Photo: Alex Davies / Business Insider
Last month, we spent a few days driving the Platinum version of the 2013 Escalade, the fully outfitted luxury SUV that starts at $83,540.It’s a luxurious boat of a car, and was significantly more comfortable for our trip from New York to Washington, D.C. and back, than a crowded bus.
This is the third generation since the SUV was introduced in 1999, and we liked a lot about it. But when compared to the latest models of competing luxury SUVs, it loses out.
That’s because Cadillac is getting ready to release the next generation Escalade, and the car we drove is rather old hat.
Nonetheless, sales of the SUV have remained steady, according to Todd Brown, who leads Escalade marketing, a good sign for a car near the end of its run.
But to compete with the new offerings in a competitive market, including the excellent brand new Range Rover and fully redesigned Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, the Escalade needs a few big updates.
Rather than a full breakdown of what we thought of this Escalade, here is what we hope to see in the next generation.
Based on spy photos of the next Escalade obtained by Car And Driver, the basic shape of the SUV won't change much.
Cadillac will certainly include its CUE 'infotainment' system that is already in the XTS and ATS. The system is now getting some necessary fixes, according to Wired, which should be in place for the new Escalade.
The heated and cooled cup holders are a great idea, but we're not sure how well they worked. That could be improved.
Same goes for the heated steering wheel. And there's no need for that large shifter sticking out. Go for something smaller and less clunky.
Like massage seats, analogue clocks are showing up in many high-end cars. In the next gen Escalade, we would prefer one that's easier to read.
We expect to see a lot of improvement in the entertainment system. Dual screens for rear seat passengers can play DVDs, but the next version should accommodate more digital content. And make them touch screens.
And there should be screens for the passengers in the third row, at least in the Platinum edition. There's no reason for the youngest members of the family to lose out on the fun.
The third row leaves very little room for one's knees. The next Escalade should be configured to create more space, preferably without making the vehicle much longer.
And disappears completely. There was nothing complicated about folding the seats, saving us a headache.
The Escalade we drove was equipped with a rear view camera and blind spot zone detection, especially helpful in such a big ride. Those will stick around.
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