Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Auto Reviews & News

February 15, 2011

Escalade is a monument to over-the-top luxury


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




Style: 10

Performance: 8

Price: 4

Handling: 2

Ride: 10

Comfort: 10

Quality: 7

Overall: 9

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.

Text Only
Auto Reviews & News
  • gas, gasoline, gas prices Relieve pain at pump: 8 ways to save on gas

    Gas prices are up almost $1 over this time last year, and drivers across the country are feeling the pinch on their pocketbooks. Motorists can relieve some of the pain at the pump by taking a few small steps that really add up.

    August 3, 2011 1 Photo

  • Chev Volt Electric-powered Chevy Volt is a performance hero

    After driving the Chevy Volt for a couple of hours last year, I came away with one overriding impression: it's an engineering masterpiece.

    In case you haven't heard about it yet, the Volt is an electric car that can drive up to 40 miles before it needs to be charged. But, unlike other electric cars, the Volt also has a gasoline engine that can keep you going after the battery power runs out.

    July 11, 2011 2 Photos

  • Small cars are pushing up sales

    Small cars sold briskly in the U.S. last month, as gasoline prices approached $4 a gallon and some buyers worried about shortages of Japanese-made vehicles.

    May 4, 2011

  • How to be a Fuel Miser

    Slow down.

         Improving your car’s gas mileage is really that that simple.Taking it easy is the key to saving money at the pump, says Michael Calkins, manager of AAA’s approved auto-repair operation based in Lake Mary, Fla. “Altering your driving habits is the key. Accelerate gently and anticipate traffic flow to minimize stopping and starting.”

    April 13, 2011

  • 4Runner offers SUV Fans another choice

    People often think of SUVs as an American phenomenon. And, yes, we do like to drive around the Land of the Free in big, four-wheel-drive trucks, filling our wide-open spaces with equally wide-open vehicles.

    March 21, 2011

  • Lexcus IS C It's top-down fun in a Lexus

    Let's say you've been successful in life and want a new car — a Lexus, of all things.

    March 10, 2011 2 Photos

  • Ford Start concept Chinese about to change automotive industry

    For most of the 20th century, the world's automotive landscape was dominated by one country: the United States of America.

    March 1, 2011 2 Photos

  • Grand Caravan 2011 Grand Caravan braces for minivan war

    Let's get one thing out of the way. If you want the best minivan for sale today, you want a Honda Odyssey.

    February 21, 2011 2 Photos

  • Cadillac's Escalade ESV.jpg 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."

    February 15, 2011 2 Photos

  • Altima Altima unchanged for 2011 model year

    If you're looking for a four-door car that feels sharp and precise, this is the one for you.

    It's the 2011 Nissan Altima, and while it doesn't receive any changes this year, it does retain that nimble, edgy feel that gives it such a playful personality.

    February 10, 2011 2 Photos

Business Marquee

  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.





    e-mail request to

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return