Current Model
The Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV are redesigned for 2021, growing in size and features. As before, the Escalade shares much with the similar Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon/Yukon XL, including the move to a contemporary independent rear suspension.
This promises to improve ride and allow for more rear cargo space. The standard engine is a 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8. A diesel is offered for the first time, a 277-horsepower, 3.0-liter inline-six. Both engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The modern cabin is overflowing with high-tech features, including a large OLED display and available premium AKG stereo. The Escalade comes with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Plus it offers the latest version of Super Cruise automated driving system.
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2020
The Escalade falls down on the fundamentals as a luxury SUV; it rides too stiffly and can't stop or handle with the grace of its peers. Despite casting a massive shadow, the Cadillac is not even that roomy inside.
The second-row seats aren't very comfortable, and the third row is cramped. For those who want more room, a longer ESV version with increased cargo space is available. The Cue infotainment system is confounding. The real strength of the Escalade lies in its work abilities, with a powerful 420-hp V8 engine and an impressive tow capacity. Recent updates include a new 10-speed automatic transmission, replacing the eight-speed unit. We consider a well-trimmed Chevrolet Suburban or GMC Yukon XL to be a smarter buy. A redesigned Escalade is coming in summer 2020.
Road Test
Predicted Reliability
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2015-2019
2015 Redesign Year
Few vehicles arrive with the Escalade's imposing look. It's extremely quiet and plush inside, with a natty interior finished in stitched leather.
But its luxury is disappointingly skin deep. The stiff ride, particularly with the 22-inch wheels, is out of place in a luxury vehicle. With its clumsy handling and mediocre braking performance, the Escalade makes other full-sized SUVs seem graceful. Power is plentiful, but even with the new eight-speed automatic the Caddy gets just 16 mpg. For all its size, none of its seats really leave room to stretch out. And the third-row seat is tiny in the regular-length version. The unintuitive CUE infotainment system is a constant aggravation.
$52,550 - $70,325
Average Retail Price
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$45,100 - $63,200
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$40,250 - $53,925
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$36,175 - $44,625
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$29,025 - $37,700
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2007-2014
2007 Redesign Year
A redesign for 2007 brought a 403-hp, 6.2-liter V8 mated to a six-speed automatic. Maximum towing capacity is 8,100 pounds.
The interior is much nicer, but handling is clumsy, fuel economy is poor at 13 mpg overall, and the third-row seat is small. Still, when it comes to luxury, nothing else in the category (built in America) can compete with the ultra-plush Escalade's features. As long as you focus on comfort and space, the Escalade shines. Bring dynamics into the equation and there are better offerings to be had from offshore.
$21,425 - $26,725
Average Retail Price
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$17,625 - $25,575
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$15,825 - $22,800
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$12,125 - $18,725
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$9,625 - $15,450
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$8,050 - $14,475
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$9,375 - $12,950
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$9,425 - $11,300
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2002-2006
2002 Redesign Year
With leather upholstery, wood trim, a cushier ride, and an inflated price tag, the Escalade became the full-size American luxury SUV of choice when it was introduced. The 2002 redesign was still truck-based, with power coming from a large 6.0-liter V8 engine.
The ESV is a longer version based on the Chevrolet Suburban, while the EXT pickup is essentially a plusher version of the Chevrolet Avalanche.
$6,600 - $7,950
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$5,050 - $6,425
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$4,500 - $5,675
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$4,050 - $5,300
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$3,150 - $4,625
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1999-2000
This sheep in cashmere clothing pretends to be an all-new luxury SUV, but it's just a rebadged Chevy Tahoe with leather upholstery, wood trim, a cushier ride, and an inflated price tag. Virtues include a powerful engine, a smooth-shifting transmission, selectable full-time four-wheel drive, and a spacious interior.
But expect sloppy handling and abysmal fuel economy. This generation Escalade was short-lived as a quick fix so Cadillac dealers had an SUV to sell like their Lincoln competitors do.
$3,900
Average Retail Price
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