. A fuel-injected system equipped with a 26-gallon tank, the 2011 Escalade gets 20 miles per gallon on the highway and 14 around town. It comes equipped with an all-wheel drive system, an automatic transmission, and the ability to reach 60 MPH is just over 7 seconds.

  • Pricing: base model should start at around $82,300 MSRP
  • Fuel economy: current fuel economy car ratings of 14/20 mpg city/highway is expected to remain the same
  • Engine: 6.2-liter, 403-horsepower V8
  • Acceleration: with all-wheel drive, the 0-60 time of the Escalade is just over 7 seconds
  • Car safety features: current safety equipment will carry over for 2011
  • Architecture: the 2011 Escalade is based on a new Lambda frame
  • Warranty: ten-year/100,000-mile transferable powertrain warranty likely

Exterior Features

The Escalade is currently in its third generation and has progressively further distinguished itself from its cheaper GM relatives, such as the Yukon and Tahoe. Standard exterior equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, auto-dimming driver’s side mirror, remote start, and a power liftgate. Popular options, such as the chrome 22-inch wheels and sunroof, will most likely remain for the 2011 model year.

Interior Features

The 2011 Escalade retains many of the interior features that made the 2010 version special. It still seats 8 passengers with plenty of room for each. The vehicle makes driving comfortable by offering a Bose surround sound system, providing standard OnStar, and the added safety of a rear camera. The 2011 version features an easy to use navigation system to keep drivers on track.

Drive Quality

The Escalade has always provided very civil handling on the road for an SUV of its size. What’s more, the abundantly powerful V8 offers enough horsepower to propel the large truck from 0-60 in a respectable 7.4 seconds. The vehicle comes equipped with an adaptive suspension system that has long provided an exceptionally smooth ride. For a car with such size, it truly does drive like a small sport sedan. Acceleration has been a bit of an issue in the past, but the 2011 Escalade seems to have corrected some of the problems. The engine provides a type of smooth power that makes the driver feel in control. The vehicle has crossed over from its old “truck style” architecture to the new Lambda system, which makes it drive much more like a car. The level of handling won’t make drivers confuse the Escalade for a Ferrari, but it outpaces almost all large SUV competitors.

Performance

The 6.2 liter V8 is one of the most powerful engines to go in any vehicle in 2011. Providing more than 400 horsepower in just the basic Escalade models, it provides incredible torque on the roadways. For a vehicle of such large size, the acceleration time from 0 to 60 remains impressive, and the fuel economy is a plus as well. The standard Escalade will keep drivers above 20 on the highways, and the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid version will offer even more economy.

Why purchase the 2011 Escalade?

The fact of the matter is that the 2011 Escalade has taken power and performance to new levels. Its engine is hard to beat and no luxury SUVs can come close to offering the same level of torque. Its new drivetrain makes it seem like you’re out for a Sunday stroll in the old sedan. Likewise, it offers enough room for the whole family and a comfortable interior.

Why not the 2011 Escalade?

The price is a bit high for some, as they don’t feel as if it offers enough of an upgrade over last year’s model. Likewise, the 14 miles per gallon around town can be somewhat taxing for those who do a lot of shuttling.

*Credit for this review goes to automobile.com*