2011 Cadillac Escalade Performance

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Performance
The 2011 Cadillac Escalade is a big, heavy, truck-based luxury vehicle. But you can almost forget about its heft and truck roots thanks to an amazingly strong, responsive engine and expert chassis tuning that makes the Escalade feel quite responsive, if not flingable.

The huge, thirsty 6.2-liter V-8 in the Escalade makes 403 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque, which allows the Escalade to dash to 60 mph in only about 6.5 seconds, according to some sources, even though it weighs nearly 6,000 pounds in some trims. The engine's willing companion—most of the time—is a responsive six-speed automatic transmission.

Magnetic Ride Control is offered on most of the Escalade lineup, and it's the key to enabling the ridiculously huge 22-inch tire-and-wheel combinations that the model is known for, while allowing it to ride in a way that won't bust your bum—and handle remarkably well. While the Escalade is hardly maneuverable, it corners with a verve and responsiveness that will catch driving enthusiasts completely off guard.

While the Escalade needs some help from Weight Watchers, you'd never know based on how quick it accelerates and how well it responds.

Once again the Escalade is be available as either a rear- or all-wheel-drive model. Stopping power is provided by large, powerful brakes that work so well that, again, you can forget entirely that you're hauling three tons or more.

Towing capacity remains at 8,100 pounds for the all-wheel-drive model and a hefty 8,300 pounds for the rear-wheel-drive variant.

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