Enter the prodigal Escalade: the charismatic king of bling, an emblem of fame and success, centerpiece of music videos and crime shows, and the choice high rider of a myriad of celebrities and prominent athletes, from David Beckham and Shaquille O’Neal to Adam Sandler and Paris Hilton. Introduced in 1999, the first generation was a far cry from the glam clad brio of today (critics opine it was a rushed response to the Lincoln Navigator and essentially a slightly more fancy version of the GMC Yukon Denali with different badging), but Cadillac’s road titan has since ascended to dominate the market in name recognition and street cred, and as William Camastro of Gold Coast Cadillac put it, “e Escalade is the top of the food chain.”

On February 4, the fifth generation Escalade made its not so subtle debut in Beverly Hills, illuminated by a new sponsored documentary, titled Anthem, by Oscar winning filmmaker Spike Lee. e newest iteration boasts a heap of industry firsts, from a suite of OLED displays to the first AKG sound system, plus the marque’s argument for industry bests, like Super Cruise technology, a hyper advanced driver’s assist technology that enables hands free driving (and automated lane changes) on more than 200,000 miles of North American roadways. New augmented reality enabled navigation features an immersive viewing mode that uses a camera to project a high definition image of the street ahead onto the instrument panel. Think video game style arrows directing you where to turn and a giant red pin marking your destination.

When we say the new Escalade goes big, we also mean literally. The wheelbase was stretched 4.9 inches in the regular length model and 4.1 inches in the long body (the ESV), and is a full 7.1 inches longer overall (2.6 inches longer in the ESV). A new independent rear suspension offers a more refined ride, and because it allows a lower load floor, there is more interior space. Couple that with the extra length, and third row passengers are granted 40% more legroom than previous models.

“Cadillac was able to improve the content and functionality of the vehicle without losing style,” said Camastro.

A 420 horsepower 6.2 liter V8 still serves as the standard engine, though it’s been upgraded with Cadillac’s Dynamic Fuel Management system that varies the number of active cylinders to optimize both performance and efficiency. For the first time, the Escalade will also offer a diesel variant. The 3.0 liter Duramax turbo diesel inline six puts out 277 ponies and 460 lb. ft. of torque. Both engines are paired with a 10 speed automatic transmission.

Optional goodies include an UltraView Sunroof with tilt, slide, and express open and close sunshade, 16 way driver and passenger heated and ventilated seats with massage function, and Night Vision, an infrared sensor on the lower grille that alerts drivers to potential hazards in the dark by detecting temperature differences between pedestrians or large animals and surrounding objects.

Starting MSRP comes in at $76,195.
Gold Coast Cadillac
2123 NJ 35, Oakhurst / 732.695.1400 /