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 Vauxhall Astra switch here and Insignia button there, but overall cabin quality is improved.
There are four trim levels to choose from - Premium, Platinum, ESV Premium and ESV Platinum. The entry-level models come with 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 12.3in digital instrument cluster and Cadillac's 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system complete with USB connectivity, Bluetooth, wireless phone charging, 360-degree camera, sat nav and a Bose sound system. Middle row passengers get a separate entertainment system, with 9in screen, Blu-ray player and wireless headphones.