An oasis on wheels
May 6, 2017
Decided to replace 2009 Tahoe LTZ after 175k. That was a great vehicle. There are six people in our family and the kids are getting older/bigger. We make frequent trips north to ski.
I had every intention of buying a Yukon Denali XL and never gave the Escalade a thought at first. I drove the Denali and liked it's road manners -- certainly an upgrade from my Tahoe. However, I was thoroughly unimpressed with the quality of the interior. Hard plastic everywhere. The Multimedia interface (and icons) reminded me of my old Garmin GPS. You would never know that you were sitting in a 75k vehicle as opposed to a more pedestrian Chevy Malibu.
For fun, I asked the dealer to let me look at an Escalade (2016 Premium with Kona brown interior). WHOA. What a difference! The all glass guages, CUE system, natural wood and rich aromatic leather everywhere got me hooked. Since I tend to hold onto my vehicles for a long time, I ultimately special ordered an ESV with Luxury trim, 4WD and Kona brown leather .
I now have over 6000 miles on my Escalade. I love driving it. The engine has oodles of smooth V8 power and the magnetic ride control, I think, improves the handling substantially. The quality of the ride reminds me a lot of the caddys and town cars I used to drive for a limo service many moons ago -- just smooth, comfortable and roomy --- though I suspect the escalade has better handling without a "sofa soft" suspension. The interior of the escalade is outstanding. The Bose sound system is great. I really like CUE though, like any "computer", it can be quirky at times (a minor bother at best).
There are a couple things worth mentioning. First, I think the transmission takes longer than 500 miles to adapt. I found that after 5000 miles, some of the hiccups in the transmission (which were minor to begin with...and I'm a hypersensitive driver) improved markedly. No issues after that. These vehicles are expensive and many other reviewers compare the escalade with similarly priced Range Rover, Lexus and MB SUVs. I don't think that is entirely fair. The passenger and cargo space of the escalade esv is simply unmatched. I also think that the escalade is still a truck at heart (and in parts...most of which shared with the Yukon and Suburban). But, if you need the space and durability of a suburban but are wiling to pay for the luxury of an escalade, I don't think you will be disappointed...Consider spending the extra money to get a very real upgrade in luxury from the Yukon Denali.