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     CARS AND GIRLS GALLERY



CARS REVIEW - Cadillac Escalade 2007


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Introduction

 

The Bush administration has suggested that Ford and GM’s struggles can be easily corrected by building better vehicles. That’s a fair statement for a crew that is chauffeured around in a dated fleet of domestic SUVs, though it doesn't apply to this year’s batch of products. Perhaps it’s time the Secret Service went shopping for some 2007 Cadillac Escalades, in which the President would quickly realize that the quality of his home-grown trucks matches what’s being unloaded by all of those heads-of-state he travels to meet. And taxpayers would like knowing the $55,000 base price is the same as it was in 2006.

 

Escalade Design

 

Like the Chevy Tahoe on which it’s based, the 2007 Escalade features clean body lines, subtle wheel flares, hidden rocker panels, and a front end that resembles the midsize SRX SUV with its large chrome grille and thin vertical headlights. That sparking mug is more than a design cue, it also allows for plenty of air to cool the engine when pulling heavy loads. Behind the scenes, the front end has been designed to impact passenger cars lower and safer, and the frame has been stiffened by nearly 50 percent.

 

Power

 

Big trucks need big power, a point capably addressed by the 2007 Cadillac Escalade’s 6.2-liter, 16-valve, aluminum V8 pushing 403 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 417 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm, the same powerplant squeezed into the ESV and EXT versions. A six-speed automatic transmission is mated to the big Vortec engine, and features a tow/haul mode as well as a button for manual shifts – simply drop the column-mounted shifter into M and tap the switch to change gears.

 

Driving

 

The 2007 Cadillac Escalade feels plenty quick on the highway, yet is equally adept at strolling slowly along on congested city streets. It’s in urban environments where drivers may most appreciate the large side mirrors and clear rear view, though the wide C-pillars and second row headrests limit rear three-quarter visibility.

 

Escalade Specs

 

Engine Size and Type: 6.2-liter V8
Engine Horsepower: 403 at 5,700 rpm
Engine Torque: 417 lb.-ft. at 4,400 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Length: 202.5 inches
Width: 79.0 inches
Wheelbase: 116.0 inches
Height: 74.7 inches
Legroom (front/second row/third row): 41.3/39.0/25.6 inches
Headroom (front/second row/third row): 40.3/39.2/37.9 inches
Max. Seating Capacity: Eight
Max. Cargo Volume: 108.9 cubic feet
Max. Towing Capacity, lbs.: 7,600

 

Escalade ESV

 

Following the recent debut of the 2007 Cadillac Escalade, the Chevrolet Avalanche-based ESV version comes in May, adding 21 inches to the regular model though wearing the same fresh face, accented by vertically-stacked bright headlight housings and an expansive chrome grille.

 

Quality

 

It seems ironic that just as the light appears to be dimming on the large SUV segment, GM unveils its best looking lineup to date. The lines of the 2007 Cadillac Escalade trucks are much crisper, and the promise of tighter gap tolerances and a stronger focus on build quality address two of the main complaints with the existing vehicle.

 

Interior

 

Though the exterior of the 2007 Cadillac Escalade lineup can be considered an update, the interior is brand-spankin’ new. The dash, with its calf skin cap, has been moved about four inches forward and down for more room and better visibility. Quality leather covers the seating surfaces and door panels, an upscale mesh material is used on the headliner and upper pillar covers, and real wood is used to accent the leather-wrapped steering wheel. Aluminum trim decorates the center dash, while rubberized plastics are fitted to all of the common tactile points. Hard plastics are reserved for the lower door and dash panels.

 

Chrome

 

Cadillac designers call it Seven Layers of Chrome. The roof rack, window sills, door handles, badges, door moldings, wheels, and running boards are coated in the shiny stuff. Interestingly, during the Escalade’s press launch, the term “bling” was seldom uttered, aside from the tongue-in-cheek use by engineers describing new aluminum suspension components.

 

ESV Specs

 

Engine Size and Type: 6.2-liter V8
Engine Horsepower: 403 at 5,700 rpm
Engine Torque: 417 lb.-ft. at 4,400 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Length: 222.9 inches
Width: 79.1 inches
Wheelbase: 130 inches
Height: 75.5 inches
Legroom (front/second row/third row): 41.3/39.5/34.9 inches
Headroom (front/second row/third row): 41.1/38.5/38.1 inches
Max. Seating Capacity: Eight
Max. Cargo Volume: 137.4 cubic feet
Max. Towing Capacity, lbs.: 7,600

 

Escalade EXT

 

With its rear box, the all-wheel-drive EXT is technically a pickup truck, one that features an innovative fold-down midgate that effectively creates a full-size bed. But, aside from that design element, the EXT is much like the rest of the 2007 Cadillac Escalade lineup. There are clean new body lines with tighter gaps, front fender vents, and integrated running boards.

 

EXT Features

 

The 2007 Cadillac Escalade EXT features options like a heated steering wheel, a touch-screen navigation system, a rear DVD entertainment system, a Bose surround sound system, and 18- or 22-inch chrome alloy wheels.

 

EXT Design

 

If the 2007 Cadillac Escalade EXT looks vaguely familiar, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given that it’s based on the Chevrolet Avalanche. And, really, no amount of chrome or badging will disguise that unusual C-pillar.

 

EXT Competition

 

Currently, there’s only one real competitor - the Lincoln Mark LT - which is essentially a rebadged Ford F-150 with some added luxury features and a little more sparkle. It may be a small, niche market, but both Ford and GM obviously want to control the luxury pickup segment, and the latest revisions should keep momentum in the Escalade EXT’s favor. The Lincoln, while a significant step above and away from the ill-fated Blackwood, is too similar to the Ford, right down to the headlights. Plus, the Caddy beats the Lincoln in the power category by 103 ponies.

 

EXT Specs

 

Engine Size and Type: 6.2-liter V8
Engine Horsepower: 403 at 5,700 rpm
Engine Torque: 417 lb.-ft. at 4,400 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Length: 222 inches
Width: 79.1 inches
Wheelbase: 130 inches
Height: 74.5 inches
Legroom (front/rear): 41.3/39.1 inches
Headroom (front/rear): 41.1/38.1 inches
Max. Seating Capacity: Five
Max. Cargo Volume: 101 cubic feet (with midgate folded)
Max. Towing Capacity, lbs.: 7,600

Photos courtesy of Cadillac

(www.car.com)

 

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