2016 Cadillac Escalade Driving Impressions

An adaptive suspension and GM’s biggest V8, smooth and powerful, send Escalade ahead of its corporate cousins. In fact, it fits into a class with such performance-oriented luxury rivals as the Range Rover Supercharged and Mercedes-Benz AMG GL63.

A stiff body structure and light-feeling electric power steering help make the Escalade easier to drive. Steering is weighted to curtail wandering that a trailer or big crosswind might induce, but it never feels heavy. With magnetically controlled shocks standard, the latest Escalade has better ride control than its predecessor, suffering less bounding out of potholes.

Like the closely related Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, the solid rear axle is derived from GM’s full-size pickups. Unlike its cousins, the Escalade includes Magnetic Ride Control, with Tour and Sport modes. Cadillac claims the quickest response of any adaptive suspension setup. The four-wheel-drive system has a 4-High mode, plus a separate all-wheel-drive mode.

The Escalade is EPA-rated at 15/21 mpg City/Highway, or 14/21 mpg with four-wheel drive. A four-wheel-drive version of the long-wheelbase ESV drops to 14/20 mpg.

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