The Cadillac Escalade is the luxury marque’s flagship full-size SUV that sets the bar in its segment in nearly every area. And it continue on that path by offering a four-seat executive option to its lineup. Let’s explore the idea in today’s GM Authority Opinion Desk.
Lexus has thrown down the gauntlet with its recently-announced all-new 2022 LX 600, built to take on the Cadillac Escalade. One highlight of the new flagship Japanese utility is an available four-seat executive version called LX Ultra Luxury, a first for the brand.
With this option, the LX 600 offers rear-seat captain’s chairs that recline up to 48 degrees accompanied by a massaging function with a power-retractable ottoman (footrest) and personal tray table. As a caveat, seat recline and ottoman use is only intended for when the vehicle is parked. Nevertheless, in its reveal video, Lexus tells viewers to “enjoy reimagined VIP seating.”
Such a setup is currently or has previously been offered in large luxury sedans such as the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes S-Class, and Audi A8 L, among others. Cadillac could do one better than all the others by offering a four-seat executive option in the Escalade, with more available room by removing the third-row seating.
The Escalade’s current second-row bucket seats, the most “luxurious” configuration offered, could be replaced with exquisitely-designed and luxuriously-trimmed reclining captain’s chairs that would be set back a bit in the second row area, providing plenty of room to recline, with an integrated footrest to match, without encroaching on the front seats as is the case in all the other vehicles listed above.
This would also allow Cadillac to slightly expand the width of the captain’s chairs while adding a feature-rich center console, since access to the third row would no longer be needed. That center console could include a personal tray table, padded armrest, a fridge/cooler, storage for devices and things (like expensive blankets), charging and input ports for the Rear Seat Entertainment system, along various controls for media, seats, massage, and lights.
Currently, the second row of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade offers 38.9 inches of headroom, 41.7 inches of legroom, 64.6 inches of shoulder room, and 61.2 inches of hip room. Removing the third row would free up 36.6 inches of legroom, giving captain’s chairs in the second row more room to recline and space for foot rest.
The Cadillac Escalade is designed and ready for a high-end luxury four-seat executive setup for those who desire such an option, taking the flagship even further upmarket, and benefitting GM/Cadillac in the process (generally speaking, automakers make very healthy margins on options). It’s a win-win for all involved – for the customers and for the automaker – and we must say that we’re surprised that such an option hasn’t already been introduced for the Escalade.
As a reminder, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade debuted as a complete overhaul of the flagship SUV, representing the fifth generation of the Escalade nameplate. The all-new re-engineered and redesigned model features pioneering technologies that add a new dimension to the iconic luxury SUV.
That includes exclusive, first-to-market technology innovations, including a 38-inch curved with OLED screen, the first AKG automotive audio system, with 36 speakers, and Cadillac’s acclaimed Super Cruise driver assistance technology.
Production of the 2022 Cadillac Escalade started on October 6th at the GM Arlington Assembly plant in Texas. The new model year brings several minor changes, such as more standard safety features, the Buckle to Drive feature, the replacement of two paint colors with three new ones, plus the deletion of NFC phone pairing.