There's too many car reviews online - so we hate doing them. But when given the chance to jump behind the wheel of a 2007 Escalade - the ultimate SUV - I said 'what the hell, let's do it.'
It goes without saying that the Escalade is sexy as hell and ridiculously roomy. But, of course, so is the Tahoe, which costs half as much. While they no longer share a platform and 95% of the parts, the two trucks are still the same size. The Escalade has an unnecessarily bigger, V8 and, most importantly, the constantly adjusted, futuristic-magnetically-charged shocks.
At one point, the Cadillac man that came along for the ride insisted, with no hint of sarcasm, that I try to flip the Escalade and - since it wasn't mine - I was happy to give it a shot. It didn't take long for me to get the four-ton bastard up to 50 on a surface street and, bracing myself for rollover goodness, I yanked the wheel for a hard left (after all, Tony Soprano flipped his Escalade and walked away).
The king of bling just turned into the parking lot where I pointed and screeched sideways like a Camaro. Expensive computers told one side of the car to become stiffer to make up for...physics. The truck was unflippable.
So, drivability is impressive and who doesn't like 22inch chrome rims from the factory. Quality is another issue altogether. Bare in mind that the $77 grand on the Escalade's sticker can buy a slew of different luxury cars. Before even getting a close look at the Caddy, I could see the seam of the drivers' door was crooked, narrow on the top and much wider on the bottom. This was without looking very closely - it didn't occur to me to check the body on a new car - I usually reserve it for salvaged pieces of crap like that Buick Riviera I had.
Crooked doors, on a brand new, $80K Cadillac. Seriously? Inside, the plasticky feel of fake wood panels glued onto pickup dashboard panels is a bit better than it was on the old, pickup-based Caddies - but not much better. The second time I went to backup, the backup camera had stopped working. The time before, it had shown the rear bumper on the navigation screen, which was cool. I put the car into 'drive' and then 'reverse' again. Nothing, the camera toy had gone too. Again, this Escalade had 40 miles on it at the time.
I was done. The Bose, 5.1 Dolby sound system also sounded like crap. The guy tried to explain that every Escalade's sound settings were adjusted at the dealer when it was purchased. 'So, it just sounds crappy from the factory?'
Maybe we, as a society, need to find a new pimpmobile? Maybe better-made and with better gas mileage?