Up until this point, all the vehicles reviewed to date maintain some measure of practicality. Even the Mirage, covered earlier this week, boasted halfway decent fuel economy. Here at the car blog, we’re committed to the highest of consumer information with regards to adaptability, practicality and utility.
And really, why shouldn’t we? Cars are a durable good. When we bring a car into our household it’s almost like getting a new dog. Unless something goes drastically wrong, your car will spend many happy years hauling you and yours around from place to place and peeing on your rug. When you’re buying a car, you’re making a choice on what your lifestyle is going to be like for the next several years. It’ll dictate how many people you can take with you, how much stuff you can haul, what sort of weather you can drive in without additional equipment, etc. It’s an important decision, one which merits a consideration of sober, conservative vehicles.
Which brings us to the 2015 Cadillac Escalade.
The choice ride of affluent families and celebrities everywhere, this chrome-clad monster is an instant expression of wealth and status to everyone else on the road. In fairness, it’s a striking, handsome vehicle, if a little ostentatious.
It has a monster 6.2 Liter V8 engine good for 420 horsepower and 460 ft/lbs of torque mated to an all wheel drive system and a beefy, clever transfer case. All that power will generate wheel-spin from a standing stop, which is impressive for a car that weighs the next-best thing to three tons. Stomp on the gas pedal, and it takes off like a stampeding elephant on speed. The suspension is incredible too. There’s big cars on the road, sure. But this bear can dance, even if it looks kinda funny in a tutu. Plus, that beefy mill will help you tow darn near everything up to and including the second Death Star.
It’s not just a fast car either. It’s comfortable too. The front and middle seats are heated. The front two seats are ventilated, which is a HUGE boon during the summer months. Every surface you can touch is swathed in sumptuous leather and soft touch surfaces. The infotainment system is also clever. It boasts a haptic touchscreen, and syncs up with smartphones without a hitch. If you have kids or friends that get bored easily, there’s a screen where you can watch DVD’s or any other media for as long as your batteries will last. And the 12volt outlets will ensure that as long as the car is running, that’ll be forever.
There’s more convenience factors there too. The rear has a power liftgate that can be closed with the touch of a button. And that’s not the only thing that can be folded down too. All the rear seats can be closed at the touch of a button. Throw the car into reverse, and the infotainment system switches over to all-around camera views, making navigating crowded parking lots and tight spaces a cinch.
One other, more intangible thing that the Escalade does well is that thing that all luxury cars must do, and that is provide a sense of occasion. What I mean by that is this: think back to the last time you got dressed up. You shower, shave the appropriate areas, put on the nicest suit (or dress) you have, and you check yourself out in the mirror. It’s that moment, when you see yourself and think Yeah, something excellent is about to happen tonight, that’s what I’m talking about. I am pleased to report that the Escalade is no different. Check out the dashboard start sequence. I’m pretty sure that’s what Kirk feels like firing up the Enterprise.
Preview for Tomorrow's Review. pic.twitter.com/dGYMFMnY53
— FerrousOnWithTheShow (@Iron_Fox) April 28, 2015
If there is a downside to this car, it’s the price of admission. Step onto a Cadillac dealership with the intention to drive off with an Escalade or the lengthened version, the ESV, and you’ll drop anywhere between $73,000 and $98,000.
Not including destination and taxes.
On paper, this is probably the least practical vehicle on the market.
And yet, depending on how you use it, it’s the most practical car ever.
Take a look at this: http://m.realtor.com/?rdc_return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.realtor.com%2F#details?listing_id=584768968. That is a typical condo for-sale near where I live in San Jose. Even if you’re renting, a single bedroom apartment will easily run you $1000 a month, not including utilities, internet, et cetera. Yes, I know that these results are skewed by where we are, which is arguably the most expensive area in the country, but unless you’re in Detroit, most people will spend about $80 per square foot for a home, if you’re buying.
From that standpoint, the Escalade is an absolute steal. Even the short version has enough room to sleep an adult man easily. If you work (and you certainly must to afford an Escalade, to begin with), you can use the floor area as an ironing board. Or, if you need the space for a spouse or children and/or pets, the Escalade has a handy hitch to attach a trailer to (and camper trailers can be had for relatively little) that would provide basic privacy, living space and dining area.
There’s ancillary benefits to living out of an Escalade as well. If you can find parking near the office, your commute time will be practically nil. You’ll never have to worry about relations dropping in out of the blue to visit (how can they find you, anyway?) and you won’t be a burden to your own relations because you’ve brought your own hotel room with you.
Even better, you’ll be paid off after 5 or 6 years, depending on the terms of your original lease. And instead of mountains of crippling debt, you’ll have what is, arguably, one of the best cars on the road today.
And that’s nothing to sniff at.