Cadillac Escalade features luxury, technology, performance for 2022

Cadillac’s big family hauler, the Escalade, got a complete makeover just last year, bringing new styling, interiors and “pioneering technologies,” and, for the first time, the choice of a diesel engine.As before, the Escalade comes in two body sizes: the regular-length Escalade, at 211.9 inches; and the Escalade ESV, at 226.9 inches. 
The two sizes are like the difference between the Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Suburban, which are essentially siblings to the Escalade and Escalade ESV (as are the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL).

For this report, we tested the regular-length Escalade, which comes in four trim levels: the Luxury model ($77,795, plus $1,795 freight, 2WD); Premium Luxury ($86,595, 2WD); Sport ($89,595, 2WD); and Platinum ($104,095, 2WD). 
Available on all trim levels, four-wheel drive is an extra $3,000.

Our tester was the standard-length Escalade Premium Luxury 4WD model (base price $89,595), with the 6.2-liter engine. The optional diesel engine is $100 more across the line.
The newest Escalade also is roomier inside for passengers and cargo, especially in the third row, where there is an additional 10 inches of legroom in the regular-length model. Cargo space also expands by 68 percent behind the third row in the standard-length model. 
These boosts in passenger and cargo space resulted from a longer wheelbase and longer overall vehicle length, as well as a new independent rear suspension, which allows for a lower interior floor.

Standard power for the Escalade comes from a 6.2-liter V-8 engine, which cranks out 420 horsepower and 460 foot-pounds of torque.
The optional 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine, which is designed for trailering capability, provides 277 horsepower, along with the same 460 foot-pounds of torque found in the 6.2-liter gasoline engine.
Both engines are connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift control. All of those extra gears do take a bit of getting used to if you’ve been driving vehicles with simpler automatics, but they are there to help boost performance and fuel efficiency at the same time.

A trailering package is standard on all models. An enhanced trailering experience is offered with the available Trailering Integration Package (not included on our tester).
Maximum towing capacity on the Escalade is 8,300 pounds on two-wheel-drive models, and 8,100 pounds on four-wheel-drives.
Our four-wheel-drive 6.2-liter gasoline-powered standard Escalade had a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds.
 These well-equipped and luxury–appointed big SUVs have seating for up to eight people, and plenty of cargo space. The available seven-passenger seating layout – included on our tester – includes dual captain’s chairs in the middle row instead of a three-person bench.

Our Escalade Premium Luxury came with the beautiful Mahogany Metallic premium exterior color ($625 extra), with Parchment color Mulan leather first and second-row seats and Jet Black interior accents. 
We also had the 22-inch, 14-spoke polished-aluminum wheels.
The heated and ventilated front seats were quite comfortable, with 12-way power adjustment for driver and passenger, and two-way lumbar support.
There was also a power panoramic sunroof, rear-camera mirror, and heated steering wheel. The two-person memory feature covers the driver’s seat, outside mirrors and the tilt/slide steering column.
The rear-camera mirror eliminated the blocking of the rearview mirror by the rear headrests and body parts. The driver can flip the mirror back to standard view if desired.

Tri-zone automatic climate control and universal garage/gate opener were included.
For $4,300 extra, we had the 36-speaker AKG premium Surround Sound audio system, with a 16.9-inch OLED infotainment screen.
Our vehicle had the power-fold third-row bench seat and heated second-row bucket seats with power release, which folds them for extra cargo space. The buttons for these are on the right side wall of the cargo compartment. 
The hands-free power rear liftgate works automatically with the key still in the operator’s pocket.
Extras included Night Vision ($2,000); automatic retractable power side assist steps with perimeter lighting ($1,750); and the Touring Package ($2,550), which brought the Air Ride adaptive suspension, soft-closing doors, and illuminated sill plates. 
Additionally, our tester came with the Super Cruise system ($2,500); and the Performance Package ($2,700), which tacked on an electronic limited-slip differential, Magnetic Ride Control, trailer side blind-zone alert, smart trailer-integration indicator, trailer brake controller, and hitch guidance camera system.

In our standard Escalade, the cargo area behind the third-row seat has 25.5 cubic feet of space, up from the previous generation’s 15.3 cubic feet. With the third row folded, cargo space expands to 63 cubic feet, and with both rear seats folded, there is 109.1 cubic feet of space.
There is a rotary dial on the dash that has settings for 2WD, Automatic, 4WD High and 4WD Low. That means there is a low-range setting for serious off-road driving, although few people would put such an expensive vehicle into such a situation.
This newest Escalade features a quieter cabin, smoother performance and more-efficient powertrain than the previous generation.
EPA ratings for our four-wheel-drive Platinum with the 6.2-liter engine were 14 mpg city/19 highway/16 combined. During our test, with about a 60-40 mix of highway-city driving, we averaged 15.8 mpg. 

Safety features include front and rear automatic braking, which uses radar and ultrasonic sensors to help avoid low-speed collisions; as well as GM’s Safety Alert Seat, which vibrates under the driver to warn about potential crash threats. An HD Surround Vision camera system was also included on our tester.
With freight and $16,325 in options, total sticker price for our 2022 Escalade standard-length four-wheel-drive Premium Luxury model was $107,7154.
All of these big SUVs are assembled at the General Motors Arlington plant.
The automotive columns of G. Chambers Williams III have appeared regularly in the Express-News since 2000. Contact him at His driving partner, Emma Jayne Williams, contributed to this report.

2022 Cadillac Escalade (standard length)

The package: Full-size, seven- or eight-passenger, five-door, four-wheel-drive, V-8 gasoline-powered or inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel-powered sport utility vehicle.
Highlights: The Escalade, completely redesigned for 2021, is a sturdy family hauler with lots of power, a smooth ride, and a long list of standard and optional convenience and safety features.
Negatives: Can get quite pricey.
Engine: 6.2-liter gasoline V-8; 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel.
Transmission: 10-speed automatic.
Power/torque: 420 HP./460 foot-pounds (6.2 liter); 277 HP./460 foot-pounds (diesel).
Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, antilock.
Length: 211.9 inches.
Curb weight range: 5,635-6,182 pounds.
Cargo capacity: 25.5 cubic feet (behind third row); 63 cubic feet (behind second row, third row folded).
Electronic stability control: Standard.
Side air bags: Front seat-mounted, three-row side curtain.
Towing capacity: 8,200 pounds (2WD/6.2-liter); 8,100 pounds (4WD, 6.2-liter).
EPA fuel economy: 14 mpg city/20 highway/16 combined (6.2 liter, 2WD); 14/19/16 (6.2-liter, 4WD).
Fuel capacity/type: 24 gallons/unleaded regular (6.2); low-sulfur diesel (3.0 diesel).
Base price range: $77,795-$107,095, plus $1,795 freight.
Price as tested: $107,715, with freight and options (2022 Premium Luxury 4WD).
Major competitors: Lincoln Navigator, Infiniti QX80, Lexus GX 460.
On the Road rating: 9.3 (of a possible 10).
Prices shown are manufacturer’s suggested retail; actual selling price may vary.

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