It’s been 23 years since the first Cadillac Escalade roared off the assembly line, grabbing a top spot as the best full-size luxury SUV. A far cry from that 1955 pink Cadillac Eldorado that Elvis bought for his mother (and the hundreds of other Cadillacs he purchased for himself, family, and friends, all with massive, low-slung bodies and those famous wings).
The 2022 Escalade is a beast, which is evident when you climb behind the wheel of the Sport edition, the top-of-the-line choice designed to roar down the road with nary a care in the world. It’s been the vehicle of choice for lots of famous people, including Adam Sandler, Jennifer Lopez, David Beckham, and Justin Bieber (many of whom have others doing driving) over the years. It is likely to draw in even more with things like the Super Cruise feature that lets the driver unhand the wheel and turn the car over to its semi-autonomous, hands-free steering system.
IT’S THE SILHOUETTE
The Escalade is a big vehicle, both outside and in. It’s tall enough that even a long-legged driver like me needs the automatic power assist step to comfortably enter this full-size SUV with 22-inch wheels and broad enough to fill the lane. The massive, blacked-out front grille makes a distinct statement about this powerful car’s monster, protecting the 6.2-liter V8 engine that puts out 420 horsepower with style. Add in the four-wheel-drive option, and this turns into a luxury vehicle that can go just about anywhere you want it to.
The interior is incredibly comfortable, following the Cadillac tradition that began in 1902 when the marque was established in Detroit and named after its founder, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. Heated leather seats with lumbar control enfold you, are easily adjustable in every direction, and the massive, curved color infotainment touchscreen display puts everything within reach and sight. The rear-view mirror takes a bit of getting used to, as it displays an HD camera view of the street behind the SUV; it’s necessary because the two back rows feature high-backed seats that effectively make using the mirror as you traditionally would pretty much impossible.
LUXURY + SPACE
As you’d expect from a large vehicle, there is plenty of cargo space, especially when both rows of back seats are folded down. And if you’re inclined to tow a boat or anything else, the Escalade can pull 8,200 pounds behind it. The SUV can hold a gaggle of friends, extended family, your entourage, or even the whole volleyball team—and all the gear. It’s got parking assistance and many safety features, including braking itself when a pedestrian steps in front of the car and alerting you when there’s the possibility of a forward collision. It will keep you in your lane, illuminate the road brilliantly on the darkest night and blast your playlist via the add-on of an AKG Studio Reference 36-speaker audio system.
The 2022 Escalade Luxury edition begins at $76,295, the Premium Luxury Edition at $84,895, and the Sport at $87,595. The four-wheel-drive Sport Platinum gets an average of 16 mpg, so be prepared to pay a premium for the gasoline needed to run this king of the urban jungle across the city’s crowded streets. But, no matter what it costs, this is a fun ride that may make you feel like royalty as you roll.
For more information on the Cadillac Escalade Sport, visit: cadillac.com/suvs/escalade