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2004 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum Edition - Driving Impression

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Ken Brubaker
| Senior Editor, Four Wheeler
Posted April 1, 2005
Photographers: Keninem

Livin' Large In A Phat Ride

Livin' the opulent, high-profile life of an affluent musician or professional athlete isn't normally part of our world. This is partly due to our shocking absence of wealth. It may also have something to do with the fact that we blow chunks at most sports and we can't sing worth a crap. Nevertheless, we recently got to experience what it's like on the other side of the bottle of Cristal when our peeps in the 313 hooked us up with a dope '04 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum Edition. As you can tell, it went straight to our empty heads.

Dissing the all-wheel-drive Escalade has historically been one of our favorite ways to pass time. We've always considered this whip to be wack, due to its lack of off-road skills. After shackin' with the 'Slade for a couple of weeks though, it's clear we've been bojanglin' because this ride is bumpin'.

There are three Escalade models. The Escalade ESV is Suburban-based. The Escalade EXT is Avalanche-based, and the Escalade is Tahoe-based. No matter which one you throw down a wad of dead presidents for, however, each comes with a tight collection of luxury standard equipment. Without a doubt, though, the ESV Platinum Edition is the pimp daddy of them all. When this new-for-'04 model rolls off the end of the Silao, Mexico, assembly line, it's dressed to impress with every conceivable toy a playa needs, and even a few things a playa don't. The Platinum package effectively sets the exterior of the 'Slade apart from a standard ESV with a lower ride height, chrome dubs, P275/55R20 tires, chrome grille, and class envy-provoking Platinum lettering on the liftgate. Like the standard ESV, the interior of the Platinum Edition offers a fly collection of lavish perks, including a nine-speaker Bose premium audio system, XM satellite radio, DVD-based navigation system, dual 7-inch video screens and two pair of wireless headphones. The Platinum Edition bumps the interior luxury level up a notch over the standard ESV with a righteous bunch of walnut burlwood accents; a kickin' ebony and shale dash; and for your ba-donka-donk, there's totally bumpin' shale leather seating surfaces.

You ain't gonna be a serious playa without dubs on your ride. Fortunately, the ESV Platinum Edition has 'em as standard equipment, and they're drenched in chrome. We wanted spinners, but it looks as though we'll have to wait for the ESV Platinum Spinner Edition.

We fired up the 345hp 'Slade and bounced out of the 815 to the 920, an artsy-fartsy area in Wisconsin that's home to some loco Malibu-like real estate prices. During the summer, the quaint peninsula is crawling with playas driving luxury nameplates like Lexus, Range Rover, and Infiniti. When we slid into the areous of our resort, we caught the attention of a well-to-do type unloading perfectly matched leather luggage from his Lincoln Navigator. He freaked us out when he struck up a conversation with us. We're used to the fine wine crowd just looking at us like we're buggin' when we show up in our locked, lifted, winch-laden, dirty F-150 on 35s. At first we thought he was a playa hata, but he seemed truly interested in the massive Cadillac with its huge jeweled wreath and crest emblem prominently adhesived onto the 'Slades liftgate. Since we obviously had his attention with our totally bumpin' ride-as well as our groovy dollar-sign necklace and faux gold #1 pendant-we schooled him on what makes the Platinum 'Slade da bomb. We left him speechless by offering up the lowdown on the 'Slades 730 specs-including the off-the-hook heated and cooled cupholders and the righteous heated and cooled leather seats.

Shizzle, at the end of our two-week vacation from reality, we had to give the Escalade back to the boyz at Cadillac. We came away from our experience with a Cristal clear observation: If you're a playa who has 700 Benjamins to spend on a set of wheels, you can't go wrong with the Escalade ESV Platinum Edition. This eight-passenger, attitude-oozing, super-luxo ride is arguably the hippest way to say to all the other wanna-be playas that you've "made it." This vehicle will help you represent without looking like an uptight executive.

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