Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Auto Reviews & News

February 15, 2011

Escalade is a monument to over-the-top luxury

If you just signed your first recording contract with Def Jam, Cadillac has built an SUV just for you.

It's called the Escalade ESV Platinum, and it's meant for people who look at an ordinary Escalade and say, "It's not big enough. It's not comfortable enough. It's not flashy enough. Give me something better."

As crazy as it may seem, Cadillac has taken the giant Escalade and stretched it to a Suburban-sized ESV version. And then they took that Escalade ESV and turned it into the insane, bling-filled Platinum edition by adding every frivolous luxury feature they could conjure up.

It doesn't just have heated and cooled seats; it also has heated and cooled cup holders. It doesn't just have a DVD player; it has an entertainment system with four video screens and six sets of wireless

headphones so that you, Kanye, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Rihanna and Ludacris can all work on your album together.

Cadillac figured as long as they're making an Escalade for rappers, they might as well throw in 22-inch chrome wheels, jewel-like LED headlights, real leather on top of the instrument panel and doors, and genuine ash and burl walnut trim.

Master P would be proud.

As you'd expect, all this luxury doesn't come cheap. My test car rang up at over $88,000 and was rated for 13 miles per gallon in the city — not a problem for superstars, but awfully pricey and inefficient for us mortals.

You could probably suffice with the ordinary Escalade ($63,160) or Escalade ESV ($65,765) if you haven't signed that record deal yet, but you'd have to live without Tehama leather and motorized steps that descend, alien-spaceship style, when you open the door. Poor thing.

All Escalades are great road-trip cars. They're some of the biggest, most comfortable vehicles on the road, and the Platinum edition just takes the luxury up a notch. Everything about it feels premium, from the clock on the dash to the stitching on the leather trim.

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