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2015 Cadillac Escalade is exactly what you expect [w/video]

Mon, 07 Oct 2013 19:30:00 EST

Leading up to the debut of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, we were told that the new luxo-SUV would be "much less ostentatious" and that we could expect greater differentiation from its Chevy Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon siblings. And while those things may be true to some extent, after digesting the full raft of Escalade information and photography, we can say that this new 2015 model is exactly what we were expecting all along.
No, there isn't a single part of the new Escalade package makes us go "wow" or "ooh," but it still looks like a solid, nicely updated offering that will surely attract the same sort of baller status when it hits the road. For starters, the new front end has been completely redesigned, where cleaner, tauter lines work with the full-LED headlamps and running lamps to create a face that, while familiar, falls right in line with the rest of Cadillac's lineup. Around the sides, the shape is exactly the same as the rest of the SUV's platform mates, with better-fitting body panels and a handsome, upright design. Of course, 20-inch wheels are standard, and hifalutin' 22-inch rollers are available (in chrome, we assume). Things get really interesting around back, where full-LED taillamps extend from the bumper all the way up to the top of the tailgate, and - like the Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon - the rear window wiper has been integrated into the top of the hatch for a cleaner look. It all looks pretty modern and good, but doesn't really tone down the otherwise flashiness of the Escalade package.
Like its predecessor, the new Escalade will be available in standard- and extended-wheelbase formats (bring on the EXT!). Only one engine is available: GM's 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8, good for 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Both two- and four-wheel drive configurations will be offered, and the new Escalade should be a bit better to drive than the previous model, with a new coil-over front suspension and five-link rear setup, a wider track, variable-assist electric power steering and Cadillac's Magnetic Ride Control system with Tour and Sport modes.

Playboy reveals its 2013 Cars of the Year

Thu, 20 Dec 2012 08:27:00 EST

Vaunted men's magazine Playboy knows that its readers are nearly as interested in cars as they are in the female anatomy... sorry, we thought we could write that with a straight face. Anyway, the buff-book does occasionally fill some of its spreads with sexy metal, to accent all the rest of the sexiness.
To wit, the magazine has unveiled its feature on the 2013 Cars of the Year. Without giving us much in the way of criteria for the awards, nor a clear framing of the categories ("Responsible Ride" is a particularly challenging concept, especially when you consider that the Mazdaspeed3 was the winner), Playboy has nevertheless highlighted what we assume to be it's favorite 12 or 13 (depending on how you count) cars from the 2013 model year.
Headlining the class is the Porsche 911, which Playboy writers single out for having "remarkable electronic voodoo." BMW M5 is named "Slickest Sports Sedan" though the Cadillac ATS then follows on because "we couldn't resist giving the new Caddy a shout-out." The rest of the picks are pretty conventional (save, perhaps, the Honda Fit EV as "Ace Electric"), even if the categories and methodology are fairly wonky. Cruise through or gallery for a taste or check out the full list, here. The site is safe for work, and you can legitimately (this time) say that you were reading it for the articles.

These are the top luxury cars bought by people entering the segment for the first time

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:30:00 EST

Let's say you just got a big promotion at work or the kids are moving out of the house, and you finally have some extra money. You decide to blow it all at once and treat yourself by upgrading your ride. Naturally, you look to a luxury automaker. What do you choose?
Models like the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class may be tailor-made to introduce buyers to the premium segment, but a new study finds that they don't garner the highest rates of non-luxury customer conquests. It turns out that a Volvo leads among folks moving up to a premium brand, and it isn't even one that's made anymore, at that.
A recent study by Polk and IHS Automotive looked at what models had the highest rates of buyers upgrading from a non-luxury segment. The information comes from its new vehicle registration data through April 2014. All ten top models boasted conquest rates of over 50 percent, but the Volvo C70 led the field with 68.01 percent of its customers coming from non-premium brands.