I spent a weekend touring Abu Dhabi in a new 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV edition to give you a firsthand account of the tech inside. The Cadillac Escalade perfectly blends luxury and utility. With plush leather seats, BOSE speakers, Cadillac CUE infotainment and space for the entire entourage, it’s obvious why music artists from Bruno Mars to Ludacris mention the brand in their songs. The Cadillac Escalade is iconic and with the latest technology, it’s fun to drive.
Power to the People
All of the controls are power operated which makes it easy to adjust the vehicle settings. With the push of a button you can adjust everything from the seats to the steering wheel. One of my favorite features is the automatic running boards on each side. Rather than keeping them stationary, Cadillac implemented technology to store the boards along the bottom of the vehicle when their not in use. When a car door is opened, the running board automatically folds out and once all doors are closed and the vehicle is put in gear, the running boards are automatically stored. This function also makes getting in and out of the vehicle easier as it leaves more space between cars when it’s parked.
The Cadillac Escalade has four flat panel screens and a digital, touchscreen control panel in the dashboard. Two of the flat panel displays are in the back of the headrest on the driver and passenger seats. The remaining two fold down from the roof of the vehicle: one is visible from the first row of rear seats and the other is visible from the third row of seats. All of the screens have USB ports and allow pairing of peripherals like headphones via Bluetooth.
Cadillac CUE, the next-generation Cadillac user experience system, allows you to manage media and integrate use of smartphones and tablets. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard on all Escalade models. My phone paired to the system easily using Bluetooth and it automatically paired to my phone every time I got in. All I had to do was select a playlist to stream through those premium BOSE speakers using capacitive touch technology and I was set. An added benefit of pairing your phone to the vehicle is having information about it, like how much battery remains, appear in the dashboard.
My favorite display function is the Heads Up Display. It’s really a display positioned on top of the dashboard that’s reflected onto the windshield but it looks like a hallogram. The floating full color screen shows vital information at-a-glance like vehicle speed, engine RPM and infotainment details like radio station. As much as this feature gives me all the “techie feels”, it works as a safety mechanism too by helping drivers keep their eyes on the road.
As a wife and mother of two small kids I do a LOT of driving. I’m constantly shuffling between school drop offs/pick ups, trips to the supermarket and play dates. Therefore, whatever I drive has to have ample space and be easy to manage. I’m happy to report that the Cadillac Escalade ESV can easily accommodate up to four car seats. I only need space for two but my boys sat, what felt like, the length of a football field away from one another. Consequently, there was no passing licks, snatching toys or super annoying games of I’m gonna put my hand as close to you as I possibly can without touching you. Each kid had their own space – their own zone, even – and the rides were peaceful.
The extended-length ESV edition has enough space to store a double stroller and a several bags of groceries but if you need to haul bikes, scooters, helmets or anything else, the third row of seats are power operated. With a push of a button you can lower the seats as opposed to having to climb inside and physically exert yourself in awkward positions to manually fold them down. Automation made enabled me to use the truck’s features on my own, as needed.
While I can appreciate all of the space inside the Cadillac Escalade ESV edition, this vehicle is mammoth! I affectionately referred to it as “big baby”. Parking it can be a bit cumbersome. You’d think with a national average family size of 8 and more SUVs on the road than cars, that the UAE would be “big car friendly” but it’s quite the contrary. The parking structures and spaces are quite narrow. Park Assist helped me to confidently park the vehicle. When the Escalade is put in reverse, it triggers live streaming from the wide-angle Rear Camera Mirror to the 8-inch screen in the console which renders a wide field of vision of the rear of the vehicle. Even better, the parking system shows guidelines on the screen which help you to gauge and correct the vehicle’s path. Needless to say, backing in was my preferred method of parking.
The 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV edition is packed with premium technology and it’s nice to drive. There are too many comforts in this vehicle to experience them all in a few days and some of the features were discovered by accident. On one occasion, my husband was driving and he told our oldest son, who was sitting behind him, to stop kicking the seat. A few minutes later, he reminded him to stop kicking the seat. We traveled a little farther and he gave the same directive; “STOP kicking the seat!” Finally, we parked and with exasperation, my husband turned around to stop the seat kicking once and for all but he quickly realized there was no way my son was actually kicking the seat. We were all a bit perplexed and dismissed the ordeal as daddy being wacky. After taking the truck for another spin on his own, my husband realized what he’d been feeling – Safety Alert Seat vibrations, another feature included in the 2017 Cadillac Escalade. For more information on Cadillac’s groundbreaking and a primer on what’s under the hood, visit the Cadillac website today.