2011 Cadillac Escalade Comfort & Quality

9.0
Comfort & Quality
Forget about the Cadillac Escalade's truck roots; its interior is roomy, comfortable, and luxurious—to the point that from the passenger seat it makes absolutely no difference that this is a body-on-frame SUV.

Whether in the first or second row, seats are generously sized and supportive, with enough comfort for all-day trips. Larger passengers will welcome the Escalade's abundant elbow and shoulder room. Throughout the Escalade model line, the second row is barely a downgrade from the front, and in the ESV, the third row is spacious enough, though getting back there can be difficult. In some trims, the second row includes a power-release feature that makes getting to the third row quite a bit easier. But there's one big if you often need to reconfigure for varied ratios of passengers and cargo, the Escalade can be a bear due to its third-row seats that need to be removed and stored, not folded.

The high driving position is a refreshing departure from many newer, somewhat claustrophobic and high-shouldered crossover designs, and the Escalade's instument panel sits low and is attractive and carlike.

The 2011 Cadillac Escalade isn't the most refined luxury ute, but its lavish interior and comfortable ride are top-notch.

Ride comfort across the Escalade lineup is good, but it's noticeably better when the going gets tough—whether that be the road surface, curvy highways, or a full load—in versions with the Magnetic Ride Control system. The Escalade's interior is already one of the best-hushed of the large SUVs, though you do hear the engine a bit too much for some tastes. For 2011, GM adds to the Cadillac Escalade's already excellent noise insulation, adding a laminated front windshield and front side glass, new weatherstripping, and a new outside mirror design.

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