Car Reviews

Reviewing the Cadillac Escalade

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/30/2022 Posted: 10/08/2018

The History

The Escalade is by Cadillac, a General Motors (GM) company. The vehicle is classed as a full-size luxury SUV. Although it does look more like a truck from its specifications. The first model was introduced in 1999 and looked almost identical to the GMC Yukon Denali, launched the same year. However, Cadillac stamped its design theme, ‘art and science’ on to the SUV with a full redesign in 2002. The fourth generation, which is still in production, was introduced in 2013 with production starting in January 2014. The SUV went on sale a few months later as a 2015 model.

For a brief period in its short history, this luxury SUV was particularly popular among prominent rappers. The car featured in numerous music videos as well as a couple of movies starring rap legend Ice Cube. However, it has fallen out of favor with younger generations.

Power and Economy

This past doesn’t mean the car is not desirable. It has a 420 horsepower V8 pulling along with a stylish design at and a plush interior. People interested in buying this car are mostly looking for luxury and fuel economy is a secondary concern. Although in terms of economy the Escalade gets a decent 22 MPG on the highway and 15 in the city.

For the model year 2016, Cadillac introduced an updated infotainment system and lane keep assistant. The model year has been crowned the Best Luxury Large SUV for Families by U.S. News. And this is no wonder, considering its impressive style and its ability to seat seven. However, the luxury in an Escalade does come at a cost. The Escalade is built on a truck-based architecture that it shares with other full-size SUVs from Chevrolet and GMC. Both of these are GM companies. Edmunds notes that this creates some detractors, most notably the ride quality, cramped third-row seats, and high cargo loading floor.

But let’s see what you are getting with an Escalade. And whether it is better to buy new or go through the used market. Additionally, let’s look at 2015 or 2016 models that could be coming off lease, producing more savings.

Should I Buy a New Escalade?

It seems that since 2016, the Cadillac Escalade has dropped down the U.S. News rankings for luxury SUVs. However, it still seats 7 in its 2018 model. The interior is still at a high level with the V8 still producing the same power. Also, and the transmission is now a 10-speed automatic, compared to an 8-speed automatic in the previous years.

The same issues bother the new Escalade as they did the older models. You get infotainment systems that can be a hassle to deal with; the ride is still jittery and sometimes uncomfortable. Moreover, the cramped third-row seats still plague the standard-wheelbase model. Additionally, the car received poor reliability scores as well as low safety scores, leaving a lot to be desired. In other words, it has been near the bottom of the charts for large luxury SUVs. Prices for the 2018 model year start at $73,995 and top out at $96,100 according to Edmunds.

So, would you buy a new one or is shopping for a used 2016 model a better option?

Further Reading

Buying a Used Escalade

If we are looking at the price alone, a 2016 Cadillac Escalade starts at $27,800 and tops out at $84,100. This means that you could make huge savings on the same model that is only two-three-year-old. Of course, the price will depend on mileage, options, and the overall condition. Now, we noted that the 2018 model has a 10-speed transmission. CarComplaints data shows the 2016 model’s 8-speed transmission issues have been rated as some of the worst problems to come across, though complaints are rare.

All Cadillac Escalade Auctions

[auctions query=”Cadillac Escalade”]

The Verdict

If you are buying a new large SUV, there are certainly better options. These include the Lincoln Navigator, the Mercedes GLS. There are even the Land Rovers and Range Rovers if need something for the whole family. The 2016 Escalade is more attractive than the newest model since you’re buying the same vehicle at a reduced price. What the Cadillac Escapade has going for it is its style and presence on the road. Also, the seats in the Escalade fold flat and the space you get is second to none.