By Matt Schmitz on January 21, 2014
The base price of the Escalade is, well, escalating in the new model year. Cadillac announced that the latest version of the luxury SUV will start at $72,690, including a $995 destination charge. That's nearly $8,000 more than the base price of the outgoing 2014 version and a whopping $9,145 more than one of its competitors, the 2014 Infiniti QX80, which has a starting price of $63,545 including a destination charge, but still nearly $11,000 less than the 2014 Lexus LX 570, which starts at $83,540 with destination. The 2015 Escalade is set to arrive at dealerships in the spring.
The reason behind the dramatic spike in price is that Cadillac dropped the previously available base model, which started at $64,740, including destination. Donny Nordlicht, a Cadillac spokesman, said that model was sold only in "extremely limited" quantities and discontinued in the first month of the model year's production (Cars.com shows just 31 base-model 2014 Escalades available in its online inventory out of over 4,000 available). The 2015 starting price applies to the lowest trim level, now called the Standard, which comes with a host of equipment not available on the 2014 base model.
There's no indication that the 2014 Escalade's top Platinum level is returning for 2015. Standard is now the base level, with Luxury as the midlevel offering and Premium the top tier. For the 2014 Escalade, Luxury and Premium were the first and second trim levels and started at $68,965 and $73,245, respectively, with Platinum at the top starting at $81,515 (all prices include destination).
Prices for 2015 Escalade's trim levels are not yet available, but we do have details. The Standard trim includes Magnetic Ride Control, LED headlights and taillights, 20-inch dual seven-spoke chrome-plated aluminum wheels, a backup camera, front and rear park assist, a hands-free power liftgate, the Cadillac User Experience multimedia system, leather seats with power adjustability for the driver and front passenger, heated and cooled front seats and a heated second row, a power fold-flat third row, power adjustable pedals, a heated and power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and adaptive remote start.
Moving to the Luxury trim adds 22-inch seven-spoke premium painted wheels with chrome inserts; the Driver Awareness Package with a Safety Alert Seat, lane departure warning and forward collision alert systems; blind spot warning; lane change assist; rear cross-traffic alert; IntelliBeam headlamps; second-row power release fold-and-tumble seats; a sunroof; and a full-color head-up display.
The Premium trim includes the Driver Assist Package with front and rear automatic braking, Automatic Collision Preparation, adaptive cruise control, illuminated exterior door handles and a rear entertainment system with a 9-inch overhead screen.
The 2015's 6.2-liter V-8 engine, standard across all trims, is up 17 horsepower for a total output of 420 hp, while torque increases to 460 pounds-feet, up more than 10 percent. Power is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive remains standard and all-wheel drive is an option.
News Editor Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt