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2009 Cadillac Escalade

The Cadillac Escalade is big and powerful, capable of towing trailers of 7600 to 8300 pounds. In its most popular configuration, the Escalade seats seven. Built on GM's full-size truck platform and equipped with a 403-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, the Escalade, ESV, and EXT make good tow vehicles. The 2009 Escalade Hybrid is notably easier on fuel than the standard Escalade, with EPA ratings of about 20 mpg. Mechanically, the 6.2-liter V8 can now run on E85 (EPA 11 combined) and Escalades with 22-inch wheels get Magnetic Ride Control automatic suspension damping.

The Escalade offers comfort and convenience features of a luxury sedan, including automatic climate control, navigation, rear camera, a premium Bose sound system, ultrasonic parking assist, power adjustable pedals, and heated leather seats. Escalade comes in three body styles: Escalade, ESV, and EXT. On the road, all Escalades are smooth and stable.

Options and Available Trims 2009 Escalade

The Cadillac Escalade is a full-size sport utility vehicle. Also standard are a six-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch alloy wheels, and Autoride (Road Sensing) suspension. 

The Escalade is available with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Standard features include leather upholstery (all three rows); three-zone climate control; DVD navigation with rearview camera; Bose 5.1 surround sound, XM radio and NavTraffic; Bluetooth; rear park assist; power liftgate; 14-way power heated front seats; driver memory; adjustable pedals; 50/50 split removable third-row seats; power tilt wood-and-leather-wrapped steering wheel; HID headlamps; heated, power folding mirrors; rain-sensing wipers; roof rack; running boards; and trailer hitch and wiring.

Options include rear roof-mounted DVD entertainment, 60/40 split-rear bench seat with heaters outboard, chrome wheels, block heater, moonroof, and the Ultra Luxury Collection with heated/cooled front seats, heated steering wheel, power fold-tumble second row seats, moonroof, automatic high beams, Side Blind Zone Alert, power retractable running boards, 22-inch wheels, Magnetic Ride Control. 

The Escalade ESV is available in 2WD and AWD. The ESV is 20 inches longer than the regular Escalade on a 14-inch longer wheelbase, which aids ride, third-row room, and nearly triples the cargo space behind the third row seats. ESV equipment and options are the same as the standard Escalade.

The Escalade EXT is a sister vehicle to the Chevrolet Avalanche, with a pickup profile and five-seat cabin using ESV rear side doors. Atop the range are the Platinum editions (Escalade 2WD; Escalade AWD; ESV 2WD; ESV AWD, Hybrid 2WD, Hybrid 4WD). Safety features on all Escalade models include anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes with EBD and Brake Assist; and an electronic stability control system called StabiliTrak with rollover sensing. Passive safety features include front seat belts with pretensioners and load-limiters, dual front air bags and side curtain air bags that span all three rows of seats. Since the Escalade is based on a truck chassis the cargo load floor is 32.3 inches off the ground.

2009 Interior Features 

The Escalade's interior was designed to provide luxury both in terms of space as well as features. Escalade comes standard with seven-passenger seating, with second-row bucket seats separated by a center console, with a three-passenger, third-row bench behind it. Escalade ESV adds more than a foot of space between front and rear axles, so the rear side doors are much longer. XM radio comes standard. 

A rear-seat entertainment system is available, utilizing a flip-down eight-inch screen that folds down from overhead. The Escalade's huge cabin benefits from triple-zone automatic climate controls: One zone for each front occupant and another tending to the rear-seating area. Escalade and ESV come standard with heated front and second-row seats while EXT gets heated front seats only. A power liftgate is standard on Escalade and ESV.

Arch-nemesis Navigator doesn't offer such aggressive tires as the Escalade but works well, especially on marginal road surfaces, because its independent rear suspension is much lighter than the Escalade's.

Engine and Power

All-wheel drive is available. StabiliTrak electronic stability control system manages wheel slip by applying the brakes at the slipping wheel without interrupting power deliver to the wheels with grip. Excepting the Hybrid, every 2009 Escalade tested to date scores EPA ratings of 12/19/14 on gasoline (city/highway/combined). The Escalade Hybrid features GM's two-mode, gas-electric hybrid propulsion system developed in conjunction with other automakers. The Hybrid adds thousands of dollars and roughly 450 pounds to an Escalade, lowers tow rating by about a ton (figure 4,500-4,700 pounds if the Escalade is loaded), and comes standard with 22-inch wheels and Magnetic Ride Control. "Escalade wagons are basically GMC Yukon Denalis with Cadillac looks, and add a pinch more power, extra standard features, and higher prices. All of GM's large SUVs are solid choices in their market segments, and although Escalade wagons may not be worth every penny of their extra cost over the Denali, they are Recommended picks in the premium large SUV class." says Consumer Guide. Hybrid Escalades are also offered with 4WD that has an auto setting for on-road use like the standard Escalade's all-wheel drive system but also has low-range gears for maximum effort like deep sand or rocky terrain. The Cadillac Escalade is an impressive vehicle in more ways than looks.


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