The Inside

If I had to drive forever in the Escalade's optional heated and cooled seats, I don't think I could complain. Why every luxury car doesn't come with ventilation is a mystery. On a hot hour-long ride home from a weekend getaway the cooling seat meant I didn't have to blast the other occupants with cold A/C while I sat in the sun.

The thick, padded armrest and storage bin were nice, but I prefer the handy cell phone indentation the Yukon and Tahoe have in their centers, compared to the Escalade's ornamental wood strip. It's a little thing, but I thought that was a nifty use of space.

Along with others in the office I'm a bit perplexed as to why Cadillac chose to stray from the standard center stack controls that the Yukon and Tahoe have and instead use the slightly more outdated Cadillac ones also seen in the STS sedan. They're adequate, but the environmental controls are much more confusing and forced my eyes from the road too often.

The sound system and center LCD screen were above par and almost identical to the Yukon Denali's in terms of quality. Unlike a bad road trip in the Denali, though, the Escalade's navigation did not get us lost (even returning to the same exact home address). On the weekend trip to a nearby resort town, my wife and I were accompanied by her parents. My wife and mother-in-law sat in the second-row captain's chairs and enjoyed the chauffeured life the Escalade provides. My wife even popped a romantic comedy Ч I'm generally not a fan of the genre Ч into the DVD player. With the remote in hand and wireless headphones in place, we didn't hear from her the rest of the trip. Now I know why parents love these things.

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