As one of the last few truly truck-based luxury SUVs left on the market, the Cadillac Escalade makes varied impressions. Its boxy look and rugged body extend clearly to GM's other full-size SUVs, like the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon, but many of its luxury-car details and bright-chrome trim pieces assert that this is more of a true luxury vehicle.
On the outside, the Escalade is a little intimidating--a tall wall of chrome and rather slab-sided sheetmetal, with large headlamps extending upward. But some of the details are more disarming; for instance, the ports alongside the fenders are ornate and showy, while the huge 22-inch wheels are rolling jewelry.
There remain two body styles of the 2013 Escalade. At 20 inches longer than the standard-length version, the Escalade ESV adds longer doors on the outside (and more third-row space inside). And from some paces back, the Escalade and Escalade ESV do have quite different proportions overall.
Fundamentally, the Escalade's look and layout inside is quite conventional. None of the dashing, heavily styled instrument panels that have bowed in Cadillac's cars have shown up here, and from the driver's seat it's simple, but a bit low-set. Opulence is added through the materials with soft leather and metallic and wood trims, but not necessarily through the design.