It’s amazing what they’re doing with vehicles these days. Take the Cadillac Escalade I got to drive last week, for instance.
From the rear back-up camera all the way up to the front-view camera embedded in the grille, and everything in between, this thing was decked out. It had heated and cooled front bucket seats, and instead of an uncomfortable bench for the second row seats, it had captain’s chairs with seat heaters back there, too. The third row of seats was a little tight for full-grown humans, but a couple of my coworkers crammed themselves back there for a trip to lunch one day and didn’t have many complaints.
When those back seats aren’t needed, they fold down with the touch of a button to provide more cargo space – and with a vehicle this big, that’s a heck of a lot of room.
To be honest, there’s a lot more fancy stuff in that Escalade than is strictly necessary. But it’s pretty darn cool. It has a fully customizable instrument cluster, a rear-seat entertainment center, and electronic running boards that fold out automatically when you open the door and fold back up when the door shuts. Actually, that’s one feature I wasn’t so impressed with. Some people might find those running boards helpful, but the Escalade sits low enough I didn’t need them. But when they folded out, they sort of got in my way. Having them fold up when they’re not in use is a cool idea, though, because it keeps them from getting hung up on brush and bumps if that Escalade ever gets taken off the paved roads.
Granted, this isn’t really an off-road vehicle. But by letting me drive it for a week, Cadillac proved that if you want to, you certainly can take it off the pavement. And I have to say, it looks pretty good dirty, too.