Rolls-Royce and Cadillac play in two very different arenas, but General Motors’ luxury division helped create the luxury SUV segment. Now, with consumers SUV crazy, nearly every luxury make has jumped aboard.
The latest is Rolls-Royce and its Cullinan SUV. The vehicle provides all the luxury one would expect from a Rolls-Royce with the off-road capability of a sport utility vehicle. After digesting the British luxury marque’s latest, it left us wondering if Cadillac needs to move the Escalade even further upmarket.
Right now, the Escalade is no match. It’s built on a GM truck platform shared with GMC and Chevrolet that simply can’t match Rolls-Royce’s aluminum spaceframe architecture. The platform incorporates self-leveling air suspension that automatically drops the SUV 1.5 inches upon entry.
Exterior looks are subjective, but we think the Cullinan is a looker. Inside is where the Rolls really shines, though. Hand-finished metal pillars frame the center stack and leather washes over much of the cabin. Real woodgrain separates the interior motif. Of course, like any Rolls-Royce, the rear seats are the place to be.
Suicide doors give way to the rear cabin, which is walled off from the trunk with a glass partition. The seats can also fold electronically.
We’ve heard rumblings that the Cadillac Escalade could absolutely make a push more upmarket, specifically over the $100,000 mark. Yet, the Rolls-Royce costs $325,000 to start. Cadillac is nowhere near the point where it could price such an SUV, but with a little more branding, the right content and more, the Escalade could (and should) be an ultra-luxury SUV.