Car Review: The 2023 Cadillac Escalade is a big luxury SUV that will get you noticed

Cadillac has been a popular choice among large luxury SUVs since it introduced the Escalade in 1999. The 2023 Escalade looks to continue its winning ways for big dollar rides.

The Escalade is very stylish for a big SUV and it is very recognizable. Cadillac uses a bold style that really makes the large SUV stand out in the pricey crowd. The latest version of the Escalade has sleek modern LED lighting with the Cadillac script on each headlight. The large grill and big Cadillac emblem announce the brand. Large 22-inch wheels and the optional power assist running boards add to the clean lines of the Escalade. Even out back, the clean lines continue with slender taillights and dual exhaust outlets.



The previous Cadillac Escalade’s interior was lacking compared with the competition. Now with the latest redesign, much of that has been addressed. A big improvement in materials is welcomed and the Escalade’s interior is much closer to the competition than before. Heated and ventilated Mulan leather seats will keep you comfortable on the long haul and the massage will make sure you are relaxed even in traffic. The cabin is spacious and passengers in the second row are treated to heated seats that have many adjustments to help find the correct seating position. The third row bench seat and cargo space is improved from previous Escalades thanks to new rear suspension layout that allows for more space. There’s another leap forward with improved technology, like the curved OLED 16.9” infotainment screen, that blends in with a reconfigurable cluster display in front of the driver. The optional AKG 36-speaker surround system is worth the money for audiophiles.

This Escalade has no trouble keeping up with traffic. The standard V-8 pumps out 420hp and makes a nice noise when you hit the gas. There’s also a diesel engine available for those that want better MPG than the big V-8. This Cadillac SUV has a nicely controlled ride, thanks to the Magnetic Ride Control suspension, that makes a large vehicle handle and feel a bit smaller than it actually is. There’s even air-ride suspension that smooths out many of the bumps to improve the ride. The Escalade is a large and wide SUV, so it’s still a bit daunting at first to drive and it can be a chore in tighter spaces and smaller parking garages.


Cost: Base price is $89,595; as tested, $107,210

MPG: 14 MPG City; and 18 MPG Highway. I managed 15.8 mpg in 310 miles of mixed driving.

Options: $4,300 AKG Studio reference 36 speaker surround system; $2,700 performance package; $2,550 touring package; $2,000 night vision; $710 parking package; $1,995 rear entertainment system; $1,750 power retractable assist steps; $625 Mahogany metallic $1,795 destination charge

Safety: HD surround vision camera; enhanced auto parking assist; teen driver mode; adaptive cruise control; enhanced automatic emergency braking; forward collision alert; safety seat alert; lane keep assist/lane departure warning; lane change alert/side blind zone alert; rear pedestrian alert; reverse automatic braking; brake pad monitor; trailer side blind zone alert; night vision.

Pros:

  • Stylish exterior stands out in a crowded large luxury SUV class
  • Improved interior with nicer materials and more space than before
  • Plenty of power from the standard V-8 engine

Cons:

  • The improved interior might not be as luxurious as some other big dollar SUVs
  • Some might find the large size a challenge when driving in smaller spaces
  • Big power V-8 means the fuel economy is not very good

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