The 2011 Cadillac Escalade clearly stands out from the pack in a single glance. With its formidable size and unique looks, it exudes a commanding presence of power, luxury and prestige. And Cadillac backs it up with a prodigous V8 engine, a long list of upscale feature goodies, an opulent interior and a refined ride.
Residing under the hood is a robust 403-horsepower V8 engine that can take the 2011 Escalade from a standstill to 60 mph in a very quick 7.5 seconds, quite remarkable for a vehicle that ways almost 6,000 pounds. Also aiding its performance is an adjustable suspension that enhances both its ride comfort and handling (standard on all models except the base). The 2011 Escalade also offers seating for up to eight in its spacious and luxurious cabin.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The Cadillac Escalade is a fullsize luxury SUV offered in four trims: Base, Luxury, Premium and Platinum Edition (hybrid, ESV extended length and EXT pickup models will be discussed separately). Standard seating accommodates seven passengers, but this can be expanded to eight on all models except the Platinum Edition via an optional center bench seat.
Even the base Escalade can be considered "loaded" with standard features that include leather upholstery, a voice-controlled navigation system, heated and ventilated 10-way power front seats with adjustable lumbar, driver memory settings, full power accessories, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, 18-inch wheels, tri-zone automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, a power tilt-steering wheel, heated second-row captain's chairs, power-adjustable pedals, OnStar telematics, automatic xenon headlights, power-folding exterior mirrors (with driver-side auto-dimming), running boards, a power liftgate, foglights and a 10-speaker Bose surround sound system with a CD/DVD player, an iPod/USB interface and satellite radio.
Moving up to the Escalade Luxury adds a sunroof, power-folding and tumbling second-row seats, chromed 22-inch cast-aluminum wheels, an adjustable suspension called Magnetic Ride Control (optional on the base), a heated steering wheel, a blind-spot warning system and automatic headlight high-beams.
Added standard features for the Escalade Premium then include a rear DVD entertainment system with a roof-mounted display (optional on the Luxury) and power-retractable running boards, while the top-of-the-line Platinum Edition adds upgraded leather upholstery, leather-trimmed door tops and dash with contrast stitching, a headrest-mounted dual-screen DVD entertainment system, heated and cooled cupholders, differently designed chromed 22-inch alloy wheels and LED headlights.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering the 2011 Cadillac Escalade is a 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 403 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift controls, while rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional on all models.
When properly outfitted, rear-wheel-drive Escalades have a towing capacity of 8,300 pounds. And while those who purchase a new Escalade may not be too concerned with its fuel economy, the EPA has rated the rear-drive model at 14 mpg city and 18 mpg on the highway. Gas mileage for the all-wheel drive model is slightly lower at 13 mpg city and 18 highway. While the Escalade is certainly not a "green car", it does employ a cylinder deactivation system for increasing fuel efficiency.
The 2011 Escalade is also well equipped when it come to safety, with standard features on all Escalades that include traction control, stability control, antilock disc brakes (ABS), a rearview camera, OnStar emergency telematics, rear parking sensors, front side-impact airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In addition, a blind-spot warning system comes standard on all models except the base.
In the new and more strenuous government crash tests introduced this year, the 2011 Escalade was given four out of stars, consisting of five stars for overall frontal-impact occupant protection, four stars for overall side-impact occupant protection and three stars for rollover safety.
The 2011 Escalade's interior is attractive, roomy in the first two rows and user-friendly. A luxurious look and feel abounds thanks to the high-quality leather upholstery, faux wood and alloy trim accents as well as an abundance of upscale features.
The Escalade comes standard with seven-passenger accommodations, featuring second-row captain's chairs and a third-row bench seat. Capacity can be increased to eight with the available second-row bench seat. As large as the Escalade is, however, the 50/50-split third-row seat is on the tight side when it comes to legroom. It also doesn't fold down into the floor, making moving larger items more of a challenge requiring either folding and tumbling the seats forward or removing them entirely, a rather heavy job.
But once removed, there's a huge cargo capacity of 60.3 cubic feet behind the second-row. And for larger hauling needs, storage room can be expanded to a massive 108.9 cubic feet by then folding down the second-row seats.
The 2011 Cadillac Escalade provides responsive and rapid acceleration in all situations due to its powerful V8 engine. Its overall handling is also confident and secure, particularly those with the adjustable suspension. While the Escalade is still a traditional truck-based SUV at heart, the overall ride quality is smooth and quiet, even on those with the 22-inch wheels. And for a large vehicle, its relatively tight turning radius of 39 feet helps with its maneuverability.
One might think that in an age of hybrid plug-ins and electric cars that the Cadillac Escalade would have been put out to pasture ... or perhaps due to the recent economic challenges and crisis in the auto industry. But not so. In fact, the Escalade remains as popular as ever. There's just something about it that Americans love. The bottom line? If you need room for eight people and place a high value on power and upscale trappings, it's tough to beat the 2011 Cadillac Escalade in the large luxury SUV segment.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
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