The USA's a curious place for all sorts of reasons, one of them the popularity of the Cadillac Escalade. There, General Motors sells some 60,000 Escalades every year; it's more popular than all of its competitors combined. Which is odd when, to European eyes, its driving experience seems to share more with that of a heavily-loaded commercial vehicle than a Range Rover Vogue.
This year, as part of the global expansion of the Cadillac brand, UK customers will be able to buy the 2007-model-year Escalade.
GM Europe isn't expecting demand levels akin to those of the States; that's why it isn't bothering to do right-hand drive conversion. But you will be able to walk into a Cadillac showroom and order an Escalade, and it will come with a four-year factory warranty.
What's it like?
The new Escalade is a greatly improved device. Cadillac has spent time and effort giving it a better-quality cabin and a quieter ride, and in those respects the Escalade is now nearer to, if still not quite at, the class standard for luxury 4x4s.
However, this car is so big (nearly 200mm longer even than a Range Rover) and heavy (2609kg unladen) that it feels gigantic on European roads.