Differences Between an Escalade & Escalade Platinumby Michael G. Sanchez
Although it shared a platform with the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, the Escalade had undeniable upscale cachet. Big, brash and powerful, Cadillac's full-size SUV faithfully embodied traditional American-style luxury, despite being a truck.
The Escalade was available in three well-equipped trim levels, of which Platinum was the most expensive and luxurious. 2014 was the final year for the third-generation model.
Thanks to its large size and bold, extroverted styling, the Escalade was an imposing presence on the road. The big SUV measured 202.5 inches in length, 79 inches in width and 75.9 inches in height. It sat on a 116-inch wheelbase and weighed in at 5,527 pounds.
The front seats provided 41.1 inches of headroom, 65.2 inches of shoulder room, 60.5 inches of hip room and 41.3 inches of legroom. Passengers in the second row got 39.2 inches of headroom, 65.2 inches of shoulder room, 60.6 inches of hip room and 39.0 inches of legroom. Finally, third-row passengers got 37.9 inches of headroom, 61.7 inches of shoulder room, 49.1 inches of hip room and 25.6 inches of legroom.
With all the seats in place, the Escalade provided 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space. Maximum cargo space with the second- and third-row seats folded down was a generous 108.9 cubic feet.
An appropriately massive 6.2-liter V-8 nestled beneath the Escalade's long hood. A traditional overhead-valve design with two valves per cylinder, it generated 403 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 417 foot-pounds of torque at 4,300 rpm. All that thrust was enough to get the big, heavy SUV from 0 to 60 mph in a quick 6.8 seconds.
The Escalade was available with rear-wheel drive or full-time all-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic was the sole transmission choice. The big Cadillac had a maximum towing capacity of 8,300 pounds with rear-wheel drive and 8,100 pounds when equipped with all-wheel drive. The rear-wheel-drive model's maximum payload capacity was 1,573 pounds, while the all-wheel-drive's was 1,582 pounds.
Features & Options
The Escalade's base trim level was called Luxury. Notable exterior and chassis features included 18-inch alloy wheels, a locking rear differential, foglights, automatic xenon headlights, towing hardware, rear parking sensors, heated power-folding mirrors with driver-side auto-dimming, running boards and a power liftgate. The SUV's luxurious interior featured leather upholstery -- but vinyl in the third row -- tri-zone automatic climate control, a heated, power tilt-adjustable steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote ignition, adjustable pedals, a power sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats. The Luxury trim level also came with the following electronic features: a GPS navigation system, a touchscreen infotainment panel, Bluetooth connectivity, GM's OnStar system, an electronic blind-spot assist, a rearview camera and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack and iPod/USB interface.
The mid-range Premium trim level added 22-inch aluminum wheels, a body-color grille, side moldings and door handles, power-retractable assist steps, a rear-seat entertainment system and tinted clear center high-mounted stop light and taillights.
The range-topping Platinum trim level added a special front end with chrome-accented upper and lower grilles, chrome-accented side moldings, fender vents and door handles, LED headlights, special 22-inch chromed aluminum wheels, premium Aniline leather seating surfaces for the first and second rows, a leather-wrapped instrument panel, heated and cooled cupholders, dual front headrest LCD screens for the entertainment system and an exclusive cocoa-light linen interior color scheme. GM's Magnetic Ride Control suspension system, as used in the CTS-V and Corvette, was optional.
The Escalade's standard safety features included four-wheel ABS, an electronic stability system with rollover-mitigation technology, dual front airbags, front side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags for all three rows of seats. A blind spot warning system was available as an option.
The rear-wheel-drive Escalade received an EPA fuel economy rating of 14 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. The all-wheel-drive version was rated at 13-18.
The 2014 Escalade had a base price of $67,970. The mid-range Premium model began at $72,250. The feature-loaded Escalade Platinum started at the lofty sum of $80,520.
Michael G. Sanchez has been a professional writer for over 10 years. A lifelong car enthusiast and former senior mechanic, he has written on a wide range of automotive topics. He holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Castleton State College. Sanchez started writing about cars as a part-time copywriter for a local dealership while still in high school.