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Posted at 02:33 PM ET, 10/14/2011

The Cadillac takes the SUV by storm

The year was 2007. Rap artists were going platinum once a week.  Kanye West and 50 Cent were feuding over who would sell more albums in one day. And Cadillac had taken note that 20-something black men were flocking to their luxurious experiment of an SUV, the Escalade. So the car-maker remixed it.

Taking a cue from music labels’ listening parties, General Motors held a private showing of its new Escalade to special invited athletes and, of course, hip-hop artists. The longer high-end Escalade tagged “Platinum” with bigger rims and heftier price tag was a smash and Cadillac’s average buyers age went from old fogy to young hip urbanite. The Escalade in any format has been platinum ever since.
The 2011 Cadillac Escalade Platinum. (Mike Tucker - Mike Tucker)

Nowadays, artists are lucky to go platinum at all. But when the stretch Caddy truck pulled up to my crib, inside hot “Cocoa” and outside dripping “Black Ice,” I was ready to get it “cray.”  Note: “Cocoa” is the interior color and “Black Ice” is the exterior paint color. Ok, back to talking normal.

As I slid in my Selena Gomez CD, I was already sold on this monstrosity of premium paint and glistening chrome. The Platinum’s signature grille and headlamps had me unable to look away, and my kids followed suit. As I opened the door for them, the automatic running board descended before my daughter to assist her entry. Her look was that of Cinderella’s at the sight of the pumpkin becoming a lavish stagecoach. Inside, my three kids were treated to their own seats with independent entertainment.

The interior of the 2011 Cadillac Escalade Platinum. (Mike Tucker - Mike Tucker)
Individual DVD players and screens are mounted in front headrests for second row passengers to view, while my child in the third row enjoyed two overhead eight-inch screens all with separate headphones and inputs for game systems. Self-contained kids are worth the price of admission on this amusement ride. Handcrafted elegance envelope the cockpit from rich leather to burl wood trim for us adults who care.

One of my favorite features is the heated and cooled cup-holders to keep your choice of caffeine at its desired temperature. Other amenities include blindside recognition to alert you when a car is too close to pass and tri-zone climate control, so everyone can control their own part of the planet.

Although Loch Ness in size, this Escalade provides a ride that is assured, fleet and never awkward. For two-seconds, you may think you are driving a luxury sedan until you have to look down to get to that pesky gas pump on frequent gas station visits.

My kids were sad to see the Platinum Escalade go and so was I.  As I peeled my daughter away, who clung to the exterior embracing the vehicle, I had to ask myself one thing. Who would really purchase this Cadillac?  It would make life easier, but with so many vehicles offering so much for less, I wondered.

It’s a similar argument I have broached with friends over Jay Z spending $250,000 on drinks at a nightclub to celebrate the album release of “Watch The Throne.” He did it because he could.  When you go platinum your family and friends get taken care of and in the Escalade Platinum, everyone gets special treatment.
2011 Cadillac Escalade Platinum. X11CA_ES018 (06/09/2010) (United States) (GM - WIECK)


Let’s Get SOCIAL

If you had it like that, would you go Platinum?   Check the info below and let us know.

Get more info by following:


2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV AWD Platinum

Price Tag: $87,345 base ($88,295 tested)

Power:  6.2L V8 Engine 345 horsepower

Transmission: 6-speed Automatic with manual shift

Drivetrain:  All-Wheel drive

Fuel Economy (mpg):  13-city/18-hwy

Mike Tucker is a D.C. native and journalist of fine automobiles for over 10 years.  He is a single dad of three who believes in unique sneakers, great tunes, delicious food and GOD.  You can follow him at @1cooldad.”

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