The fifth-generation Escalade continues as a carryover, boosted by the arrival of a high-performance V model which costs over $150,000. Otherwise, it’s business as usual across the standard Escalade and long-wheelbase ESV ranges.
Choosing Your Cadillac Escalade
Whether you’re looking at the standard Escalade or an ESV, there are six trim levels to choose from. All except the new flagship V model can be specified with AWD as a $3,000 option, while a turbodiesel engine is also available on each non-flagship trim, costing $1,600. LWB models are $3,000 more expensive than their standard-wheelbase counterparts.
The cheapest way into Escalade ownership is a gas-powered 2WD standard wheelbase Luxury model, costing $80,090 (all prices include destination). At the other end of the scale, an ESV-V will set you back $152,990. That’s a massive price increase compared to second-from-top Sport Platinum models, which cost $110,990 even in LWB TD guise.
The standard Escalade engine is a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, fed to either the rear or all four wheels through the range-wide ten-speed automatic transmission. The alternative is a three-liter turbodiesel engine generating 277 hp and 460 lb-ft, while V models are powered by a supercharged version of the gas engine; output soars to 682 hp and 653 lb-ft.
It probably won’t surprise you that on a 5,500lb vehicle, fuel economy on gas models comes in at an EPA-estimated 14 miles per gallon city, 19 mpg highway, and 16 combined. The diesel raises this to 21/27/23 in 2WD mode, but the supercharged AWD V8 returns a paltry 11/16/13 MPG.
|Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined)
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
Cargo capacity for the seven-seater Escalade stands at 41.5 cu ft with the rear seats in place, 94.1 cu ft once the third-row seats are dropped, and 142.8 cu ft behind the front seats.
Regardless of which Escalade you buy, you’ll benefit from seven airbags, automatic lights and wipers, and a system that prevents drive-aways until the driver’s seat belt is buckled. Driver assistance extends to automatic emergency braking, with all trims except Luxury receiving an enhanced version of this technology. Every model gets front pedestrian braking, park assist, HD surround vision and lane keep assist with lane departure warning, but Luxury models miss out on reverse automatic braking and cross-traffic alerts. Sport models are the first to receive trailer side blind zone alerts.
Audiophiles will be delighted to discover every Escalade comes as standard with a 19-speaker AKG audio system including an amp and subwoofer. At the same time, Sport Platinum trims and above receive a frankly unnecessary 36-speaker system with 3D surround sound and dual subs. A 16.9-inch OLED infotainment screen controls navigation and smartphone mirroring, while a surround vision recorder captures footage from the Escalade’s surround-view cameras. Wireless phone charging and satellite/HD radio are standard on every trim, as is a 14.2-inch digital instrument display and a separate 7.2-inch control panel.
Naming your cheapest model Luxury is a brave move, but Caddy has loaded their entry-level Escalade with the standard kit. External highlights include heated power-folding and auto-dimming (on the driver’s side) outside mirrors, a hands-free power liftgate, and LED lighting. Step inside via keyless entry, and the ambient-lit cabin has power lumbar across both heated front seats, with heating elements in the outboard second-row seats and steering wheel as well. Rear seat occupants further benefit from separate air conditioning and WiFi hotspot capabilities.
There are no packages on this model.
Moving up a trim level brings leather seating and a panoramic power sunroof, while safety upgrades include rear cross-traffic alerts, reverse automatic braking, and lane keep assist with side blind zone alerts. The driver’s life is simplified with a head-up display, adaptive cruise and automatic parking assistance, plus a rear camera mirror washer.
The $2,550 Touring Package combines soft-closing side doors and adaptive sill plates with air suspension. For slightly more money, the $2,700 Performance pack bundles in an electronic limited slip differential with magnetic ride control, side blind zone alerts when towing a trailer, and hitch camera guidance.
Sporting pretensions might seem inappropriate on a seven-seater SUV, but Sport models do come with an electronic limited-slip differential, magnetic ride control, and dark window tints. However, they lose the more sophisticated lane keep assist technology installed on Premium Luxury models.
The Touring package remains available, while the $2,895 Onyx package combines 22-inch gloss black alloy wheels with monochrome Cadillac emblems and the Caddy crest projected across the puddle lamps beneath each outside mirror.
The huge price hike from Sport trim is explained by the introduction of features like illuminating sill plates, adaptive air suspension, and soft-closing doors. The 12-way power front seats have power lumbar massaging functionality, and leather across the instrument panel, upper doors, and center console. The steering wheel is also leather-wrapped, while AKG Bluetooth headphones are supplied as part of the stereo being upgraded to a 36-speaker affair.
The Onyx package is the only option on Sport Platinum models, still costing $2,895.
Identically priced to Sport Platinum, Premium Luxury Platinum models ride on bespoke 22-inch wheels, with chrome exterior detailing in lieu of Sport’s gloss black moldings and roof rails. Otherwise, these two trims are the same.
Spending $4,495 on the Radiant package brings the Onyx package’s illuminated crest puddle lamps, monochrome badge emblems, and a mesh grille and chrome wheels.
The new V edition Escalade is all about performance, though it does offer night vision, sports pedals, and active noise cancellation. Power-retractable steps with LED lighting are standard for the first time, as is a single-speed transfer case and all-wheel drive
Premium Luxury looks like the best-value Escalade, combining specifications that befit its name with a price tag far below its more lavishly equipped siblings. AWD is a highly recommended option on any Escalade.