BEST of the BEST 2014 | Wheels | SUVs & Wagons: Cadillac Escalade

For the 2015 model year, the fourth-generation Cadillac Escalade (www.cadillac.com) is poised to reclaim its status as the premier luxury SUV—the Cadillac of SUVs, if you will. It is a little wider, slightly more spacious, and more refined than the previous model.

In addition to redesigning the exterior so that it has a more streamlined look, Cadillac has widened the vehicle’s rear track by nearly 2 inches to increase stability. It also has added nearly 12 cubic inches of space to an interior that now includes, as standard equipment, heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel, and a Bose noise-canceling system that eliminates the engine din. The ESV version of the Escalade adds 14 inches to the wheelbase of the standard Escalade and nearly 10 inches of legroom to the third-row seating.

The Escalade’s engine is a 6.2-liter V-8 that produces 420 hp and 460 ft lbs of torque. That is enough power to propel the 5,840-pound vehicle from zero to 60 mph in just under 6 seconds.

The two-wheel-drive base model has a starting price of about $72,000, and the top-of-the line ESV Premium long-wheelbase model is priced from about $86,000.

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