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Any self-respecting American rapper will tell you that owning an Escalade is about one thing: showing off.

In the UK, driving along roads running through anywhere other than the most exclusive postcodes, that brashness is multiplied by 10.

But while the Escalade's size and styling is enough to send bowler hats tumbling over here, for the majority of Americans, it's actually seen as the all-about-me variant of GM's large SUV platform - the others including the more restrained GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Silverado.

That hasn't stopped the Escalade selling by the bucket load in the US, and now in its fourth generation, Cadillac hopes the improvements it has made to quality, infotainment, chassis dynamics and safety kit will cause us to consider it alongside the likes of a Range Rover or Mercedes-Benz GLS.

But if you were anticipating talk of an aluminium monocoque chassis and country lane-friendly dimensions, you'll be disappointed. No, Cadillac has stuck with its familiar body-on-frame construction, and its Escalade is now bigger and heavier than ever.

The Escalade's V8 is less archaic. It's the same as you'll find in the Chevrolet Corvette, and although detuned, it features that car's clever cylinder shut-off technology.

Plant your foot and there's a pleasing V8 roar from the exhausts some metres behind you, but while 0-60mph takes 6.7sec, you never really get a sense of it. From inside this near three-tonne Cadillac, progress feels steadier than the hot hatch acceleration figures suggest.

Engine refinement is good, though, but it's a shame the standard six-speed automatic gearbox is slow and jerky with anything more than moderate throttle inputs, although GM's promise of a more advanced eight-speeder has never materialised.

All Escalades come with Magnetic Ride Control with two settings: Tour or Sport. While damping over large obstacles is generally impressive, even in its more relaxed setting the big Caddy never settles down. Its secondary ride is the issue, with a body that constantly fidgets over bumps and ripples.

While body control through tight bends is better than before, even in Sport the Escalade leans farther than a Range Rover or GLS. Its steering feels disconcertingly light around the straight-ahead and artificially heavy off it, too, even when stationary in town. Not ideal when you have almost six metres of car to park.

Inside there are seven seats, while an eighth is a £360 option. The first two rows have space for adults to stretch out, but on our short-wheelbase model the third row is better left to kids. Boot space is huge, with up to 1461 litres available behind the middle row, but go for the longer ESV Escalade and that grows to 2172 litres.

From the driver's seat you can't help noticing the odd Astra switch here and Insignia button there, but overall cabin quality is improved. There is also four trim levels to choose from - Premium, Platinum, ESV Premium and ESV Platinum, with the entry-level models include adaptive LED headlights, keyless entry, electrically adjustable and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, tri-zone climate control, a colour head-up display, heated steering wheel, a 12.3 in digital instrument cluster and Cadillac's 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system complete with USB connectivity, Bluetooth, wireless phone charging, 360-degree camera, sat nav, a rear entertainment and a Bose sound system.

The Platinum-trimmed Escalade comes with the Platinum package which equips the car with a suede headlining, 22in wheels and a unique front grille and massaging front seats, while the ESV models gain an additional screen for the third seats.

Even if you like the sound of the improvements, you can't buy one just yet. Cadillac is looking to open its one and only dealer in London. Even then, there is extremely limited availability and it's left-hand drive or nothing. Frankly, you should be paying more attention to its rivals.

A range-topping Autobiography V6 diesel Range Rover is around £3000 cheaper, and while not ultimately as spacious or well equipped, is a far better way to spend £90,000 on a luxury large SUV in just about every other conceivable area.

Of course, you won't be driving the biggest, brashest luxury SUV money can buy, but for the majority of people in the UK that'll be just fine thank you very much.

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