Kona Brown With Jet Black Accents ($2,000), Power-Retractable Assist Steps With LED Lighting ($1,695), 22-Inch Dual Seven-Spoke Ultra-Bright Finish Aluminum Wheel ($500 -- includes 22-by-9-inch dual seven-spoke ultra-bright finish aluminum wheels with premium paint)
Naturally aspirated, direct-injected V8, gasoline with cylinder deactivation
Pushrod, two valves per cylinder, variable intake-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
420 @ 5,600
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
460 @ 4,100
Six-speed automatic and column shifter with shifter-mounted button with Sport and Manual mode
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
There's an obvious delay after whacking the throttle to the floor before the Escalade actually starts rolling, and even then, the throttle response is gradual. We found a quicker two-pedal launch eliminates this hesitance, but passengers won't like it as much. The V8 makes a great noise and the hulking Escalade is actually quite quick. Also, the power delivery is very good all the way up to the 6,000-rpm shift point when it makes very smooth shifts. Impressive speed at the end of the quarter-mile at almost 100 mph.
Medium-soft pedal didn't change feedback from first to last stop, but I could sense the brakes were getting hot by the final stop because the antilock braking system (ABS) wasn't working as hard to eliminate skidding. Still, it's a pretty amazing feat to stop a 3-ton truck in about 130 feet four times in a row and maintain consistent feel and distances.
With the Sport mode engaged, I could sense every bump in our test track's surface through the steering wheel and the seat. The mass of each wheel was also evident as I could tell the suspension was reluctant/unable to manage all the forces on each wheel and I could sense the truck's lack of suspension travel -- and that's in the best circumstances at our test track. The lack of steering weight doesn't match the enormity of what the giant truck is doing on the outside, but the early onset of electronic stability control (ESC) does and lets the driver know that the laws of physics are still at work despite the serene experience behind the wheel.