Since 1902, Cadillac has been building premium-segment automobiles. After founding partner Henry Ford sold his interest, Cadillac’s remaining owners moved the brand further upscale during the infancy of America’s automobile industry, and even earned the prestigious Dewar Trophy as the “Standard of the World” in 1909 for the brand’s competence and interchangeability of its parts from model to model. That same year, Cadillac became part of General Motors.

Countless automotive innovations first appeared on Cadillacs. As the industry moves towards mass battery electric vehicle adaptation, GM’s brass wants to position Cadillac once again as the “Standard of the World.” As the number six selling ‘premium’ brand in the American marketplace — after Tesla, Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, and Audi, with a rather steep drop-off after Audi — Cadillac’s product planners have a lot of work to do.

During this week’s Escalade Sport visit, a cold mid-November, GM announced to investors and financial houses that it plans to use government subsidies to sustain its BEV drive, counting on recent legislation to help defray the ever-increasing costs of battery components, while consumers will help pay for rapidly rising retail prices with the enhanced BEV subsidies that the government will offer.

Trying to convince investors that GM can be as valuable, or likeable, as industry darling Tesla, they claim that they can maintain their net margins and be a leading BEV provider by 2025. Currently, GM, which appears to be doubling down on its sarcastic label as “Government Motors,” has no models on the top-ten selling list of BEV’s in America.

Until all of these incentives kick-in, how will GM pay for the billions of dollars of BEV investment? By selling thousands and thousands of gas-using SUV’s like our handsome Escalade Sport.

The best-selling vehicle in Cadillac’s lineup — by far — is approaching twenty-five years old. Re-done for 2022, our 2023 Sport quickly demonstrated why the Escalade is the most sought after luxury SUV for a large majority of premium buyers; it has a rich interior, with ample application of premium materials. The interior looks and feels upscale, and it is premium comfortable.

The Escalade’s interior.

Using 38-inches of horizontal screens in the curved-dash — very well integrated, not add-ons like several rivals — the Escalade relays a ton of data to the driver, while still providing several banks of real buttons and controls to handle frequently managed vehicle operations, like the row of climate buttons under the screen with the desired levels of tactile feedback. No errant multiple finger strikes on a bouncing screen here — just accurate interaction.

There is a large heads-up display, plus our Platinum-trimmed Sport included Augmented Reality Navigation and forward viewing screen — you could drive from below the steering wheel, in theory — as well as forward night vision (for detecting humans and critters in your path), in addition to Cadillac’s trade-marked Super Cruise, a hands-free driving assist.

A closer view of the Escalade’s heads-up display.

Other “goodies” include power folding third row seatbacks — up and down, power folding running boards, a console refrigerator, a plethora of electronic driving aids and assist systems, magnetic ride control with adaptive suspension, 22-inch wheels, panoramic roof, trailer blind-spot system (8,000-pound tow rating) auto-reverse assist system, heated second row bucket seats, massaging front seats, as well as a 36-speaker AKG audio system that replaced the standard 19-speaker AKG speaker setup — just in case you missed some high-notes.

The powertrain is powerful, with the throbbing 6.2-liter, 420 horsepower V-8 providing ample enthusiasm running through a selectable AWD/4WD system and a smooth 10-speed automatic transmission. A 3.0-liter straight-six diesel engine — with the same torque output as the V-8, (460-lb./ft.) is optional, while 2023 brings a new Escalade V model with a supercharged version of the V-8 making an incredible 682 horsepower. Fuel economy ratings are 14/18 mpg for the V-8, with 17.5-20 mpg realized, while the diesel produces EPA ratings of 21/27 mpg.

Base pricing starts at $82,590, while our Sport Platinum stickered for $113,915. The Escalade V will start at $152,000.

The Escalade’s stance is unmistakable; the elongated LED lights front and rear readily say Cadillac, while the bold, upright front grille is unlike any rival. The rear emblem pops open the liftgate, while the upper glass panel may be opened separately.

There is a certain heft to the Escalade, a deliberate-ness to every touch-point. From the door handles to the steering feel, the Escalade requests purposeful engagement. It rolls down the road with ease, confidently dispatching road imperfections and discreetly reaching elevated velocities without strain. Bestowed with the latest technology, graceful road manners, and soul-full power, the Escalade is well positioned to help generate the boatloads of money that GM needs to reach its BEV goals.

Tim Plouff has been reviewing automobiles for more than 20 years.