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by Keith Burton

When I first stepped up to the new 2007 Cadillac Escalade I found myself staring at what is clearly a vehicle designed to get your attention. Cadillac pulled out the stops when they designed this large luxury SUV, it gleams with a massive chrome grill and numerous chrome accents. Our black and chrome test vehicle drew numerous thumbs up from people in lesser vehicles.

Performance is also outstanding in a large vehicle. With a powerful 6.2 liter V8 and 416 ft.lbs of torque, we saw a 0-60 run at 7.3 seconds, which compares favorably with some muscle cars of the 1960’s. If there is a down side, the ride is firmer than you will find in a Lincoln Navigator, which may put this vehicle off for some luxury SUV customers.

They won’t fault the interior though. It is beautifully laid out with soft leather and the type of fit and finish that once was only found on European vehicles. While the Escalade shares its platform with the newly redesigned GM SUVs from Chevy and GMC, it gets an entirely different instrument panel and center console and is truly upscale in appearance. We liked the blue lighting of the needles on the gauges. We also liked the automatically deploying running boards that are neatly integrated into the rocker panels.


1.      Very stylish new exterior and interior

2.      Extremely powerful with a 403 horsepower 6.2 liter all –aluminum V8 with a whopping 417 ft.lbs of torque

3.      Elegant interior with soft leather, an entirely different dash than lesser SUVs on the same platform, Stylish blue pointers on gauges

4.      Huge available 22-inch chrome wheels and chrome grill (really stands out)

5.      One touch tumbling second row seats

6.      Strange wood and leather steering wheel, feels weird

7.      Strangely stiff ride –perhaps from the big tires, but handles well

8.      Very fast for an SUV, but even with the six speed, feels like it is always in the wrong gear

9.      Why no electric steering wheel tilt?

10.  Towing Capacity – 7,700 lbs

 “The 2007 Escalade represents the next phase of Cadillac’s product renaissance – one that was launched by the previous-generation Escalade,” said Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. “Since its inception, Escalade has been a vehicle discerning customers aspire to own. This model raises the bar with exceptional exterior style, interior refinement, increased performance and enhanced ride and handling smoothness.”

The Escalade has a sleeker, cleaner and more athletic form with improved aerodynamics while appearing smaller in stature. It is instantly identifiable and incorporates styling cues from Cadillac’s landmark Sixteen concept vehicle, including a more detailed signature grille, front fender vent ports and layers of chrome accents.

Details in elements such as wraparound fascias, styled mirrors and integrated running boards enhance Escalade’s flowing design, enabling a look that’s both aggressive and elegant. All major sheetmetal and body components are new and feature crisp, taut lines. The sleek, toned look includes a faster windshield angle of 57 degrees, which flows gracefully into the roofline. This also improves aerodynamic performance to a segment-best 0.363 coefficient of drag, which helps improve fuel economy and reduce wind noise.

The cabin also is more spacious, with an instrument panel that is lower and moved forward in the vehicle. This interior comes in two colors: Ebony and Cashmere.

The vehicle features a unique instrument panel; instrumentation gauges with white needles and blue light inlays with continuously lit, white-LED backlighting; Nuance leather-covered seats; leather-covered door trim and center console; fabric-covered interior pillars; and an available heated steering wheel. A power-assisted rear liftgate that opens and closes with the touch of a button also is standard equipment.

Escalade delivers convenience with a new industry-exclusive power fold-and-tumble second-row seat feature that eases access to the third-row seat, and a power-assisted rear liftgate that opens and closes with the touch of a button.

Escalade also includes an available eight-inch touch-screen navigation system, as well as a DVD system with a large, eight-inch flip-down screen. A segment-first Bose 5.1 Digital Surround Sound system is integrated into the new family of radios that play DVD audio/video, CD audio/video, MP3s and XM Satellite Radio.

A new 6.2L V-8 rated at 403 horsepower (301 kW)* and 417 lb.-ft. of torque (565 Nm)* is exclusive to Escalade. This all-aluminum engine uses v ariable valve timing (VVT) to optimize camshaft timing to improve low-rpm torque and high-rpm horsepower. The introduction of variable valve timing through the unique, dual-equal cam phaser is the industry’s first application of VVT on a mass-produced V-8 overhead-valve engine.

A new Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission is matched with the 6.2L engine. One of the industry’s most advanced automatics, the 6L80 features clutch-to-clutch shifting and has a wide, 6.04:1 overall ratio – including two overdrive gears – that helps deliver an excellent balance of performance and fuel economy.

A stronger frame and chassis support the more powerful powertrain and enable exceptional responsiveness and ride and handling smoothness. A new, fully boxed frame offers 49-percent increased torsional stiffness and a 35-percent improvement in beaming stiffness, compared to previous models.

Larger, four-wheel disc brakes and an all-new Bosch ABS system help ensure braking performance. ABS works with the StabiliTrak stability control system’s new rollover mitigation technology. This software algorithm technology uses sensors to proactively predict vehicle “tip-up” and apply appropriate brake force to help prevent such events.

Cadillac says Escalade is designed to be among the industry’s safest and most secure vehicles, with numerous safety systems and crash-avoidance technologies. A new occupant protection features include head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for all seating rows and a 360-degree front safety belt pretensioner activation system.

In keeping with Cadillac’s reputation for advanced technology, for 2007, OnStar-equipped Escalade models will feature Generation 7 technology and a new service called OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation, the first factory-installed, fully integrated GPS navigation system from OnStar. Turn-by-Turn allows consumers to talk to a live advisor, who in turn sends complete step-by-step directions to customers' vehicles through their OnStar system. These audio directions automatically play through the vehicle’s stereo as needed, triggered by the OnStar system’s GPS capabilities. This enables drivers to be led to their destination while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.



Models: Cadillac Escalade AWD and 2WD
Body style / driveline: full-size, 4-door luxury sport utility, front-engine, all-wheel drive version
Construction: all-welded, fully-boxed, ladder-type channel design, with hydroformed front and rear sections
EPA vehicle class: full-size, 4-door luxury sport utility
Manufacturing location: Arlington , Texas
Key competitors: Lincoln Navigator, Lexus LX 470, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Infiniti QX56


Type: 6.2L V-8 (L92)
Displacement (cu in / cc): 376 / 6162
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Block material: cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum
Valvetrain: OHV, 2 valves per cylinder
Ignition system: coil near plug ignition, iridium electrode tip / iridium core spark plugs, low-resistance spark plug wires
Fuel delivery: sequential fuel injection
Compression ratio: 10.5:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 403 / 301 @ 5700*
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 417 / 565 @ 4300*
Recommended fuel: premium recommended but not required
Maximum engine speed (rpm): 6000
Emissions controls: close-coupled catalytic converter, Quick Sync 58X ignition, returnless fuel rail, fast-response O2sensor
Estimated fuel economy
(city / hwy):
 13 / 19


Type: Hydra-Matic 6L80 RWD 6-speed automatic
Gear ratios (:1):


                First: 4.027
                Second: 2.364
                Third: 1.522
                Fourth: 1.152
                Fifth: 0.852
                Sixth: 0.667
                Reverse: 3.064
Final drive ratio: 3.42
Overall ratio (spread): 6.04


Front: independent, coil-over-shock w/36-mm stabilizer bar; Road Sensing Suspension, real-time damping
Rear: five-link with coil springs, 28-mm stabilizer bar
Traction control: all-speed traction control
Steering type: power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Steering ratio: 17.75
Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock: 3
Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m): 39.04 / 11.9


Type: power-assisted four-wheel discs with standard four-channel ABS; vented front discs, solid rear discs; twin-piston front calipers, single-piston rear calipers
Rotor diameter x thickness
(in / mm):
front: 13 x 1.18 / 330.2 x 30
rear: 13.5 x.787 / 345 x 20


Wheel size and type: 18-inch x 8-inch 7-spoke machined aluminum (std.)


18-inch x 8-inch 7-spoke chromed aluminum (opt.)


22-inch x 9-inch 7-spoke chromed aluminum (opt.)
Tires: P265/65R18 AL2 Bridgestone (touring) blackwall steel-belted radials (domestic and export)


P285/45R22 AL3 Bridgestone (performance) blackwall steel-belted radials



Wheelbase (in / mm): 116 / 2946
Overall length (in / mm): 202.5 / 5143
Overall width (in / mm): 79 / 2007
Overall height (in / mm): 74.3 / 1887
Track (in / mm): front: 68.2 / 1731.8


rear: 67.0 / 1701.8
Minimum ground clearance (in / mm): 9 / 228.8
Ground to top of load floor (in / mm): 31.6 / 802.1
Approach angle (deg): 17
Departure angle (deg): 21.9
Curb weight (lb / kg): 5665 / 2570
Weight distribution
(% front / rear):
52 / 48



First Row Second Row Third Row
Seating capacity (8 total): 2 2 / 3 2 / 3
Headroom (in / mm): 40.3 / 1023 38.5 / 978.0 38.2 / 971.3
Legroom (in / mm): 41.3 / 1048.9 39.0 / 990.8 25.4 / 644.2
Shoulder room (in / mm): 65.3 / 1657.9 65.3 / 1657.4 61.7 / 1566.1
Hip room (in / mm): 64.4 / 1636.7 60.6 / 1538.9 49.1 / 1246.5
Cargo volume (cu ft / L):




Behind 1 st row, 2 nd row folded no third row 108.9 / 3084



Behind 2 nd row no third row


60.3 / 1707.7


Behind 3 rd row



16.9 / 478.6


EPA interior volume (cu ft / L): 108.9 / 3084 (from back of front-row seat rearward)
GVWR: (lb / kg): 7100 / 3220.5
Payload, base (lb / kg): 1435 / 651
Trailer towing maximum (lb / kg): 7700 / 3493
Fuel tank (gal / L): 26 / 98.4
Engine oil (qt / L): 6 / 5.7
Cooling system (qt / L): 17.6 / 16.7

* Horsepower and torque SAE certified. A new voluntary power and torque certification procedure developed by the SAE Engine Test Code committee was approved March 31, 2005. This procedure (J2723) ensures fair, accurate ratings for horsepower and torque by allowing manufacturers to certify their engines through third-party witness testing. GM was the first auto manufacturer to begin using the procedure and expects to use it for all newly rated engines in the future.


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