But how does it drive?
To find out, I took it on a trip to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra — which seems like a fitting place for huge Cadillac’s — and had no trouble maneuvering it through downtown traffic and squeezing it into parking garages, even if it felt like the roof was going to scrape on the beams above us. For something the size of a house, it maneuvers well.
It also accelerates nicely with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that makes 403 horsepower.
The best part, though, is the ride. This Cadillac is so smooth and so quiet — with the exception of the deep rumble from its engine — that it makes you want to fall asleep. You just want to take a deep breath
and relax as it wafts you from place to place on a marshmallow carpet.
On the downside, it's missing a couple of features that ought to be standard on any vehicle at this price. One is a telescoping steering wheel. It has a power tilt function, but it can't move backward and
forward to give you that perfect fit.
The other is a "magic key," which is what I call the transmitter that can stay in your pocket and let you start the car with the push of a button. I drove a $25,000 Nissan that had it last week, so why can't
Cadillac put it in an $88,000 Escalade?
Overall, the Escalade is a great vehicle for people who want complete, total, over-the-top opulence. It's expensive and guzzles gas, but that's part of the charm of a vehicle designed for MTV.
Derek Price writes for CNHI News Service, which distributes his column. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What was tested?
2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV AWD Platinum ($87,345). Options: None.
Price as tested (including $950 destination charge): $88,295
Why buy it?
You just signed your first record deal and need the world's biggest, flashiest luxury SUV. It makes you feel like you're driving a mansion.
Why avoid it?
It's an expensive gas guzzler.