2015 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Premium SUV

20151031_172117On a cool November morning, I dropped by Pirate Radio (104.7 FM – Greeley) to show the DJ’s a Cadillac Escalade painted Dark Granite metallic and featuring a Kona brown/black leather interior.  I take a vehicle to “The Pirate” every Friday morning, and this week I was fortunate enough to arrive in a beauty.

Both Matt “The Big Kahuna” Arguello and George “Elvis” Gray seemed to like the Caddy, and George found favor with the driving environment and dashboard appointments.  Matt fell in love with the power retractable assist steps ($1,695.00), and is currently in the market for some to put on his GMC pickup.  The Escalade had a lot of other optional equipment on it, which I will go over later, and the base price was $84,070.00.20151101_075008

Cadillac sells around 30,000 of these Escalades each year, and have offered the full-size SUV since 1999.  The one I tested came from Automotive Media Solutions in Denver, and total sticker price was $89,360.00.  Equipment on hand other than the steps included the Kona brown interior setup ($2,000.00), and ultra-bright 22″ alloy wheels ($600.00).  Freight to deliver the Escalade to Denver (from the plant in Arlington, TX) is $995.00.

As a Premium edition of the Escalade, the loaner had pretty much every imaginable option, including rear seat entertainment, 16-speaker Bose stereo, power everything, and 6.2 liter V-8 power plant.  An eight-speed automatic is installed, and of course the vehicle is a four-wheel drive design.  It was very enjoyable to test, got rave reviews at Pirate radio, and would be certain to please the luxury SUV buyer.

2015 Infiniti Q50S 3.7 RWD Sedan

SAM_4142Ruth and I travelled to Alabama in October for the Camping World 500 at Talladega, Alabama, and while there tested a Hagane blue Infiniti Q50S.  Unlike the race, our trip and test ended pleasurably with a drive to Atlanta for the flight to Colorado.  Our stay was on Lake Martin in central Alabama, where in a lakeside cabin Hank Williams wrote “Kaw-Liga” – a reference to a lovesick cigar store wooden Indian – in 1952.  The number was included in Williams’ final recording session, and was placed on the flip side of “Your Cheatin’ Heart”, with both songs reaching Billboard’s number one position.  Hank Williams died January 1st, 1953, at age 29.

20151025_174521We enjoyed going through the Hank Williams museum in Montgomery, Alabama, but also had a good time for the first 500 miles of racing at Talladega on a temperate, overcast Sunday afternoon.  Nascar officials flubbed up the ending of the race, but by that time we had thoroughly enjoyed watching the proceedings and eating Alabama bar-b-que.  It was my third trip to the Talladega race, and the paddock arrangement behind pit road was great – we were there for nine hours.

I have tested several Infinitis in the past, and this one seemed particularly suited to my taste – a high performance luxury Q50S sedan.  Its M.S.R.P. was $47,755.00, including freight, and that price included the following options – navigation package ($1,400.00) and performance wheel package ($1,800.00)  Thus, the car carried a base price of $43,650.00 and freight came in at $905.00.  The interior was sumptuous, and included a suede headliner, semi-aniline leather trim, Bose 14-speaker surround20151029_163210 sound stereo with satellite radio, tilt/telescope, navigation system, backup camera, moon roof, and heated front bucket seats.  The Stone (off-white) upholstery was striking with “Infiniti” stitching in the front buckets and soft double-stitched speedometer/tach hood.

20151023_155757The Q50S is a high performance car, with 328 horsepower and 269 lb. lb. of torque – it is a 3.7 liter V-6 with dual overhead cams.  It’s rear-wheel drive, the preferred architecture for a luxury performance sedan in this category.  The transmission is a seven-speed automatic (like the Infiniti V-8s have) with manual shift mode and paddles.  The driver selects from four driving modes with a console-mounted button – sport, standard, eco, and snow.  The eco mode maximizes fuel economy, and this car’s ratings are 20 city and 29 highway.  I observed 22.8 mpg during the time spent with the Q50S and that matches up with the EPA combined rating of 23.

The Q50S styling features chrome door handles, exhaust tips, and Infiniti signature grill.  The paint was “Hagane” (Japanese for steel) blue metallic, and actually looked best in sunlight.  The 19” alloy (RAYS branded) ten-spoke dark gray forged wheels were surrounded with P245/40R19 (front) and P265/35R19 (rear) summer radials.  Staggered tire sizes – that’s when the car owner knows that he has a performance machine.SAM_4147

The Infiniti was great to have possession of during the week of racing fun.  The Alabama roads are smooth, winding, and secluded in the tall timber.  This reviewer had fun with the Q50S, and it comes with my recommendation.