It's still a full-size, 5.2-meter long SUV with exceptionally wide interior and 3 rows of seats.
Its bigger than the Range Rover, the Audi Q7 and the Mercedes GL, not to say bigger than BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne and other mid-size SUVs. The closest competitors to the new Escalade are the Lexus LX, the Infiniti Qx56/Qx90 and the Lincoln Navigator.
The front seating area now provides nearly 10 cm more legroom and 4.4 cm headroom. Also the new Escalade is now 4 cm wider (204.4 cm full width without mirrors),
The passengers` space at the 2nd and 3rd rows remains virtually the same. But for those demanding souls who care of passengers and trunk, a long wheel base Escalade ESV version will be available, with 5.7 meter total length.
Now Escalade features a unique, sculpted, elite-quality interior which has almost nothing to do with Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon.
Also Cadillac promises improved noise isolation (partly from Bose Active Noise Cancellation). And front seats with ventilation and heating, 2-nd row seats with heating and, power third row seats, and multiple other Cadillac comforts come standard.
Speaking about the electronics, the new Escalade now stands at the same level as Range Rover and Mercedes` S-class. The Escalade is now capable of automatic accelerating, decelerating and braking to full stop in case of emergency.
Also similarly to Range Rover and Mercedes S-class, the new Escalade had its dashboard replaced with full-width display. Also a head-up projecting display is available.
The new Escalade incorporates fully-LED headlights (which provide both low and high beam). These come standard, as well as power liftgate with hands-free feature (you can simply pass your foot under rear bumper to make it open), power folding seats at all three rows, and many more.
Among safety features there are the first in the world front seat center-mounted air bags, Mercedes Presafe-like automatic safety belt tightening, and others.
There`s only one engine available, the 420-hp, 6.2 liter V8. Dynamic specs aren`t available yet, but we expect less than 7 seconds to accelerate to 100 km/h and top speed of about 200 km/h (though in the US it`ll be government-limited to about 170 km/h).
Also a hybrid and a hyper-output "V" version might arrive later.
Though Escalade is still a tough-built, body-on-frame SUV partly based on the "real" off-roader Chevrolet Tahoe, it is not equipped with hard-core off-road features like low range transfer case, adjustable-height suspension and special bumpers.
And while it`s still capable to cross an off-road area, one must understand that low bumpers can be easily broken, and hill-climbing, prolonged tire slipping, and off-road towing can harm the transmission
The price for the new Escalade hasn`t been announced yet, but probably it`ll remain one of the best offers on premium market: nearly all features come standard, and it still costs about $65-75K, which is significantly less compared to smaller German smaller premium SUVs.
The new Escalade will be available in the USA in April `2014. No info on sale plans in other countries yet, but expect availability at least in Russia and China as well, where previous Escalade was not just sold but assembled as well.