Exterior & Styling

When I saw the first press images of the all-new Escalade, I was aghast. The new front grille seemed way too extravagant for what is essentially an all-American SUV. Then I saw it in black-metallic painted flesh at the Detroit auto show and realized that this would be a big seller. I've only seen black Escalades on the streets, and I was delighted to receive the dark blue test vehicle. How do you tone down all the chrome? Get a subtle color like this blue. Overall I'm a bigger fan of the traditional look of the Range Rover, but it's easy to see why people are attracted to this Escalade.

The front is overwhelmed by the multi-faceted chrome grille, so much so that you barely notice the huge headlights. In back, vertical LED taillights add a high-end touch and Ч if you think about it Ч tie this un-car-like SUV right into the rest of Cadillac's lineup. Large chrome wheels finish off the package, and while I would opt for something more practical, they weren't at all gaudy. Even as someone well outside any of the target markets for the Escalade Ч I'm neither hip nor old enough to be a former Cadillac owner Ч I felt comfortable being seen behind the wheel.

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