Completely redesigned last year, the 2008 Cadillac Escalade is a world-class image and sales leader in the global large luxury SUV segment. Escalade features integrated powertrain, chassis, safety and interior systems that deliver the most powerful and efficient of luxury SUVs. It is a high-profile, iconic vehicle that embodies the true spirit of Cadillac in its most luxurious and capable form.
- Cadillac’s large luxury SUV with seating for up to eight occupants
- Premium fixtures and fittings with unrivalled refinement
- Permanent 4×4 system with up to 50-50% / front-rear torque split
- Exclusive 409 ps 6.2-litre V8 petrol engine with six-speed automatic
- Two models on sale in UK from £47,100
The latest generation of Cadillac Escalade offers a new level of refinement and style, with a feature-packed and spacious interior. It raises the bar with exceptional exterior style, interior refinement, increased performance and enhanced ride and handling smoothness.
With seating for up to eight occupants, an all-aluminium 409 ps V8 engine, six-speed automatic transmission and full-time all-wheel drive, the left-hand drive Escalade delivers unrivalled performance and luxury with all-weather and off-road capability.
In the UK, Escalade customers can choose from Elegance or Sport Luxury equipment/trim levels, with prices ranging from £47,100 (on-the-road) to £50,100, and from a selection of seven exterior colours and two interior colours.
Manufactured in the USA, the 2008 Cadillac Escalade is built at GM’s award-winning facility in Arlington, Texas.
Design – unmistakably Cadillac
The 2008 Escalade is instantly identifiable as a Cadillac and incorporates styling cues from Cadillac’s landmark Sixteen concept vehicle, including a detailed ‘egg-crate’ signature grille flanked by tri-element HID headlamps, chromed front wing air vent ports, distinctive rear-end styling and layers of chrome accents (side moulding, door handles, window base trim and roof rails), plus large seven-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels.
Tall, broad and handsome, the 5.1-metre long Escalade sports a sleek, clean and athletic form with efficient aerodynamics. The ‘toned’ look includes a laid-back windscreen angle of 57 degrees, which flows gracefully into the roofline. This angle, plus attention to small details that reduce drag, also improve aerodynamic performance to a segment-best Cd 0.36, which helps to reduce wind noise and improve fuel economy. Details in elements such as wraparound fascias, styled door mirrors and integrated running boards enhance Escalade’s flowing design, enabling a look that is both aggressive and elegant.
UK buyers can choose between seven exterior colours – Blue Chip, Black Raven, Gold Mist, Stealth Grey, Quicksilver, Infrared Tintcoat and White Diamond.
Interior – exclusively sumptuous
The warm and inviting Escalade interior features a premium and distinctive full-size SUV layout exclusive to this model. The cabin, which can be specified in two colours, Ebony and Cocoa-Cashmere, is remarkably spacious, thanks to the long wheelbase (2946 mm), generous body width (2007 mm, excluding door mirrors) and skilful packaging.
Nuance leather-covered seats; leather-covered door trims and front centre console; fabric-covered interior pillars, a heated steering wheel (optional) and a power-assisted rear tailgate that opens and closes with the touch of a button, all combine to create a unique interior ambience.
The curving instrument panel cowling is kept low to ensure good forward visibility. The unique instrument cluster has gauges with white needles and blue light inlays with continuously lit, white-LED backlighting. Eleven steering wheel-mounted controls contribute to hands-on-the-wheel, eyes-on-the-road driving safety.
The front-row seats have 25 mm more fore/aft travel and second row seat comfort is boosted by 10 mm more legroom plus a backrest that is reclined an extra two degrees.
The Cadillac-exclusive power fold-and-tumble for the second row seats (standard on Sport Luxury models) ensures easy access to the third row, while allowing one-handed push-button operation – for example when a parent is holding a child.
The new-for-2007 double-decker centre console has 17-litres more capacity, while the 5-litre glove box is 25% larger and also features a ‘spring-damped’ closing lid echoing Escalade’s premium feeling of refinement.
Cargo space, which has been increased by 65-litres behind the third row seats, is also versatile, ranging from a useful 478 litres up to a cavernous 3084 litres – depending on the number of seats in use. In order that the cargo bay may still be quickly and easily used whenever required, the second row seats fold flat and can be tumbled forwards, while the third row seats have this facility and can also be removed to maximise cargo capacity.
Standard on Sport Luxury models, the new power sliding sunroof, which is wider than the previous model and measures 866 x 625 mm, has express open/close and auto-close features as well as a wind deflector.
Equipment, Fixtures, Fittings and Storage
Comprehensive standard equipment on Elegance models includes a power-assisted rear tailgate, rear parking assist function, plus comfort-adding items such as a triple-zone climate control, an audio system with DVD and six-CD changer, 10-speaker Bose 5.1 Discrete Surround Sound System, leather-covered seats (heated on first and second rows) and power-adjustable front seats with two-position driver-seat memory.
Sport Luxury models have additional standard features such as a power tilt/slide glass sunroof, cooled front-row seats, a heated steering wheel and a fully integrated touch screen DVD navigation and a rearview camera. Entertainment is provided via a roof-console mounted rear DVD entertainment console with 200 mm flip-down screen and power release ‘tumble & fold’ second-row seats to give easy access to the third row seats.
Exclusive V8 Power and DSC automatic
The L92 Vortec 6.2-litre 409 ps V8 Cadillac engine is exclusive to the Escalade. This all-aluminium engine generates immense torque (565 Nm at 4300 rpm) for a highly responsive performance, even when fully laden and to deliver great towing ability.
The engine’s aluminium cylinder heads are based on the 7-litre Corvette Z06 developed for racing and feature a unique inlet port shape and offset camshaft design, with large diameter 55 mm intake and 40.4 mm exhaust valves. Introduction of variable valve timing (VVT) through the use of unique, dual-equal cam phasers is the industry’s first application of VVT on a mass-produced V-8 overhead-valve engine. It optimises camshaft timing to improve low-rev torque and high-rev power.
The Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic is one of the world’s most advanced transmissions. It has a wide 6.04:1 overall ratio, with a low 4.027:1 first gear for rapid ‘launch’ from standstill and two overdrive gears (0.852:1 fifth and 0.667:1 sixth) that reduce engine speed to approximately 1500 rpm at 60 mph and help deliver an excellent balance between performance and fuel economy.
This transmission features Driver Shift Control (DSC), which offers clutchless sequential manual shifting, electronically controlled engine braking, downgrade detection with brake assist (to help control speed during hill descents), Performance Algorithm Liftfoot (to prevent premature upshifts) and a Transmission Control Module (TCM) that detects a drop in vehicle speed prior to entering a turn, and gives up to two downshifts to provide the driver with maximum engine braking.
Sophisticated Suspension and Running Gear
Cadillac Escalade delivers high levels of performance and surprising ‘drivability’ for a large luxury SUV. A robust structure, plus all-wheel drive, independent suspension and outstanding chassis control systems – including Road Sensing Suspension – are combined with an outstanding powertrain to produce a genuinely responsive vehicle.
Fully-boxed, the 2008 Escalade’s ladder frame chassis boasts a 49% increase in torsional stiffness and a 35% improvement in flexural rigidity over earlier models. In addition, the suspension mounting points were significantly stiffened to provide an excellent foundation for the fully independent suspension which features double-wishbones (front) and multi-links (rear) to ensure a controlled and compliant ride together with maximum handling stability that is enhanced by a wider track – up by 76 mm (front) and 25 mm at the rear.
Each Escalade comes with a Road Sensing System as standard. This is a real-time adaptive damping system that gives independent damping control of each wheel and adjusts ‘instantly’ to changes in road and driving conditions to deliver an extremely refined ride with greatly reduced body motion. The self-levelling rear suspension adapts automatically to different loads and road conditions.
The SUV’s handling precision is matched by its speed-sensitive Electronic Variable Assist Power Steering and easy manoeuvrability when parking is a benefit of the relatively tight 11.9 metres turning circle.
The Escalade is equipped with four large ventilated disc brakes featuring dual piston (front) and single piston (rear) lightweight aluminium calipers to meet the highest performance demands. Backed up by ABS, the system also includes Panic Brake Assist (to boost braking power in an emergency) and Dynamic Rear Brake proportioning that regulates braking pressure depending on vehicle load.
Every Escalade model is equipped with high performance tyres optimised for ride, handling and dynamic capability. Both the Elegance and Sport Luxury models have 18-inch alloy wheels with 265/65 R18 tyres.
Optimised Protection with Active & Passive safety technologies
The Escalade features state-of-the-art ‘passive’ and ‘active’ safety technologies to provide optimised protection for occupants in the widest possible variety of driving scenarios and hazardous situations.
As well as class-leading passive safety in both its structure and equipment, the Cadillac Escalade leads the way in dynamic or ‘active’ safety too. It is equipped with a standard traction control system (TCS). It combines both engine torque reduction and brake application on individual wheels to eliminate wheelspin at all driving speeds for maximum driver control regardless of conditions.
Fully integrated chassis control is augmented by Cadillac’s ESP-style StabiliTrak system. This full-time, fully-automatic system detects deviations from the driver’s intended course and applies the brake to one or more wheels to eliminate excessive understeer and oversteer, particularly during sudden evasive manoeuvres and when driving on wet, snow-covered or icy roads.
As a first line of ‘passive’ defence, the Escalade’s chassis frame and body panels make extensive use of ultra-high strength steel. Each Escalade has a total of six airbags fitted as standard, including dual-stage driver and front passenger airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags and two full-length side curtain airbags with rollover protection. All are controlled by a central Sensing Diagnostic Module (SDM) which automatically detects an impact, gauges its severity and determines the most appropriate airbags to deploy.
Other standard safety features on Escalade include Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist, seatbelt pretensioners, the LATCH system (for easy installation of child seats at both outboard positions of the second row), child security door and window locks, anti-theft protection and battery rundown protection.
Escalade is designed to be among the industry’s safest and most secure vehicles and features an industry-first – a 360-degree front seat belt pre-tensioner activation system that provides segment-exclusive deployment in rear impacts.