Tag: Cadillac

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade review by Mark Elias Media Services

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade review by Mark Elias Media Services

Now in its fifth generation, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade has stepped up its game to the point where it truly is the standard of the world once again. At one time, limousines used to ply their trade, carrying A-list celebrities, politicians, dignitaries and even a bunch of crazed bridal parties before, during and after the nuptials. Now it’s the job of the luxury SUV. While the Escalade was paving the way towards future greatness, it wasn’t all that it could be.

Left hero Cadillac
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is the perfect match for Camera Copter’s helicopters.

That was the past. In those days, it seemed the Escalade was always a Chevrolet Suburban or a GMC Yukon that had a Cadillac grille slapped on the front of it.

Not anymore.

For 2021, the Crest club has really moved upmarket with an Entirely new Escalade. It could be Cadillac’s last great hope to save the brand. Mark Elias Media Services had a chance to experience the new Escalade for a week. Here’s our report.

above hood escalade
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is the perfect match for Camera Copter’s helicopters.

What’s new about the 2021 Cadillac Escalade?

  • It’s all-new for 2021
  • It has been stretched out a tiny bit
  • Super Cruise for near-autonomous driving is optional
  • Choice of engines including new 3.0-liter Diesel.
  • Available air suspension to supplement independent rear suspension.
  • Platinum models are pricey (some over $100,000)
  • Available in regular and XL sizes!

And just what is it?

hero heli cadillac
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is parked alongside Camera Copter’s Hughes helicopter

The Cadillac Escalade is the fifth-gen luxury SUV from General Motors’ flagship brand. This latest version is a technological tour de force representing a quantum leap over previous models. It now rides on a specially-built ladder frame, which caters to more improved ride and handling. It’s a different arrangement than the tough truck-like box-frame underpinnings of other large luxury vehicles. This includes the outgoing 2020 model.

Power for the Escalade comes from a choice of two engines: the first, a 6.2-liter V8 that makes 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. This direct-injection engine features cylinder deactivation that will shut down four cylinders once cruising is achieved to save fuel. The second choice is the 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-6 cylinder engine, which is a no-cost option. This powerhouse makes 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft at a barely-breathing 1,500 rpm. It uses a diesel exhaust fluid reservoir filled with urea to “scrub” the diesel exhaust gas. It needs refilling approximately every oil change or 10,000 miles.

rear view Escalade
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade as seen from the rear view.

Both engines are mated to a stellar 10-speed automatic transmission. Our tester included the new Cadillac air ride adaptive suspension with magnetic ride control, which works to provide one of the smoothest and most isolated rides we have ever experienced in a luxury truck-based SUV. It is a GM product that has found its way into the new rear-engine Corvette Stingray and is used under licensing agreement in several Ferrari cars.

With all these features, it’s easy to see why some call this new Cadillac Escalade “the new King of the road.”

A jog around the 2021 Cadillac Escalade (as big as a) block.

Still looking every bit like the massive SUV that it is, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade features a newly designed front end with horizontal LED headlamps, vertical front lighting elements, three-dimensional taillights and a rear spoiler.

New 22-inch wheels are standard, while our Escalade 4WD Sport featured a large black mesh grille, and similar black features around the SUV. Our Premium model included a distinctive level of distinguished chrome brightwork both inside and out.

Speaking of inside…

Cadillac dashboard
The interior of the new 2021 Cadillac Escalade

This seven-passenger SUV has been re-engineered thanks to the addition of the independent rear suspension making its debut in the 2021 model. As a result, it has been designed with seats that ride lower and are positioned in a much roomier fashion. That redesign has opened up ten inches of extra legroom for third-row ADULT passengers.

There’s luxury everywhere. The sixteen-way power front seats offer massage and climatizing, depending on your needs and the ambient temperature. Middle-row seats are equipped with captain’s chairs, but if you need to transport up to eight people, the captain’s chairs can be replaced with a bench seat at no charge.

escalade touchscreen
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade touchscreen display.

Our Platinum Luxury version included a semi-aniline leather interior and a 36-speaker (!) AKG stereo system. Soft closed doors protected our sensitive ears from the sudden jolt of a door slam, while adaptive cruise control, automatic reverse braking and Magnetic Ride Control with Air Suspension helped to soften the ride and protect the passengers inside.

Magic Carpet Ride!

interior cadillac second row
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade 2nd row.

That’s exactly what it feels like in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Sport Platinum model. We can’t get that Steppenwolf song out of our head now, damn it! But crank up the 36 speakers from the AKG audio system. It will be good for you!

Behind the wheel, you’ll feel like you are in the cab of a big rig because in all actuality, you are. Thankfully this feels nicer than a Peterbilt or a Kenworth. Power from the big 6.2-liter V8 is satisfying, especially when you consider the Escalade is tipping the scales at over 5,600 pounds. That’s almost three-tons of fun!

backseats cadillac
The three rows of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade.

The Escalade’s new infotainment system with the 38-inch display is certainly impressive, with its directions that overlay on a live camera feed of the road ahead. It’s just the thing to keep you heading in the right direction. Which, after all, is the goal of life in the first place.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is on sale now.

Our sincere thanks to Paul Barth and Camera Copters for the assistance in making these photos. He is the best in the business for Aerial Cinematography piloting a variety of platforms. You’ve seen his work on Television and in Film. You just might not have realized it!

2018 Cadillac CTS-V RWD Sedan

2018 Cadillac CTS-V RWD Sedan

Let’s call it a 20-footer. From 20 feet away the Cadillac CTS-V RWD sedan looks like the unassuming young executive’s Cadillac CTS. You know, the one with possibly the 2.0-Liter turbocharged four-cylinder or even the 3.6-liter V6. But then you would come closer to notice the carbon fiber spoilers, inserts and side skirts, not to mention the hood that has been “pimpled-up” (not pimped, but Pimpled) to offer clearance for the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine.

The Cadillac CTS-V is clearly a wolf in sheep’s clothing. How else would you explain how a supercharged engine and magnetic ride control both found their way under the skin of this normally staid, if somewhat creased, four-door five-passenger sedan? That’s not all. There’s a performance-calibrated 8-speed automatic transmission that smoothly steps through the cogs as the 6.2-liter winds toward redline.

A sum that is as great as its parts, the Cadillac CTS-V is one of those rare vehicles that has all the space and utility of a traditional family sedan, while being the perfect foil for an owner who once wheeled Corvettes or other high-performance cars but through practical realities (marriage, children, a desire for constant double dates) has had to step up to something larger. What the new CTS-V owner gets instead of a two-seat performance coupe or convertible is a sedan that tracks flatly, grips well, and even lets you toss the tail out every now and then.

The interior is a little too dark for our taste because of the black on black appearance of the faux suede seating. There are carbon fiber inserts throughout to give some of that boy racer appeal that is verging on being dated, albeit in a more sophisticated manner. The continual improvement of the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) system has rendered an in-car entertainment system with eight-inch display, that is actually easier to use than ever before and manages to pump out the jam nicely through the Bose Surround Sound system. The TFT gauge screen is totally configurable depending on which drive mode you desire. That doesn’t mean all is perfect. Too many tiny buttons tend to crowd up the steering wheel for our taste. But a Presidential-sized hand would probably appreciate it more.

Under the hood of the CTS-V lies the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 Engine directly from the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. In this guise,

CADILLAC CTS-V
CADILLAC CTS-V

it Is producing 640 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. Zero to 60 comes on in 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 200 mph. An exhaust system that gives great throat is also part of the mix and makes the car all the more lusty, the harder you press the skinny pedal. It’s like driving a Corvette. With a larger, but shapely ass, that happens to house a bunch of suitcases for a road trip. An enthusiast will like it.

Behind the wheel.

The power from the 6.2-Liter V8 is ridiculous. Head snapping in its abilities, a HANS-device is almost required for every passenger inside. The magnetic ride control helps to keep the V’s chassis in check, firming up where needed, yet offering a relaxed, relatively comfortable ride during all other situations. In touring mode, the steering feels a bit lighter as opposed to the firmed up feeling we get from Sports mode setting. so good, in fact, Sports mode was our go-to default as it was unobtrusive for most driving circumstances. Ultimately, you didn’t get the feeling of being beaten up by your car, like you do in other examples.

The concept behind the CTS-V is to build a sedan that overpowers its competition whether domestic or foreign or even a coupe (we’re looking at you, SRT Challengers). In this, it succeeds and does so in spades. In a phrase, it’s a ballsy sedan that manages to do everything right. Except turn heads. Driving in car-loving South Florida, we were surprised at how little attention the CTS-V actually drew. I guess that despite the authoritative rumble from the twin stainless steel trumpets out back, the only way you would attract attention in SUV and Pickup-loving Palm Beach county, would be if this was a Cadillac Escalade-V, or GMC Sierra-V pick-em-up truck.

And that is so unfortunate, because this car is so much more.

2018 Cadillac CTS-V RWD Sedan.

Base MSRP:     $86,495  Price as Tested: $103,235.

Includes Advanced Security Package, $600; Carbon Fiber Package, $6,250; Luxury Package, $2,500; Recaro Sport seats, $2,300; Performance Data Recorder, $1,600; Gas Guzzler Tax, $1,000; 19-inch painted wheels, $900; Dark gold Brembo calipers, $595; Destination Fee, $995.

Key Specs:

Engine:                        6.2-liter Supercharged V8

Injection:                     Direct Injection

Horsepower:               640 HP

Torque:                        630 LB-FT

Transmission:            8-speed automatic

Suspension:                Front: MacPherson Strut

Rear:                            Independent MultiLink

Cargo:                          13.7 cubic feet

Length:                        197.6 inch

Curb Weight:              4141 pounds

Height:                        57.2 inches

Wheelbase:                 114.6 inches

Width:                         72.2 inches

EPA Estimate:            14 City/21 highway/17 combined

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”122″ gal_title=”2018 Cadillac CTS-V”]

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2017 Genesis G90 RWD Ultimate

2017 Genesis G90 RWD Ultimate

Even though the 2017 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate is a totally new vehicle- and Genesis is now a stand-alone brand, parent company Hyundai has had a few years to get it right. As far as luxury goes, the South Korean company introduced the Equus, in 1999. We didn’t see it until its second-generation sibling appeared in North America, which was an okay first effort for these shores. Still, it suffered from some cost-cutting measures that rendered that horse a little lame from the start.

What a difference a name change and a total re-imaging of Hyundai’s prestige brand can accomplish. We are just thankful they have re-imagined their current ad campaign (“Respect is the ultimate Luxury.” Huh?) Hop in as we test the new 2017 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate.

Choices: You get two.

Available in two trim levels, the 3.3T Premium, and as our tester, the 5.0 V8 Ultimate, the G90 is the large flagship of the Genesis premium line. A five-passenger unibody design, it is adaptable for family or executive transportation duties nearly anywhere in the world.

2017 Genesis G90 5.0-liter V8

Our tester received motivation from a 5.0-liter V8 direct-injection engine making 420-horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to an eight-speed electronic automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual shift mode using the steering wheel-mounted paddle shift levers.

This sled rides on a Nürburgring-developed multilink front and rear suspension with Genesis Adaptive Damper Control, allowing the driver to adjust ride characteristics according to road conditions and driver’s mood. They can be set for Eco, Smart, Sport and Individual drive modes that set specific calibrations for throttle and road conditions.

Both 3.3T and 5.0 versions are available with optional all-wheel-drive.

Looks.

While not exactly following the design ethos of its Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-series or Lexus LS competition to the “T,” the G90 is still as large and imposing. Accented with just the right amount of chrome brightwork, the exterior of the new G90 also features the trademarked Genesis grille as seen through most of the lineup. Expressive LEDs illuminate the G’s path and include self-leveling and steerable lighting to brighten up the darkest corners of the night.

The swept-back roofline finishes with a short rear overhang that is elegant and functional at the same time. The rear fascia includes a pair of chromed finishing pipes that exit just under the rear bumper.

Interior fitment.

The part where driver and passengers interact shows that Hyundai / Genesis have been paying close attention to the cabins of their competition. Well-made, the G90 interior breaks no new ground but, with a few exceptions, does offer all the features you would expect from highline rides costing thousands more.

2017 Genesis G90’s 14-way adjustable front seats.

Workmanship in the car is beautiful, and a huge improvement in quality over the Equus. Gone is the polished leather feel found in that dearly departed, replaced with a higher-quality, more heavily-gauged Nappa hide that actually feels like it belongs here. The buttons are all over the place–lots of them. But their arrangement is much better sorted than the outgoing model. Still there is room for improvement.

Seating in the G90 is found at the intersection of elegant and comfortable. A 14-way driver’s seat offers a multitude of adjustments including bolsters that widen or narrow as needed. Heating and ventilation occur in the outboard seats, which also include reclining front and rear seatbacks. We were only wishing they included a massage function.

On the dashboard sits an analog clock that is a nice touch, but we think it is definitely in need of a specialty watchmaker brand, to boost the caché of this car. IWC, Bulova, and other brands could be leveraged in this spot.

While a factory rear seat DVD system does not currently exist, we were thoroughly entertained by the Lexicon 900-watt audio system with Clari-fi technology, which helped to restore sound quality lost in digital audio tracks. It goes a long way to enhance the musical quality coming from the 17-speaker 7.1 Surround-Sound system.

Safety

The Genesis G90 is loaded with all the safety features typically found in this class of vehicle including a forward collision warning system with automatic braking, driver drowsiness sensing, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic sensing, full front, rear and side air curtain airbags, and of course, lane departure warning and prevention.

Behind the wheel

Intensely quiet, the Genesis G90 sits alongside such segment luminaries as the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi’s A8, Lexus’s LS460, and even the Cadillac CT6. Except for the engine raising its voice under pressure, it manages to proceed with little more than a purr from the pavement. Credit to the ContiProContact tires and the gobs of underbody insulation to keep the road noise at bay.

Power from the 5.0-liter V8 is immense. While not absolutely necessary for most people, it will still be the choice for those who equate luxury with power. Steering from the motor-assisted power steering system offered a competent feel that is perfectly at home in a luxo-barge like this Genesis. If the standard Smart setting is not to your liking, a quick flick of the switch will place you in either Eco, Sport or customizable Individual settings, that while not appreciably firming up the suspension to any major degree, still offer a slight throttle and suspension remap. Either way, it results in a satisfying ride quality.

The wrap-up.

Despite the fact the Genesis G90 will feel to some as the next-generation Equus, it is all new from the ground up. While the G90 may not attract the conquest buyer the brand is hoping for, it is priced right. Going for the fences, this Genesis hits solidly. While it may not be a grand slam, this one is out of the park.

2017 Genesis G90 RWD 5.0 Ultimate

Story and photos by Mark Elias

MSRP: $69,700. Price as tested: $70,650.

Includes: $950 Destination fee.

 

Key Specs

Cylinders:                                            V8

Displacement:                                    5.0-liter

Power:                                                420 hp @ 6,000 rpm

Torque:                                              383 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm

Fuel System:                                     Direct Injection

Fuel:                                                   Gasoline

Acceleration:                                    0-60mph in 5.3 seconds

Drive Type                                        4WD

Gearbox:                                           8-speed automatic with Shiftronic

Tire Size:                                          245/45R19F front — 275/40/R19 rear

Unladen Weight:                            4,905-pounds

Length:                                             204.9-inches

Width:                                              75.4-inches

Height:                                             58.9-inches

Wheelbase:                                      124.4

Cargo Volume:                                15.7 cubic feet

Cd:                                                      0.27

City:                                                    15

Highway:                                           23

Combined:                                        18

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