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Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.
The standard features of the Cadillac Escalade Base include EcoTec3 6.2L V-8 420hp engine, 8-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), integrated navigation system, side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st, 2nd and 3rd row overhead airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, automatic air conditioning, 20" aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control.
Starting at: $73,395
|Search New||$73,395||420-hp 6.2L 8-cyl||8-spd auto||15 / 22|
|Search New||$76,395||420-hp 6.2L 8-cyl||8-spd auto||15 / 20|
|Luxury Search New||$78,395||420-hp 6.2L 8-cyl||8-spd auto||15 / 22|
|Luxury Search New||$81,395||420-hp 6.2L 8-cyl||8-spd auto||15 / 20|
|Premium Luxury Search New||$82,895||420-hp 6.2L 8-cyl||8-spd auto||15 / 22|
|Premium Luxury Search New||$85,895||420-hp 6.2L 8-cyl||8-spd auto||15 / 20|
|Platinum Search New||$92,195||420-hp 6.2L 8-cyl||8-spd auto||15 / 22|
|Platinum Search New||$95,195||420-hp 6.2L 8-cyl||8-spd auto||15 / 20|
The big V8 is smooth, sonorous and fast, and the eight-speed automatic transmission is silky, but the unsophisticated truck chassis inhibits the ride and handling. However it’s helped along by Magnetic Ride Control dampers that use magnetic fluid to adjust stiffness between two modes, Tour and Sport.
A full-size truck, Escalade is rated to tow up to 8,300 pounds, more than Range Rover, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz.
The Escalade’s profile is identical to the Tahoe, and the Escalade ESV’s profile is identical to the Suburban.
Vertical LED headlamps and taillamps look sophisticated and crisp, and illuminate the Cadillac logo on the grille.
The cabin is warmly sculpted, unlike the sharply creased exterior. Even the base model drips with leather, its plastic and padded surfaces a cut above the Tahoe and Yukon. The Escalade Premium model is downright decadent, with more aromatic leather (Kona brown is beautiful) and wood than we’ve seen this side of a Rolls Royce.
The standard heated and cooled seats are nicely padded, with available suede trim, and it’s quieter than it used to be, thanks to pounds of sound deadening and Bose active noise cancellation.
The dashboard is dominated by Cadillac’s tablet-like CUE infotainment system, with a 12.3-inch touchscreen moved by voice, capacitive touch or swipe gestures. CUE includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as a Bose Centerpoint 2.0 audio system. Its digital gauges can be configured in four themes.
OnStar 4G LTE connectivity is standard, with a WiFi antenna for hotspot capability. A head-up display is available, as is rear seat entertainment with one or two screens.
The second- and third-row seats fold flat at the touch of a button, although the second row has to be raised by hand. The second row’s heated individual bucket seats are narrow and the padding is thin.
The cargo floor is high, because of that solid rear axle, but sometimes that’s easier on the back when you’re loading heavy things. There’s 15.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 39.3 cubic feet with the ESV, having a wheelbase that’s longer by 14 inches. With the third row folded it’s 51.6 and 76.7 cubic feet, and with both rows down it’s a vast 94.2 and 120.9 cubic feet.
There’s also stellar storage for small things. The center console bin can hold a laptop, and there are many cubbies.
The Cadillac Escalade seats up to eight, has a strong powertrain and available all-wheel drive, and can tow trailers in the sub-8000-pound range.
Sam Moses contributed to this report.
The Escalade ($73,395) comes standard with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available. Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum ($94,795) models are available.
Automatic emergency braking is standard on the Luxury model for 2017. Except on the base model, there’s an available Driver Assist package that includes adaptive cruise control and front and rear automatic braking. A Driver Awareness package adds a lane departure warning system that can tug the three-ton SUV back into its lane if the system thinks it’s necessary.