2015 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV Preview

Jeff Youngs | Oct 08, 2013
  • More fuel-efficient than previous model
  • Quieter interior
  • Greater luxury
  • Advanced technology
  • Smaller cargo volumes


The 2015 Cadillac Escalade is an 8-passenger, full-size luxury SUV offered as a standard-wheelbase or an extended-wheelbase model, the latter called the Escalade ESV. Redesigned for 2015, the Escalade competes against the Infiniti QX80, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, Lexus LX 570, Lincoln Navigator, and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.

Exterior Features

Built upon a stronger body-on-frame structure for 2015, the new Cadillac Escalade features an aluminum hood and tailgate, inlaid doors with triple sealing to reduce wind noise and improve aerodynamics, and active air shutters to increase fuel efficiency.

The new 2015 Escalade rides on standard 20-inch aluminum wheels, and includes full LED lighting in Cadillac's vertical lighting signature, including rear taillights that extend all the way to the top of the vehicle. The rear wiper is now integrated with the rear spoiler at the top of the rear window.

Interior Features

Eric Clough, director of design, Cadillac Interiors, said: "An exceptional level of craftsmanship has gone into the redesign of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, and it all centers on the premium materials and extensive use of cut-and-sewn live stitching--the way fine furniture is produced."

In addition to the extensive use of leather in the new Escalade's cabin, the SUV offers a selection of wood trims, and includes Bose Active Noise Cancellation technology to further hush the interior. A Cadillac User Experience (CUE) control panel is standard, along with a configurable 12.3-inch gauge display offered with four different themes.

Cadillac aims to improve comfort with new seats featuring dual firmness foam. Heating and ventilation are standard for the front seats, which boast greater head room and leg room than the previous-generation Escalade. Second-row space increases slightly, with standard heated bucket seats that recline. A second-row bench seat is optional at no additional cost. The third-row seat is not as roomy as the previous Escalade, but folds flat to maximize cargo space.

The new 2015 Escalade is not as roomy inside as the old Escalade. Cargo space is reduced from 108.9 cu. ft. in the previous model to 94.2 cu. ft. in the new one. The Escalade ESV shrinks from 137.4 cu. ft. to 120.5 cu. ft. Measurements for cargo room behind the second-row and third-row seats also fall for the 2015 Escalade.

Optional Features

Features that Cadillac says will be offered for the 2015 Escalade include a hands-free liftgate with programmable height settings, head-up display, and a Blu-Ray DVD entertainment system for the rear seats that includes a single 9-inch screen in the standard Escalade and dual 9-inch screens in the Escalade ESV. Buyers can also opt for 22-inch aluminum wheels.

Under the Hood

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade is equipped with a 6.2-liter V-8 engine featuring direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and Active Fuel Management technology that allows it to operate on 4 of its 8 cylinders under certain driving conditions in order to conserve fuel. The V-8 makes 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, and can tow between 7,700 and 8,200 lbs. of trailer, depending on the vehicle configuration.

A 6-speed automatic transmission with TapShift manual shift control is standard, powering the rear wheels. A 4-wheel-drive system is optional. Every 2015 Escalade includes a locking rear differential, tow/haul transmission mode, automatic grade braking technology, and a hill-start assist system. Electric variable-assist steering is standard, as well as a Magnetic Ride Control suspension with Tour and Sport modes. Standard Duralife brake rotors last twice as long as those in the previous Escalade, according to Cadillac.


Every 2015 Cadillac Escalade is equipped with OnStar telematics, including Automatic Crash Response, Crisis Assist, Emergency Services, and opt-in FamilyLink location sharing. A new front-seat center air bag is standard, designed to protect front-seat occupants from opposite-side crash forces, and the Escalade Luxury and Escalade Premium trim levels include side blind-zone alert, lane-change alert, and rear cross-traffic alert systems.

Depending on the trim level selected, the 2015 Escalade can be optioned with a Driver Awareness package containing forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, and Safety Alert Seat systems. A Driver Assist package adds full-speed range adaptive cruise control, Front and Rear Automatic Braking, Automatic Collision Preparation, and Automatic Safety Belt Tightening technologies.


In addition to the safety features listed above, OnStar includes Stolen Vehicle Assistance service, and the new Escalade is equipped with a number of new anti-theft systems including intrusion, inclination, and glass-breakage sensors.

The 2015 Escalade is also equipped with standard CUE, a touch-sensitive control panel and information screen in the center of the SUV's dashboard. According to Cadillac, CUE is designed to work like smartphone and tablet computer screens, allowing users to swipe, spread, and pinch content on the display. The screen also includes proximity sensors and haptic feedback capabilities.
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