It’s big, it’s bad, and it is pure luxury. I am talking about the 2012 Cadillac Escalade Platinum I am driving this week. I used to own an Escalade and it has a special place in my heart. I admit I often wish I still had one, and especially now that I know they got even better for 2012.
My evaluation vehicle is the ESV, or extended version. This is similar in size to the Chevy Suburban. The ESV will allow you three full rows of seating AND lots of cargo room in the back. It is made in Arlington, Texas.
This 6000-pound behemoth comes with a 6.2-liter V8 pumping out 403-horses and it sounds GREAT. Just cranking it and hearing the exhaust makes your heart go pitter-patter as it rumbles. This beastly engine comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly and with purpose.
New for this year is Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control system, and I could tell the difference immediately. My old one did not have this system and tended to have a harsher ride and handled heavily with a lot of lean when in turns. The shock absorbers react to the road and adjust much faster than regular absorbers. Magnetic suspension can adapt to uneven road surfaces several hundred times per second, in fact, it takes only a few milliseconds to adjust any one of the shock absorbers. I was amazed at the difference this made.
I find the exterior lines to be classic and aggressive, yet have a look of luxury. The 22” chrome wheels just set the whole thing off perfectly and are a good match for the in-your-face massive chrome grill.
The inside is roomy, comfortable, and is reminiscent of being in the furniture department of a high-end luxury store. The Tehama leather is beautiful to the eye and the touch. Legroom is plentiful in the front, center, and even third row seats, which flip over with the push of a button.
The Navigation system, Bose stereo, and all settings are run from an 8” color touchscreen monitor and are simple to operate after just a few minutes. My vehicle for this week has DVD player, power moonroof, heated and cooled seats, and new for 2012 are enhanced security features.
Other great features on this vehicle are rearview camera, power tailgate that opens and closes from inside or on the key fob, blind spot monitoring, remote start, and the front cup holders are heated and cooled.
I have said it a thousand times on the air, but I am reminded again that there is nothing like an Escalade. In a time when America seems to be downsizing, Escalade continues to do very well. Drive one and you’ll see why.
What I liked most: The ride quality and interior.
What I would change: Still waiting on the power, fold flat 3rd row seat.
Fuel Economy: Rated at 13 in town, 18 highway. I am getting better on the highway.
2012 Escalade Platinum ESV in a few words: Awesome luxury SUV that you’ll never get tired of.