Would you option a $100,000 luxury SUV with steelies?
Few other cars represent the American dream quite as well as a fully blinged-out Cadillac Escalade. This famous SUV has been around for over twenty years and continues to inspire old and young to make more money and buy nicer things. As most will know, the Escalade is a conspicuous and rather vulgar display of success and relies on its gaudy appearance to attract the attention of ladies from Atlantic City all the way to Reno. One of this car's biggest drawcards is its massive chromed wheels, and while orders are piling up, it turns out that the completely redesigned Escalade doesn't come from the factory with its crowning jewels, and instead rocks a set of steel wheels.
Traditionally, steel wheels would be the reserve of the base trim and fleet vehicles. These unsightly wheels are cheap to manufacture and can be damaged without much care, but they're heavy and don't look all that great. These wheels would be the last thing you'd expect to find on a high-end Cadillac Escalade, which can sell for over $100k. According to sources, Escalades ordered with 22-inch wheels are fitted with steelies for transportation due to the fact that they would be too big to fit a transport truck, but when the cars arrive at dealerships, the dealers swop out the wheels and send the ugly step children back to GM.
Justin Quinn Jacobson, a photographer for GM dealerships told The Drive that "The proper wheels and tires are actually delivered on a pallet to the dealership separately. During the post-delivery inspection, they switch the wheels, and the steelies and tires go back on the pallet and get sent back to GM. I was told there's actually a pretty hefty core charge on them to prevent dealers from taking them."
According to Jacobson, Cadillac CT5 cars also come with a set of unsightly red multi-spoke wheels from the factory. The steelies on the Escalade are not only ugly, but they make this SUV look like an undercover cop car, which is even worse.