2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium 4WD: Sexy Luxury Vehicle for Adventure

A Girls Guide To Cars | 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium 4Wd: Sexy Luxury Vehicle For Adventure - P1070576 Custom
The 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium 4WD looks as good as it performs! Photo Credit: Susie Kellogg

Three tests for the 2015 Cadillac Escalade.

My very first thought when the 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium 4WD showed up in my driveway was: Oh, how I wish my beautiful 2005 Escalade ESV could procreate with this sleek, masculine, luxurious specimen! Lots of little Escalades in my driveway, one for every driver … oh, can you imagine?    

2015 Cadillac Escalade

Wouldn’t these two make beautiful baby Escalades? LOL. Credit: Susie Kellogg

And that was before I even drove it, my shallow leanings toward beautiful things made me want even more of these big, sexy trucks. After I drove it … well, you’ll have to read on to find out how I felt after driving it {gush, gush}.

Pushing it to its limits

My family and I are known for our rugged, outdoor lifestyle, and our penchant for extreme sports like surfing and snowboarding. Our full-time traveling life and our close knit family take us to some of the most adventure filled spots in North America.

Nothing about what we do or how we live is luxurious and so I was eager to get behind the wheel of, arguably, the most luxurious vehicle on the market and see if it could keep up with the daily rigor of our lives. I intended to break it, so to speak, show its inequities and bare its failures.

So, this review is not about how luxurious the Escalade is (it is) or about all the features (it has tons), or about how my kids didn’t fight once about seats (they didn’t). Instead this review focuses on the Escalade’s performance under the duress of an active family, in the face of adverse weather conditions and under the control of a speed crazed mother of 12. In short, I wanted to see if this truck could keep up with us.

First test:  0 to 60

2015 Cadillac Escalade

Flying around mountain roads is a great test for manueverability and speed! Credit: Kady Kellogg

It’s not well known, but I really drive vehicles hard and fast. I like performance and I love speed. In fact, everyone who knows me acknowledges I missed my calling as a racecar driver.

So, naturally, my first test of worthiness for the Cadillac Escalade was to see how fast I could hit it off an exit ramp onto the highway. The speedometer got to 110 and I was forbidden from going any faster by my level-headed, sane, ticket fearing husband. Sorry, my beta cuts off at 110.

2015 Cadillac Escalade

My kids approved the Escalade. Credit: Susie Kellogg

Under the hood of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade is a 420-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 engine and it absolutely delivers more standard power than anything else in its class. I clocked 0-60 up our private mountain road at just over 6.0 seconds. And it was consistent. You see, I tried several times, which is probably why the very next morning, our road was teeming with speed traps!

Next I had to see how it would feel gunning it off a stop light. And, let me tell you … it felt good. It’s basically silent at idle and when you hit the gas, full throttle, it sounds like … power. And while it’s no sports car, it accelerates quickly and reaches highway speeds in no more than 6 seconds!

I fell in love with the engine. It’s big, strong and powerful…sexy.

We are a power family, an outdoor family and our vehicles have to be able to go the distance and handle steep grades and adverse conditions. Cadillac hasn’t caved to political correctness, and reduced the size of the Escalade’s engine but rather they’ve upped the ante with the standard V-8, and for that they earn a lot of props in my book.

Score: A

Second test: mountain driving

2015 Cadillac Escalade

Plenty of room for all of life’s necessary gear! Credit: Susie Kellogg

The day the Escalade was delivered, we received six feet of snow overnight and so, the next morning, my husband, Dan, and I decided we needed to see how well this “luxury” truck performed in the snow. It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it. We played around doing donuts for about 30 minutes and jamming to the incredible sound of the 16 speaker Bose cabin surround sound system. Do you know how cool Eminem sounds blasting out of those speakers? No? You are missing out!

After, our little date, we planned to head up the mountain for first tracks at the local ski area, Sunlight Mountain Resort, and then run around town doing a few last minute Christmas errands.

Much to my surprise the 2015 Escalade Premium is surprisingly and deceivingly roomy. With the touch of a button, you can lower the back seats to create a cargo area that delivers 94.2 cubic feet of space, which for us, translates to 7 snowboards, boots and other miscellaneous gear.

2015 Cadillac Escalade

Plenty of room in the 2015 Cadillac Escalade. Credit: Susie Kellogg

And as for its ability in the snow, let me just say, perfection. No slipping, no sliding, great traction and great performance. And, as the temperature dipped below 10 degrees, it was so lovely to employ the heated seats and the heated steering wheel! A little pampering goes a long way with this mountain-loving momma!

Score: A+

Third test: Christmas tree hunting

Now, it’s great that the Escalade performed well driving around a snow-packed town, because we were not done. In fact, we had a lot more in store for this beauty. Excelling during in-town driving is important. But we take our vehicles into the backcountry, off the paved roads and into 4-wheeling country, so we needed to push the 2015 Escalade even further to see where its limitations lay.

The week we had the 2015 Cadillac Escalade proved to be a really incredible week for snow in our neck of the woods. As such we were stoked that the testing grounds were prime for pushing the limits of the Escalade. And we had the best idea for where to go!

Every year, our family tradition is to drive up past the ski area and then hike as high up the mountain as we can to cut down the perfect Christmas tree ourselves. In our minds we thought, “what better adventure for the Caddy?”

Now, we are a family of 14, and so we took two cars, our old 1999 Chevy Suburban and the bold, luxurious but rugged 2015 Cadillac Escalade.

2015 Cadillac Escalade

Any truck that can take you up into the high country and is rugged enough to tow a a tree … that’s our kinda truck! Credit: Susie Kellogg

Anyone with kids knows that fights over seats are common, but how about fights over vehicles? Every one of the kids wanted to enjoy the heated seats, the amazing sound system, the Wi-Fi, the rear seat entertainment system, my company … and so much more. Compared to the bare bones, no radio, limited heat Suburban, it was like winning the lottery for those of us lucky enough to secure a seat in the Cadillac.

The roads heading up past the ski area are not ideal and the snowpack was intense, but the Escalade did not flinch…not on switchbacks, not on hill climbs and not on declines. I even tried peeling out and it was steady and unwavering. I tried getting stuck. The Cadillac would not have it.

After finding our tree, a 15’ perfect specimen of a tree,  and tying it up on top of the truck, we pulled out our Zipfy sleds and our rope for some epic, extreme, truck sledding, compliments of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade.

The Caddy’s trailer hitch (nicely obscured by a cover when not in use) was the perfect spot to tie the rope that the kids hang onto while “sledding”. The first few runs I drove uber slow and was aggressively encouraged to pick it up … and so I hit 23 mph, with 7 kids being “towed” behind!

It was incredible; the Escalade was able to stop on a dime, even in the winter wonderland conditions we found ourselves in. The kids had a blast and we have a newfound appreciation for the term rugged luxury.

Score: A+

Where are the limitations?

2015 Cadillac Escalade

Beautiful and luxurious interior combine with rugged performance to deliver a truly can-do vehicle! Credit: Susie Kellogg

So, I’m left wondering about the limitations?  Surely the 2015 Escalade Premium 4WD is a luxury car, as it comes equipped with the features and comfort the most discerning of owners demand. It delivers in terms of performance and engine power.  The Wi-Fi, Bose speakers and rear entertainment systems keeps kids happy and entertained for any driving distance. The Escalade feels roomy; entire front and middle seats provide ample room for adults and the back row is perfect for kids.

The only limitation I found in my quest to drive the 2015 Escalade Premium to its knees is the price. Standard equipment puts the cost right around $84,070. The vehicle we drove was $88,365 with the optional $2k Kona Brown with Jet Black Accents Interior, $1700 retractable running boards, and $600 22” Dual 7-spoke Ultra Bright Finish Aluminum Wheels.

All in all, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade changed our perception of what the brand Cadillac delivers to its customers. It’s the perfect mesh of luxury and comfort and performance and rugged ability.  

What We Loved:

  • Powerful 420-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 engine
  • Ample space for 4 adults & 3 kids, large cargo space with back seats down
  • Heated steering wheel, heated seats in first two rows
  • Performs off-road as well as it does on the road
  • 16 speaker Bose cabin surround sound system
  • Steering wheel controls
  • Rear seat entertainment system
  • Sunroof

What You Need To Know:

  • Base price: $84,070; price for the model we drove: $88,365 
  • Fuel economy: 15 city, 21 highway, 17 average
  • 4 Year/50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty
  • 4 Year/50,000 mile premium care maintenance
  • 6 Year/70,000 mile courtesy transportation
  • 6 Year/70,000 mile roadside assistance
  • 6 Year/70,000 Mile powertrain limited warranty
  • 1 Yr Onstar directions & connections w/ automatic crash response & turn-by-turn navigation plus 5-year Onstar basic plan
  • 4 wheel drive

Susie and her crazy husband, Dan, travel the continent extensively with their 12 fun-loving, wild, adventurous kids in a... More about Susie Kellogg