Escalade Sport Platinum (4WD) — Tires: P275/50R22 all season; wheelbase: 120.9 inches; length: 211.9 inches; width: 81.1 inches; height: 76.7 inches; suspension: coil-over-shock front, independent rear; steering: electric power rack-and-pinion; fuel capacity: 24 gallons; city: 14 mpg; highway: 18 mpg; base price: $113,695; price as tested: $120,715; website:

Is it still the King of Bling after over a quarter century on the road? You bet. The fifth-gen Cadillac Escalade is that and much, much more.

Under the hood sits a 6.2-liter V8 EcoTec3 engine that blasts off 420 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 460 pounds-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. The 10-speed auto gearbox is quieter than most that we have driven recently in any luxury SUV. And the start-stop feature (automatic engine stop when the vehicle halts) ensures substantial savings in fuel and weight. The Dynamic Fuel Management system deactivates four of the eight cylinders for fuel savings. And if you need to haul a sailboat or another car, the tow capacity is an astonishing 8,000 pounds.

You can identify an Escalade anywhere, thanks to its gigantic presence up front with the centered and traditional crest emblem in the Galvano chromed grille, flanked by horizontal HID (high-intensity discharge) headlights. The iconic, full-size luxury SUV genuinely gleams in the cabin department with OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen technology, which basically is light produced in response to an electric current. Three screens: a 14.2-inch instrument display behind the steering wheel; to the left, a 7.2-inch touch screen for driver information center; and a 16.9-inch infotainment screen in the dashboard. All use OLED and boast twice the clarity of a 4K TV. Audiophiles will love the 36-speaker AKG sound miracle, which can be heard via the ceiling, headrests and even the center console. Add the navigation system with augmented reality to the mix and you are in business.

Other luxuries include the tri-zone auto AC, flip-down 12.6-inch DVD screens for rear passengers, panoramic sunroof, hands-free lift gate, head-up display, heated/cooled front seats, suede headliner and attractive dark-auburn-with-black-accent interior. The stainless-steel speaker grilles throughout are eye-catching. Ingress and egress into the high-sitting vehicle is convenient, thanks to power retractable running boards. The third-row seat folds via a power button in the cargo hold, while the second-row power seat moves fore and aft 5.5 inches.

Dual front and side airbags; side curtain airbag for rear rows; stability, hill descent and traction controls; four-wheel antilock brakes; rearview camera; rear-cross traffic, forward-collision and side-blind zone alerts; lane keep assist with departure warning; Super Cruise, a hands-free driving assistance system; front/rear park sensors; tire pressure monitoring system; and daytime running lights are standard. Magnetic Ride Control adjusts the four-wheel independent suspension as per road conditions, resulting in a smooth but firm ride. It also keeps body roll to a minimum.

It may weigh over 5,800 pounds, but the Escalade has ample power to result in a graceful, smooth and easy-riding companion as your passengers’ ride in luxury. All you need is an overblown bank balance to pamper yourself and the family.

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