What up, GMI!
Been busy and hadn't had much time to post on here lately, but I finally got a free couple of moments.
For the last 6 months, I've been trying to figure out what to replace my CTS with when the lease was done. My only 3 criteria were RWD, V8, and a nice interior. On the Caddy side, I thought for a while about a 3.0TT CT6, but I really do hate the touch-points of the interior in that car. Compared to my CTS, the door panels and center console are far scratchier, and (EXTREME NITPICK) it's Cadillac's ONLY car without metal door lock mechanisms. Lol petty, but for $20K more than I paid for my CTS, I didn't feel like I was getting a nicer car.
After I ruled out CT6, I considered 650i Gran Coupe, S7, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. The 650 is very nice, but not as practical as I need having just gotten married and planning for kids within the next couple of years, so that ruled it out. The S7 is BAD!, but the AWD, while quicker, isn't as fun a drive as a pure RWD. Also, I really wanted the red interior, but would have preferred some sort of dark, open pore wood to the carbon fiber, so I kept shopping. Lastly, I drove a Summit and an SRT8 Grand Cherokee and really liked both. For me, the only downsides of the Jeep are that 1) it's way too common, and 2) I still have a stigma about Chrysler products.
All three of the cars were very nice, but all had the same downsides: high maintenance costs, less than stellar reliability rankings, and expensive as Hell! After weighing all of my options, I did the only thing that made sense: I bought an Escalade. Can't upload pics right now, but I bought a White on Kona Luxury Collection. Sticker was $82,630, but my employee discount plus demo/loaner discount, and all the stupid rebate money Cadillac offered (Loyalty, DBCs, and Pullahead), I got the car for $66,500. Residuals are high, so I leased it to keep payments down so I can do my restomod next year. $600/mo on a $80K+ car is theft.
I've only had my new ride for a week now, but it is definitely my favorite vehicle I've ever owned. Before, it was a toss up between my G8 GT and my '95 GMC G2500 Cobra conversion van. The Kona is 100% worth the extra money: the seats are softer, the leather and wood smell great, and the open pore wood is probably my favorite interior feature. I love the engine noise, which was why a V8 was so critical, and the 8 speed has been super smooth so far. CUE is vastly improved over my CTS. Nav loads almost instantly, and you don't have to wait forever for "device initializing" to be able to use voice phone commands. The wireless phone charging sucks, but other than that, I can't complain about a thing with this vehicle.